On October 5th 2018 it was announced to clergy at a meeting that the Parishes of Leigh Park, Warren Park and West Leigh were to be reorganised. Following this meeting the announcement was made during the notices at the Sunday morning Eucharist during the notices. A public meeting was help by the diocese which packed the room to standing room only. The public spoke with compassion to raise their thoughts and concerns. Following the public meeting hundreds of people wrote to the diocese to share their disagreements as well as some who accepted the proposals, many people signed petitions against the proposals. There was so much correspondence the Bishop’s Council decided there would not be enough time in the allocated time in the process to read all the material and so the process was put back until after Christmas so as to be able to read everything and consider their decision. The Bishop’s Council announced it would not change the proposal originally suggested other than to change one post. The proposal that came from their decision was that St Francis, St Clare and St Alban’s should all become one Parish, with one Rector in charge of all three and a Church Planting Vicar as the legal stand and three other posts to be decided by the community after the legal process is completed. Following this decision the community continued to raise their voices. PCC’s met with the Diocese’s Strategic Team to discuss matters, meetings were held with the Bishop’s Council and we were asked to produce a vision. We produced a vision which we thought might suit all concerned. Following all of this the Bishop’s Council met to make their decision for the formal process. On the night of this meeting Fr Jonathan attended their meeting to speak with them and to share the vision they had asked for. When the decision was made the Bishop’s Council chose not to change their original decision. The Proposal has now gone forward to the Church of England Church Commissioners for their consideration and final decision. At this stage the public have a voice. The public are encouraged to send their correspondence to the Church Commissioners, whether it be for or against, so they can hear your voices. The Church Commissioners have to listen to what people of the public say. It is very important to note that you MUST write For of Against on your correspondence.
There is now a ‘Blue’ Public Notice pinned outside on the front of the Church doors. A copy can also be found via this link:
We, at St Francis and St Clare’s are very saddened by all of this. We would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming love and support that has been shown so far, it has been incredible. Do please continue to voice your concerns to the Church Commissioners. If you do not write your voice will not be heard and included.