CHURCH leaders at the centre of controversial plans to create a new superdiocese in West Yorkshire are calling for a national debate on the future shape and mission of the Church of England.
The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Stephen Platten and his senior staff say that by focussing only on the three dioceses of Bradford, Ripon and Leeds and Wakefield, the Dioceses Commission is missing the opportunity to look at ways to rethink how the Church of England nationally could best serve the needs of the parishes and people in today’s society.
And members of Wakefield Diocesan Synod have voted overwhelmingly to ask General Synod and the House of Bishops to hold a theologically informed debate about the organisational shape of the church and its mission in the 21st century.
The Dioceses Commission published a draft scheme to reorganise the three West Yorkshire dioceses of Bradford, Ripon and Leeds and Wakefield last year.
In it they proposed to dissolve the three existing diocese to create one new diocese which would have three equal cathedrals and five Episcopal areas under one Diocesan Bishop who would be based in Leeds.
It would enable Huddersfield to have its own Bishop.
The new Diocese of Leeds would be known informally as the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.