Among the many expressions of thanks sent to the retired clergy officer, Canon David Pritchard, were the following:
“A heartfelt and sincere THANK YOU for arranging this morning's conference; both sessions being most enlightening and encouraging”.
“we were being told important things about our diocese, and being invited to feel part of it….do make it an annual thing”.
In the first session Canon Paul Evans, the diocesan secretary, spoke about “the CofE and its predicament”. After a biographical introduction, Canon Evans thanked the retired clergy for the important part they play in the life of the diocese. “Without you we would be in very serious trouble on Sundays and in taking funerals” he said. Referring to recent report by the British Social Attitudes Survey that the proportion of Britons declaring that they have no religion has risen from 48% in 2015 to 53% in 2016, Canon Evans outlined some of the strategies for growth in the fourteen market towns and the plan to increase the number of stipendiary clergy in the diocese.
In the second session Canon Linda Church, the Director of Ministry, spoke about the recent survey conducted by the Judge Business School and drew colleagues’ attention to the wide range of training opportunities on offer for clergy and laity, including retired clergy. The latest edition of the Training/Workshop booklet includes details of these courses.
Before closing with prayer Canon Pritchard encouraged everyone to pray for the diocese and its people by means of the Diocesan Prayer Calendar (which is published on the website and available from the diocesan office).