HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE LATEST MEETING – 29th June 2016
The meeting was held at St Mary Sundon. Revd Yenda Smejkal welcomed us to one of the oldest churches in the Deanery, and told us of some of the interesting features which also appear on souvenir teatowels! He led us in the opening prayers, and paid a personal tribute to Revd Janet Mackenzie as outgoing Area Dean.
Churchwardens and Treasurers had been invited to a meeting – partly as a ‘Thank You’ to all who serve in these roles. Chris Wainman had presented information and benefits of The Parish Giving scheme for managing Gift Aid and can assist with cash flow and reduce administration for treasurers. Kevin Devey had spoken to them about the need to recognise the importance of Parish Share contributions to meet the cost of parish ministry; and the impact of underpayment by Luton parishes.
David Dallinger, in the Treasurer’s report, spoke about the reserves which are ring fenced for mission support. A sum long assigned for a St Vincent link is being offered up to support Dean Pusey at a youth work conference in the Caribbean. Proposals of need for support by the Vocations fund or Mission Support fund should be addressed to the Standing Committee.
Next General Synod will focus on Shared Conversations on Sexuality and how the Church responds, trying to discern God’s will. Peter Adams explained the conversations will not be made public, but the reps will be able to report back on the process. Please pray for Synod and these conversations.
Post-referendum reports of increased incidents of racial hatred – we must be attentive to members of our congregations and our communities. Encourage reporting of any incidents.
Notes and news: Sharon Smith was ordained as Priest on 2nd July. New curates for St. Mary Luton (Andy Gardner); St. Margaret Streatley (Paolo Di Leo – Self Supporting Minister) and St Thomas Stopsley (Ruth Barr) were ordained Deacon on 3rd July.
Kevin explained the process of appointing the next Area Dean with proposals from Chapter and Standing Committee, but a decision by Bishop of St Albans, hopefully before end of July. He thanked Revd Janet Mackenzie for her caring, hard-working and wise leadership of the Deanery through her time as Area Dean. Peter praised Janet’s guidance throughout the preparation of the Deanery Review and report.
Date of next Deanery Synod moved to Wednesday 21st September to enable PCCs to attend the CPAS PCC Tonight event at Kings House, Ampthill Road, Bedford MK42 9EZ, being led by James Lawrence on Tuesday 20th September, from 7.45-9.45 p.m. (Refreshments available from 7.15 p.m.) This event is recommended for your consideration.
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.