February 2017

Minutes of Reigate Deanery Synod Meeting

Held on Tuesday 7th February 2017 at St Wilfrid’s Church, Horley


Chair: Rev Andrew Cunnington – Area Dean

Members present: 55   Apologies: 22


1.   After thanking members of St Wilfrid’s for their hospitality Andrew welcomed members to the last meeting of the current Synod and thanked them for all their support. He commented on the wonderful array of MAPs that had been on display for members to see before the meeting.


  1. We were then introduced to Rev Clive Richardson from Guildford Diocese who is part of the Community Connectors Team and was there to talk to us about supporting carers, both adults and children in our church and community.  He commented on the amount of community engagement reflected in our MAPs and that our networking was similar to that in his Diocese of Guildford and we were welcome to make contact with his team.  He said we need to make more fruit of what we are already doing.


Unpaid carers are much more part of the community than we think.  There were carers in the bible like the man on a stretcher who had practical help to lower him to Jesus and the centurion with a sick servant who sent someone to Jesus to ask for help.  Carers provide practical help and advocacy help as did these people.


There are 6.5 million unpaid carers and at some point three in five people will be a carer.  £119 billion is saved in this country by unpaid carers.  In his diocese almost 10% of the population are carers including children.  They have established that the bulk of carers are in the 45-64 year age range.  Any diagnosis affects the whole family.  The impact has both positive and negative implications amongst which are feelings of isolation, stress and the risk of becoming burnt out.  Carers are responsible for giving emotional support, personal care, financial advice, physical support, practical support and helping with medication and need recognition, information and financial help, understanding employers, knowledge of support services and a range of options for respite care.


Carers can get an emergency card from their GP so that if they are taken ill people will know they have someone they are caring for.  Also from 1st April all resources for carers will be under one phone number.  East Surrey Carers Support Association is also a good source of information and help.


Finally we were encouraged to include carers in our development plans and we were asked to look at a list of 10 things a church can do. (Attached).


Andrew commented that lots of our MAPs feed into this and it could be the basis of one of our workshops.  Rev Christine Colton and Rev Martin Colton have also organised courses on listening which could prove invaluable to the Deanery.


  1. There were no corrections to the minutes of the last Synod meeting on Thursday 13th October 2016 at St Mark’s Church and they were therefore approved and signed.


4.   Matters Arising


  • Refugees – We are still supporting this initiative and have bought another television as we have another family coming into the borough.  Meetings are taking place across the Deanery to co-ordinate our approach to refugees.
  • St Matthew’s School – Whilst volunteers for governor were asked for at the last meeting this school is now in special measures and will become an academy so the governing body will be completely reconstituted.
  • Deanery MAP – The Deanery MAP has now been produced by a group specifically looking at the life of the Deanery.  The main points are Communication – how do you convey Deanery matters to your parish, Succession Planning – do we know what the key post holders do, Mission outreach and Training – Listening training.  Andrew said we may need to find people to drive these issues.  The next step is to see if there are common threads in any of the individual MAPs and Andrew made a plea for anyone who could help with that.  It was suggested that we might be able to see them all and Chris Elliott agreed to put them on the Deanery Website.


5.   Reports – All reports had been submitted before the meeting and there were no questions.


6.   Catch It


      This will be held on 13th May at St Luke’s Church and there were posters available.



      Notices from the Chairs


  • Sally Bowes from St Margaret’s Chipstead has started an Eco Church Group and asked for anyone to contact her that might have already started a group or could help them in any way.
  • Rev Carol Coslett asked us to consider what we might do as churches on Earth Day on April 22nd.
  • St Michael’s Betchworth are holding a celebration of weddings in words and music on April 22nd at 7.30.
  • The Deanery Quiet Day will be on April 8th 2017 and will be led by Bishop Richard at Wychcroft.
  • The next Deanery Healing Service will be at Emmanuel Church Sidlow on 5th March at 6.15.
  • The Parish Support Fund Meeting will be at St Matthew’s Church on 20th February at 7.30pm – refreshments from 7pm.  All members were encouraged to attend.
  • This was the last meeting of the Synod and Chris Elliott thanked all those who were not standing again and encouraged churches to find new members.
  • On the second Friday in the month in future there will be a circulation of all events taking place in the Deanery.
  • On 10th June there is a Lay Conference at St Bedes.  Further details will be issued later but people are needed to host rooms.
  • Rachel Gardner was introduced as the Children and Young Peoples’ Mission and Ministry Deanery Champion.
  • Thy Kingdom Come – a global prayer movement – runs from 25th May – 4th June 2017.  The Deanery is hoping to hold an act of worship in different churches on each of these 10 days.
  • Prayers were requested for both Horley and Tadworth as they are at the end of the advertising stage and were now at the selection stage of engaging new incumbents.
  • Lent study groups are being held by the churches of Horley beginning, on 3rd March, with an event hosted by St Wilfrid’s Church at which Ven. Moira Astin will be speaking on “Christianity in Britain before Augustine”.
  • Rev Ben Brown asked for support for Gatton Community Theatre’s latest venture, Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.”  All are invited to free workshops on Sunday 26th February 2.30-4.30pm and/or Saturday 4th March 2.30-4.30pm.
  • Robert Coupland shared that Christ the King are celebrating their 50th birthday by raising funds to install a new notice board and are walking 50 miles around the Deanery over the next 10 months and the next walk will be around Buckland on 11th March.


The meeting ended with a very moving service of communion lead by Ven. Moira Astin.


The next Deanery Synod meeting will be held at St John’s Church, Redhill on 14th June 2017.