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Diocesan Synod: Forward-Thinking Church Discussions

by Michael Ford last modified 14 Feb, 2011 05:11 PM

A pilot project to give non-ordained church members a greater role in running church services and projects was agreed on Saturday 5 February.

Diocesan Synod: Forward-Thinking Church Discussions

DAC Awards (left to right): Mrs Chris Hampton (Erlestoke churchwarden), Revd Richard Press, Nigel Uden and Andrew Watling (churchwardens from Chickerell) with Mark Bonney and Nicolas Leigh-Hunt

The move comes in response to a study of church practice in the French Catholic Diocese of Évreux, and will have particular relevance in rural areas.

Over 100 church representatives from across Wiltshire and Dorset met for Diocesan Synod at St Nicholas Church Centre Corfe Mullen.

The Anglican Communion Covenant, a historic agreement which seeks to unify Anglicans around the world, was also discussed. Synod agreed that it was important for Deaneries (groups of parishes) to discuss the proposal in detail, ahead of an official vote at Diocesan Synod in 2012.

As part of a series highlighting different forms of chaplaincy, the Revd John Cowburn, Diocesan Chaplain to the Deaf, spoke on issues of accessibility in church services and suggested creative ways to ensure provision.

Diocesan Secretary Lucinda Herklots said today, “It’s abundantly clear that Synod members want to be fully involved in decision-making, giving parishes the chance to discuss proposed changes to church practice that will affect them.  We aim to encourage both existing and new ministries during the pilot project and beyond.

She added, “The proposed Anglican Communion Covenant has international implications for working together, despite differences of opinion or theology. We have a lot to talk about over the next year or so.”

Diocesan Synod will meet twice more in 2011, on Saturday 25 June and Saturday 5 November.


The DAC Award winners are pictured above.

What Diocesan Synod does: 

  • Considers matters concerning the Church of England
  • Makes provision for these matters in relation to the Diocese
  • Considers and expresses an opinion on matters of religious or public interest
  • Advises the Bishop on matters on which he may consult Synod
  • Considers and expresses an opinion on any matters referred to it by the General Synod

In addition, the Diocesan Synod is responsible for:

  • Keeping Deanery Synods informed on policies, problems and Synod business
  • Delegating some executive functions to Deanery Synods
  • Keeping itself informed through Deanery Synods of opinions and events in the parishes
  • Discussing matters raised by Deanery Synods and Parochial Church Councils

The Diocese of Évreux has been twinned with the Diocese of Salisbury since 1987.

The Anglican Communion Covenant
The Covenant emphasises the need for dialogue, collaboration and accountability, directly addressing issues of church division.

Contact for more information
Michael Ford, Communications Co-ordinator:
01722 438651,

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