Diocesan Synod Reports

St Nicholas' Church, Allestree

  • Revision of DAC Constitution

The following motion was proposed by Revd Canon M Barnes

"That this Synod approves and adopts the revised constitution for the Diocesan Advisory Committee of the Diocese of Derby and resolves that it shall come into effect immediately. 

The following motion was proposed by Ven Dr C Cuniffe

"That this synod requests Bishop's Council to form a working group to conduct a strategic review of Church Buildings in the Diocese and to report to Synod in 24 months" 

Last modified on Friday, 07 August 2020 16:33

St Barnabas Centre, Danesmoor, Clay Cross

Worship led by Canon Sue Jones, Director of Mission and Ministry and Revd David Mundy, Parish Resource Officer using 'Giving in Grace' resources


Bishop Alastair opened with his Presidential Address (click to download a copy)


Finance Presentation by David Meredith


Common Fund presentation by Mark Titterton


Parish Giving Scheme by Maureen Cole and David Meredith


Understanding Christianity by Alison Brown


Safeguarding by Adele Poulson


Please click here to download copies of the above presentations





Last modified on Friday, 07 August 2020 16:34

St Barnabas Centre, Danesmoor

Opening Worship led by The Very Revd Dr John Davies, Dean of Derby

Bishop Alastair interviews The Venerable Jan McFarlane

Presidential Address

Network Churches and Church Planting - discussion led by Revd Ian Dyble from St Thomas Norwich, an existing Resourcing Church


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Opening Worship - led by the Director of Mission and Ministry

Role of Synod

Election of Chairs of House of Clergy and House of Laity

Presidential Address by Bishop Alastair

End Demand - Tackling the Exploitation of Women and Children in the Modern Age. Presentation by Kay Banyard, founder of UK Feminista and Diane Martin CBE.

The Diocesen Board of Finance Budget for 2016.

The following mtion was proposed by Canon M Titterton, Executive Chair of the Board of Finance:

"That this Synod approves the Budget as proposed for 2016 and authorises expenditure of a sum not exceeding £8,948,466 and Common Fund request of £5,171,785."

Safeguarding Policy

The following motion was proposed:

"That this Synod approves and adopts:

  • the new Derby Diocesan Safeguarding Policies, Procedure and Practice Guidance, incorporating the Church of England's policies and good practice guidance;
  • the Derby Diocesan Parish Safeguarding Guide and 
  • the Derby Diocesan Quick Reference Cards"


2016 Dates

  • 27th February at St Barnabas, Danesmoor
  • 21st May location TBA
  • 6th July (evening) location TBA
  • 15th October location TBA
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The main focus of the meeting was to discuss Reform and Renewal

More information about it can be found on the link below.


Last modified on Friday, 07 August 2020 16:40

The Open Meeting of Diocesan Synod took place on 7 March 2015 at St. Barnabas, Danesmoor.

Gospel Reading: John 7:25-36.

Presidential Address by the Bishop of Derby

Agenda Items:

1. World Mission

Dr Richard Henderson-Smith, Portfolio Holder for World Mission and World Development introduced three speakers working in different areas of World Mission:

Martin Gage – Christian Aid

Revd Dr Marcus Throup – CMS Mission Partner in Brazil

John and Elizabeth Hurfurt – Derbyshire Churches - Church of North India Partnership (Ashbourne representatives)

2. Upcoming Diocesan and General Synod Elections

Revd Alicia Dring led a discussion ‘What is the life of the Diocese really about?’ focusing on how Diocesan Synod and Deanery Synod support and enable the life of the Diocese.

Her conclusions:

Work together to support each other with Evangelism

Help each other with the Common Fund

Share training and resources

Recognise specific needs at a local level

Share best practice

Ultimately work together for the good of the Kingdom

3. General Synod members presentation

The Diocese’s current members of General Synod were invited to share their thoughts and experiences of General Synod:

Canon Christine McMullen

Peter Collard

Revd Dr Canon Simon Taylor - paper on General Synod circulated

The meeting closed at 12.21pm and there followed a brief meeting of the Derby Diocesan Board of Finance. The Common Fund Review was discussed and Common Fund 2015 figures to date were circulated.

