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St Edmundsbury & Ipswich Diocese

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Founded: 1914
Parishes: 445
Churches: 479
Geography: Suffolk, except for a small area in the north-east, in the diocese of Norwich; one parish in Essex
Overseas Link Dioceses: Hassalt (Belgium), Kagera (Tanzania)
Population: 660000
Area Square Miles: 1430
Full time Stipendiary Parochial Clergy: 117
Benefices: 129
Source: The Church of England Year Book. For more information visit the Diocese page on Crockford's here

St Edmundsbury & Ipswich

The Area

The Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich was founded in 1914 and includes the county of Suffolk, except for an area of North East Suffolk around Lowestoft, and one parish in the county of Essex. It serves over 631,000 people living in a geographical area of over 1,400 square miles. Out of this population over 25,000 identify themselves with the Church of England by being members of the church electoral roll and over 19,000 attend church services every Sunday.

A wide range of communities exist in the diocese - from small rural villages to urban centres such as Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket, Haverhill, Sudbury and Beccles. The region has many sites of historic interest among which are Sutton Hoo, the Saxon village at West Stow and the ruins of the old Abbey at Bury St Edmunds - famously where, in 1214, the barons of England met and swore to force King John to accept the Charter of Liberties, later known as the Magna Carta. The whole county, together with its Heritage coastline, is also a haven of delight for lovers of natural history.

The A14 provides rapid access from Felixstowe, one of the largest container ports in Europe, across the county to the A1 and the Midlands. The A12 links London with the county at Lowestoft, and the rail connection from Ipswich to London Liverpool Street takes just over one hour.

The communities of the diocese are served by some 450 parishes within 125 benefices and 19 deaneries. There are 478 church buildings of which 457 are listed. There are around 150 stipendiary clergy and 80 self-supporting ministers, some 130 Readers and 600 commissioned lay assistants in the parishes. There are 91 voluntary aided and voluntary controlled schools in the diocese.

Mission and Pastoral Policy

The diocese seeks to live by the Five Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion:

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom

To teach, baptise and nurture new believers

To respond to human need by loving service

To seek to transform unjust structures of society

To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

The Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee works to policies approved by the Diocesan Synod which seek to encourage Church growth and allocate resources across the diocese in order to provide leadership in mission and ministry in all its communities. The policies encourage collaboration and the Diocesan Ministry Course provides training and support for local and accredited ministries, ordained and lay.

Administration

The diocese works through the synodical structures and is served by a small team of diocesan office staff led by the Diocesan Secretary and Chief Executive Officer. Most are based in modern offices in the centre of Ipswich. The diocese has a total annual revenue budget in excess of £8 million and the Diocesan Board of Finance manages a total balance sheet of £80 million. The office staff provide administrative, financial, secretarial, property, communication and general support to clergy and parishes, as well as supporting the Church of England schools across the county.

Ministerial development

Regular support for ministerial development is given in a number of ways. All clergy receive an annual training allowance, and guidance in Continuing Ministerial Education is available.  Study leave for all clergy is available on a 10-year rolling programme.

There's a few pictures from around the diocese available here
http://www.flickr.com/photos/39971507@N04/

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