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Cleo Soanes reports on National Conference on the Deanery 2014

posted 12 Oct 2014, 18:01 by Camberwell Deanery   [ updated 1 Dec 2014, 15:25 ]

Cleo Soanes, Lay Chair of Camberwell Deanery has just returned from the National Conference on the Deanery 2014.  Southwark Diocese sent eleven representatives, demonstrating our diocese's strong commitment to deaneries.

Cleo will circulate a full report to the Deanery in due course, but provided a summary for the website:

The conference kicked off on Friday with Revd Leslie Griffiths representing the Methodist Church asking whether the time had come for Anglicans and Methodists to put differences aside?  He quoted John Wesley's suggestion, "Let us be different but go forth and fight out battles".

Saturday was a full day, beginning with the Rt Revd John Packer (former Bp Ripon and Leeds) who suggested in his talk on dioceses, deaneries and parishes that every diocese needs a "rebel" deanery to "raise questions and challenge, even if it ruffled a few feathers".  (Might that be Camberwell???).  David Jennings (Officer for Church Commissioners) spoke about strategy, noting the importance of the questions "who? what? where?" and Christine Wilson (Archdeacon Chesterfield) proposed that the Indaba listening process should be promoted in all deaneries to ensure that "every voice matters".  On Saturday afternoon, the Church of England's new Pilgrim Course was unveiled.  Workshops were held on outcompeting Wonga, the importance of communications strategies and defining Deanery Mission Opportunities.  In the evening, Penny Stradling and her colleagues unlocked the mysteries of reaching young adults with examples of Fresh Expressions from various areas.

The conference closed with a reflection from Rt Revd Alastair Redfern (Bishop of Derby) who suggested "there is no ideal model of deanery".  He stressed the danger that whilst a "successful" parish might "get on with its daily business and... not see the need to share", the deanery offers an opportunity to share good practices with other parishes.  In his conclusion, +Redfern suggested that the deanery representatives "go away and create their own deanery identities and new sense of direction".

Participants expressed some interest in annual regional one day conferences.

Next year's Deanery conference dates are set for 7th - 9th October 2015.

Cleo noted, "the conference was most stimulating and enjoyable too... I believe that it served its objective to equip the synod members with a repertoire of creative ideas to take back to their respective deaneries and go forth in mission!"

In addition to Camberwell, representatives were sent from the deaneries of Reigate, Caterham, Dulwich, Charlton, Godstone, Lambeth North, Richmond & Barnes, Wandsworth, Croydon South and East Lewisham.