The Church of England General Synod’s approval on July 8, in York, of the merger of three Yorkshire Dioceses ; Ripon and Leeds , Bradford and Wakefield creates one of the biggest of its 40plus Dioceses.
The new Yorkshire Dales Diocese with nearly 500 Parishes includes more than 600 churches and an estimated 300 plus schools, covers half of Yorkshire ( excluding York and Sheffield Dioceses ) and is bigger than the Dioceses of York or London. It is on a par with Lincoln, and second only to perhaps Oxford which covers three counties - according to Wikipedia.
The Diocesan accounts, which exclude Parish funds and schools, show a combined balance sheet valuation of £ 170 million of assets (£140 m) and Investments (£30m).
It has a combined annual expenditure of £24m, but still an annual income shortfall of £ 1 m.
The new Diocesan Bishop will have five area bishops, including on a local note a Bishop of Kirklees and Calderdale - but where should this local area bishop be based ?
Twenty years on from the fist local authority/Diocesan regeneration partnership in the country, the “Kirklees Churches Partnership” which I helped forge and whose flagship joint venture was the re-establishment of Dewsbury Minster, the original church locally -what better affirmation of this on-going Partnership than to base the new area bishop in Dewsbury?
(formerly of Thornhill)