This was held via Zoom. A brief outline summary of the Synod’s business is below, followed by Bishop Christopher’s Presidential Address.
WELCOME & OPENING PRAYER
Members of Synod were welcomed to their first ever remote Zoom meeting. Wendy Stephens, newly appointed Diocesan Spa, was welcomed to her first Synod meeting following Bishop Christopher’s nomination.
ANNOUNCEMENT & NOTICES
Members were updated on the process of holding APCMs following the extension to the usual deadlines due to Covid-19 and the ramifications on PCC and Deanery duties and deadlines. The Revd Canon Stephen Roberts (Deputy Diocesan Secretary), Paul Morris (Diocesan Registrar) and the Revd Canon Dr Mandy Ford (Director of Discipleship and Ministry), were thanked for their service as this was to be their last meeting of the Diocesan Synod. It was announced that Jackie Pontin had been appointed as Deputy Diocesan Secretary.
The Bishop of Southwark gave his Presidential Address, the text of which can be found here.
ANNUAL REPORT AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR THE YEAR
The Chair of the Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF), Alan Saunders, along with the Diocesan Secretary and Director of Finance, gave a presentation of the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the Year Ended 2019. The Annual Report had been unanimously approved by the Diocesan Council of Trustees (a copy can be found here) at its May meeting.
The Diocesan Synod formally received the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the Year Ended 2019 by a unanimous electronic vote.
FINANCIAL UPDATE IN THE LIGHT OF COVID-19
The Diocesan Secretary supported by the Director of Finance and Chair of the DBF gave a presentation on Diocesan Finances in the light of the Covid-19 Crisis. This included short term analysis to medium- and long-term planning. Both Bishop Christopher and Alan Saunders were encouraged by the team’s dedication, support of parishes and careful stewardship through the crisis. Bishop Christopher thanked parishes for their endeavours to honour their 2020 pledges and encouraged us all to continue to share and to trust in each other as we emerge into a new normal.
DEANERY MODEL RULES 2020
Mr Adrian Greenwood (Chair of the House of Laity) moved a motion that the Synod resolves to Approve the document entitled ‘The Role of Deaneries and the Rules and Constitution of Deanery Synods 2020– 2023’ in accordance with Rule 26 of the Church Representation Rules 2020.’” This document had been updated in the light of several new factors including the addition of the Southwark Vision, Deanery Leadership Teams, and the newly approved ‘Church Representation Rules 2020’. The Synod approved the Model Rules unanimously with only one abstention in an electronic vote. A letter and a copy of the Deanery Model Rules were to be circulated in due to course to Deaneries for them to formally adopt themselves.
DIOCESAN ADVISORY COMMITTTEE (DAC) CONSTITUTION
Philip Fletcher, the Chair of the Diocesan Advisory Committee, moved a motion that the Synod approves the amended DAC Constitution, in accordance with the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018. The Constitution had been approved by the DAC and the Diocesan Council of Trustees, and specifically included reference to the Southwark Vision and Eco Diocese (churches). The Synod approved the motion unanimously via an electronic vote. Synod members were also reminded of two vacancies (one lay and one clergy) on the DAC and were encouraged to come forward if they wishes to be considered.
Formal questions and answers were presented to members and the Notice Paper can be found on the Synod website.