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PASTORAL MESSAGE
Diocese of Plymouth, Office of the Bishop, Right Reverend Bishop Budd

 29 January 2007

Diocesan Pastoral Reorganisation in Cornwall – Update (see below for vision statement)

Dear Parishioners

I write to give you an update about the pastoral re-organisation currently in process in the deanery.

As you will recall from earlier discussions, we have already embraced a plan for the deanery that will give us nine parishes in the county, some new and larger than the originals.   They will be as follows:

            Falmouth and Helston *

            Penzance, St Ives and Hayle *

            Camborne and Redruth *

            Truro

            Newquay

            St Austell

            Bodmin (including Padstow, Wadebridge and Tintagel)

            Launceston and Bude (including Callington) *

            Saltash, Torpoint and Liskeard *

*  These will be formed from our present parishes.

I would like the new parishes to come into existence by Easter 2008.   This process should involve widespread dialogue across the old parishes so that everyone can have a voice in the shaping of the new.   May I encourage the parishes concerned to embark upon that dialogue as soon as possible, and be guided by our Diocesan Vision Statement, set out below.   This vision will mean that we return to basics about ourselves as a people called together to share the Gospel and to live it to the fullest extent possible.

When dialogue across the parishes is complete, I would want to receive recommendations in writing from all relevant Pastoral Councils, so that I can consult with the Council of Priests (as required by Canon Law) before making final decisions.

As these changes take place, there will be loss.   We would lose some of our Mass Centres.   I anticipate the closure of Mawnan Smith and Gunnislake.   Eventually

St Agnes and Perranporth will become one and be associated with Newquay.   Sclerder and Looe will be a dependency of the Chaplaincy at Sclerder and have a canonical relationship with the new parish of Saltash, Torpoint and Liskeard.  

There will also be gain, with the availability of more human resources in the new parishes for carrying forward the mission of the Church on every level.

None of this development is going to be painless and I apologise to those who may suffer more loss than gain in the immediate future, especially regarding availability of often cherished buildings.  One of our priorities in carrying out these changes is to achieve, for everyone, a reasonable access to Sunday Mass and the ministry of a priest.   That, however, must always be in the context of the priority of the mission of the Church.

May I recall the principal features of our Vision Statement, namely, we are called to become:

A Celebrating Church:

Expressing what we believe in our worship,

engaging with the gift of liturgy, and

allowing ourselves to be renewed in it.

A Caring Church

Seeking to understand the suffering of those around us,

reaching out and being Christ to one another, and serving the world.

A Learning Church

Deepening our understanding of our faith,

humbling ourselves to learn from Our Lord and each other,

and discovering our true nature as the Body of Christ.

A Living Church

Empowering all around us

with the presence and joy of the Holy Spirit,

proclaiming Christ to the world,

and being faithful to our mission.

May I thank you in advance for your prayer, patience and understanding as we begin to put in place this new period in the life of the Diocese.

With every good wish and blessing

Christopher Budd
Bishop of Plymouth