Church Changemakers- Diocesan Synod Elections 2024

Diocesan Synod is made up of ordinary people who are committed to sharing the news of Christ's transforming love with our communities.  It is where  important decisions which affect the life of the church in the diocese are discussed and agreed. It was with the agreement of synod that our new vision, Making Jesus Known, with its emphasis on mission and evangelism, justice and climate action, were approved.

Synod representatives come from every part of the diocese, which stretches from the North Wessex Downs to the Channel Islands. Synod needs to be represented by all the voices of those the Church seeks to serve across the community – whatever your age, gender or lived experience. When we don’t hear from everyone, we are diminished and less able to serve the whole people of the diocese.

Members of synod attend three meetings a year, but it is also from synod that Bishop's Council - the body of trustees for the diocese - is elected, and they meet more frequently.

If you care about the Church's impact on the world and your community, and would like to make a difference, then get involved! This year we are running a new campaign to encourage more people to think of standing for synod #ChurchChangemakers. Follow our social media channels to hear from those already standing of the skills developed on synod, and the opportunity for impact.

To stand for synod this May, you need to be aged over 16 and on a church electoral roll. In return, you'll be able to hone your skills in debating, decision making, and shaping a Church which serves a million people in this area alone. Check back later in February for the nomination forms and other information to help you stand for synod.

What is Synod?
Synod is a Greek term that means ‘the way together’. This is what we are trying to do in the Diocese of Salisbury with our new vision – walk the paths together to Make Jesus Known more deeply and to more people. Join us on the way together by standing for synod!
 
Why should I stand?
Stand for synod to be able to speak up about the issues that you and your church communities care about, in the diocese and nationally. Synod members direct the strategy of the diocese, including how money is spent. As a diocese we are committed to acting in accordance with Jesus’ teaching – and that means showing courageous leadership, growing a church for everyone, working for justice, and caring for the climate. If you care about these issues, or if there are local issues in your community to which the Church can make a difference, stand for synod! Synod needs to be represented by all the voices of those we seek to serve across the community – whatever your age, gender or lived experience. When we don’t hear from everyone, we are diminished and less able to serve the whole people of the diocese.
 
What will I have to do?
The synod is the representative, governing body of the Diocese of Salisbury. As a synod member you will debate issues affecting the church, decide on policy, and can bring motions on particular issues that concern you. You will be able to hone your skills in debating, financial management, and policy analysis and scrutiny. Importantly, you are also an elected representative for communities in your area, and will listen to and respond to those communities. As an elected, governance role, synod membership offers a valuable skillset for future employers.
 
How much time does it take?
Synod meets three times a year, a mix of in person and online meetings, so the commitment is not time heavy! In between meetings you’d be expected to share messaging from synod decisions and discussions with the wider church community in your area, and you’d be expected to pre read papers before the synod meetings. If you are elected onto the Bishop’s Council, the trustee body, you will meet more frequently.
 
Is it a voluntary position?
Yes! Volunteers are an important and valued part of the Diocese of Salisbury. The diocesan vision to Make Jesus Known is dependent on the work of volunteers offering up skills and time in the service of Christ. Volunteering should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience and the Diocese of Salisbury aims to be flexible and supportive of all volunteers. The volunteer relationship is built on prayer, trust and mutual understanding.
 
Am I eligible?
As a lay person, as long as you are aged 16 or over and on your church electoral roll, you are eligible. We also ask that you take holy Communion three times a year. Once a year synod members are invited to take communion together at one of synod’s regular meetings. Clergy candidates need to be members of their deanery synods, but lay members do not have this requirement.
 
How do I stand?
If you are not on your church’s electoral roll, speak to your priest or PCC member to be put on. You need to complete a Nomination Form which is available either by downloading it from the diocesan web site or obtaining it from a Deanery Secretary.

You need to find two members of your Deanery Synod to propose and second your nomination and to return your form to the deanery Presiding Officer (usually the Rural Dean and Lay Chair) by your deanery’s closing date for nominations – which may be slightly different for each deanery.

If you are not sure who the Deanery Synod members are, your parish Priest, Deanery or PCC Secretary will be able to tell you. They should also be able to help you access the wider network of synod members in your deanery. Deanery Presiding Officers then arrange the ballot and Deanery Synod members vote to elect from those people nominated from within their deanery.
 
What's the timetable for election in 2024?
1 May – Nomination Papers available Check with the Deanery Secretary for the exact date for return of Nomination papers and issue of Voting papers in your deanery.
24 June – Elections completed by this date.

 

Should you have any questions or want to find out more, contact us here.

Resources

Over the course of the campaign, we will be compiling a set of resources for churches, small group leaders and schools to use to unpack what Diocesan Synod is, and encourage people to be a Church Changemaker. These can be viewed (and downloaded where applicable) below.

Click here to view and download the poster

Click here to view and download the two-page flyer

Powered by Church Edit