by BBC News, 2/22/19
…. Decades of falling church attendances have left some priests looking after up to 20 rural churches. Previously, a rural priest would need to apply for permission from a bishop to not hold a Sunday service in each church.
The Bishop of Willesden – the Right Reverend Pete Broadbent – chairs the Simplification Task Force formed in 2014 to improve the process of the Church of England. He said changing the law reflected the current practice of priests who look after multiple churches. Following the vote, he said: “You’re meant to get a dispensation from the bishop – this just changes the rules to make it easier for people to do what they’re already doing. It stops the bureaucracy.
“This was just one (amendment) where we said, ‘Out of date, doesn’t work, we’re operating differently in the countryside now, therefore let’s find a way of making it work.'”
When asked if the decision would affect elderly churchgoers in rural locations, who might have to travel further to attend a service, Rev Broadbent said: “No, because at the moment this is already regularised and it’s already happening.”
The Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, a chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, said although it was “wonderful” to have “that one day where everyone can concentrate”, the Church had to be realistic about people’s day to day lives.
“Times are changing – it is not just about a shortage of clergy but also the fact that people work on a Sunday,” she said. “There is no use in crying over spilt milk. We need to find creative ways to worship.”
She added that at her churches “Thursday is the new Sunday”.
Read more at … https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-47326993