This is a summary of the announcement made by Bishop Mark at St. Finnbarr’s, Dornoch, on 3rd May 2017.
Over the past few months a review of the patterns of ministry has been undertaken and an assessment made of the longer-term needs of the Diocese. This is particularly with regards to the provision of ministry in all parts of the Northern Region of the Diocese and the mission work in developing the discipleship of existing congregations, identifying and building new Fresh Expressions of Church and organising Pioneer Ministry amongst communities outwith the existing life of the Church. Alongside this we have a significant change in the life of the region, with the retirement of the Revd. Wendy Knott in Caithness.
In discussions with Chris Mayo and James Currall, and seeking the will of the Spirit, the following changes will take place on 2nd July 2017:
- Chris will cease to be Priest in Charge of Lairg, Dornoch and Tain
- James will become Priest in Charge of those congregations (non-stipendiary)
- Chris will become Priest in Charge of Wick and Thurso
- Chris will remain Priest in Charge of Brora
- Chris will become half time Mission Officer of the Diocese
Dornoch and Tain vestries have agreed to continue the current level of stipend plus housing allowance to the Diocesan Treasurer. This will enable the mission work of the Diocese and its officer to be fully funded, with much of the initial missional development continuing to be developed by Chris in collaboration with James in the East Sutherland and northeast Ross-shire area. There is already the possibility of a new Church plant in Inver and developing links between the Ardgay Mission and the local community.
Caithness vestries will contribute to pay a proportion of stipend to the Diocese and the missional costs of Chris Mayo as their Priest in Charge. There is potential for new missions in the Caithness area and the monies available to the missional work via the contributions of East Sutherland and Tain, as well as other charges in the Diocese, will assist in this process.
Bishop Mark, Chris and James, believe that this new pattern of ministry allows for the particular callings and skills of the north-eastern clergy to be more fully and effectively utilised and in turn provide for both a deepening and expansion of the Church’s life well into the future. We believe that God is calling us into these new possibilities and that, following the Spirit, there will be growth and much accomplished in Christ’s name in the years ahead.
Revd. Chris Mayo
Revd. James Currall