Matt Warman MP yesterday raised in Parliament the recruitment difficulties suffered by churches such as St Matthews in Skegness, which has faced a long period without a rector, and welcomed Lincoln Diocese’s efforts to tackle the problem.
In the context of asking what steps the Church of England is taking to increase the representation of women and BME groups among its leadership, he asked “when trying to increase the range of people available to take up positions that are currently vacant, [could] we pay particular attention to churches that have been vacant for long periods, because that is damaging to communities such as that at St Matthew’s in Skegness?”
The MP representing Church Commissioners in Parliament, the Rt Hon Caroline Spelman, responded “I hope I can reassure my hon. Friend on this, because as recently as Tuesday night in this House we passed the obscurely titled Diocesan Stipends Fund (Amendment) Measure. That Church measure—it originated from the diocese of Lincoln, which covers his constituency—should enable his diocese to invest in the training of more clergy by releasing money from the funds for that purpose.”
Matt commented, “I am pleased that funding has been released for the training of new clergy in Lincolnshire. The churches in our constituency play a vital role in our community, and I pay tribute to all those who help to cover during periods of vacancy so that services can continue. I hope with these new funds, churches like St Matthews in Skegness will be able to fill their vacant positions. This would give a real boost to the church community in Skegness and assist in all the excellent work they do.”
- Matt’s question can be seen in full via the following link: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm160204/debtext/160204-0001.htm#16020456000510