This Synod focused on the Growing Younger priority of our diocesan vision of Growing in God and the Cathedral was beautifully decorated with an art project produced by local Church Schools.
We welcomed Lauren Moore, Headteacher of Honington CEVCP School along with Jamie, Rory, Emily and Lucy who led worship with readings, prayers and hymns. Bishop Martin enjoyed an informative conversation with these young people and introduced Synod to the theme of the morning activities.
The morning continued to stimulate members thinking about how their parishes might better engage with children, young people and families. This began by receiving the annual report of the Diocesan Board of Education, an update on the National Church Growing Faith report and a presentation by Helen Matter on the Emmanuel Project.
The core element of the Synod was a series of nine workshops on the themes of Churches, Schools and Households. Members participated in interactive sessions to look at what we do well, what we could do better and how we can grow younger. Topics included:
- Engaging with children through prayer spaces.
- Ministry of the Holiday Club.
- Developing Christian faith with families who are not yet members of any church.
- How RE and collective worship in schools can grow faith.
- How leaders in church schools can grow faith.
- How schools, working with churches and parents can grow faith.
- How Lightwave can help you connect with families .
- Baptism preparation to nurture whole families.
- Helping parents to talk about faith.
The second half of Synod concentrated on a presentation by James Halsall and the DAC report, financial statements and the 2020 budget.
Gavin Stone presented Synod with two publications kindly donated by the Friends of The Ferns (Sexual Assault Referral Centre) to help parishes better support children and younger people recognise and refer abuse – about 1,000 copies were distributed - and each parish was offered two copies of the Diocesan Annual Report
During Synod, Bishop Martin thanked Helen Matter and Helen Woodroffe, as they each prepare to retire this summer, for their contribution to children, parishes and schools throughout Suffolk and wished them well in the next stage of the lives.
Finally, we thank the Cathedral for the beautiful setting for today’s Synod and also thank the 132 members who attended Synod and the team of Diocesan staff who set up the event and hosted on the day.