Letter: The church needs frankness, rather than apologies

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The Independent Online
Sir: Many Church of England parishes are looking forward to the chance of becoming financially independent ('Parishes to pay price of church property debacle, 16 February). This does not mean that we shall be inward-looking, or less generous in supporting the Mission areas of our diocese. It does mean that central administration will have to become slimmer and more responsive. Parishes may even opt to buy in the central services they require.

The main advantage is that congregations will see the point of giving generously - to maintain the work and witness of the local church. Diocesan quota was unpopular because it was perceived as a tax on success, and thus an inhibition to church growth.

Why not let parishes become independent as soon as they feel ready? The challenge will energise the church into new life.

Yours faithfully,



The Parish Church of St Mildred

Tenterden, Kent

15 February