February 2018

Minutes of Reigate Deanery Synod Meeting

Held onTuesday 6th February 2018 at The Wisdom of God, Buckland Road, Kingswood
 

Chair: Rev Andrew Cunnington – Area Dean

Members present: 61  Apologies: 18

 

1.   The meeting began with Rev Christine Colton giving a short history of the church and then leading us in a worship session that included a reading from Isaiah 52 and singing, “We Have a Gospel to Proclaim”.

 

  1. Andrew then read out a card from Rev Canon Carol Coslett who is moving to become Archdeacon of Chesterfield.  He then announced the appointment of Rev Sue Weakley as Assistant Area Dean.  He asked members to consider what they were going to take action on and what they were going to take back to their parish at the end of the meeting.

 

  1. Chris Elliott then introduced Adrian Greenwood and Anne Deering who were going to talk on: Tell – The First Mark of Mission.

 

Adrian firstly explained how the Five Marks of Mission came about and how they could be remembered by the five “Ts”; Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform and Treasure and how Bishop Christopher had said that “Tell” is the most important.  The best thing we can do is share the message as in our reading from Isaiah Chapter 52 and as the disciples did.

 

We were then shown a three minute video of Peter Graystone talking of his experience of a conversation overheard on a bus that should have opened up a dialogue but didn’t.

With a partner we were asked to discuss:

·         What are your thoughts on what you have seen?

·         How does this relate to your experience?

·         Who was the most influential/persuasive of those who shared their faith with you? Why?

Some of the responses were:

It should not be an embarrassment but an opportunity

There was some discussion in believing in creation or evolution

Rev Canon Les Wells commented that our testimony is ours and no-one can contradict our relationship with Christ.

 

We were then asked to reflect on 1 Peter 2 v 12 and 1 Peter 3 v 15.

With a partner we were asked to consider:

·         What stands out for you in this text?

·         How well prepared do you feel to answer questions about your faith? Are there any areas you would like more support to become more confident?

      Some of the comments were:

            We cannot disclose our Christianity in the workplace – we don’t want to be threatening or bombarding

Our lifestyle – how we live our life – what difference does it make

Gentleness stood out for some

 

Adrian then went on to say why all this matters.  We should be inspired by love and reach out to God’s people.  Some people are gifted with evangelism but we are all called to be witnesses.  He noted how the Archbishop of Canterbury will always talk about Jesus.  How do we get confidence? 

Some resources available:

Southwark Vision for Mission & Growth – Walking Welcoming Growing·

Thy Kingdom Come 2018·

‘Talking Jesus’ research - the importance of friendship·

‘HOPE’ -·

 London Institute of Contemporary Christianity – ‘Fruitfulness on the Frontline’·

‘The Joy of the Gospel’ – study course by Dr. Paula Gooder·

‘Setting God People Free’ – national Report published in January 2017

What more can we be doing in our Deanery and Diocese?  How can the Diocese help in our Lay Ministry? What support are people looking for?  How does the church support and encourage you in your Monday to Saturday life?

We spend on average 10 hours in church activities per week and 110 hours in the world.  We were asked to talk about this with our partner and then complete feedback forms and hand them in.

 

Chris then went on to explain that there would be a follow up course to this talk led by Rev Alison Way and Rev Sarah Alexander.  The aim was to give us more confidence in sharing our faith.  It was open to all members of all churches and details would be given to each church at the end of the meeting.

 

Adrian and Anne’s Powerpoint Presentation is attached to these minutes.

 

  1. Elections to the AMPC

 

There was one nomination to the AMPC and that was Kim Honey who was proposed by David Keiller and seconded by Chris Elliott.  A show of hands showed all in favour.

 

  1. There were no corrections to the Minutes of The Deanery Synod Meeting held on 12th October 2017 at All Saints Church, Battlebridge Lane, South Merstham and they were therefore approved and signed.
  1. Reports

All members had had a copy of all the written reports and there were no questions on them.

