Archdeacon to address concerns
WHILE members of the Anglican congregations of St Luke's Church in Chatsworth Island and All Saints Church in Lawrence fear their churches may be up for closure, the Grafton Diocese says it's not as simple as that.
Grafton Diocese Archdeacon Greg Ezzy is holding meetings with both congregations today to address concerns and discuss future strategies.
Both churches come under the Parish of Maclean, which in turn is overseen by the Diocese of Grafton that has jurisdiction from Port Macquarie to the Queensland border.
Archdeacon Ezzy said the diocese was "engaged in strategic thinking regarding the most appropriate and effective ways to provide mission and ministry to people within and beyond the church throughout the Diocese".
"Part of this thinking involves bringing together people of goodwill in our communities to both inform them of possible options for relevant ministry into the future and to listen to their responses."
Describing stories in recent days as "sensational", Archdeacon Ezzy denied a dispute between the Parish and the Diocese.
"Some of the issues at stake are the fantastic history of the church in the life of both current and past generations; the cultural changes that have taken places over recent decades calling for new creative approaches to ministry for the sake of the future generations; the financial implications of maintaining buildings in a new age of mobility and OH&S compliance; as well as the really difficult task of attracting a new rector to such a multi-centred Parish."
No connection to CVAS
CHAIRMAN of the Clarence Valley Anglican School, the Very Reverend Donald Kirk said statements implying that any potential sale of church assets in either Lawrence or Chatsworth Island would go to CVAS were untrue.
He said an appeal from the Bishop some years ago to help CVAS through more than $10m of debt had been answered generously from throughout the Diocese.
"This appeal has now been fully subscribed and the debt issues are now resolved," Dean Donald said.
"Any suggestion that future possible closures and selling of assets at either Lawrence or Chatsworth Island will go to CVAS are completely misleading."