Minutes of Reigate Deanery Synod Meeting
Held on Wednesday 15th June 2016 at St Matthew’s Church, Redhill
Chair: Rev Andrew Cunnington – Area Dean
Members present: 56 Apologies: 23
1. Rev Andrew Cunnington, Area Dean, welcomed new members to the Synod and the two Lay Chairs that had come from Caterham and Godstone Deaneries. He thanked all those who had provided the refreshments and then went on to lead the opening worship. There was a reading from Romans chapter 12 and Andrew encouraged us to “fill this holy space with holy voices”.
2. Ian McMillan from St Matthew’s gave us a potted history of the church as they will be celebrating their 150th anniversary this weekend. It was interesting to hear how the land for the church had been purchased from Lord Monson and was built to hold 800 people. We heard of the first two vicars, Rev Henry Brass and Rev Canon George Daniell and how at one time 500 children had attended the Sunday School. Later the church was lovingly restored and remains one of the last Victorian buildings in Redhill.
3. There were no corrections to the minutes of the last Synod meeting on Tuesday 9th February at Holy Trinity Church and they were therefore approved and signed.
4. Matters Arising
* Deanery MAP – This was an additional item on the agenda and Anne Currie, who is part of the team putting this together, gave members an overview on the initial thoughts and proposals so far. There were three questions which were originally posed to parishes when initiating the MAP planning process. These were used for the Deanery MAP. They were: 1. Where are we? 2. What do we bring? 3. What is God doing? In response to the first question, communication came to the fore and whilst we have a good website should there be a Website Manager? Do we effectively publicise Deanery events? Do we need a Publicity Manager? How effective is our feedback to our parishes? How much is our parish aware of what goes on in Synod? In response to question two, could the Children and Young People’s Network of Deanery Champions model be replicated in other areas of ministry? Could training be more local? In answer to question three, we need to encourage more people to attend Vocation Fairs, Study Days etc and for there to be more local training for lay ministries. Draft proposals should be ready by the autumn and she concluded by saying all input is welcome.
* Catch It - Kerry Evans gave a review of “Catch It” which was held on 7th May 2016 at St Luke’s Church from 1.15-5.30pm. This is held for mainly primary school children; the main block being 8, 9 and 10 year olds. There were 3 11-12 year olds that also came. The theme was “We can worship God wherever we are”. There were five workshops: Puppets, Dance, Art, Circus Skills and Inflatable Table Football. The most popular was art. Those who came paid £5 and 45 children attended from 6 churches. She explained they had received a Croydon Area Mission Grant funded by the Church Commissioners of £2,500 and had £300 left over from last year. They have £900 remaining and are applying for a grant of £2000 this year which will then give them enough money to fund Catch It for the next two years. Kerry thanked everyone who helped and reminded us to pray for our Children’s Support Workers.
* The Deanery Quiet Day was reported on by Chris Elliott. It took place on 19th March 2016 led by Bishop Jonathan and was a great success. Next year’s Quiet Day will be on April 8th 2017.
* The Deanery Healing Service to be held on 10th July has a poster to publicise it and members were encouraged by Chris to take one back to their churches as this was for everyone not just Synod members.
* The Quiz Night to be held on 24th September also has a poster and once again members were encouraged by Chris to take one back to their churches.
5. Rev Louise Ellis – Discipleship and Vocations Missioner
Louise said her role was to encourage and nurture and that vocations was part of Bishop Christopher’s vision. This might be seen as narrow, only applying to ordained ministers or particular roles but his vision is to encourage vocations through the whole people of God. She then asked us to go into groups and put on post its what we understood by vocation. These were
then put on a board and she expanded on each one. All the different comments are attached to these minutes.
She said we all have a vocation and people need to be encouraged. Vocation is who you are. Pastoral care is part of vocation and as individuals or part of a team our journeys will be different but we are part of the body. Discerning can be complex and confusing but our vocation can be recognised by others. Discerning is a journey and we must recognise the gifts of young people. At the previous night’s Vocations Fair attendees were asked, “When did you first learn of Jesus”? and a large percentage said they were under five years old. She said it was very important to encourage people on their journey and to explore and give space. We need to give of ourselves and there is a daily call to abandon ourselves to the will of God. Our vocation does not end when we retire!
