Deanery synods exist to promote co-operation between parishes and as a unit of mission and organisation between the level of the parishes and the diocese. Parishes can bring matters to the synod which might then be considered by Diocesan Synod and potentially eventually by the General Synod of the Church of England. General Synod and Diocesan Synod sometimes refer matters to Deanery Synod for consideration. Deanery Synod reps have the important functions of electing members of Diocesan and General Synods.
The Deanery Synod normally meets 3 times a year, typically in March, June and November. At the last meeting of the year the deanery finances are normally decided. There is usually also an outside speaker.
Anyone is normally welcome to attend a deanery synod meeting, though usually only members of the synod may speak, and of course, vote.
Deanery synod members are elected every 3 years by Annual Parochial Church Meetings (APCMs) in each parish. The current session runs from 2014-2017.
The synod is governed by part 3 of the Church Representation Rules and by a set of standing orders which are available on request from the secretary of the synod.
Meetings are chaired by the Rural Dean and by the Lay Chair who is elected by the synod.
The officers of the synod also include the secretary and the treasurer. There is a Deanery Standing Committee which agrees the agenda for synods and can transact urgent business between meetings.
A guide to Deanery Synod can be found on the diocesan website. The Standing Committee of the House of Laity of the General Synod also produced this leaflet about deanery synod ahead of the 2014 deanery synod elections.
Forthcoming synod meetings are:
Tuesday 19th March – Speaker: The Revd Jayne Prestwood, Diocesan Officer for Lay Vocations and Ministry – Setting God’s People Free, Lay Vocations and Training Opportunities – Venue: Hailsham Parish Church
Wednesday 19th June – An Open Consultation Meeting on the Diocesan Strategy with Bishop Richard Jackson. All are welcome.
Thursday 28th November – Speaker: Bishop Richard Jackson. Venue: Netherfield Parish Church
Meetings begin at 7:30pm and refreshments are available before the meeting.