The meeting closed at 12.32pm

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Presidential Address


8th November 2014

I want to offer a reflection to us about our call and task at this time of remembrance and I want to take a text from one of the Gospel readings for today from Matthew, ‘The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light.’  That, of course, is a snapshot is what Advent and Christmas are about, going through the darkness and arriving at the light of Creation.  It is what the Gospel is about when we go through the darkness of Lent and Good Friday and find the light of Easter Day, the salvation of the world.  So I want us to think at this time of remembrance about the way the Gospel works, about sitting in darkness and seeing the great light.  What does that mean for us as a Diocese, not just this weekend, but as we go through this time of remembrance for the anniversary of the First World War?

Let me just remind you of some of the darkness in which we and many of our brothers and sisters seem to be sitting.  There is the remembrance of the First World War which is very poignant this weekend so we, and many people much more directly than us, sit in the darkness of war and conflict and that is the darkness that we see on our television screens, it is destructive and evil.  We sit in the darkness of war and conflict. 

And then if we think of the world in which we are set, recently Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, used the graphic illustration that the richest 88 people in the world who you could just about cram onto a double-decker bus, own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population.  3.5 billion people have between them the same wealth as the richest 88 people.  We know that the gap between the rich and the poor in our society and across the globe gets larger and larger as we paradoxically speak more and more about equality, freedom and democracy, and so besides the darkness of war, many people in increasing numbers sit in the darkness of poverty.

Just to share with you because it is topical, I have been privileged to spend the last week in Rome on another consultation working on this issue of Human Trafficking,  Probably 36 million people at least across the globe are trafficked.  Of those 36 million last year there were only 5,000 successful prosecutions, so millions of people sit in the darkness of slavery.  Of course, it is not just technical legal slavery, in our own society more and more people sit in the darkness of zero-hour contracts, for instance, which can come quite close to slavery. 

So we are in a society where people sit in the darkness of war and conflict, the darkness of poverty and the darkness of slavery.  How are we going to be agents of helping those sitting in these darknesses to see the great light that we use Advent to prepare for, to see the light of Christ at Christmas? 

First of all we know, and something we have got to show and teach the world, that light grows from inside us and is nourished through prayer, reflection and engagement with the living word of scripture.  There is a hopefulness in human beings that prayer focusses.  There was a remarkable hopefulness amongst people in the trenches and a testament of that is being raised at this time of remembrance.  There is a remarkable hopefulness of people in poverty, and those who have been privileged to visit through our link with the Church of North India, who work with people in the slums of Delhi and Calcutta, know of the optimism and hopefulness of people sat in the darkness of poverty.  And I have just been meeting victims of slavery in whom hope has survived and brought them through.  And so one of the things we have got to do through our work in communities and our own discipleship is help people focus on the hope that God puts in our hearts for salvation, the grace, the goodness, the light in the darkness that brings the best for us.  We have got to pray ourselves, and our communities have got to show, that we gather to enable God’s light to grow in us and as it grows in us it shines through us and into society.  So that is our call to arms and I hope that we remember at this time and then through Advent to pray deeply and carefully so that God’s light can shine in us more strongly and then through us more powerfully.

I just want to end by reminding us of three ways in which as a Diocese we can be trying to make this witness of letting the light that God gives us shine in the darkness and through us into the darkness of the world. 

First I want to invite us to think about people sat in the darkness of war.  On your chairs you have been given an invitation to a book launch of this remarkable book ‘Sacrifice Remembered’.  People win wars but you never win peace – that is the tragedy of the human situation.  You can think we have won a war but it is almost impossible to win the peace, the darkness keeps coming back.  We are at war at the moment as a country.  We see our planes involved in military missions on the television.  War keeps coming and people are sat and trapped in the darkness of war.  This remarkable book, which we are launching on 29th November, is an amazing collection of the experiences and hopes of people from the First World War right up to the present day, including current primary school children.  A whole range of people have been invited to share reflections, their stories and experiences.  One of the privileges of the Church is that we hold the memory for communities in our buildings, in our war memorials, in our stained glass, in a story we tell about Jesus dying and rising from the dead.  We hold the stories that people can gather round and try and make sense of the darkness and seek life.  I want to pay tribute to Jack Cooper, who has really been the energy and the wisdom to allow this project to happen.  Jack, in a previous life, was a professional publisher and has very generously and graciously helped us who are more amateurs gather this material.  It is a coffee table book because war is not something you can just remember the darkness of, read all about it and put it on the shelf and you have done it.  I think that this is a kind of book like other coffee table books which people will leave out and dip into and be inspired by and remember and let light be nourished and grow in them through the memory. 

