October 2017

Minutes of Reigate Deanery Synod Meeting

Held on Thursday 12th October 2017 at All Saints Church, Merstham


Chair: Chris Elliott – Lay Chair

Members present: 53 Apologies: 33


1.   The meeting began with a time of worship conducted by Rev Mark Pullinger.


  1. Chris Elliott welcomed all the Synod members who were there for their first Synod and thanked Mark and all the members of All Saints for the worship and hospitality.


  1. Chris then gave a short introduction for the members of Synod to the Diocesan Secretary, Ruth Martin.


Ruth mainly wanted to speak on three items:

•       Southwark Vision Update

•       Lay Leadership Update

•       Parish Support Fund


She said it was a privilege to go and see churches and to meet people and pointed to the banner on the church wall which said, “Forward Together in Christ” and said this is what we exist to do;

“ We are all the Diocese”.  She spoke of:

·      Growing churches, new worshipping communities and new Christians – we have Rev Canon Will Cookson as Dean of Fresh Expressions.

·      Deepening discipleship: engaged, prayerful and informed Christians.  To this end we have a Lay Leadership & Lay Ministry Advisory Group and a Deaneries Advisory Group.

·      Growth in vocations to existing and new ministries – we are hitting targets set for vocations.

·      Generous giving and prayer supporting all we do – This is covered by the Parish Support Fund.

·      Justice and Peace built up, and violence challenged, in our local and global community

·      A shared commitment to the integrity of creation -  this is being achieved by continued work in Justice Peace Integrity of Creation with Refugees, creating a Refugee co-ordinator, additional funding for the environment, among many other areas.

·      Church for all which reflects our diverse community in membership and leadership – once again this is being achieved by the Lay Survey, Lay Leadership & Lay Ministry Advisory Group and Black History Month.


Ruth’s Powerpoint Presentation is attached to these minutes.


Inevitably these new initiatives mean that our Diocese has to pay out more.  We need to be resourced by what happens in church to go out to the community.  “Where did discipleship in the workplace go”.


Alastair Anderson said he had read that the lay ministry was the lowest in years.  Ruth said she thought the authorised lay ministry had stuttered but what of other ministries; we all have a ministry.


Ruth then asked if we were all familiar with the Parish Support Fund and did we know of the old system.  The new system was a pledge based system which meant thinking about ourselves and others.  She did want to say a big thankyou to all the parishes in the Reigate Deanery.


Everyone wants to keep all the priestly posts but they have had to cut 30 posts across the Diocese.  There is an aspiration for parishes to be self-financing as regards ministry costs which for 2018 are £76,000.  We should encourage the Deaneries to share information regarding pledges.








Rev Canon Les Wells commented on Horley’s financial situation after a vacancy of two years saying they will address it and he felt the DVD would be good for the PCC.  Ruth said Horley had had a tricky time and we should think how to support them and suggested a visit by Tony Demby (Diocesan Director of Finance) might help.


     Rev Helen Cook commented there was little training for clergy on financing and how to speak to congregations about it; they need help.


     Ian McMillan said if you want to grow we need more people to go out and people to give to food banks.


     Kim Honey commented that there were a huge variety of parishes in the Diocese.  We know where we sit and we watch the DVD and we see what happens to our money and launch Stewardship Campaigns but it would be good to have someone from a poorer parish to come and talk and for someone from a wealthier parish to go to a poorer parish so that we might understand each other better.


     Jacquie Dean felt we were on the edge of the Diocese and that the Diocese was Trinity House centric and we were not part of the Diocese.  She felt shared experiences should happen and then we would see a wider vision.


     Rev Len Abrams talked of his links with Zimbabwe and how at their patronal festival and fundraising day the people had raised US$240,000.  Inspiring generosity!


     Peter Chesterton from St Mary’s said that if we want to encourage others to be generous we need to show our generosity.


  1. Elections to the AMPC and Deanery Standing Committee.

There were two nominations for laity and two nominations for clergy to the Archdeacon’s Mission and Pastoral Committee:  Chris Elliott and David Keiller and Andrew Cunnington and Carol Coslett who were duly elected. There had been no nominations for the Deanery Standing Committee.  Chris said they needed someone who would work well on communication and nominations forms would go out again before the next synod.

  1. Co-option of the Treasurer

Fiona Hawker had been nominated as Treasurer and all were in favour of her co-option.

  1. Adoption of Deanery Rules and Constitution

Chris then introduced the booklet containing the new Deanery Rules and Constitution and explained how the Diocese should provide deaneries with rules and constitutions but Southwark never had and so a group have been working to write this set of rules and a constitution. He explained that it gives us more flexibility and then went on to outline some of the changes i.e. after a member has been on Synod for three periods of three years, PCCs are asked to review the position although this is not a rule.  What is a rule is that members of the Standing Committee can only do three periods of three years in any one role.  Standing Committee has changed in that it comprises of four officers and four others and they don’t have to be equal numbers of lay and clergy.  Also he told members that a register of attendance would be kept and sent to PCC Secretaries yearly.  Rev Andrew Cunnington proposed the adoption of the Rules and Constitution  and Rev Carol Coslett seconded it with the adoption being carried unanimously.

  1. There were no corrections to the minutes of the last Synod meeting on Wednesday 14th June at St John’s Church, Redhill 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.


  1. Notices from the Chairs


·         The Deanery Healing Service at St Peter’s Church, Woodmansterne on 15th October.

·         Deanery Quiet Day – 24th March 2018 – Leader: Ven Moira Astin.

·         Update on refugees - we have now bought six televisions; five have been distributed and one is being delivered next week.  Reigate and Banstead have one more family coming this year and another next year.  We have been given an Area Mission Grant of £2,000 to help with our work with refugees and so we are now also going to help provide wi-fi for the families going forward.  This will be for a set up cost and the costs for one year.

·         Archdeaconry Conference – Reaching out Growing together – this will be at St Matthew’s School on 29th September 2018 and Bishop Ric Thorpe will be our key note speaker.

·         Carers Conference – Nov 3rd at Guildford – postponed from June but details are the same.

·         Ian McMillan explained the St Matthew’s Foodbank initiative – The Reverse Advent Calendar and also spoke of the necessity of finding a Reigate Deanery Synod Foundation Governor for St Matthew’s School ideally someone experienced in data comparison.

·         Rachel Gardner (Children and Young Persons Deanery Champion) said that the previous day the Parish Reps had had a catch up with Hugh Ridsdill - Smith (Children and Young People Mission and Ministry) and he had left brochures – one on resource exchange.  She also reminded members to let her know of the name of their parish rep and any changes in details.


The meeting ended with the Grace.


The next Deanery Synod meeting will be held at The Wisdom of God, Lower Kingswood on 6th February 2018.


The next five Synods will be following the Five Marks of Mission starting with the Proclamation of the Good News of the Kingdom.  There will be follow up events/courses/workshops.