The meeting was held at St Francis; Revd Janet Mackenzie welcomed us, especially the Revds Nick Grew & Glyn Ackerley who have recently been appointed at St Francis and Christchurch Bushmead respectively. Revd Nick Grew led us with a welcome to St Francis and a short evening prayer to start the evening.
Deanery Synod members were thanked for all of their inputs over the last year to produce the Deanery Review and MAP which were presented to Diocesan Mission & Pastoral Committee last December. The presentation had been extremely well received and we were commended on the way it told the story of progress over recent years, and all the information created a “brilliant baseline” to measure our development in the future. The presentation slides and context document will be made available for reps to take back to their PCCs.
In groups, Synod discussed how to move the strands of Living God’s Love forward as individuals, as parishes and as the Deanery; living out our faith through our Deanery aims and values; and how we continue to develop engagement with congregations, PCCs and parishes. A good number of ideas were fed back, with excitement about developing a model for building feasibility reviews; pioneer ministry and various projects to get involved with. Strong themes of sharing, celebrating what is working well, and good communication.
David Dallinger presented the accounts for 2015, with a £571 surplus (£500 to Level Trust had been from Mission Support Fund). He proposed a £1500 transfer from General reserves to Mission Support, which was approved. Still approx. £700 unallocated reserves to support projects we wish to undertake. There are new procedures for claiming money from Diocese to support admin of the Deanery and Standing Committee will need to review our budget.
New General Synod members from Deanery – Peter Adams and Revd Steve Wood. Peter rep for us & Dunstable; Steve rep for Ampthill & Shefford plus Hitchin. They will advise on future agenda items and want to hear our views. Renewal & Reform will be ongoing theme.
Interfaith report had been received and will publish on website. Peter spoke of Britain First remaining a troubling presence, challenging their message – needs our prayer.
2015 Archdeacon’s inspections had not all been completed and we have dispensation to catch up by ensuring all get done in 2016. Reps to ensure we hear about any changes to churchwardens, please.
Churches encouraged to join in with Easter Monday pilgrimage, which will be televised. More info to follow.