Could you represent your parish on Deanery Synod?

Published: Tuesday February 14, 2023

Be part of the big picture written on sheets of paper and being looked at through a magnifying glassDeanery Synod elections are happening in your area this spring, but what’s it all about?

What’s a deanery synod?

Deaneries are groups of Anglican parishes in a geographical area. The size of the area and the number of parishes varies widely. Deaneries have a crucial role in linking our worshipping communities together and integrating us all into the wider diocese, of which we are a part.

Deanery synods are formal meetings for conversation, discussion and decision-making on matters relating to mission and ministry, not just in the local area, but also diocesan-wide.

The deanery synod can raise or support motions that can be taken to the diocesan synod for consideration in the life of the whole diocese. Once you become a lay deanery synod member, you will have the responsibility of electing members onto the general synod for the following year… or you could even put yourself forward for that position. It’s important that every parish is linked to the bigger picture and has a voice in the deanery and diocese.

A snapshot of a deanery synod

Deanery synods exist to serve the witness and mission of the wider Church and so need to be able to take strategic decisions to advance mission and ministry in the deanery and diocese.
It’s a role that plays a vital part in developing our LIFE Together vision in the Diocese of Gloucester.

  • They meet three or four times a year.
  • It is intended that synod meetings will be Christ-centred, prayerful and open to the Spirit, speaking through all.
  • It is important that the synod reflects the diversity of the congregations, in gender, ethnic origin, age and experience.

Would you fit the picture?

Are you…

  • Committed to working with others in prayer, listening and studying to see God’s will for mission in the deanery?
  • Able to think strategically, to see the role of your own worshipping communities within the bigger picture and understand and accept different points of view?
  • Committed to mission, growth and engagement across boundaries?
  • Able to provide inspiring feedback to your worshipping communities?
  • Open to new and different approaches and willing to listen to, and learn from others, share ideas and embrace change?
  • Able to speak confidently and challenge in a respectful way?
  • Committed, reliable and able to see things through?
  • Motivated to act as a vision ambassador, carrying stories, ideas and challenges from your own context, as the vision is lived locally, and sharing stories from the wider deanery with your own worshipping communities.

Who’s in the picture? – Who are on the deanery synods and how are they elected?

The size of a deanery synod will depend on the size of the deanery, but will vary between 50 and 150 people. All licensed clergy in the deanery are automatically members of the deanery synod. However, every three years, lay members (those that are not clergy) are elected at your Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM). These meetings are open to all members of the parish electoral roll. The number of people elected in each parish is determined by the population number. The next elections will take place in spring 2023.

Be part of the vision

Any healthy church is a church where everyone feels they have a voice. Deanery synods need your voice, because we need all the voices to create that bigger picture. If you have ever felt frustrated or wondered why certain decisions were being made, then now is the time to take action and make your point heard. Put yourself forward and make a difference. If you would like to find out more, speak to your local priest or churchwarden who will be able to give you more information.


Download this leaflet (full colour)

Printable version with fewer colour blocks

Leave a Reply

Most popular articles today: