The Dominican Friars have announced reorganisation plans with its communities in Glasgow and Durham to be returned to their respective dioceses.
The English Province of the Dominicans released a statement outlining plans to “reconfigure the deployment” of its friars around the UK.
“A generous spirit had moved the friars in Britain to over-extend their commitments in several areas, and consequently a strain was being felt,” it said.
“It was decided then that the friars must reconfigure their deployment around Britain, building up their presence in some localities while gradually scaling back and withdrawing from others.”
After a review into the state of community life within their houses, held in Oxford in April, the Chapter of the friars in England and Scotland decided that care for St Columba’s parish in Glasgow and St Cuthbert’s parish in Durham will be returned to diocesan clergy.
There will also be a gradual withdrawal over the next few years from St Dominic’s parish in Newcastle. This Dominican house was given to the diocese in 2004, while maintaining a very small community of friars.
The aim of the reorganisation, the statement added, was to “strengthen community life by providing firmer foundations for the future, including stronger support for the increasing numbers of young men entering the Order in this country.”
According to the statement, vocations to the friars are flourishing with seven men set to enter the noviciate in September 2016.
“The Province foresees a positive future, which will eventually bear good fruit for its mission in Britain,” the statement said.
The friars are in discussions to maintain a presence in Glasgow, Durham and Newcastle, even if retaining full communities there is not possible.