Minutes of Reigate Deanery Synod Meeting
Tuesday 10th February 2015 at St Mary’s Church, Reigate
Chair: Rev’d Andrew Cunnington – Area Dean
Members present: 63 Apologies: 18
1. Rev’d Phil Andrew welcomed everyone to the meeting and then lead members in a time of worship based on unity; a time of worship in the form of liturgy and song.
He said the school had a lovely Christian ethos and one of his challenges was to encourage a more distinctively Christian school. In order to achieve this he was trying to welcome more people into the school and was trying to open the doors to the local Christian community.
One of the other challenges was the painful cutbacks causing major financial problems in funding and the need to save £500,000. This was coming at a time when the school was oversubscribed and many more children were applying for places.
He expressed that it was an exciting place to be with all the significant challenges ahead and Rev’d Andrew Cunnington assured him of the prayers of the Deanery.
“As children of God we have a new dignity and God calls us to fullness of life”, he said and “this means all of us”. He emphasised we need to have a wider breadth of understanding and to welcome all into every aspect of church life. He pointed out that there was no disabled access to the speakers’ platform at the General Synod and that the steps in Canterbury Cathedral meant that the Archbishop has to be able bodied and that buildings do challenge the inclusion of worship for all.
He outlined the four models of disability and encouraged members to keep calm when addressing those with disability and to listen; to allow people to tell their story. He considered impairment a better word than disability and suggested we should be aware of hidden impairments in others. He reminded us we are all the same in Christ Jesus quoting 1 Corinthians ch 12 v 22-24.
Diocesan Board of Finance Report
Unfortunately, Peter Siggs, the Deanery Lay Member to the Diocesan Board of Finance, was absent as he has broken his arm and therefore, there was no Finance Report.
Rev’d Doug McHardie has volunteered to be the clergy Archdeaconry Representative to the Diocesan Board of Finance.
Board of Education Report
Rev’d Carol Coslett reported that at the meeting on 20th November Trinity Oaks School in Horley which was officially being opened on 21st November. Developments have been made with the Greenwich peninsula and the provision for a new church school was discussed along with Southwark Policy for Higher Education chaplaincy for those who are 18+. The Board also discussed the future structure of becoming a multi academy trust and agreed for further research into the implications particularly financial. The next meeting will be held on 19th March.
Diocesan Synod Report
Chris Elliott reported on the Diocesan Synod that took place on November 14th. Questions had been asked about the amount of paper used by the Synod and the answer suggested that this could be reduced by the start of the next Synod. Chris encouraged Deanery members to put forward questions and motions for debate. He also spoke of a presentation on the 2015 budget and an update on the Strategy for Ministry. Further presentations had been one on the environment and one by Bishop Michael on, “Being Built Together – A Story of New Black Majority Churches in the London Borough of Southwark”. Finally, there was a farewell to Simon Parton who had been Diocesan Secretary for several years. His successor is Ruth Martin. Chris reminded members that they had received a Diocesan Synod nomination form and asked members to consider whether it was something for them. For further details the minutes of the Diocesan Synod are on the Deanery Website.
Deanery Mission and Pastoral Group Report
Hilary Richardson said that at the meeting in January they reviewed Catch It and the plans for the next one. She had been on a workshop entitled, “Spirituality with Parents with Small Children” and hoped to marry some of that with Catch It. They also spoke about MAPs, the Deanery Website, Twitter and the Quiet Day. As a result of the Hugh Ridsdill-Smith meeting a Children’s Champion for the Deanery was being sought as well as a Youth Champion and a Building Champion.
Chris Elliott said the response to the Quiet Day had been so good that it was now sold out and any new applicants would have to put on a waiting list.
Youth Champion and that the job description had been circulated for consideration.
There being no other business the meeting ended with prayer and the Grace.
The next Deanery Synod meeting will be held at St Peter’s, Woodmansterne on 17th June 2015 when we hope to be looking at our response to environmental issues.