Declining diocesan fortunes leads to suspension of suffragan see of Ludlow

Whilst the See of Ludlow will not be filled, that does not rule out an appointment in the future.

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Following the retirement of The Rt Revd Alistair Magowan, Bishop of Ludlow earlier this spring, we have undertaken a consultation across the Diocese and been in conversation with the National Dioceses Commission about his replacement. The Commission are responsible for approving appointments to vacant episcopal posts. This has all taken place against the backdrop of financial pressures caused by COVID 19 and a general fall in the number of clergy across the Church of England.

The Diocese of Hereford is part of the wider Anglican family of churches, and whilst prudent investments have maintained our reserves and capacity to invest in mission,we recognise that national reductions in front line clergy require us to carefully scrutinise all posts.In the light of this, and in consultation with the Commission, we have decided to restructure our senior staff and replace the existing combined Bishop/ Archdeacon of Ludlow role with a full time Archdeacon. The post holder will work with The Ven Derek Chedzey, Archdeacon of Hereford, The Bishop of Hereford, Rt Revd Richard Jackson and other colleagues in supporting the work of our parishes across the Diocese. This post will continue to be funded by the National Church and will result in further savings in the diocesan budget. We also plan to appoint Assistant Archdeacons in both archdeaconries. These will attract a small honorarium (similar to the role of a Rural Dean) but will be alongside the person’s full time stipendiary role. We are grateful to receive a personal email from the Archbishop of Canterbury encouraging us in this strategic decision.

We expect to advertise this new post in the autumn and have someone in place by early 2021. They will reside in the current house in Craven Arms. Whilst the See of Ludlow will not be filled, that does not rule out an appointment in the future. We remain committed to being a united family across the 5 counties covered by the Diocese of Hereford.

Bishop Richard is looking forward to visiting all the benefices in the diocese as soon as possible for Sunday worship. It is the intention of all the senior staff team to prioritise interaction with local churches to encourage and support their ministry.