There can be no better time of the year to begin our journey on the government’s path out of Covid restrictions. After celebrating the resurrection of Jesus at Easter, the greatest possible sign of hope and purpose for us all, this month we celebrate Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit came to the disciples, God’s constant presence with each believer.
As we read the story of Pentecost in the book of Acts, we quickly find those first believers organising themselves for the various tasks that were needed and issues that arose. Questions of donations, preaching, evangelising, social care and decision-making. For me Pentecost is therefore a time to consider God’s call on my life and to try and discern what He might be asking of me in the coming year.
This is a pivotal time in the life of the national church as we begin to gather again but also continue to reflect on the new things we have learnt recently. Lichfield Diocese has responded to the challenges facing us by launching Shaping for Mission, a complete review of our work and mission, seeking God’s guidance for the next phase of our life together.
Just like our civil government by parish, county and national councils, the Church of England is managed through its organisation of parochial church councils, diocesan and general synods. In the diocesan office we have embarked upon the whole process of elections, for both General Synod and Diocesan Synod. Could membership of either of these two bodies be something God might be calling you to? We need people of vision, hope and energy to work with us at this vital time.
Both Diocesan and General Synod are split into Houses of clergy and laity. Any clerk in Holy Orders who is a member of the deanery synod can stand for election to the House of Clergy. Any lay person who is an actual communicant member of the Church of England of 16 years or upwards and whose name is entered on the roll of any parish in the deanery or who is a lay person declared by the dean to be an habitual worshipper at the cathedral church of the diocese, is qualified for election. Candidates must be nominated and seconded by a qualified elector and must indicate their willingness to serve. Please note you do not need to be a member of Deanery Synod to stand as a lay member in either election.
Our diocesan vision prayer says this:
"As we follow Christ in the footsteps of St Chad, we pray that the two million people in our diocese encounter a church that is confident in the gospel, knows and loves its communities, and is excited to find God already at work in the world. We pray for a church that reflects the richness and variety of those communities. We pray for a church that partners with others in seeking the common good, working for justice as a people of hope."
In that context please prayerfully consider whether you might stand for election this summer. Do feel free to call us on 01543 306067 or email email@example.com if you have any questions.
Julie Jones is the Chief Executive Officer for Lichfield Diocese
Read more about the election process and structure of the diocese at www.lichfield.anglican.org/synod-committee-info.php