From the Diocesan Secretary, Mark Humphriss, October 2021
It feels a season for new starts. Last week it was a joy to have an (on-site) induction session for our new Diocesan Synod with about 80 people attending. There were presentations, questions (a key part of accountability), and we worshipped together. Later in the week Bishop Steven and I were pleased to host an orientation session for 27 clergy who are either new to the diocese or new to incumbency roles.
Voting closes this week for elections for the new General Synod, as does voting by Diocesan Synod onto various diocesan committees. And, of course, we are emerging from a global pandemic, albeit not knowing whether it will be a smooth path or not.
Joining in the decision-making processes of the Church at whatever level (national, diocesan, deanery or parish) is an opportunity for service, as we share our gifts and listen to one another, but above all to God, discerning the right way forward for his Church.
As part of our recent governance review at diocesan level, we are now providing more induction material, as we hope you do locally, to enable newcomers not to feel baffled and to be able to contribute from the outset. We are aware that, as well as within Diocesan Synod, there are many people across our diocese who have professional gifts and experience that would be a valuable contribution to the corporate life of the Church. We are now extending the invitation to indicate what skills, experience and interests you have that could perhaps be drawn upon at diocesan (or archdeaconry) level in the future. Do you have anyone in your congregation who might be open to contributing in this way – or would you?
You/they may be in a busy job but would consider giving us a few hours for a working group or committee when the right opportunity comes along that draws on your/their gifts. This will also help us to broaden our diversity in a variety of ways in reflecting the communities we serve. Please prayerfully consider this. Relevant information is here and Sue Zajac ( email: Sue.Zajec@oxford.anglican.org) will happily answer any questions. Our appointments committee, which makes its recommendations to Bishop’s Council, would be so grateful. If we are to be a Christ-like Church we need and want to reflect the range of skills and experience God has given both to us and to those in our communities.