A Brief Report on the Deanery Planning Day: 1.12.18
by Revd Richard Lamey, Area Dean of Sonning
The Deanery Plan has been in construction over the past 18 months or so. After two major conversations at Synod the overall plan was discussed by every PCC and received very positive comments: and then on Saturday the 1st of December 2018 50 people from Deanery Synod and from the PCCs of the Deanery came together in Finchampstead Parish Rooms to turn a plan into a plan of action.
The day was led by John Smith (Deanery Lay Chair), Richard Lamey (Area Dean) and Rhodri Bowen (Parish Development Advisor for the Archdeaconry).
The morning was built around two speakers who each addressed one of the five areas we have identified as being points of focus.
Tina Molyneux (Vocations Enabler for the Archdeaconry) introduced Personal Discipleship Plans and challenged the Deanery to think of ways in which we could use them as broadly as possible, matching Mentors to those who want to explore what God wants them to do in daily life.
Tonia Elliott (St Eligius, Arborfield Green and Deanery New Communities Facilitator) spoke about the challenges and joys of working in a new community and said that it is something we can all engage with and might all need to engage with as more and more new housing is built across the Deanery.
Then, in the afternoon, everyone present joined a small group to come up with specific plans in each area of focus- New Communities, Lay Discipleship, Local Training and Building Relationships and Networks in the Deanery.
One of the main highlights of the day were the five-minute introductions offered by three parishes in the Deanery who each offered a reflection on where they are seeing God at work at the moment. People really appreciated the chance to hear other people’s stories and something of the journey others churches are on, a source of encouragement and inspiration.
It was also great to have people from virtually every parish in the Deanery gathered together, getting to know each other and being excited by what God is calling us to together. The whole focus of the day was on the Deanery as a source of support and encouragement for parishes and congregations. Our hope is that this was not only experienced on the day but will also be the heart of the Plan as if finally emerges in the New Year.
Moving forward, the plan now is to write up the material produced by the small groups on Saturday afternoon. These will then be discussed and approved by the Deanery Standing Committee in January. The final version of the Plan will be discussed and approved by Deanery Synod in March.
Thank you again to everyone who contributed to the formulation of the plan in any way, especially those who have offered to help deliver some of the ideas created by the Groups on Saturday, and everyone who came along.
The Rev’d Richard Lamey
Area Dean of Sonning