Elections were the early items of business at the recent meeting of Diocesan Synod held in Lincoln on Saturday, 3rd November 2018.

Members of Synod separated into Houses for the elections to the Chairs of the Houses of Laity and Clergy, with Mr Nigel Bacon (House of Laity) and the Revd Alyson Buxton (House of Clergy) duly elected. In addition, Bishop Christopher had previously nominated Mr Chris Clarke for the role of Chair of the Lincoln Diocesan Trust and Board of Finance Ltd. Bishop Christopher further proposed Chris for this role, and Synod duly gave its approval to this proposal. Synod also noted that Bishop Nicholas will serve as Chair of the Diocesan Board of Education, and that Bishop Christopher will serve as the Chair of the Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee.

Following the acceptance of the minutes of the previous meeting held on 29th September 2018, attention turned to the subject of Parish Share. There was a presentation on the proposed new Parish Share formula, which was followed by the tabling of an amendment on behalf of Manlake Deanery and then a time of debate and discussion. As a result, the following was agreed:

  1. This Synod approves the policy in principle of Parish Share
  2. This Synod approves the proposed changes to Parish Share with effect from 2019 and notes that the amount required to be collected will rise from £4.3m in 2018 to an estimated £7m in 2023
  3. This Synod approves the requesting of £5,026,229 Share from benefices in 2019
  4. The proposals will be circulated to deaneries for consultation and comment for the diocese to be asked to bring the revised proposals from 2020 onwards
  5. Feedback in all its various forms will be discussed at Diocesan Synod on 13th April 2019.


The next item on the agenda was an update from Bishop David on the second stage of the Strategic Development Funding (SDF) Bid. Set against the diocesan vision to be a healthy, vibrant, sustainable church transforming lives in greater Lincolnshire, the bid is in support of a plan to establish three ‘Resource Churches’ that would be used strategically to plant/renew/revitalise other ‘self-replicating’ churches in our larger urban centres of population through the provision of appropriately trained and resourced teams. These three churches would be St Swithin’s Lincoln, St George’s Stamford and Lincoln Cathedral, with eight churches to be planted or revitalised across our main urban centres, with the aim that they become self-sustaining growth churches of over 150 people within five years. More news on the bid will follow in due course.

The next item on the agenda maintained the theme of finance and funding, with a request for Synod to approve the proposed budget and capital expenditure for 2019 – this was duly approved.

The Very Revd Christine Wilson (Dean of Lincoln) offered an update for Synod on the subject of Modern Slavery (the Dean previously addressed Synod on this matter in March 2018). As well as highlighting recent local arrests, convictions and press coverage, the Dean also reflected on a recent Modern Slavery Summit with a focus on rural areas (21st September 2018; Lincoln Cathedral), and encouraged Synod to make use of the resources provided by the Clewer Initiative (www.theclewerinitiative.org), including a Lincoln case study (www.theclewerinitiative.org/lincoln).

Mr Nigel Bacon brought a motion on behalf of Lafford Deanery Synod regarding insurance premium tax and the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme. Synod passed the motion that ‘Synod is firmly of the view that the scope of the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme should be broadened to include Insurance Premium Tax. It requests for an appropriately worded motion to be raised to General Synod urging Her Majesty’s Government to implement the change’.

The Ven. Gavin Kirk (Archdeacon of Lincoln) and Debbie Johnson (Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser) addressed Synod on the subject of Safeguarding. Archdeacon Gavin provided a verbal update on training for parishes relating to safeguarding, finance and governance for all PCC members, and Synod renewed its commitment to follow all of the House of Bishop’s safeguarding policies and practice guidance (see the Overarching Safeguarding Policy Document, Promoting a Safer Church, which may be found on the diocesan website here).

Synod also agreed to commend the Parish Safeguarding Handbook (2018) for use in our parishes, and it was stated that a local Diocese of Lincoln version of the Parish Safeguarding Handbook is being written with the support of a local parish team to provide a local context for all House of Bishop’s guidance relating to safeguarding.

Bishop Christopher drew the meeting to a close by offering a closing prayer and blessing.


The results for the elections to the Bishop’s Council of Diocesan Trustees, the Diocesan Board of Education and the Vacancy in See Committee appear below. These elections were held during the initial proceedings of this meeting of Diocesan Synod, when the clergy and laity were in their respective Houses.


The following persons were elected to the Bishop’s Council of Diocesan Trustees:

Clergy Boston – The Revd Sonia Barron

Clergy Lincoln – The Revd Nick Brown

Clergy Stow and Lindsey – The Revd Canon Andrew Dodd

Laity Boston – Mr Paul Arnold

Laity Boston – Mrs Sue Slater

Laity Lincoln – Mr Douglas Horn

Laity Lincoln – Canon Prof. Muriel Robinson

Two casual vacancies for Laity in Stow and Lindsey will be filled by postal ballot.


The following were elected to the Diocesan Board of Education:

Diocesan Synod Member – The Revd Sonia Barron

Diocesan Synod Member – Canon Niccy Fisher

Diocesan Synod Member – The Revd Canon Andrew Dodd

Diocesan Synod Member – Mr David Clements

Diocesan Synod Member – The Revd Philip Johnson

Diocesan Synod Member – Casual Vacancy – to be filled by postal ballot

Other – Mrs Alison Warrick

Other – Mr Michael Adnitt

Other – Miss June Richardson

Other – Dr Hilary Beverley

Other – Mrs Cherry Edwards

Other – Mrs Jayne Robb

Other – Mrs Patricia Ruff

Other – Mr Jack O’Hern


The following were elected to the Vacancy in See Committee:

Clergy – The Revd Annabel Barber

Clergy – The Revd Cameron Watt

Laity – Miss Lee Kent

Laity – Canon Muriel Robinson


A printable version of the above digest is available here.

Further to the above, the results of the recent postal ballots for the positions of Diocesan Synod Member for the Board of Education, and the two lay representatives for Stow and Lindsey on the Bishop’s Council of Diocesan Trustees, are as follows:

The Revd Canon Penny Green Diocesan Synod Member for the Board of Education

Mr John Boddy Bishop’s Council of Diocesan Trustees- Stow and Lindsey lay rep

Mr Russ Coulter Bishop’s Council of Diocesan Trustees- Stow and Lindsey lay rep

We would like to thank all candidates for their involvement, and all members for their timely responses.

Meetings of Diocesan Synod

Saturday, 13th April 2019 (AGM) at 9.30am

Wednesday, 10th July 2019 at 6pm

Saturday, 9th November 2019 at 9.30am