Review of Diocesan Synod - 28 November 2015

30th November 2015

Diocesan Synod was held on 28 November 2015 at the Elim Christian Centre, Effingham Street, Rotherham at 9am.  The meeting was chaired by the Revd Canon Ian Smith.  The meeting started with worship led by the Revd Eleanor Robertshaw and Canon Liz Paver.

The meeting began with the House of Clergy and the House of Laity separating to elect the Vice-Presidents to a new three-year term.

The minutes of the last meeting on 18 July 2015 were then agreed.  A short report from Bishop’s Council followed which gave a review of activities since the last Synod.  There has been two meetings of Bishop’s Council since the last Diocesan Synod.  The report touched on a review of the Diocesan Conference in June, a reflection on Crossroads and the new Terms of Reference for the Board of Faith and Justice.  It was also reported that Mrs Sandra Keene has been appointed as Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Group and Miss Sarah Spear as Deputy Chancellor of the Diocese.

The next item announced that Bishop Steven has appointed Bishop Rod Thomas, the Bishop Suffragan of Maidstone as Honorary Assistant Bishop in this diocese.  He will be licensed on 21st February 2016 to join with Bishop Glyn Webster, Bishop Suffragan of Beverley as appointed bishops.

With General Synod meeting last week for the start of its new five-year term, an introduction was given to the newly elected representative from the Diocese of Sheffield.  [Click here for info].  This was followed with the General Synod report delivered by the Ven Malcolm Chamberlain.  (See General Synod papers for more details.)

The Synod was then treated to the final version of the film giving an over of the Crossroads Mission from September this year.  The video is now available for public use and can be found on the Diocesan YouTube channel at: https://youtu.be/Xw5xnpzVw0A

This was followed by the Presidential Address was separated into two parts: the first from Bishop Steven Croft; and the second part from Dr Christine Gore, Director of Formation for Ministry.  Bishop Steven first talked about the Crossroads Mission before introducing a strategy document that he has written, which is an update to the already issued: ‘Re-imagining Mission in Ministry’.  The update takes into account the development of St Pater’s College.  Christine Gore then did a presentation on St Peter’s College.

Time was then given for the Synod to ask questions of Bishop Steven and Christine Gore.

After the coffee break the meeting resumed with Bishop Peter presenting the budget for Churches Together in South Yorkshire.

Mr Ian Walker, Chairman of the Diocesan Board of Finance, updated those in the room on the 2015 budget position and presented the draft Budget for 2016 for Synod’s approval.  There is much to celebrate but also some words of caution too.

Under ‘any other business’ Bishop Steven spoke about the ‘Crossroads at Christmas’ text campaign that will build on the one done for the Crossroads Mission.  Thousands of ‘business cards’ have been produced to distribute at Nativity plays, carol concerts, Christingle services and more over the Christmas period.  9,000 are being directly distributed to Church of England Schools.  Parishes are encouraged to contact Church House to obtain a batch of cards (some could be taken away at the end of the Synod).

The meeting concluded with prayers led by Jane Patterson.  The next Diocesan Synod will take place on Saturday 27 February 2016 at Warmsworth St Peter, Doncaster.

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