Diocesan Synod Snippets

In the formal opening session of Diocesan Synod on Monday evening 8 June 2015 members were informed on a range of business matters affecting the Diocese in Europe.


The Bishop announced that from the additional money granted by the Church Commissioners it has been possible to fund the appointment of a free-standing full time Archdeacon. The Venerable Colin Williams, who has vast experience, including work within Europe, will cover the two existing archdeaconries of the East and Germany & Northern Europe. He will be inducted in October.



As the Church of England continues “facilitated conversations” on Human Sexuality each diocese has been asked to put forward people with a range of views to share with other dioceses at a meeting in November. Bishop Robert reminded members that the purpose of these discussions was to be able to “disagree well”. From this diocese Nigel Rowley, Jack McDonald, Hyacinth Osterlin, Martin Wreakes-Williams, Grada Schede and Carolyn Cooke will be taking part.



Canon William Gulliford, Director of Ordinands, told Synod that the Church of England is considering how better to spend its money on training for ordination. A new approach has been agreed in outline and is likely to be approved. The aim is to

  • Increase the number of ordinations by 50% from 2020
  • Increase lay ministry training and resources

For the Diocese in Europe this is likely to mean that we will have to meet the full costs for married candidates and their families. We shall also have to meet costs above £5,000 for people in residential training. We shall meet costs for the over 50’s. However, we have a good record of training and a robust case that should qualify us for new money from central funds.

At present there is uncertainty over the effect of these changes and concern about how we could meet any shortfall in costs.



Unusually, apart from the formal promulgation of two changes in Canon law affecting the diocese this is the first year for many years when there are no major legal changes to consider, although Aiden Hargreaves-Smith, Diocesan Registrar, assured members that there will be further changes in future to bring us into line with the other 41 dioceses.


Synod approved the agenda for the rest of the meetings which continue till Thursday afternoon.