East Bingham Deanery – Minutes of the Deanery Synod Meeting Held on Thursday 13 June 2019 at St Thomas’s Church, Aslockton. Stephen Hippisley-Cox, area dean, welcomed everyone to the Synod which comprised House of Clergy and House of Laity Representatives, and also churchwardens, treasurers and OneLife parish catalysts from across the deanery.
He then led Synod in a short service of prayer with readings from Isaiah 11, 1-9 and Matthew 8, 18-29.
Judith had received 36 apologies; because of the large number individual names were not read out.
2. Minutes and Matters Arising
Nicola McNally proposed that the Minutes of the last meeting were accepted as a true record and was seconded by Elizabeth Bonser. They were signed by the area dean. There were no Matters Arising not dealt with elsewhere on the agenda.
3. Finance including Deanery Share 2019
a) Deanery bank account. Judith Mills reported that the deanery synod bank account balance was £5,065.00 and there were no outstanding commitments.
At the last Synod, a question had been raised about the £500 which had been ringfenced for mission. Judith had reviewed Synod and Standing Committee minutes and found that in 2016-17, £1000 was ring-fenced for Mission Matters of which £500 was allocated to support an Alpha Course in Bingham. In addition, a donation of £1000 had funded the purchase of holding crosses.
Mission expenditure had been
Walk Through the Bible Events 250.00
Deanery Mission event 192.00
Mission Resources 67.50
Bingham Alpha Course 365.25
Plumtree Light Party 152.12
The ringfenced sum had, therefore, all been spent. However, the area dean confirmed that requests for deanery funding for Mission events would always be considered favourably.
b) Deanery Share 2019. The deanery share report as prepared by Jubilee House had been circulated with the agenda. The area dean commented that it showed a varied picture. By this period, total payments should be in the region of 40% of the annual figure. However, only 30% has
been paid which reflected that some parishes were unsuccessful in making regular payments though others did better.
c) Deanery Treasurer. Steve Gelsthorpe reminded Synod that since Anne Henderson has left the deanery there had been no deanery treasurer. He was, however, delighted to report that Anne had agreed to act as Treasurer and he therefore asked that Synod approve the appointment of Anne Henderson as Deanery Treasurer and advisor to Standing Committee and Synod.
Rev’d Maggie Woodward proposed that Anne be appointed on the terms requested, which was seconded by Nic Seller and approved unanimously. Anne was welcomed to Synod. Anne replied that she was very much looking forward to working with everyone again.
4. OneLife: Mission.
Fr. Tom Meyrick reported that he, the area dean, the deanery administrator and Bishop Tony had met with the Bishop of Bolton, Mark Ashcroft, and the Bishop of Hull, Alison White who will visiting the deanery during the OneLife:Mission weekend of 12-15 September. They will be bringing with them a small team of people that will include two members of the Senior Leadership Development Programme1 and others chosen by Bishop Alison and Bishop Mark to match the planned events.
They had been given an overview of the deanery and an outline of all the events planned for the weekend as far as they are known so far. Tom then showed two short videos of Bishop Mark and Bishop Alison.
Tom explained that at the moment, almost every parish or benefice had one or more events planned and the aim is that each one will be attended by one (or possibly more) members of the visiting team. To help the bishops decide who will attend which activity, Judith will contact the parish catalysts for more details of their event(s).
There will also be two deanery-wide events:
• Big Messy Church which will take place at Keyworth. Everyone welcome – bring a picnic tea.
• Deanery Walk along the Grantham Canal. Cathy Wallace and Michelle Bee who are taking the lead in organising this, gave a short PowerPoint presentation and asked for volunteers to help with
o refreshment stops
o BBQ / lunch drinks / tea
o Walking marshals
o Booklet design
o Prayer / reflection stop leader
o ‘Treasure hunt’ design
o Mini-bus driver / car pool drivers
Tom reminded everyone that promotional and advertising materials are available to download from the Diocesan website. He encouraged everyone to invite a friend or colleague who was not normally a church-goer to join in one of the events, not just those being organised by their own parish but any event in the deanery. Full details will be circulated when everything is confirmed.
As well as organising events for the Mission weekend, all parishes are asked to arrange follow-on ‘nurture’ events such as the Pilgrim series or Start courses. Tom is arranging short training sessions
1 We have since been informed that only one member of the SLDP is available to visit.
for anyone interested in setting up and leading a small nurture group in their own parish/benefice. Judith will circulate the dates.
Finally, Tom drew Synod’s attention to the Prayer Cards which have been prepared by the Diocese. One is a prayer for the Mission and one is the Archbishop of York’s Pilgrimage Prayer. Clergy and Readers are encouraged to use these prayers in their Intercessions. The cards existing in a variety of sizes and can be acquired from Reception in Jubilee House. There was a supply of A6 and wallet sized versions of the cards available for Synod members to take away with them.
• Judith to circulate links to OneLife resources; contact details for deanery walk and dates of the nurture group leadership training events.
• Judith to contact parish catalysts to confirm details of their events.
• Everyone is asked to consider how they will invite others to the deanery events.
• Everyone is asked to consider if they can volunteer to help with the deanery walk.
5. Deanery Share working group and allocation in 2020
The area dean explained that the allocation of the deanery share for 2020 is a three-part process: receiving the report of the working group; consultation with each Benefice and a vote to accept the revised formula at the next Synod.
Tony Darby, chair of the Deanery Share working group reminded Synod that the group had been asked to recommend a formula for allocating the share in 2020. Criteria considered included attendance figures (the size of the worshipping community as stated in the annual Mission Statistics reported by each parish); ministry received and deprivation. However, this formula should be tempered by the understanding that the purpose of the Church is to proclaim the Good News and grow its mission, and to do this the Church needs resources. Therefore, generosity which allows us to support each other and the wider family of God must also be a factor in agreeing parish share.
