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Overview of Diocesan Synod, 26 November 2022


[Please note, this article offers highlights and general commentary of the meeting, with useful links and downloads. It is not a replacement for the minutes.]

Bishop Pete welcomed people to the meeting before handing over to the Ven Javaid Iqbal, Archdeacon of Doncaster, to lead the opening worship.

Dr Jackie Butcher Chaired the meeting. She started proceedings by welcoming people again to the meeting before noting apologies for absence. The minutes from the previous meeting, held on Saturday 23 July 2022 at St Mary’s Catcliffe, were accepted and signed. Jackie then passed the Chair to Canon Ian Walker for the finance report. Ian then introduced Keith Mallon, Diocesan Director of Finance, to present two items:

  • Review of 2022, including funds review
  • SDBF 2023 Budget

Following the presentation, a Q&A took place. Ian Walker then moved that:

“THAT Synod, sitting as the DBF, approves the Budget of the Diocesan Board of Finance for the twelve months ending 31 December 2023 as proposed by the Finance Committee and authorises the DBF to work to a deficit Budget of net (outgoing) resources, after transfers, of £1.51m.”

The budget was approved with no against or abstentions.

Ian then moved onto the next finance item – approval of auditors for 2023. The meeting approved the appointment of Saffery Champness for the next year.

Jackie took the Chair of the meeting, back from Ian, by introducing Dr Cathy Rhodes, Environment Officer, to update Synod on the route to net zero. Cathy gave an overview of the plan for Sheffield Diocese to achieve Net Zero status, based on the national roadmap. This focussed on key milestones that need to be achieved along the way. 

The Ven Malcolm Chamberlain, Archdeacon of Sheffield and Rotherham, delivered the update report on safeguarding next. He made comment on the work being carried out under the PCR2 action plan, gave an update on numbers trained in safeguarding matters in the previous period, and also publically thanked the Safegarding Team for their work.

The report from Bishop’s Council was accepted by the Synod and no questions were raised in response to it.

Bishop Pete at Diocesan Synod 2022

An item relating to Deanery Synod numbers was next. Synod were invited to agree the numbers to be elected to Deanery Synods in 2023; and to agree the draft Scheme for Deanery Synod Representation for Christ Church Endcliffe BMO. Both were passed without incident.

Bishop Pete delivered his Presidential Address. He spoke about his own health challenges in recent years in a very moving address. He started by saying “This morning I want to speak very personally – to tell you about a particular health challenge I have had to face over the past five years. It’s basically a good news story…” before going on to say “about four weeks ago, at the start of the month, I was, thank God, signed off by the colorectal department at the Northern General Hospital, because it is five years since I went through treatment for cancer of the colon, and I am no longer meaningfully at risk of a recurrence of the disease.” 

Following a refreshment break, the meeting restarted with Bishop Pete introducing John Spence. John is the Chair of the Strategic Mission and Ministry Investment Board. John delivered an amusing, personal and inspirational talk. He spoke of his work to date, his desire to see lay ministry flourish and spoke more practically on how central funding may be used to help dioceses’ like Sheffield in the coming years. An engaging Q&A followed.

The meeting concluded with worship led by Jane Patterson.

The next Diocesan Synod will take place on 18 March 2023. Details of the meeting will be given nearer the time.