Members of the Diocese of Truro have chosen their six representatives on the ruling body of the Church of England, the General Synod.

The three members of the House of Clergy are Revd Canon Alan Bashforth, Revd Canon Anne Brown, and Revd Andrew Yates. The representatives in the House of Laity are Mrs Susie Leafe, Lay Canon Mrs Sheri Sturgess, and Dr Mike Todd.

The Bishop of Truro, the Right Revd Tim Thornton, said: “I congratulate warmly those who have been elected and thank the large number of people who voted.

“This is an important part of our church and I look forward to working with the clergy and lay representatives and hope the next five years give us many opportunities to proclaim the good news of the Gospel.”

Both Susie Leafe and Sheri Sturgess have served previously on the General Synod. However for Mike Todd, who was until recently acting chair of the Diocesan Board of Finance, it will be a new experience. He said: “We all know that this next five years is going to be at least as challenging for General Synod as the past five and I am determined that we in this diocese will do whatever we can to ensure that the church is a church for all people, equal in the sight of God, cared for and nourished by all of us.

“We know that the future always depends on an ability to develop and respond to changing circumstances and General Synod is but one of the places where that development can be encouraged to happen in a way that best mirrors Jesus’s gospel message.”

Susie Leafe said: “I am very encouraged to have been re-elected to General Synod by the lay people of the Diocese of Truro. It seems that we will be dealing with some very serious issues over the next five years and, as I said in my election address, I will do all that I can to support local churches, preserve the doctrine of the Church of England and defend biblical patterns of marriage and family life so that more and more people will hear and experience the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Sheri Sturgess said: “My re-election to General Synod means that I can continue to promote the role of the laity in church life during the next five years.

“We have the potential to offer so much more to the church, whilst continuing to support and work alongside our clergy. There is a current mood for a change of culture regarding lay ministry, and I want to be part of helping to develop this change and make a real difference to our church life.”

Alan Bashforth, who is Canon Chancellor at Truro Cathedral, said: “Having been on Synod for the past 10 years I feel that the ‘reform and renewal’ programme currently going through Synod will be vital for the Church. In that I intend to speak strongly for the ministry of the Church to whole communities and not simply to congregations. The historic ministry of the Church of England is about so much more than managing churches – it is about serving the world and through that service enabling others to encounter Christ.”

Revd Canon Anne Brown, who is priest in charge of five churches on the Cornwall-Devon border, said: “For me the news came with a mix of great excitement at being involved in General Synod and a feeling of being somewhat overwhelmed by the support I had received. I am, however, very much looking forward to the challenges that the next five years may bring.”

Andrew Yates, who is the social responsibility officer for the Diocese of Truro, said: “Through my work I am only too well aware of the issues around deprivation in the diocese. I hope to use my position on the synod both to highlight the case for special consideration for Cornwall and to showcase the excellent work being done by our churches through Food Banks, Meals for the Homeless, Street Pastors and other social action projects.”