A review of Diocesan Synod - 18 July

21st July 2015

Diocesan Synod was held on 18 July 2015 at St Mary’s, Bramall Lane at 9am.  The meeting was chaired by the Revd Canon Ian Smith.  The meeting started with worship led by the Revd Canon Julian Sullivan.

The meeting began with a notice to members the new Diocesan Synod is formed this year, and its first meeting will be on 28 November at the Elim Centre in Rotherham.  Thanks were then given to those that have contributed to the Synod, especially those that are now standing down.

The minutes of the last meeting on 18 November 2014 were then agreed.  A short report from Bishop’s Council followed which gave a review of activities since the last Synod.  The report said there has been a lot of activity in the diocese in the first half of the year with The Royal Maundy, the Diocesan Conference, Ten Days of Prayer and the start of the Leading Well programme.  The first Mission Partnership Development Workers have been appointed and the Centenary Project has started.  A new structure for the Department for Education to the new structure has also been welcomed.

The Revd Canon Geoffrey Harbord then gave a review of the recent General Synod meeting, held in York from 10-14 July.  (See General Synod papers for more details.)

Bishop David Hawtin presented the report ‘New Norms, New Beginnings’ which will be made available on the Diocesan website. The report was born out of The Ministry Provision Advisory Group (MPAG) set up by the Bishop of Sheffield in 2014. It lists is discussions and recommendations on the Five Guiding Principles.  A period of discussion and questions followed the presentation.

Huw Thomas, Director of Education gave a summary on the new structure for the Diocesan Board of Education.  The reconstituted board will consist of the Diocesan Bishop, the Bishop of Doncaster (Chair) and seven members elected by Synod (two clergy, two lay).  Seven nominations were ratified by Synod.

After the coffee break the meeting resumed with the Canon Sandra Newton moving to receive the 2014 DBF Accounts and authorising the same auditors for the accounts in 2015.  Sandra then gave a report of the current financial position for 2015, with an outline for the 2016 budget.  Copies of the audited 2014 accounts are available on request from Church House. A copy of Sandra's slides can be found here.

Mr Ian Walker was confirmed as the new chair of the Diocesan Board of Finance.  Bishop Steven gave his gratitude and appreciation for the work Canon Sandra Newton has undertaken in the Director role.  She was also presented with a bunch of flowers while the Synod applauded.

Bishop Steven gave his Presidential Address to Synod.  He spoke about work, saying:

“Work is never far from the news headlines.  On Thursday, Tata Steel announced 720 job cuts from its UK business because of high energy costs.  The losses are mainly in Rotherham.  The budget a few weeks turned around the question of work: the living wage; the reductions in welfare; the move to increase Sunday training; the measures to support business; the questions about productivity; the aspiration to offer a living wage.  Technology is asking new questions about our working lives all the time. The Church has a vital part to play in this conversation.” The full address can be found here.

Under ‘any other business’ the date of the next Development Day was highlighted – Saturday, 3 October 2015 at St Thomas Philadelphia.  Bookings are now being taken on the Diocesan website – www.sheffield.anglican.org/devday15

The next Diocesan will take place on Saturday 28 November 2015 at the Elim Centre, Rotherham.

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