Minutes of Reigate Deanery Synod Meeting
Held on Thursday 13th October 2016 at St Mark’s Church, Reigate
Chair: Chris Elliott – Lay Chair
Members present: 50 Apologies: 22
1. Chris Elliott welcomed members to the Synod and invited Rev Martin Colton to start the meeting with a short act of worship. Martin announced that it was the Feast Day of St Edward the Confessor and then asked us to consider 2 Corinthians ch 4 v 6. We then had a very moving powerpoint presentation of images accompanied by the taize song, “Lord Jesus Christ Your Light Shines within us”. Chris then gave his thanks to Martin for such a moving display and thanked the providers of refreshments. He also welcomed the three new curates to the Synod.
- We were then introduced to Dave Farris of the Children’s Society who explained his position as volunteer and told of his passion for children’s work. He said that the Children’s Society was started 135 years ago in Vauxhall by Edward Rudolf when he discovered his missing Sunday school pupils begging and through the church set up “The Church of England Home for Waifs and Strays”. The Society is very church based and is really tied with the Church of England. Big changes have taken place since those days of children begging on the streets to this digital age. There are no children’s homes now but The Society moves where the children are and also seeks to influence government policy. He spoke of church MAPs and how they don’t include vulnerable children. “Our vision is a country where children are free from disadvantage”, he said. Helping disadvantaged children to have better lives is done in various ways and teenagers are the most unsupported group in the country. Prayer is very important to the Children’s Society and Dave asked all churches to pray for them. He spoke of the amount of poverty in this country and how there are 3,000 children living in poverty in Reigate and how 100,000 children a year run away from home. At the moment they are heading up a campaign called “The Seriously Awkward Campaign” which is aimed at 16-17 year olds who would otherwise slip through the net. He finished with a very moving 3 minute video and said that resources were available for churches to become more involved. His email is: firstname.lastname@example.org . Chris then thanked him for an enlightening talk.
- There were no corrections to the minutes of the last Synod meeting on Wednesday 15th June 2016 at St Matthew’s Church and they were therefore approved and signed.
4. Matters Arising
- Deanery MAP – Tom Briscombe then gave an update on the Deanery MAP. He reminded us of the three points from the last meeting which were: 1. Where are we? 2. What do we bring? 3. What is God doing? In response to (1) Once again communication was at the fore and how fresh methodology can be used to help information reach congregations quicker. Under (2) he spoke on sharing Deanery resources with the parishes and the need to make parishioners aware of the Deanery website. He talked of services being broadcast over the internet through an initiative called ChurchLive and how this might be the way forward. Under (3) Study Days, Prayer/Spirituality workshops, Vocation fairs and contemplative prayer sessions need to be actively and widely communicated. Not just within the PCC and Church officers but to our congregations and the wider parish. The Wholeness and Healing Service is a prime example. It was hoped the contents and outcomes of the Deanery MAP would link in with work being done at parish level so that experiences could be shared.
- The Deanery Quiet Day will be on April 8th 2017 and will be led by Bishop Richard at Wychcroft.
- The Deanery Healing Service was thought by all to be a lovely service and the next one will be at St John’s on 20th November.
- The Quiz Night held on 24th September was also a great success and thanks were given to St Matthew’s for their hall and to David Hill for organising the questions. The money raised will buy at least two more televisions for refugees.
- Mission Grants for 2017 - This is the last one we will get and we have got £4,000. We will use it to support Catch It and to support young people. Last year we were able to send several young people to summer camp who would not otherwise have been able to go.
- Refugees – Reigate and Banstead continue to want televisions. Chris read out a letter sent to him by Helen Burnet regarding the plight of children in the Calais camp and said he would send it to all members urging them to lobby their MP and to circulate it to their churches.
- Deanery Workshop – this will be on 5th November from 10am – 1pm and will be addressed by the new Archdeacon Ven Moira Astin. David Keiller said they needed to know numbers by 1st November and Hilary Richardson said that while children were welcome they needed to know how many were coming in order to provide child care. Chris thanked them for all the work they had put into this.
5. Parishes to Share
- Robert Coupland from Christ the King made a request for an independent examiner for his churches accounts and offered in return to examine the accounts of any church who might do an exchange with him.
- Hilary Richardson gave news of a Mothers’ Union event. A Diocesan Advent Service will be held at St Matthew’s Church on 29th November at 11am led by the Bishop of Southwark.
- Rev Chris Vallins had flyers for a musical called Greater than Gold that is being performed at St Nicholas Church, Charlwood on 23rd October.
- Rev Carol Coslett had copies of Country Way magazine to give away and also said there will be a Tree of Light Service at All Saints Church, Merstham on 11th December at 5pm and another at Christ Church, Brockham. There will also be an “Alternative Christmas Tree Festival on 3rd (10-4) and 4th (12-4) December at St Michael’s Church, Betchworth.
There were no questions raised on any of the written reports.
8. Notices from the Chairs
- Rev Andrew Cunnington gave an update on the churches at Horley and The Good Shepherd at Tadworth and said that Parish Profiles were being put together and he wished to give a big thank you to all the other parishes in the deanery for their support.
- A request was made by Andrew for someone to take the service at Shaws Corner on 11th November at 11am as Rev John Joseph had retired and could any volunteers let him know in one week from the meeting.
- Andrew also reminded members that Rev Canon Moira Astin is to be collated and installed as Archdeacon of Reigate on 30th October at 3pm in Southwark Cathedral.
- The Winter Night Shelter will run again from November to February and volunteers are needed. Training will be given on 10th, 17th November and 1st December at locations to be announced.
- Andrew also mentioned that Merstham Football Club were playing the biggest game in their history when they meet Ebbsfleet on Saturday and that it would be good for local churches to support them.
- Wendy Wren is retiring as a Governor at St Matthew’s School after 8 years and Andrew gave his thanks to her saying there was now a vacancy and for names to be put forward.
- Chris Elliott said that on 10th June 2017 there is a Croydon Area organised Lay Training Event with various workshops.
- A booklet called Deepening Discipleship had been sent to all churches but only two copies per church. This was deemed to be insufficient copies although it was available on the website
- It was also mentioned at this stage by Carol Coslett that the Annual Report in the form of a calendar had ceased and only one booklet per church had been received. The old format was preferred. Chris said that if there were any burning issues, members should tell those on the Diocesan Synod.
Rev Mick Hough announced that Reigate and Banstead, twinned with Eschweiler, would like to make an exchange arrangement next year as part of the celebration of when Martin Luther posted his “Ninety-five Theses” on the church door in Wittenberg in 1517. Their particular interests are choral music or a youth exchange.
Sue Mallinson, the Diocesan Environmental Officer, gave a short address on ways in which churches can be environmentally friendly e.g. recycling paper and using green electricity. Each parish will be receiving an Eco Church Survey which covers every aspect of church life. This will be a continual survey and awards will be given to churches. There will be a workshop on the Lay Training Day. Finally she said that we as churches need to show we have a care for creation.
Chris then thanked Martin again and asked him to close in prayer.
The next Deanery Synod meeting will be held at St Wilfred’s Church, Horley on 7th February 2017.