There is a poignancy to this book and its very beautiful production.  We are selling it for a minimum donation of £10 and for anybody who sees it you would spend £25 in the shop.  It is so beautiful because Jack has a friend called Aleanna who he brought over from New York for a week and she listened to us very patiently about what we were trying to do with all this information we were gathering, all these stories, all these pictures.  She went away and through the wonder of the internet worked with our office and hers in New York and she laid it out and immediately captured what we were trying to do in a way that we would not have known how to present.  On the day the book was signed off across the web, Aleanna helped a friend move 60 miles out of New York, and driving back that night she went off the road and was killed in a car crash.  It is very poignant that the book she had given us was her last piece of work.  It is called Sacrifice Remembered and we will remember Aleanna for providing the generous expertise and encouragement which allows the people of Derbyshire to have this record of memory and this resource which will remind us that light keeps coming, hope keeps growing.  I hope that each of us in our own way will help other access this resource and let it speak to us.  So we have a resource to help us remember those who are sat in the darkness of war and conflict and to let light and hope shine through it. 

And then we have, and I make no apology for this as everywhere I go I have a relentless campaign at the moment, CDs for sell for our Harvest project in India.  And again I do not apologise for that because if you are privileged to go and look people in the eye in Delhi in the slums, you will use every opportunity to say to people as rich as us ‘find £10 and buy one of these spiritual resources and make a contribution.’  And why is this important?  Because, as more and more of the world’s population gets poorer, the way out for many people is not going for salvation through big multi-national companies, it is going to be salvation through what people call micro-economics - little businesses set up by small numbers of people that are manageable and give them a life in their local community.  We have been supplying people in Delhi with the ways to set up businesses through this Harvest Appeal for recycling.    Many people sit in darkness and we can try and help light shine in their hearts by supporting this appeal and going to buy some more CDs and sell them, shamelessly.  In our own communities we need to be willing to help people who are sitting in the darkness of poverty by small ways of making a contribution and having a living and interchange with others. 

And them, lastly, beside those who sit in the darkness of war and the darkness of poverty I have just spent most of the week with those who sit in the darkness of slavery.  I met a Ghanaian man who, when he was 6, was sold by his parents for $20 into the fishing industry.  At the age of 6 he worked from 3 am to 8 pm every day until he was 13.  And if he made a mistake he was hit round the head by the people driving him.  One of the main jobs was to dive into the water because the nets where they were fishing in lakes got caught on old trees and these little kids would have to swim down and free the nets.  It didn’t matter if the children perished, they only cost $20.  The nets cost $200.  He couldn’t escape until he was 13.  I also met a very courageous African woman at this conference who was taken into sex slavery when she was 9.  The pain was so great every day that she would beg to be given drugs.  When another girl escaped as a 14 year old and was rescued, she was sent home and when she arrived at home the first thing that happened to her was the policeman raped her, made her pregnant and she had a child.  These are just three stories from two of the people I have been working with this week about slavery.  Many of us are connected simply because many of our mobile phones are made through slavery, as are lots of electronic equipment and lots of our clothing.  There is an urgent need for us to start wising up as consumers, as purchasers.  Brothers and sisters in darkness in our cities, in our market towns, even some of our villages are being enslaved.  We are developing ways in the Diocese to help us learn how to spot signs of slavery, to look for potential victims and to support the work of the police as we make legislation which will make the police take this more seriously.  We have a big task in our county, as a Diocese, as a network that covers every bit of the Diocese, to be at the forefront of helping people identify victims and support them and let their hope rise up in them.

So people are in the darkness of war and conflict, the darkness of poverty and the darkness of slavery.  A real Gospel wants the light that God gives us in Christ to shine in us and through us and into the darkness of those real people in real times in real situations. 

I am going to finish by reading a poem – it is the last poem in the book ‘Sacrifice Remembered’.  It is written by a boy called Jack Banks, who is 11 and at Osmaston Primary School, and this is what he wrote.

I hope for hope

Hope is in all minds

Hope is in all hearts

Hope is in all people

Hope will one day sort out all wars

Hope is the torch in the darkness

Like an angel come down from the sky

Like a person raising from the dead

Hope is a miracle

Hope is a saviour

Hope is a thing you will have for life

Try and help people be blessed with this book and through the sale of it we will be helping to bring light to those who sit in darkness.

