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Sussex church youth workers sacked weeks before Christmas
Sussex church leaders have announced cuts to a youth service team just weeks before Christmas.
As it looks to save money and be more efficient, the Diocese of Chichester has announced it will be “deleting” positions in its youth team.
The team currently works with more than 30,000 children and young people across the county every year.
The diocese would not say how many youth workers it currently has, although it is understood only one youth officer post will remain.
A whistleblower said: “All members have families, it is four weeks before Christmas and they were not told face to face.“The diocese has an abysmal safeguarding history so cutting back on youth services is very shocking.”
According to the whistleblower, the move will also see the creation of a new archdeacon for Brighton.
Writing in his blog, one of the youth workers Ali Campbell said: “This is a sad day for the Diocese of Chichester.
“The church as a whole needs to be seeking to reach all children and young people with the gospel, having a larger schools team or prioritising education will not do that.
“I honestly don't know what we will do. I am stunned. I am angry. I am in pain.”
A consultation on the plans is now ongoing with a decision taken in the New Year.
A diocese spokeswoman said: “In a bid to improve lines of accountability and streamline processes for greater efficiency, the Chichester Diocesan Synod agreed its budget for 2014 which included the intention to restructure central costs as part of addressing the proposed deficit.
“At a time when households are feeling more financial pressure and there are cuts on delivering key services to communities we need to acknowledge the church is not exempt from this and needs to make economies to deliver its mission and statutory responsibilities.
“Nevertheless the church is also called to contribute to the good of all sections of the community and to re-imagine its ministry sustainably for the present needs and these proposals are made in line with that commitment.
“We cannot comment further until the consultation is complete.”
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