The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to members of the Church of England’s General Synod proposing a “programme for reform and renewal” for the church.

The statement states: “If the Church of England is to return to growth, there is a compelling need to realign resources and work carefully to ensure that scarce funds are used to best effect.”

In the statement, the Archbishops point out that the ‘urgency of the challenge facing the Church of England is not in doubt’ before going on to note that while finances have been relatively stable thanks to increased individual giving, the ‘situation cannot be expected to continue unless the decline in membership is reversed’.

The statement comes ahead of the publication of a series of documents proposing reforms to be published on the Church’s website this week ahead of the meeting of the General Synod next month.

The statement can be read in full here