Councillor Calls on Anglican Church to Appoint a Fulltime Vicar to the Parish Church of Wednesfield.

Recently I wrote to the Lord Bishop of Lichfield about the failure of the Church to appoint a full time Parish Priest to the Parish Church of Wednesfield. I made it clear that many of the Parishioners were concerned with the delay. I also made it clear that not having such an important position within the Church Community filled. Was doing much damage to the Church, and the role it plays at the heart of the greater community. Not only was the spiritual offer diluted by no Parish Priest, but also the social role was very much weakened.

I thought that Wednesfield residents may have been interested in the response I received. Here it is re-printed in full. Written on behalf of The Lord Bishop of Lichfield, from the Bishop of The Falklands, whom he asked to respond to my correspondence.

Here is the response.
“Dear Councillor Bateman, The Bishop of Lichfield has passed your email on to me to respond, which I am glad to do.
The diocese as a whole shares your frustration about the difficulty in filling this vacancy. Far from hindering the appointment of a parish priest, we have worked with the parish to advertise the post five times, but so far we have received no applicants. This is I’m afraid an extreme example of a problem across the whole Church, where there are presently more posts available than there are priests to fill them.
I can only agree with you about the negative effects of the absence of an incumbent, and I can assure you that the diocese remains committed to ministry in inner urban areas. We remain hopeful that the right person will be found to fill this post, and others which are at the moment without a priest, but it is becoming a more and more difficult process at the present time.
The previous substantive Bishop of Wolverhampton retired at Easter this year, and the process for a new appointment will begin in January. I have been serving as Acting Bishop since September and will continue until Easter next year, by which time I hope a new appointment will be on the horizon.
Thank you for writing to Bishop Michael; it is an encouragement to know that the Church is valued as an integral part of the social fabric of the City. I hope we will find a good candidate who will be able to serve the people of your wares and the parish.
With all best wishes +Jonathan
Rt Revd Jonathan Clark,
Bishop for the Falkland Islands
Acting Bishop of Wolverhampton, Diocese of Lichfield.

Councillor Bateman added “Since I wrote the initial letter I am surprised at the number of Parish Churches here in Wolverhampton that are also in the same situation in this City and its bordering Parishes, with no full time vicars.

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more