Bishop Justin began his charge by making us face the fact that “Yesterday is no longer the norm. We have to change.”
There are so many questions.
- How to deal with the reality of earthquakes?
- How to strengthen our buildings?
- How to afford the sky-rocketing insurance premiums?
Living beyond our means
Money is so tight: since 2009, our investments have given us negative returns and the Diocesan family has been living beyond its means. This cannot continue…financially we must change.
Over-60s our missionaries
When we view our population profile, most of our Diocesan family members are older than 50 years. Total annual attendances in churches are falling.
“Good News,” said the Bishop.
“As people grow older, so Anglicans increase in number! And we have a huge resource base in those over 60 years who have retired. These are our missionaries and we have to work out how to mobilise this resource of passion and experience.”
Bishop Justin then urged the young people to work alongside these missionaries, providing energy and enthusiasm.
Self-supporting leadership becoming the norm
Only one fifth of our clergy are in stipendiary ministry, one fifth are part-time, and three fifths are non-stipendiary. How lucky we are to have this big proportion of self-supporting leadership! This is a real strength and a resource that can help us move forward.
We need to change
Unfortunately we are averse to change; change is what happens to other people or to things, not to us. But in this storm, we have to bond as a family, moving beyond our “my ministry‟ mentality into an “our God’s ministry‟ mentality.