Although a Northerner, I am not a Yorkshireman. I am quite content to be here however, having lived here for longer than anywhere else. All my ordained ministry has been in the Dioceses of Ripon and Wakefield, I am an Honorary Canon of a Yorkshire Cathedral, and, the one element of which I am most proud, my youngest Son is a born and bred Tyke. (A Loiner to be precise). None of this necessarily gives me any particular insight into the newly released report of the Church of England's Dioceses Commission, planning future patterns for the Yorkshire Dioceses, but it does mean I am interested.
The heart of the Report proposes a newly enlarged Diocese of Wakefield, principally covering the existing Dioceses of Ripon & Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield, with a number of Parishes geographically 'on the edge' being asked to consider where they might best belong. There is a fairly decent summary of the whole 120 pages here. Much comment has followed online, but not much from within the Dioceses concerned. They are either taking time to read and reflect, or ignoring what is being said elsewhere; after all, as Yorkshire and England cricket great Fred Trueman said in another context, 'not from Yorkshire? Then its nowt to do wi'thee.'
This morning,a paper copy of the Report came crashing through my letter-box, startling the cats. No doubt, others are going to be startled by some aspects of it. It is too early to say whether or not this is the right way forward, but I think the members of the Commission deserve some recognition; firstly because they have listened (I was part of a group that met with them earlier this Year), and secondly, because they have come up with a scheme that is practical, and provides a good basis for discussion within the three Ridings, and beyond.
Despite the weather, or maybe even because of it, it is good to celebrate two very successful events, the Christmass Fayre at S.Mary's, and the Christmass Tree Festival at All Saints. A lot of hours put in, and real dedication shown by our own people to get everything ready, surprising numbers through the door, candles lit, prayers offered,..and money spent!
Many thanks to all, and to Alan Willington for these pictures from All Saints.