June 2017

Minutes of Reigate Deanery Synod Meeting

Held on Wednesday 14th June 2017 at St John’s Church, Redhill


Chair: Rev Andrew Cunnington – Area Dean

Members present: 59   Apologies: 21


1.   After thanking St John’s for the refreshments Andrew introduced himself and welcomed new members to the meeting and invited them to stand and be welcomed. 


  1. Alastair Anderson then took the Chair and explained why he did this for the election of the Deanery Lay Chair.  There had only been one nomination and therefore Chris Elliott was duly elected.  He said he would do his utmost to serve the Deanery over the next three years and welcomed back all the continuing Deanery members.


  1. The Area Dean then reoccupied the chair and said there had only been one nomination for Deanery Secretary and therefore Christine Elliott was duly elected.  Andrew gave thanks for all the previous work done.


Andrew then said there was a vacancy for Deanery Treasurer and asked if there was anyone who was interested to approach him.  He then thanked Wendy Wren for all the work she had done for many years and presented her with a gift on behalf of the Deanery.


There had been three nominations for the Standing Committee:  Rachel Gardner, Rev Anna Moore and Rev Carol Coslett.  Andrew said we wanted people on the Standing Committee who would do a good job not necessarily clergy or lay.  One vacancy was left on the Standing Committee and the other three nominees were duly elected.


There was one co-option on to the Deanery Synod and that was Penny Lochead who was nominated because she was Area Vice President of Mother’s Union.  She was proposed by Hilary Richardson and seconded by Rev Kate Capper and therefore duly elected.


Andrew then announced that the clergy vacancy left by Rev Phil Andrew on Diocesan Synod was to be filled by Rev Aneal Appadoo.


  1. There were no corrections to the minutes of the last Synod meeting on Tuesday 7th February 2017 at St Wilfrid’s Church and they were therefore approved and signed.


  1. Rachel Gardner was then introduced as Deanery Children and Young Persons Champion.  She explained she started in November and was working with Hugh Ridsdill-Smith (Consultant Children and Young People's Mission and Ministry) and Parish Representatives.  One of her roles was to organize meetings for these representatives at which a member of the Deanery was present; usually Chris Elliott.  She said there were some gaps in church representation and to let her know which churches were represented.
  2. Financial Report

Wendy Wren thanked all PCC Treasurers for contributing to the Parish Fund and said there were two parishes outstanding.  She said she was giving up as Treasurer as the work was becoming more computer orientated and she felt unable to continue because of this.  She would however continue to support whoever took on this role.  No questions were raised on the accounts which had been sent to all members.

  1. Reports

Diocesan Synod

Chris Elliott explained that normal Deanery procedure was for members to produce written reports which are sent out with the agenda and other papers before the meeting but on this occasion members would give a verbal report in order to familiarise new members with what the different groups do.


He explained the Diocesan Synod meets three times a year and a president’s address is given by Bishop Christopher which is put on the internet.  At the last meeting they talked about the links with Zimbabwe and same sex marriages.  The latter produced very differing views when discussed in small groups.  There is likely to be a shared conversation about this at Deanery level.

Bishop Jonathan had talked about the “Diocesan Vision for the Future” which involved growing churches and refugee housing. 

Chris also said that written questions are submitted at these meetings so if anyone had a question they should give it to a Diocesan Synod member.  Elections to Diocesan Synod will take place next year.

Diocesan Council of Trustees

David Keiller reported on this and said the Council met a month ago and met six times a year.  They act on behalf of the Diocesan Synod particularly in the area of finance.  At this meeting two new initiatives were set up.  One was a working group on Lay Ministry and the other a Communications Strategy Advisory Group.  Two initiatives had their progress reviewed.  The first was Strategy for Ministry.  For the future the team are to start thinking positively about developing “Fresh Expressions” in areas that are hard to reach and where there is population growth.  The second was the review of the draft guidance and rules for Deanery Synods.

The accounts for 2016 were approved and in this first year of the Parish Support Fund 99.9% of the pledges were fulfilled.  We are grateful for the generous support of the parishes which has led to an increase in the amount received under this new system.  Costs of clergy stipends, housing and pensions were met by parish contributions.  Reserves have been helped by the sale of parts of two gardens in London which raised £2 million.

For 2017 parishes have increased their pledges and are fulfilling them.  We are currently being asked to consider our pledges for 2018.  Our challenge is that we ought to be self sufficient as a Deanery.  Although in a fairly affluent part of the Diocese, our Deanery still relies on other deaneries to fully fund the ministry we enjoy.  Our 2017 ministry costs are £1.6 million of which we contribute £1.3 million.  NB:These figures are not correct.  The actual figures we have been given are: 2018 indicative ministry costs are £1,481,600 and 2017 Parish Pledge is £1,324,596.

Diocesan Board of Education

Rev Carol Coslett reported on the above.  She said the Board met three times a year and both her and Ginny Eaton were on it along with another member from Tandridge Deanery.  Bishop Jonathan chairs the meetings and they have their AGM on 13th July.  Among the things they have done is agree the inspection criteria for St Bedes and help create the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education Multi-Academy Trust (SDBE MAT).  They are supportive of chaplaincy in further education and Church of England education across the board and give help to school governing bodies.

Deanery Mission and Pastoral Working Group

Rev Anita Colpus explained that the mission part of this group involved the co-ordination of MAPs, Healing Services, refugees and young people.  The pastoral side involved supporting churches in interregnum.


Rev Andrew Cunnington explained how the Deanery had been working with outside agencies in supporting refugees and that the first initiative had been to provide televisions.  Chris and he had had two meetings with the local Council and had gained credibility in their eyes.  The Council hope to house 10 families in 5 years and need more support from the voluntary sector.  More two bedroom housing is needed and English/Arabic speakers.  They also need help to prepare the houses, to make home visits and provide transport.  Refugees can also work as part of a church group as volunteers e.g. food banks.  An officer has been appointed by the Council and group training can be given.  He asked however that it is preferred that these opportunities are shared informally.  He said that he and Chris had been to a meeting in London which had highlighted the other side of the coin which was the problem of those arriving seeking asylum.  Their need is for host families and perhaps this is a need the Deanery can fulfill.

  1. Notices from the Chairs


  • The Deanery Healing Service at St Matthew’s 9th June at 6.30.
  • Deanery Listening Course – 28th Sept and 5th and 19th October
  • The Lay Conference was very good – Feedback wanted
  • A reminder about Twitter and the Deanery Website
  • There is a new rector for Horley – Rev Les Wells
  • Rev Tim Astin is being licenced at The Good Shepherd 15th June
  • Progress is being made with the vacancy at St Mary’s
  • Rev Phil Jackson is leaving Chipstead to become chaplain at Reigate Grammar School
  • Rev Anna Moore, Rev Helen Cook, Rev Alison Elson are all to be priested on 24th June
  • There is a talk on Modern Day Slavery at St John’s Waterloo on 22nd July.


The meeting ended with a service of communion lead by Rev Andrew Cunnington.


The next Deanery Synod meeting will be held at All Saints Church, Merstham on 12th October 2017.