With the decline in the number of ordained clergy, the Church of England has taken a number of steps to cope with the ensuing problems.   These are enshrined in the Pastoral Measure 1968 and its successor in 1983.    One of the steps was to give power to a diocese, subject to various procedures, to bring together specified parishes into a group.   The aim was to encourage these to work together more closely, to pool resources as seemed wise, and to draw on one another’s strengths.   For their success they depend very much on the goodwill of the parishes concerned, and of course parishes do not like losing their independence.   Where such goodwill exists and the resources of the group are not curtailed too much, groups are known to be successful and to save money.   See also Team and Group Ministries Measure 1995.

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