Looking back at Diocesan Synod – September 2018 Themes of welcome and hospitality were to the fore at the meeting of Diocesan Synod held in Lincoln on Saturday, 29th September 2018. The first meeting of a new triennium (2018–2021), members were welcomed to Lincoln Cathedral for a Synod Eucharist and the Bishop’s Presidential Address. Bishop Christopher took the opportunity to chart the developments and progress made under his leadership, and also to look forward in hope and expectation as we continue to serve God and the people of greater Lincolnshire together. A film containing some of the introductory information on serving as a member of Diocesan Synod is available by clicking on the image above.Bishop Christopher chaired the meeting of Synod, and an early item on the agenda was an introduction to Diocesan Synod offered by the Revd David Dadswell (Diocesan Secretary), Mr Ian Blaney (Diocesan Registrar) and Mr Nigel Bacon (Lay Chair). This provided an outline of the purpose and functions of Diocesan Synod, with members given a supporting pack of induction information. In addition, representatives from various departments at Edward King House were introduced, with an encouragement to call on their help and expertise. The next item of business was a presentation from Mr William Nye, Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council. Mr Nye spoke of the work being undertaken by Renewal and Reform, which is described as: ‘An ambitious programme of work, which seeks to provide a narrative of hope to the Church of England in the 21st century. It is rooted in a sense of Biblical hope and an understanding of Christ’s call to us to pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out workers into the harvest field’. [See here for a short introductory film and further resources.] Mr Nye underlined the impact on church attendance that could be achieved if members were to issue a personal invitation to someone to attend church, and pointed to areas of growth and development, such as in the form of Resource Churches, digital evangelism, Messy Church and the impact of the Strategic Development Fund. The Revd David Dadswell then offered a presentation that restated the original vision for the strategic vision for the diocese and highlighted areas of development and progress. These areas include safeguarding, compliance, governance and a significant increase in clergy numbers, and work is ongoing in working towards achieving financial sustainability. This presentation also included an initial briefing on a bid for national church funding for growth (Strategic Development Funding). This bid seeks financial support to establish two Resource Churches and a centre for catholic formation in mission, and a minimum of 6–9 church plants or revitalisations with ‘the potential to number 200 members each and on their way to planting themselves within two years’. The Strategic Investment Board has asked for the bid to be taken on to the second stage of the application process, for which the submission date is 2nd November 2018. A decision would be made in January 2019, which would allow for consultation and work on the financial plans with the Board of Finance, the Bishop’s Council and Diocesan Synod. More details will be presented at the November meeting of Diocesan Synod. Financial reports included points of note that at the end of August 2018, income was better than budget by £1.7m, although Parish Share is £152k behind budget year to date and £91k behind budget when compared with the same time last year. Parish Share therefore remains a cause for concern. The final item of business was the notification of forthcoming elections. Members were provided with a brochure setting out the roles and responsibilities of the new Bishop’s Council of Diocesan Trustees and important committees, and this was accompanied by nomination papers for: The Bishop’s Council of Diocesan Trustees – House of Laity The Bishop’s Council of Diocesan Trustees – House of Clergy Chair of the House of Clergy Chair of the House of Laity Lincoln Diocesan Board of Education – Director Vacancy in See Committee – Clergy member Vacancy in See Committee – Lay member The deadline for the receipt of nominations is 12noon on Monday, 29th October 2018. Diocesan Synod also consented to the Revd David Dadswell serving as Secretary to Diocesan Synod, and Helen Doyle (Governance & Compliance Officer) serving as the Assistant Secretary. Bishop Christopher drew the meeting to a close by offering a closing prayer and blessing. Meetings of Diocesan Synod Saturday, 3rd November 2018 at 9.30am Saturday, 13th April 2019 (AGM) at 9.30am Wednesday, 10th July 2019 at 6pm Saturday, 9th November 2019 at 9.30am A printable version of the above digest is available here.