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Do-It-Yourself churches

Posted on: February 12, 2002 1:22 PM
Related Categories: Australia

Six Tasmanian Anglican parishes in rural and remote parts of the State are celebrating the beginning of a new era.

In February, the Bishop of Tasmania, the Right Reverend John Harrower, officially launches Enabler Supported Ministry in the communities of Circular Head, Penguin, Sheffield, St Helens, Channel-Cygnet and New Norfolk.

Bishop Harrower said that at a time of declining population and services in regional and rural communities, the Anglican Church wanted to show a way forward for the future. He added, "It is a great sign of hope for the Church as a whole as well as the rural communities involved. This new way of doing things has enabled some cash-strapped churches to be free of many of the financial worries of the past."

Enabler Supported Ministry is a do-it-yourself way of running the church, which taps into the depth of talent and leadership in the local community. Every member is encouraged to play a part supported by a team of local leaders. Diocesan assistance is given by an experienced Minister, called an Enabler, who resources a group of parishes.

The Bishop said, 'The Enabler's job is not to do the ministry for the people but to enable the people to do it themselves. They provide high quality training programmes and resources. The local people serve apprenticeships for their different roles, including that of local priests and deacons.' Ten people will be ordained priest and five deacon in February.

He said that this is a shining example of the resilience and inventiveness of country people and their willingness to pioneer new possibilities. 'Many of the lessons they have learnt are relevant for churches in our towns and cities. I am excited by the signs of new life and growth.'

Article from: Anglican Media Tasmania