Arundel & Brighton: Diocese considers proposal to close retreat centre, reorganise offices


St Cuthman's Retreat Centre

St Cuthman's Retreat Centre

Source: Diocese of Arundel and Brighton

Following a review of central diocesan office operations by the Kinharvie Institute, and discussions with the Diocesan Trustees, The Bishop of Arundel & Brighton, Rt Rev Richard Moth announced on Monday, that he is proposing to implement the recommendations of the report and the decisions based on those discussions.

In a statement, Bishop Richard emphasised than in reaching these decisions: "The prime responsibility of everybody in the Diocese is the mission to which Christ has called us: that of building the Kingdom of God through parish communities centred on the Eucharist, grounded in prayer and well formed to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to our brothers and sisters."

The proposed decisions were made in the light of the need for central diocesan offices to focus financial expenditure on the core mission of the Diocese, and the situation where the central diocesan offices are running at a substantial loss each year that is not sustainable in the long term.

Several steps are being proposed to refocus financial resources on the mission of the Diocese which includes a proposed reorganisation of the pastoral team and office, the finance team and the proposed closure of the Diocesan Retreat Centre, St Cuthman's.

Bishop Richard said in respect of St Cuthman's: "This proposed course of action has not been considered lightly, but the Trustees are in full agreement that the Diocese must focus its operation in the most effective way given the financial constraints that we face. Whilst the Trustees recognise that the centre is excellently managed and run by a loyal and hardworking staff, the operation of the retreat centre poses inherent ongoing financial risks due to the nature of the estate."

Bishop Richard arranged a meeting with all staff from the Christian Education Centre, Crawley, Bishop's House, Hove and St Cuthman's, Coolham on Monday 5 March. Those whose roles are at risk or where a change is proposed will meet with the Diocesan Senior Management in the coming days to discuss their individual situation. A full and proper consultation process will be followed with all staff affected.

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