Bishop’s Council Looks To The Future

The Bishop’s Council of the Diocese has begun in London (Thursday 24 October 2013) with a number of items looking ahead after a Church Commissioners grant funding has been announced and in light of the impending retirement of the Diocesan Bishop.

The 30 ordained and lay delegates with observers considered at an opening business session where it was reported that Canon Robert Innes from Holy Trinity Brussels has been appointed as the interim Representative to the European Union after the resignation of Canon Gary Willton. Members were concerned to see that Canon Robert was given full and proper pastoral care as he undertakes these additional duties.

The formal “instrument” which allows Suffragan Bishop David Hamid to carry out the duties of a diocesan bishop during the Episcopal interregnum and recruitment process was read and will be officially handed over at a service in Gibraltar on All Saints Day.

A full report was given about the recent announcement of the £84,000 p.a. grant from the Church Commissioners which has been seen as a disappointing as it does not allow the diocese to establish four full-time Archdeacons to establish mission and ministry. Members discussed possible reactions to the funding announcement.

Although there is still great concern about the workload of existing Archdeacons who need the support of their local churches where they also hold office as Chaplains new appointments of Area Deans, to assist their work, in Spain, France and Italy will be announced in the next few days.