ANGLICAN Diocese of Bathurst Bishop Ian Palmer has asked parishioners and church delegates to contribute to a fighting fund to help save church resources.
About 250 people met at St Barnabas Anglican Church hall on Saturday morning to discuss the future of the diocese, which has been asked to repay about $25 million it owes to the Commonwealth Bank.
According to a statement issued by Bishop Palmer, almost every parish in the geographically-large diocese was represented at the meeting, including clergy and lay people.
At the meeting, Bishop Palmer and general manager Graham Higham gave attendees a comprehensive history of the financial situation of the diocese.
“We also presented details of ways the difficulties have been handled to-date, including the current legal matter with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia,” Bishop Palmer said.
“We placed a proposal to the parishes in the diocese to contribute towards a fund to enable the diocese to defend these actions, so that we can preserve the resources that have been given by many people for the benefit of our communities and develop the church’s ministry across the central west of NSW.
“Each parish has been allocated an amount of money to raise on a pro rata basis and it will be their decision as to how they raise that amount of money.
“The ministry of the church is valued by the wider community and is especially important at times of bereavements, baptisms, marriage, in sickness and in nurturing and supporting people through welfare, community and educational activities.”
Bishop Palmer said not only were the services provided by the diocese valued, but the church was part of the glue that held its scattered communities together.
Bishop Palmer said he was pleased with the involvement of the church community who attended the meeting, and said they raised many salient points with great courtesy and respect.
Parish councils across the diocese are being reminded that both Bishop Palmer and diocesan archdeacon Frank Hetherington are available to discuss these matters with them.