Please click here for the DBF Budget 2015

Please click here for the MAP presentation

Last modified on Friday, 07 August 2020 16:41

Diocesan Board of Finance AGM and Diocesan Synod – Saturday 10th May, St Barnabas Centre, Danesmoor

Annual Report and Financial Statements 2013

Mr Mark Titterton, the Deputy Chair of the Board of Finance said that this had been a year of transition. Under the new governance structure the Business Committee had been established and the Executive Council had disappeared with the Bishop’s Council becoming the directors of the Board of Finance and trustees of the charity. 

The year had ended with a much better financial picture than anticipated- that is a cause to rejoice.

During the year Mrs Maureen Cole had been appointed as the new Diocesan Secretary and Mr David Meredith on secondment from Southwell & Nottingham Diocese has now been appointed as the Director of Finance. 

A huge amount of work has been undertaken to re-present the accounts in a new format which is dramatically different to those presented in previous years. The auditors Mazars are content that our accounts are now compliant with best practice and the Church of England and Charity Commission expectations.  The accounts show a stronger organisation. 

The new format tells a story of what has happened in the Diocese during 2013 as well as presenting the financial accounts. Hopefully this will help everyone who reads the document have a clearer understanding of what has been achieved and the challenges the Diocese is facing.

Financial Headlines

  • Budget plan was £263,000 deficit – Achieved £174,000 deficit

 Where our income comes from (unrestricted funds)

  • 55% from Share (Common Fund)
  • 19% from Church Commissioners
  • 16% Investment income
  • 6% from Fees (weddings and funeral)
  • 2% other
  • 2% from our reserves

Where we spend our money (unrestricted funds)

  • 74% is spent on parochial minister’s stipends and housing costs
  • 5% to the national church for training of ministers etc
  • 13% on support and sector ministry
  • 8% on resource management




Highlights for accounts in 2014

  • A significant challenge for the Diocese is the amount of Share that is received from the Parishes. A 91.2% share payment was achieved which was better than planned but still requires improvement

Accounts highlight for 2014

  • We need to continue to improve share income and work towards 100% payment.
  • Opportunity to consider if we are making best use of resources

 After the presentation members were invited to ask questions.

  1. Difficulties faced by small and medium sized churches in paying their share. Churches can feel demoralised as the congregation can’t pay their share. We need to find ways to support and encourage them.”
  2. The Board were also asked if all their investments are ethical. Mark Titterton ensured the members that all Diocesan Board of Finance investments met the Church of England’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group guidance.

Members duly adopted and approved the Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2013. For a copy of the document click here

Appointments to the DBF

Bishop Alastair appointed Mark Titterton as Deputy Chair of the DBF for 2014 and Jack Cooper as Honorary Treasurer for 2014. Later in the meeting it was agreed that the post of Deputy Chair be re-named Executive Chair.

Members were asked to vote to appoint a Vice Chair and Mr Bill Druce was appointed as Vice Chair for 2014.

General Meeting of the DBF Ltd

At the General meeting, synod members were given an updated position of Diocesan finances to date. One major highlight was the fact that share payments from our parishes was £43,382 up on 2013 which was encouraging.

Derby Diocesan Synod Meeting

Presidential Address

Bishop Alastair began his presidential address with Luke 2: 21-40.

He reflected on the story of Simeon and Anna and how despite not having official roles within the temple they both offered a role in ministry. By not being part of the ‘structure’ of the temple they were able to engage with both people within the temple and those alongside it. This engagement could be used as a model for ministry today.

Our Vision of ‘Christ’s presence in every community’ gives a chance to honour and celebrate Christ in every community and how people are engaging with the church in different types of ‘structures’ whether that be through fresh expressions or community outreach work.  The focus is on the work of Christ rather than the ’structures’ we create.

With changes to the welfare state, there will be more ways in which the church can engage with people and communities.

Bishop Alastair identified six areas of need for communities and how the church may help

  1. Libraries – Changes to government spending may mean that communities need spaces for resources and learning.
  2. Children’s centres – The church has a good record of working with children, we need to consider how we engage more.
  3. Homelessness – The Cathedral has been involved with the Night Shelter project, how can we continue this work?
  4. Cohesion – Council have, until recently, spent money on employing teams to encourage cohesion between areas and groups. With cut backs there will be less resource for this – how can the Church help build communities between different groups?
  5. Volunteer hubs – The church is a leader in voluntary work, we outstrip other organisations with the numbers of people who volunteer with us each week. How can we share the wisdom to encourage people to join us or volunteer within their communities?
  6. Intelligent use of assets – Can we manage our buildings better? Can we use them to enrich community life? Our buildings should be seen as a gift not a burden.

