The meeting was held at St Mary Luton. Ven Paul Hughes, Archdeacon of Bedford opened Synod with the licensing of Revd Joe Pienaar as the new Area Dean and Revd Steve Wood as Assistant Area Dean. Joe thanked Revd Janet Mackenzie and Revd Dr Tony Sellers for all their hard work in the Deanery as the previous Area Dean and Assistant, and said that he was proud and privileged to be taking on this new role, and was looking forward to the challenges it presents.
We welcomed Chris Wainman, Diocesan Mission and Resourcing Officer, to Synod to talk about Stewardship within our churches. Chris explained his role is to help everyone involved in the ministry of the church, to help parishes achieve the goals in their MAPs, and to raise both money and faith. The Giving for Life scheme will be setting a strategy for achieving targets and using the Parish Giving Scheme, to encourage responding to our generous God. He gave details of Parish Giving Scheme (PGS), a professional donation scheme and means of managing Gift Aid recovery.
Treasurer David Dallinger reminded PCCs of the process for submitting applications for Parish Support Grants. Dates were shared for the annual presentation of Diocesan Budget for 2017 and anyone interested was encouraged to attend.
Two vacancies for Clergy appointments to Diocesan Synod were filled by the appointment of Revd Yenda Smejkal and Revd Dr Glyn Ackerley. There will soon be another Clergy vacancy when Revd Nick Walsh leaves the Deanery. There are also two Lay vacancies, and members were asked to let Valerie Dallinger have any nominations.
Canon Peter Adams presented a verbal report on the General Synod held in July in York. The main topics under consideration were a discussion on Post-Brexit challenges, and the Renewal and Reform Agenda, with two days being spent on Shared Conversations on Sexuality, which concentrated on listening to differing views.
We thanked Revd Dr Canon Tony Sellers for all he has done in the Deanery over many years, and presented him with a card and voucher. His last services will be on Sunday 2nd October.
Curates Revd Andy Gardner (St Mary’s, Luton) and Revd Ruth Barr (St Thomas) were welcomed to their first Synod and it was noted that Revd Paolo di Leo was licensed to St Margaret’s, Streatley. Revd Peter Budgell is to retire from St Anne’s w/St Christopher’s - his final Sunday services will be on 20 November.
Next meetingThursday 24 November 2016– St Luke’s Church, Leagrave – all welcometo come along to hear about our Vision for the Deanery over the next couple of years.
NOTE: These bullet points are intended as a memory jogger and means of sharing highlights of the last meeting. Proper minutes of the meeting are distributed and agreed later.