Diocesan Synod 2023-11-18

Summary of a meeting of Lichfield Diocesan Synod, 18th November 2023

at The Catalyst Building, Staffordshire University, Leek Road, Stoke-on-Trent

  • Opening Worship was led by the Revd Mick Williams, Chaplain, Staffordshire University.
  • The minutes of the meeting held on 28th June 2023 were approved and signed accordingly.
  • The Bishop of Shrewsbury gave the presidential address. She spoke mainly about the meeting of General Synod in the previous week, where an amended motion relating to Living in Love and Faith and particularly to stand alone services had been approved. She acknowledged the pain this had caused for many on all sides of the debate, and wanted to assure all, on behalf of the bishops, that the tradition that had nurtured them in their faith was still welcomed, and pastoral conversations were offered to anyone who had been distressed by Synod’s decision. She added that the Bishops had also felt the pain of disunity, but all had in common the love for Jesus and a desire to serve him in the world. We turned to our community of the beloved in Christ to ask that we may have the grace to see Christ in the face of one another, and to be the body of Christ together, with our differences.
  • A presentation was given by the Archdeacon of Stoke and Alex Wolvers about the Diocese of Hyderabad, Pakistan. The following motion was then moved:

This synod supports forming a companion link between the Diocese of Lichfield and the Diocese of Hyderabad, Pakistan

This motion was voted upon and clearly carried.

  • The Bishop of Stafford and the Archdeacon of Stoke gave a presentation on next steps in Shaping for Mission. This was followed by group discussions and feedback.
  • The appointment of Mr David Wright as the Chair of the Diocesan Board of Finance was ratified.
  • The Director of Finance presented the Budget for 2024. Questions were invited and the Chair then moved that:

The Board be authorised to expend in 2024 a sum not exceeding £16,089,364 as representing the net unrestricted expenditure for the year ending 31.12.24.

This was carried with one abstention. The Director of Finance then moved that:

The Board of Finance Budget for 2024 be received

This was clearly carried.

  • The Revd Neil Robbie spoke to an item on a Vexatious Complaints Policy. Following questions, the review date for the policy was changed to March 2024. He then moved the following motion:

This Synod affirms the steps taken to develop the present policy, recognises the need to address all concerns in a robust manner and seeks to strengthen attempts to deal effectively with all on-going vexatious complaints.

This was voted upon and clearly carried.

  • The Diocesan Registrar promulged Amending Canon 42, which amended the canonical requirements relating to safeguarding by replacing the requirement for the bishop of each diocese to appoint Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers (DSAs) with a requirement for the bishop of each diocese to appoint a Diocesan Safeguarding Officer (DSO).
  • Reports of the General Synod sessions in July and November were given by Chris Gill and the Revd Preb Pat Hawkins respectively.
  • The Question Time paper was discussed, which contained twenty-five written questions and written answers to the majority, with a small number being deferred until Bishop Michael’s return. Several supplementary questions were answered.
  • The Bishop of Shrewsbury closed the meeting in prayer.

All papers are available at https://www.lichfield.anglican.org/about-us/synod/ or by contacting jo.durber@lichfield.anglican.org or 01543 306067.

Page last updated: Thursday 23rd November 2023 6:24 PM
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