At the meeting of Diocesan Synod two significant items were raised.

1.       Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecrations and Ordination of Women) Measure and draft amending Canon No 33.

The Archdeacon of Chesterfield gave a presentation and highlighted the fact that the debate was no longer about if women should become Bishops, but how it can be done. To ensure we can all flourish, feel accepted and act with grace even if we don’t always agree.

Members were then given the opportunity to share their views during the debate.

The Archdeacon of Chesterfield proposed the motion “That this Synod approves the proposals embodied in the draft Bishops and Priest (Consecrations and Ordination of Women) Measure and draft amending Canon No 33.”

The motion was approved. Those who voted for the motion were 2 Bishops, 25 Clergy and 25 Laity. Those who voted against were 3 Clergy and 5 members of the Laity. There was 1 abstention in the House of Laity.

The legislation returns to the General Synod later this year.


New Strategy and Vision for Derby Diocese

Bishop Alastair and Maureen Cole, Diocesan Secretary led a presentation and discussion.

Over the last few years Bishop Alastair has held visitations as an opportunity to listen and discern what the priorities for the Diocese should be. Mission Action Planning had emerged from these priorities and has got mission onto the agenda for the Diocese. We have had an increased focus on vocations for both ordained and lay ministry , and we have been exploring how we deepen our discipleship.

Over the last 6 months the Bishop’s Council in their new capacity as directors and trustees for the Diocese along with the Bishop’s Leadership Team have been working to develop our thinking and develop a vision and strategy for the Diocese with 4 clear priorities to take us to 2020. The vision and strategy document was presented to Synod.

Bishop Alastair wanted the Synod Members to be clear that the strategy was for the Diocese and was not intended for local churches to take and implement. The majority of our churches and some deaneries have a Mission Action Plan that they are working towards and this is their strategic plan. However there are elements of the diocesan strategy which parishes may wish to consider.

Our vision – Christ’s presence in every community

One of the priorities for the Church of England as whole (as part of the quinquiennial report) was that there should be a Christian Presence in every Community and as a diocese we are still very committed to this.

Our vision of “Christ’s presence in every community” is to honour and celebrate that Christ is present in every community, whether we see it or not and that we need to seek ways to identify where Christ is working and how we can join in. 

Our Vision is that we are to be a growing , learning, healthy and outward facing diocese.


We want to grow in spiritual depth in numbers and our impact on the communities of Derbyshire.


We want to develop Christian discipleship, supporting schools and fostering vocations to lay and ordained ministry

As a diocese our vision is to foster every individual member of the body’s vocation and calling, whether it be to ordained or lay ministry or to identify our individual gifts and discern how best they can be used to build the Kingdom of God.


We want to have collaborative and empowering leadership; and with structure of governance and financial management fit for purpose and reflecting best practice

Our priority is to build on the new governance structures that were approved at the end of 2013. There is significant work to be done in Church House as we aspire to being the Parish Support Office for the Diocese. This is likely to be a 2-3 year piece of work.

Outward Facing

We want to serve the communities of Derbyshire, engaging in the world and building links with the World Church.

Increasing we are seeing that where we engage with our local communities and listen to the issue that people are facing , that we discover where Christ is already present and is encouraging us to join in.   We truly need to identify Christ’s presence in our communities, celebrate and engage. World mission and caring for the environment are also important factors to ensure we are a truly outward facing diocese.

The Diocese is currently working on four priorities

  • Developing Our Deaneries
  • Deploying our Ministers
  • Deepening our Common Life
  • Delivering more Effective Service

Work on these priorities will continue over the next 5-6 years. Work is already underway on developing our deaneries and deploying our minsters whilst the remaining two need further development.

Vacancy in See Committee

Due to changes in legislation the diocese is required to have 21 members on this committee. We currently only have 16 members therefore elections will be taking place to recruit 5 people later in the year. Synod members were asked to consider who they would like to nominate.

The dates of the next meetings were noted:

  • Saturday 13 September at St Alkmund’s Church, Derby
  • Saturday 8 November at The Whitworth Centre, Darley Dale

Synod closed at 2pm

Last modified on Friday, 07 August 2020 16:42