Beyond the Parish: a response.

I HAVE been asked by SEARCH to respond briefly to Barry Forde’s article ‘Beyond the Parish – affirming new models of ministry in the Church.’ It is splendid to welcome the intervention of new canon lawyers on the Church of Ireland scene.  Do I agree with him or do I not? That is the question most readers will want to know. Let me spare you the page-turning. I do agree with him on his main points.

There are indeed “an increasing number of actual ministries and appointments on the ground in Ireland that do not fit into the neatly integrated constitutional structure [and] there is growing momentum for new models. . .” Moreover, he is right that the current ‘one size fits all’ approach to regulation of ministry in the Church of Ireland does not cater for the paths we have already taken and are envisioning. There you have it.