Letter to the Church Times

The Diocese of Southwark, and how Evangelicals see it

The Church Times recently (20 Mar 2015) printed a letter from a couple of colleagues and me.

From the Archdeacon of Lewisham & Greenwich, the Archdeacon of Lambeth, and Canon Stephen Hance

Sir, There is a tale of two dioceses. As Evangelical clergy serving on the Bishop of Southwark’s senior staff team, we sometimes find ourselves wondering which of these two Southwark dioceses we are actually ministering in.

On the one hand, there is the Southwark diocese of popular perception, at least as some bloggers and commentators are concerned. This version is apparently experiencing catastrophic decline, owing, it is said, to the extreme liberal hegemony of the senior clergy of the diocese, especially the Bishop’s staff team, where it is allegedly nigh impossible for an Evangelical to be appointed to a senior position or make any significant impact, and the only agenda is revisionism.

This imagined version of the diocese has almost no Fresh Expressions of Church, and remains a near-closed door to church-plants. This is compared with a far rosier picture in neighbouring dioceses.

Continue reading “Letter to the Church Times”