Synod 2009 - March

St Andrew's with CastlegateThe East Midlands Synod
of The United Reformed Church

met on Saturday 21 March 2009
here at St Andrew's with Castlgate URC, Nottingham.


The East Midlands Synod
of The United Reformed Church

met on Saturday 21 March 2009 here at St Andrew's with Castlgate URC, Nottingham.

St Andrew's with Castlegate 


Here are my observations
of some of the things that went on at Synod.

These are not official minutes, and can not be guaranteed for their accuracy. I have concentrated on the things that struck me as interesting or important, and will have omitted reporting on some issues which you may have picked up.

Would you like to have a go at reporting the events at Synod for the website?
Then please let the clerk [at] urc5 [dot] org [dot] uk know!
You do not have to be able to take photographs - I or someone else can do that.
David Legge



The body of SynodThe morning of Synod was given over to a set of Workshops in which we were able to discuss parts of the Synod Mission Stragtegy, Deployment of Ministers, and a New way to calculate the M&M assessment.
People were invited to choose one of several groups which looked in detail at  sections of these documents.
This was just the start of the process, and these papers are now released to local churches and groups for discussion and comment. Please address your feedback to the synod office.


You can join in the discussion here on this website.
The papers are available here, and you can add your comments at the bottom of each section. You can also submit a general feedback formwith your overall opinions.

Some of the workshop groups
which met in various places throughout the premises. workshop group

workshop group

The morning was rounded off with a celebration of the Lord's Supper 

The elements The Communion Service

TraidcraftLunchtime came with the usual Synod fair: Soup and Sandwiches, Traidcraft and Books. And a chance to catch up on news from other churches.

However, it will be the Bookstalls last appearance at Synod unless someone (like you?) offers to run it in the future. 



The afternoon session had a more familiar Synod feel to it, as we discussed and debated, tried to draw to a consensus over decision to be made, or voted on those that required it. 

Paul Bedford presented the section from Ministries including detailed proposals regarding preachers expense.

These were accepted by Synod.

David Miller, convenor of the Pastoral Group including a proposal to adopt the Deployment Strategy - Report to Synod March 2009 paper as a working document.

A debate ensued over this, much of which was concerned  as to the working used in the document, and whether it was actually a 'strategy'. Synod accepted it as a discussion document, and it may even be reissued with slightly different wording!

However, it is now available for comment.

A revised version will be presneted to the Autumn Synod.

  Terry Oakley, our Moderator, presented several papers to synod - in particular the Synod Mission Strategy, which as mentioned above, is available for comment from the churches.

Robert White, our Trust officer, outlined some changes to the Memorandum and articles of the Trust that had been agreed by the trustees which give more responsibility to Synod for the appointment of Trustee. It also changes the name of the trust to refer to 'synod' rather than 'province'.

Synod accepted these changes.






Richard Turnbull, Synod Treasurer spoke as part of the Finance and Property Group convened by Helen Lidgett (below).

They were both called on to speak several times during the discussion which centred around the synod's continuing financial support of Crossways - do we treat it as a financial drain on the synod, or as an essential and vibrant part of the work of the church?

Synod decided to follow the latter line, and agreed to continue to support it at least until the end of the first five years (as was originally agreed some three years ago).


Dereck Markie, executive director of the East Midlands Christian Forum gave us an overview of the proposals for it to evolve into a new charitable company limited by guarantee called EMBARC - East Midlands Belief in Action of Regional Churches.

EMBARC's objects will be to advance the christian religion for the benefit of the public,  to keep churhes informed about the effects of local and national government, and to enable churches to work together to promote sustainable communities.


SYNOD agreed to support the new body in the same was as it supports EMCF.