Speak up and be counted

Published: 18th April 2024

So often diocesan synods are perceived as boring, dry and bureaucratic. This should not be the case! Rather they should exist to serve the mission of the wider Church, to make strategic decisions, and to encourage the growth of mission and ministry in our diocese. So, are you passionate about these things and want to play a more active role in embedding our vision and strategy in the life of all our churches and communities? Then please read on…

What is Diocesan Synod?

Diocesan Synod is our primary elected, representative body and brings people together across the Church of England in Staffordshire, north Shropshire and the Black Country. It holds the diocesan vision, drives mission, sets strategy, elects and appoints a range of positions on boards and committees and shapes priorities.

It may respond to questions put to it by the General Synod and is an advisory and deliberative body. It considers the important topics facing our diverse and unique diocese and the wider Church. It is a statutory institution which serves not only our diocese but influences and helps to direct the national church on matters of church, public and government policy. It also includes some mandatory governance items such as approval of the budget and the annual accounts. The membership consists of three houses: the House of Bishops; the House of Clergy; and the House of Laity.

The current three-year term is due to end on 31 July. The next synod members will be elected in the summer of 2024 and serve a term of three years. Meetings are held in March, June and November.

The agenda for 2024-2027

Themes for the next three years will include embedding our diocesan vision and strategy, taking forward the Growing Faith initiative in relation to schools and families; a continuing focus on growth in numbers and depth of discipleship, including new Christians, and new worshipping communities; actively engaging with our local communities, determination to continue to focus on safeguarding, diversity, racial justice and the environment.

What skills and qualities do representatives need?

  • Vision: Do you have a vision for a flourishing Church and a passion to work with others to share your Christian faith and deepen the discipleship of those around you?
  • Commitment: Are you ready to seek God’s will through prayer and reflection, with a heart for growth, mission and engagement across boundaries?
  • Openness: Are you open to trying new approaches while learning from others, embracing change and the bigger picture and to sharing inspiring feedback with your deanery, PCC and wider church family?
  • Enthusiasm: Members of Synod are encouraged to speak and challenge confidently, enabling change whilst leading and encouraging others.
  • Good communication skills: Do you have a listening ear? Are you receptive and open-minded and have the ability to share your passion?

Do you have ― or could you develop ― some of these qualities to serve the Diocese of Lichfield? If so, can I encourage everyone reading this who is on the electoral roll of your church, is over 16 years of age and an actual communicant to prayerfully consider whether this is something God is calling you to do?

I would be happy to talk to anyone considering this and answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Julie Jones is the Diocesan Secretary/Chief Executive Officer for the Diocese of Lichfield and can be contacted by email or on 01543 306291.
More can be read at lichfield.anglican.org/diocesan-synods/. Nomination forms will be available from your deanery synod secretary or Jo Durber

Page last updated: Thursday 18th April 2024 8:11 AM
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