Louise went on to talk about the many who received God’s call in the Bible and how different they all were and so were their responses. It is a very mixed picture and scriptures are a great encouragement.
The future plan is to have Vocations Fairs three times a year which gives everyone the opportunity to come and explore. These are not just for licensed ministries and Louise encouraged people to be involved in The Bishop’s Certificate in Discipleship a course for which is being held at St Mary’s, Reigate. There are also Vocations Conferences; the Young Vocations Conference is one that takes place annually.
Louise concluded by giving us all a handout containing quotations on vocation.
6. Parishes to Share
Members were asked to give anything in this category to Chris Elliott to put on the website. The discussion on the Parish Support Fund will now take place at the next meeting.
a) Diocesan Synod
There was a written report by Dr John Schofield which had been circulated and there were no questions on it.
b) Diocesan Council of Trustees
David Keiller gave a report on the above and said that at the June meeting they had approved the accounts. There was a small surplus due to increased giving and the good management of Ruth Martin, the Diocesan Secretary but reserves were still low. Gerald Allison was the new Chairman of the Board of Finance. Also discussed had been the bringing in to the Upper Mole Group of Brockham and Leigh and the merging of Godstone and Caterham Deaneries to form Tandridge Deanery. He also said that managing housing was a duty of the DCT and a strategy needed to be developed. The next meeting is in July.
c) Diocesan Board of Education
Rev Carol Coslett reported that they had met on March 10th. Most of the meeting was taken up discussing the proposal that the Diocese (SDBE) should become a Multi Academy Trust, one of the pitfalls being that church schools could opt out. Some schools would be under the Board of Education and some under the Trust. A working party and a task group are to be set up. The mock S48 inspection for St Bede’s mentioned in the previous Synod minutes was done in April and was successful. There is an open evening for everyone at St Bede’s on 6th July.
d) Deanery Mission and Pastoral Working Group
Rev Andrew Cunnington said they had been focusing on the role of the Chaplaincy and that they should be more part of the life we share. There will also be another Deanery Workshop on November 5th 2016 entitled, “How we can sustain our spiritual life”.
8. Election of Clergy Member to Archdeacon’s Mission and Pastoral Committee
Chris Elliott took the chair and explained that this vacancy had arisen due to Rev Doug McHardie standing down from this committee. There was only one nomination and Rev Andrew Cunnington was duly elected.
9. Notices from the Chairs
* Rev Andrew Cunnington reminded us that there are new deacons being appointed to St Margaret’s, Chipstead – Alison Elson, St Mark’s, Reigate – Anna Moore and St Matthew’s, Redhill – Helen Cook and that Rev Doug Ross, Rev Martha Mutikani and Rev Anil Appadoo will be priested on 2nd July at Holy Trinity Church, Redhill. He also announced that Rev Felicity Hendry was moving to Sutton and he said a fond farewell to Rev Mick Elfred who was attending Synod for the last time.
* A request was made that all the forms giving details of venues and dates for Confirmation services in 2017 be returned.
* Chris Elliott announced that he had applied on behalf of the Deanery for a further Croydon Action Mission Grant; £2000 to go towards Catch It and £3000 to go to youth work to enable young people to go to summer camps who would not otherwise be able to go. This was proposed by Chris and seconded by Rev Andrew Cunnington. All were in agreement.
* Chris also said that he and Andrew had met with representatives from Reigate and Banstead Borough Council to see what the Deanery could do to assist refugees. The Borough intend to house 10 families in the next 5 years and need two bedroomed accommodation. Chris asked members to let him know if they had any suitable properties to rent. The families are not provided with any items that could be termed as luxuries so it was agreed with the Council that the Deanery would provide the families with televisions. One family arrives soon and so one television has been bought and will be delivered to the Council next week. An appeal was also made for anyone who might have a good knowledge of English and Arabic.
There being no other business Rev Andrew Cunnington ended the meeting in prayer and with the Grace.
The next Deanery Synod meeting will be held at St Mark’s Church Reigate on 13th October 2016.