Andrew said that the DMPG had only just met and so there had been no written report.  He explained that there were two groups within the Deanery; The Standing Committee and the Deanery Mission and Pastoral Group.  The latter had originally been set up to look at vacancies within the Deanery but had also organised workshops and healing services.  The group had decided that as a lot of things crossed over between groups they should rationalise and become one group calling themselves the Deanery Leadership Team.  They would then meet four times a year instead of the current eight times a year and look at the wider picture.  He and the Lay Chair would look at terms of reference and bring it back to the next Synod.

 

A formal proposal was made that the Area Dean and the Lay Chair should work together on the terms of reference for the Deanery Leadership Team.  This was proposed by Penny Lochead and seconded by Rev Canon Les Wells.  All were in favour.

 

Chris Elliott then went on to talk to the meeting about setting up a Charitable Trust.  Technically the Deanery has no legal status.  If we form a Charitable Trust we can become a registered charity and then claim gift aid.  This will also assist us in applying for grants.  Having a corporate status will enable us to enter into contracts should we wish to employ people.  We have had the go ahead in principle from the Archdeacon and have discussed it with the Diocesan Secretary who has no objections.

 

A formal proposal was made that the Area Dean and Lay Chair with the Treasurer should be authorised to further investigate the process of forming a Charitable Trust.  This was proposed by Jacqueline Dean and seconded by Callum Hawker.  All were in favour apart from two abstentions. 

 

  1. Notices from the Chairs

 

·         Sally Bowes reported that St Matthew’s Food Bank had been overwhelmed by the amount of food donated as a result of the Reverse Advent Calendar but said there was an increased need.  During Lent and leading up to Easter they were asking people to take old egg boxes and fill them with their loose change and take them into church or send them to St Matthew’s.  Andrew Cunnington then expressed the need for men to be a presence at the food bank as some of the people who went there could be quite aggressive.  Volunteers are needed on Monday and Wednesday from 12-2pm.

·         Kim Honey then outlined what the Deanery are hoping to do as part of Thy Kingdom Come.  She outlined the purpose of the ten days of Thy Kingdom Come and encouraged churches to let everyone in the deanery know what they are doing individually.  As a Deanery we will be having an Ascension Day service on Reigate Hill at 7.30pm and it was suggested that children could be brought to a picnic at 6.30 and stay for the service.  At Pentecost there will be Pentecost in the Park – 20th May 3.30 -5pm.  We also hope to have a prayer space open in Redhill town in the Tabernacle in Station Road.  This will be every weekday during this period and Kim appealed for volunteers from each church to man this facility.  On Saturday 19th May it is hoped to have a pilgrimage finishing with a service in the centre of the Deanery.

·         There will be another Deanery Quiet Day – 24th March 2018 – Leader: Ven Moira Astin.

·         Rachel Gardner (Children and Young Persons Deanery Champion) updated us on the youth work and said that the teaching sessions with Sharon Moughtin-Mumby had been very successful with five parishes being represented.  There had been a meeting of the youth leaders and the youth club was working really well.  She was sending out a survey to all parish reps.

·         Update on refugees - we have now distributed seven televisions and we are now starting to pay the first year of wi-fi costs.  Chris Elliott said we need more help with refugees and asylum seekers and also in addressing slavery.  He said we need to set up a group to take on this project and asked for volunteers.

·         Chris mentioned again the Archdeaconry Conference – Reaching out Growing together – this will be at St Matthew’s School on 29th September 2018 and Bishop Ric Thorpe, Rev Canon Will Cookson and Nick Shepherd will be our speakers.

·         Chris said we had a wonderful Healing Service at All Saints and the next one would be on April 29th at Christchurch, Brockham.

·         Chris also asked members to consider being nominated for the Diocesan Synod to which elections will be held this year.

·         Andrew announced that Helen Baker was to be a Deanery nominated Governor appointed by the Deanery on St Matthew’s School board of Governors.  He was delighted that as of 1st February the school was to be part of the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education Academy Trust.  The appointment was officially proposed by Ginny Eaton and seconded by Rev Anita Colpus.

Andrew thanked The Wisdom of God for their hospitality and the meeting ended with the Grace.

 

The next Deanery Synod meeting will be held on June 13th at St Michael’s Church, Betchworth.