On September 15th Archdeacon Ricky Panter brought this statement to
the PCC’s and members of both churches in the Benefice.
He asked for prayer for all concerned at this time.
St Faith’s Great Crosby with St Mary’s Waterloo
Statement read by the Archdeacon of Liverpool to both PCCs
Sunday morning September 15th 2013
The Bishop of Warrington has been made aware of serious relationship difficulties within St Faith's Church. As a result he is instigating an Episcopal Visitation whereby your Priest in Charge, Fr Simon Tibbs, has agreed to step aside temporarily to enable a senior church leader, nominated by the bishop, to investigate and report on the situation.
This may take some time in order to enable a reflective process to be set in train, for the congregation and its leaders, and to prepare the way for a resolution. The retired Bishop of Hulme, Rt Rev Stephen Lowe, is the Bishop’s nominated Visitor. The initial period for the Visitation will be six months from the date of the Notice.
During this time the Bishop will ensure that the ministry of St Faith's church and parish continues under the supervision of an experienced priest. He has asked Fr Paul Nener to fulfil this supervisory role, for which a working agreement will be negotiated with the archdeacon, the wardens and Fr Dennis Smith. It is the bishop’s desire that Fr Paul should receive a warm welcome and full support.
Fr Simon Tibbs will temporarily move house (and it is intended the vicarage will be let) and will continue to minister as Priest in Charge at St Mary's Waterloo.
It is clear to the Bishop that he could not allow the current discord within the church community of St Faith’s to continue. The Visitation will enable him to get a clear understanding of the underlying issues in order to discern the parish's future path. Apart from acknowledging the existence of serious relationship difficulties, this process implies no prior judgement regarding the abilities and calling of Fr Simon Tibbs.
The Bishop’s main priority is to make sure the worshipping life of St Faith's can carry on during this period. The Bishop is also calling for the fullest co-operation possible from all members of both churches, particularly those who have written to him expressing their concerns, with Bishop Stephen Lowe’s Visitation.
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