Page 6 - Unity April 2016
P. 6


It was the former Bishop of Ludlow, John Saxbee, who I So, in response to a great deal of listening around the
first heard describe a Deanery Synod as a group of diocese, not least through the Follow! process last
Anglicans waiting to go home.                                                                     autumn, the diocesan MAP will contain a wide range
                                                                                                  of ingredients. These will include the development of
Those of us who have attended our share of such meetings work with children and families, care of our buildings,
can, I think, be forgiven for understanding such a definition, promotion of courses to encourage enquirers to learn
and might want to extend it to Diocesan Synod as well.                                            more about the Christian faith, and a lot more besides.

But there is more to it than that, and actually synods can                                        Secondly, the Diocesan Synod has agreed that from 1st
play a significant part in the life of the Church. “Synod”                                        January 2017, parishes will no longer be asked to con-
means “meeting together”, and it is as representatives of                                         tribute a prescribed amount in parish share, but will be
different parishes meet in a synod that we can determine                                          asked to make a free-will offering towards ministry
how best to work together for the good of all.                                                    across the diocese.

At its March meeting, the Diocesan Synod addressed two
matters which are potentially very significant for each I know that there is still loads of education,
parish in the diocese and for the diocese as a whole.                                             information and encouragement to be shared to ensure
                                                                                                  that “informed generosity” becomes the order of the
The first was to move towards agreeing a diocesan strategy,                                       day and so that, in the words of St Paul, “God is able
or plan, or MAP (Mission Action Plan) – call it what you                                          to provide us with every blessing in abundance”.
will. Across the diocese in recent years, parishes and
benefices have been working on their MAPs; a diocesan My hope is that this will help us to put money in its
MAP will seek to identify ways in which as a whole diocese right perspective, supporting our mission to be the
we better encourage, support and enable local MAPs to be people of God in this diocese.
put into practice.
                                                                                                  Planning and paying go together; and prayer belongs
Our overall strap line is “Proclaiming Christ, growing                                            with them. Watch out for opportunities to go deeper in
disciples”, as we pray and work for spiritual and numerical                                       prayer, not least around Pentecost (May 8th - 15th) in
growth, order our ministry to serve that aim, and continue to                                     response to our Archbishops’ call to prayer.
contribute to the good of our local communities.

                                                                                                                                  + Richard

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