What does a Ministry Area look like?
We seek to be faithful to our Lord, to gather as God’s people, grow in his image, and go out in his power. The new Ministry Area model provides an organisational structure designed to reduce administrative hurdles. There is one design, but each Ministry Area will have a unique look and feel.
We now live in a post-christendom society and our diocese needs to respond to the changes which have taken place. The diocesan vision is to see growing and flourishing local churches. The structures and systems which have been inherited are no longer the best framework to enable this mission and ministry to develop.
The aim of Ministry Areas is to reduce the obstacles that hold back being a stronger and more lively Christian presence. Fundamental to the concept of Ministry Areas is that they are rooted in teamwork.
Very simply, a Ministry Area is a gathering of churches which provides the opportunity to streamline administration and expand the ability for mission to take place. By working together in a collaborative way churches and their people can share knowledge, skills, resources and talent to the glory of God.
Each Ministry Area will have an appropriate stipendiary presence shared with other licensed ordained and lay ministers.
The model this diocese is moving to will be:
- Ministry Area (which will also take the constitutional role of the Deanery and the Parish)
- Local Church
The current Benefice / Parish boundaries within a Ministry Area will be removed. The Ministry Area will have a single Parochial Church Council. Each Ministry Area will also, in time, become an unincorporated charity, with the members of the Parochial Church Council also being trustees of the charity, so long as they are eligible. The removal of legal boundaries within a Ministry Area will mean that the right to marriage, baptism and burial will extend to the Ministry Area.
Ministry Area Council
The Ministry Area Council will set the strategic direction of the Ministry Area. It will have the powers of both the former Parochial Church Council and Deanery Conference and will promote the mission and ministry of the Church. It will identify and review the needs of the Ministry Area in respect to people, finance, buildings and property. Two Ministry Area Wardens will be elected by an Annual Parochial Meeting of the Ministry Area. The Ministry Area Council will elect a Chair from its membership. The membership is governed by the Constitution of the Church in Wales. Each Ministry Area will define its own mechanism for local representation. Each Ministry Area Council is invited to provide representation to Diocesan Committees. Other sub-groups may exist but are not part of the governance structure, e.g. fundraising group, prayer group etc.
Administration will be available to each Ministry Area.
Each church or group of churches within the Ministry Area should have a church committee and appoint church (sub) wardens. This group will be responsible for matters of local concern.
Ministry Area Executive
The Ministry Area Council may have an Executive to assist in its functions.
Ministry Area Team
Clergy will be licensed to the Ministry Area by the Bishop and, within that envelope, hold specific responsibilities and primary pastoral areas. These will be defined by a working agreement which will be drawn up by the Archdeacon in consultation with the Ministry Area Council and the Bishop.
Each Ministry Area will have its own accounts, forward ministry share to the diocese, and hold financial responsibility for the Ministry Area. Each local church, or group of churches, should retain its own local accounts and deal with local financial arrangements. Legacies may be retained locally. Ministry Share will be allocated by the diocese to the Ministry Area. The Ministry Area Council will agree allocation between local churches or groups of churches.
An online toolkit will help with the setting up and the running of a Ministry Area. This will be added to over time as questions and good practice develop. This will provide detailed advice about governance, representation, finance, and many other things.
You can download the pdf of this page here.