The area dean then circulated a series of notes and spreadsheets to illustrate the proposed new formula. He explained that, following the revisions made by the Diocese in 2018, the allocations were based on real costs, not aspirational figures, and therefore must be met in full. It is likely that some parishes will be able to pay more than their allocated share, while others may not be able to reach their share, for good reasons. This will be the subject of further consultation with Benefices.
He emphasised that the formula is a starting point for negotiation with the deanery leadership team. Some benefices will be able to make the sum asked with no difficulty, others, because of where they are in their mission cycle, or because of unexpected high fabric repair bills will find the sum challenging. The approach that we are taking is that we are all in this together, and that we look to help each other out in times of difficultly, for the mission and glory of God. The final decision on the amount of parish share asked of each deanery will lie with the deanery leadership team.
Using the revised formula, 30% of the total allocated to the deanery was assigned to attendance. This figure was then shared between parishes based on the size of the worshipping community as declared in their Mission Stats reports. The remaining 70% of the deanery share was assigned to ministry received and shared between benefices. A small adjustment was made to the share allocated to Cotgrave to allow for deprivation around that community and the shortfall re-allocated across the rest of the deanery.
At this point, Nic Seller (Treasurer, Keyworth), commented that this was a new approach and there was no need to go into the detail of the proposal at Synod. Instead, all parishes should be generous of heart and work together to meet the budget.
Steve Gelsthorpe welcomed this comment and explained that the formula was only one stage in the process. The next step is to hold consultation meetings to answer questions and discuss how the formula will affect each parish. These meetings will be at benefice level. As there are ten benefices, this will involve ten meetings between Synod and the end of August. Synod will then be asked to vote on the final allocations in September.
Treasurers were asked to send invitations for consultation meetings to Anne Henderson. Judith will circulate her contact email address.
Finally, Steve thanked the Working Group, especially Tony Darby for chairing the group and Roger Scothern for his ‘number crunching’.
• Judith to circulate Anne Henderson’s contact details
• Anne Henderson to organise consultation meetings
6. Report on Deanery Clergy appointments/interregna
The area dean reported that
• Cranmer Group: the group is still in discussion with the Archdeacon.
• Wiverton in the Vale: there had been no applications for this post. The number of retirees exceeds the number of ordinands, so attracting applicants is difficult. The deadline for applications may be extended.
• Fosse Group: interviews had taken place and it was hoped to announce an appointment, subject to due process.2
7. Report from Standing Committee
Steve Gelsthorpe reported reported that there is a vacancy for a Lay Representative on Standing Committee. This meets three times a year, usually a month before Synod and supports the work of deanery. Everyone should consider whether they are prepared to contribute to the deanery by sitting on this committee. Anyone interested should contact Judith for a nomination form. A vote will take place at the next Synod.
Actions: Lay representatives to consider if they wish to sit on Standing Committee and contact Judith for a nomination form
8. Past events
Lay Representatives Meeting, March 2019: Steve Gelsthope reported that while attendance at the Lay Representatives meeting had been lower than hoped, it had been a productive meeting. The report had been circulated to all Lay Representatives and to Standing Committee where it had provoked stimulating discussions. It is hoped it will be discussed at Chapter in due course.
Another meeting will be planned for later in the year. The area dean gave his support to this initiative.
2 It has been announced the Rev’d Ruth Colby is to be Priest in Charge.
9. Future Events
Dates were noted as:
• Mustard Seed meetings: 16 June, 16 July, 17 September, 15 October, 19 November, 10 December
• Deanery Confirmation 2019: 13 October, Radcliffe on Trent
10. Sharing Good News
• Real Life: Katharine Bacon reported on the last Real Life course which she, and many others from the deanery had attended. The course is open to everyone. It takes 2½ terms, though not everyone attends the whole course. The combination of talks and discussions arranged around three themes (Introduction to discipleship, Great Theologians, Practical approach to discipleship) had proved inspiring and stretching. It was asked when the next course was to start. Enquiries had been made but no reply received.3
• Generate. Jude McLaughlan explained that due to restructuring at Jubilee House, there were no youth workers currently employed. However, she was to attend a meeting with the diocesan leaders to discuss the way forward. In the meantime, Radcliffe-on-Trent runs Rock Solid a club for 11-14 year olds on the last Sunday in the month, 6.30-8pm. Rock Solid exists to share the gospel through friendships, fun and interactive activities. Attendance is not limited to specific parishes, so teenagers from across the deanery can attend.
• Jubilaté. Sheila Still described this fellowship and friendship group, which had grown out of the Mission Partnership Lent course. It is an informal alternative to a house group which meets in church every other month. A discussion theme is set for each meeting, and the group also enjoys walks, films and book discussions.
11. Area Dean’s Report
The area dean drew Synod’s attention to Colin Slater’s report on General Synod which had been circulated with the agenda. Colin had been unable to attend Synod. Steve Gelsthorpe highlighted the Church Representation and Ministers’ Measures which, amongst other things, recommends that lay representatives should only serve two terms on deanery synods. He will ask Judith to circulate more information on this contentious point.
Action: Judith to circulate information once received.
12. Dates of Deanery Synod meetings 2019
Thursday 19 September 2019, to be held at Cotgrave. NOTE: this is a revised date. Please update diaries.
Closing Prayer. The meeting closed with a prayer and the Grace, led by the area dean.
Signed as a True Record:
3 Since Synod we have been informed that the next course will start on 16 September 2019.</div>
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