Annual General Meeting & Diocesan Synod 14 May 2022
Diocesan Synod met at Samworth Academy, Mansfield, with the Archdeacon of Newark leading worship and reflecting on the Book of Revelation.
Annual General Meeting
Synod voted unanimously to receive the Annual Report and Consolidated Financial Statements, as recommended by Bishop’s Council following their meeting on 4 May 2022. Canon Michael Arlington, Chair of Finance, provided an overview of the financial challenges and opportunities. The financial surplus for 2021 reported in the accounts was as a result of unrealised investment gains and a positive movement with the clergy pension scheme deficit, the underlying operating position was a substantial six figure deficit. Michael reminder Synod Parish Share was the bedrock of the Diocesan income and its ability to continue to support and deliver front line ministry and mission.
Bishop Paul’s address can be read here.
Living in Love and Faith (LLF)
The Revd James Halstead presented to Diocesan Synod. For the past 18 months he had been the Diocesan Advocate for LLF. This was an opportunity for an update and a period of reflection as a Synod.
Vision, Strategy and Resources (VSR)
Bishop Andy updated members on the VSR Task & Finish Group. The strategic vision sown in 2016 looked towards 2023 so it was timely to review progress against the prayerful aspirations to date, to refresh it looking towards 2030.
There was no plan to radically change the vision and direction of travel. The Diocese was not proposing to waver from Growing Disciples Wider, Younger, Deeper. It was important to review what had gone well and consider key learnings to inform the future approach.
The Diocese would support and facilitate what was happening at a local level and share resources. It was hoped that parishes would engage directly with this process which would start in the Autumn. Bishop Andy requested feedback from members on how the consultation process could be best facilitated.
Diocesan Environment (Caring for Creation) Policy
Mr Robert Cleave (Nottingham South Deanery), Diocesan Environmental Officer, presented the revised policy to Synod. It was recognised Caring for Creation was a core part of our mission and urgent action was needed now. The General Synod motion, passed in 2020, set the intention for the Church of England to be carbon neutral by 2030. This was challenging and not helped by two years being lost by the pandemic. It was noted that Caring for Creation was wider and more holistic than carbon neutrality. Synod unanimously approved the policy. It was noted Jubilee House had applied for a Bronze Eco Award and received it only the previous day.
The Diocesan Scheme under the DBE Measure 2021 was introduced by the Diocesan Director of Education and unanimously passed, meaning the Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) will remain a Statutory Committee of the Diocesan Board of Finance.
A revised constitution of the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) was approved and the amended Vacancy In See Committees Regulations proclaimed.
Synod noted the Annual Reports from the DBE, DAC, Partnerships & Mission and Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel (DSAP), with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA), Julian Hodgson, providing a verbal update on recent staffing changes.
The Revd Becky Hancock submitted an update from General Synod at its February sessions and shared her early reflections as a newly elected representative.
Formal questions had been received in advance from Mr Roger Ottway (West Bingham Deanery), regarding Resourcing Churches, and Mr Gavin Drake (Gedling Deanery), regarding Safeguarding. It was noted that a report regarding the Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) would be shared at the next Synod meeting on 1 October, following the publication of the national report in July.
Mr Martin Cooper, Diocesan Chief Executive