Each deanery within the Diocese can make recommendations to the Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee concerning the deanery pastoral plan.
This plan, which is kept under continuous review, considers how the deanery might best use its resources; both human and physical, to take forward the mission of the Church. The deanery can review its plan in Deanery Synod or (in cases of major change) in a deanery Pastoral Committee appointed for the purpose. Where the plans which have been drawn together result in legal changes, such as the redrawing of parish boundaries, the re-configuration of parishes to modify the benefice structure or the closure of churches, then these matters are passed to the Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee (and its two archdeaconry sub-committees) for the drawing up of proposals which might lead to the appropriate legal changes.
The Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee (DMPC) has the power to make changes to the proposals put before it from the deaneries. In practice, it does not often do this, but sometimes this is necessary especially because it has to look at matters in a much wider perspective than the deaneries, ie it must consider the implications of the proposals for both the Diocese as a whole and for the work and mission of the Church of England more generally. The aim of the DMPC (and its sub-committees) is to work closely with parishes and deaneries while exercising its own judgement within the parameters set by the Mission & Pastoral Measure 2011.
The membership of the DMPC includes an elected member for each deanery.
The way in which the DMPC implements most of its proposals is by drafting a pastoral scheme. These draft schemes are then sent to various "interested parties" for consultation eg, parishes (consulted via their Parochial Church Councils), clergy, patrons of benefices affected by the proposed changes, rural deans and lay co-chairs etc.
Full details of the process, including flow charts, may be found on the web site of the Pastoral Division of the Church Commissioners.
Most of the business of pastoral reorganisation is carried out by the DMPC's two sub-committees:
- The Hereford Archdeaconry Mission and Pastoral Sub-Committee
- The Ludlow Archdeaconry Mission and Pastoral Sub-Committee
The Secretary of the Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee and its Sub-Committees is:
Tel: 01432 373315 (direct line)
Fax: 01432 352952