A warm welcome



A welcome from the Ven Julian Hubbard, Secretary of the Ministry Divison of the General Synod:

I am grateful for your initiative in preparing the manifesto and setting up the debate on lay ministry. The eight propositions are highly relevant and touch upon the key challenges for the Church of England in this area of work. You refer to the 'Re-imagining ministry' process and the significance of lay ministry and discipleship within it. Work is continuing on this theme and I am in conversation with Joanna Cox, the National Adult Education and Lay Development Adviser about it.

Joanna Cox,National Adult Education and Lay Development Adviser, confirms that your responses will be very welcome:

As you know, Julian Hubbard and I are in discussion about the best way to open out work in this whole area of lay ministry  as part of the 'reimaginging ministry' process:  responses and perspectives on the key issues you raise will make a useful contribution to this.  

From Richard Southwell QC, formerly Lay Chair of Salisbury Diocesan Synod,

“Many thanks for sending me your Manifesto and ‘Opening a Debate’. I am in entire agreement with what they contain. To expect [clergy] to be masters of every aspect of Church life is not wise; and for them to treat ... skilled and experienced lay people as merely people to be instructed is folly.”



From the Revd Adrian Ball, Chair of the Local Ministry Network steering group:

At the Local Ministry Network steering group meeting yesterday we discussed among other things the manifesto your group have recently produced.

We were all keen to give it our support.



From the Rt Revd John Saxbee, formerly Bishop of Lincoln

“These documents ... should prove to be a very effective tool in the on-going debate about Lay Ministry in our Churches.

“ If ... we are going to start with the historic realities of lay discipleship as the basis for evolving lay ministry, then we need to ensure that it is the development of discipleship which is given priority - all else follows from that. Ordination [needs to be] the servant rather than the master of our mission.”

From Colin Slater, leading lay person in Southwell & Nottingham Diocese

“Thank you very much indeed for sending me advance copies of your Manifesto and other documents. I have read them avidly and I am so delighted that you are taking this initiative. It is a very timely one.”



From the Revd Jeremy Martineau, former the Churches' National Rural Officer, now living in Wales

The two sets of papers you recently sent me are really good.  Many thanks for sending them. ... Many congratulations and blessings on you for all this – so timely.

In Wales we are going through an open discussion about new structures based on far fewer stipendiaries  This material could provide a really useful prompter to help parishes that are currently feeling shell-shocked.

From Steve Kinnersley

Thank you very much indeed for drawing the Manifesto to my attention. It hits a big nail on the head. There's only one word I would have changed if I'd written it: delete "Lay" from the title. That's because I firmly believe that only when ministry is taken seriously when viewed as a whole can the respective contributions and roles of ordained and lay folk be properly addressed.

From Robert Norman Marshall

Thank you for the above which I found very interesting; to some extent encouraging; but also depressing! However imaginative and inventive the approach and services, one is conscious of ' massive stone walls' of tradition and legalism.