the principle of co-responsibility at parish level." Curates should not be regarded as mere lodgers in the presbytery, and priests should be entitled to decide whether to live together with others or on his own.
Bishops and dioceses: The present system of big dioceses, it was felt, made it hard for bishops, priests and laity to keep in touch, yet the demands of administration were often better met at regional or national level.
A two-tier system was recommended, so that the head of the local Church could be a bishop with full episcopal functions, while administration could be conducted at the most efficient level.
The keynote was that the bishop should represent The
apostolic succession and not be a remote administrator. Dioceses should be kept down to 1000,000 people, and the number of dioceses increased from 19 to 50. As there were already 34 bishops, including auxiliaries, there need be no drastic increase in the episcopal
As regards the appointment of 'bishops, the Brentwood survey was a useful start, but surveys should be officially recognised and the present systern of appointment, which includes the individual priest's right to nominate a candidate, should be made better known.
Selection was preferred to diocesan election, since the laity do not usually know enough priests to judge, but the laity should be consulted—and seen to be consulted—since they are in •a position to specify the qualities they would like to see in their bishop.
The conference regarded definition of the bishop's role as crucial, and felt that the recent, pre-counciliae, method of appointing auxiliaries was the sort of thing that could block reforms the bishops are believed to want.
Outward looking ministry: The Church was failing to give a moral lead to society at large, and to be deeply involved In social and (non-party) political life.
There was an urgent need
for pilot schemes to show how modernising the Church's structures and bold experiments with specialised and group ministries could help to Christianise society.
Four resolutions expressed a sense of mission to the uncommitted—in dose cooperation with non-Roman Catholic Christians--and of the need, in the light of sociological evidence, to abandon a merely nostalgic adherence to familiar Church strUallTeS.
Two of the eeselutions deserve special mention:
First, "the future survival of the Church in England and Wales demands a radical reappraisal of our evangelical and pastoral mission and for this we are 'basically unprepared.
"Therefore, this conference proposes as a matter of urgency that a parish, deanery, diocesan and national level, honest discussion and bold decisions be taken by bishops, priests and laity along the lines indicated by this conference."
And then, the conferences "recognises that the search for unity is at the heart of the Christian miseion, that we share this mission With other Christian communities and that we Will work with our brethren of other Churches for the evangelisation of England and Wales."