From the Vicarage

Rev. Dr James (Jim) Bruce

From the Vicarage by Rev. Dr James Bruce

Dear Friends

The Diocese Of Carlisle and the church in general has had a massive shortfall of funding due to loss of revenue during the Corona Virus Pandemic, and the allowances we receive from the Church Commissioners annually has not risen for eleven years.  

We are acutely aware as a Diocese, that we and our Parishes are not alone in loss of revenue during lock down it, has been the same for many businesses and other organisations.  Some Diocese are almost at collapse.

With our current financial situation it looks as though the Diocese will soon be losing around 20 to 30 members of the Clergy, this takes us to some 50 clergy members taking care of some 250 churches.  So, there will have to be some massive restructuring of Parishes and the number of Clergy Led services they can expect moving forward.  

We have managed so far with the good will of our retired clergy in our areas, the majority of them are well over retiring age and are needing to step down from all but essential or emergency appearances as we move forward.  

This will mean Services will have to be delivered by Lay Members of the Parishes and we will have Laity taking many of the services which do not require a priest, consequently Churchwardens and other lay members will be responsible for taking Matins, Evensong, Planned and Occasional non-Eucharistic (commonly called Holy Communion) and various other Prayer meetings.  I know that this well possibly shock some church goers, but consider this....

For almost 2000 years the laity have delivered such services and only called on Ordained Ministers when they were needed to deliver Holy Communion, Weddings, Blessings and Baptisms etc.  

Jesus planned for worship to be led by his followers!   There was no Clergy then!  Laity leading services is not a new phenomenon.  It is simply that we have lost the habit of lay people leading the church and of course complacency set in as it often does.  However, necessity is helping us redress this and to become more focused and proactive on the things that matter in our communities.  

In fact I firmly believe it will make our churches and communities stronger.  It will bring a wider range of skills to the church and our Parishes, and bring us closer to what Jesus wanted his church to look like.   Communities, particularly in rural areas, can be much more successful when the community and the church work together for the benefit of all.

Transitional Team Rector, Cartmel Peninsula Team Ministry. 

God Bless Us, as we trust in Christ to transform us, our churches and our communities.


St Anne's Haverthwaite Where we began

Consecrated in 1825 by the Bishop of Chester

The church was built between 1923 and 1825 and funded by Public Subscriptions. It was originally a Chapel of Ease under Colton Parish, and without a legally defined district to which it could be associated to serve. Later it became a parish in it's own right.

The Haverthwaite Registers begin as follows: -