Report from District Synod

Ministerial staff and supernumaries, Steve Allen, Rosemary Jones, John Blewitt and myself (as representatives from the circuit meeting) attended the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury Representatives Synod on Saturday. For the third time, this was succesfully held online via zoom. The theme running through the morning session including worship and a report from the 2020/21 Youth President was Climate Change.

Worship included a Lament as we saw photographs of the effects of Climate Change all around the world with music composed and played by Roger Hides (husband of Sara who was a Deacon in the West Brom circuit a few years ago).

Churches are being encouraged to look at becoming Eco-churches, something which we did say (pre-pandemic) as a circuit we would like to engage with; this is something that all ages can engage with. Steve did offer to lead this for our circuit and it is something he will pick-up again now that his LP training has finished, and when a circuit property meeting is arranged.

No Methodist meeting would be complete without mentioning Property and Finance! Church treasurers will be aware of a letter from Connexion regarding a voluntary contribution request to the Pension Scheme; this has been discussed at CLT, and was mentioned at Synod too. There are further questions to be answered on this matter. One thing that churches do need to consider as we come out of the pandemic is what reserves are held for; some churches hold significant reserves, there is nothing wrong with reserves being held, but we do have to have a realistic, honest reserves policy as trustees to ensure money is being used and set aside wisely and for the right purposes.

We watched a Reflective Video of The Methodist conference; some things included and commented upon were:

  • The challenges created by the “God in Love Unites Us” vote; that whilst being a diverse and inclusive church, this in itself creates challenges in us all living harmoniously as Methodists together
  • Conference voted that churches with membership of less than 12 should join with another society in order to make governance decisions; this of course is something we are looking at in BCC as we ask each church in the circuit to consider our “Challenging Times” communication. More guidance for churches and circuits on minimum membership numbers is expected
  • The pandemic has highlighted issues around the sharing of virtual Holy Communion; it was explained by our Chair of District that there is a 3-year period of reflection and discernment, but that this is through practice.

Whilst we have our own problems and challenges here in the Wolverhampton & Shrewsbury District, we then heard more about the issues and challenges faced by the Methodist Church in Rwanda; it does put things into perspective somewhat!

As we move forward into our “new normal”, after each event, meeting, to align ourselves with the Justice, Dignity and Solidarity (JDS) initiative, we might want to ask ourselves:

  • Have we met what our aspirations as a church are?
  • What are the voices that are missing from the table?
  • Where can we do better next time?

A comment was made on the demographical make up of synod representatives, and I guess the same observation can be made about circuit meeting reps, and perhaps our own individual church councils; we need to find ways to engage with young people, and encourage them to become more involved, they are the future of the church.

Rachel ended Synod asking us to reflect on these questions, and I encourage you to think on these at the end of meetings, worship and the end of each day

What has given you joy this day?

At which points did you experience moments of insight or energy; of inner strength or healing?

What has caused you sorrow this day?

At which points were you troubled or anxious; ashamed or deeply sad?

Offer all these things to God.

Listen for what God has to say to you through it. Ask for the grace you need to live as you really want to…..

Helen Allen - BCC rep to Synod

Page last updated: 21st September 2021 2:08 PM