Truro Diocesan Synod approves 2016 budget
In a break with the normal routine, pupils from St Barnabas Multi Academy Trust opened the meeting with prayers, a story and hymn before the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton welcomed members and gave his Presidential Address.
The synod, which took place at County Hall, saw over 100 clergy and laity join together to hear reports on the Mission and Ministry Fund, the Diocesan Board of Education and Safeguarding before being asked to vote on a number of motions and to approve the budget for 2016.
In his update on the Mission and Ministry Fund and the Deanery Challenge, the Bishop of St Germans, the Rt Revd Chris Goldsmith reported that five deaneries had decided to try alternative methods of MMF allocation in their parishes in 2016 with the remaining seven looking to continue with the current system. Members were then given an update on the timetable for the changes which will see the ‘mixed economy’ MMF system in place by early next year. The motion to allow this variation was overwhelmingly carried. Synod will be kept up to date with progress of the various methods and continuing consultations.
A report by the Diocesan Director of Education and Discipleship Simon Cade and Diocesan Director For Schools Jo Osborne saw synod members sitting tests normally reserved for six-year-olds, 16-year-olds and A-Level students with mixed results! The aim was to give Synod members, many of whom were only elected onto Synod in the summer, an idea of what is expected in education today.
A Never Alone motion was then put forward by Bishop Tim. Members were asked to approve the creation of a small working party to begin work on the finer details of the Never Alone project which aims to support clergy and laity across the diocese. Again there was overwhelming support from members.
Following a short break, members were provided with a report on the work of the Diocesan Safeguarding Committee by Jane Sloan, chair of the Safeguarding Committee. Jane, who was supported by Safeguarding Officer for Children and Vulnerable Adults Sarah Acraman, then explained there had been a number of changes to national requirements within the Church of England and as a result the team in Truro diocese had implemented a new training system. Jane explained that a pilot project involving 11 parishes in the diocese had proved successful and it was now planned that the safeguarding team would work with all parishes to ensure their safeguarding protocols were in place and up-to-date before a national audit in 2017.
Chairman of the Truro Diocesan Board of Finance Ltd, Mike Sturgess then gave a presentation on the diocese’s financial health before going on to explain and set out the 2016 budget for approval. Following questions from synod members the budget was approved with one vote against.
The next meeting of the Diocesan Synod will be on May 7, 2016.