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Support Fund Meeting for 2015
At the St Peter’s Church Centre in Wellesbourne before the meeting on 14th June

Each year since 2011, an annual Support Fund meeting has agreed the amount of money that each deanery is to pay into, or receive from the Support Fund in the following year. It is through generous giving to the Support Fund that our ministry and mission are able to continue in the poorer areas of the diocese. This year's meeting was held on Saturday 14 June and the following report of the meeting is given by Graham Wright, Chair of the Deanery Support Fund meeting.

After breakfast and Morning Prayer on 14th June in Wellesbourne, two representatives from each deanery (with the exception of one deanery which only had one representative) had the task of agreeing the payments for 2015.  Some diocesan officers were on hand to help the process run smoothly, and also a representative from the parishes of Warwick and Budbrooke which are beneficiaries of the King Henry VIII Endowed Trust, Warwick - however, they had no vote. Any decision was to be taken by the Deanery Representatives alone.

As in previous years, the Deanery Representatives spent most of the morning listening to each other’s presentations. The opportunities and challenges facing each deanery were highlighted, and the meeting heard how difficult it is for some churches. It was clear both that many wonderful things are happening and that there is much more to be done.

Peter Watkins presents the challenges and opportunities facing Rugby Deanery

Having listened to one another, the focus changed to ‘supporting one another’.  Each deanery started by suggesting next year's payment to, or from, the Support Fund.  Any payments were expressed in terms of 'posts'.  A ‘post’ is the annual cost of providing a benefice with a stipendiary priest, a vicarage, and also training their current and future parish ministers (both lay and ordained).  One post currently amounts to £53,384.

When all the opening bids were totalled, the Support Fund had a shortfall of 1.88 posts.  There followed a time of discussion and mutual challenge, and an opportunity for people to amend their suggested payments.  Eventually, with the help of an increase in the subsidy from central diocesan funds offered by the Diocesan Secretary and seven of the eleven Deaneries changing their bids, they had eliminated the shortfall. For the fourth year running, the revised list of payments received unanimous approval from the Deanery Representatives. This list of payments will be published on the diocesan website on 24th June, the date of the next Diocesan Synod meeting.

What happens now?

The Deanery Representatives will be reporting back to their respective deaneries on the outcome of the meeting.  Each Deanery Synod is then invited to ratify their own Support Fund payment.  In the event that a Deanery Synod is unhappy about their payment, they have until 30th September to lodge an appeal with Bishop’s Council. Please pray for the Deanery Representatives and the Deanery Synod meetings during this ratification process.


Graham Wright, Chair of the Deanery Support Fund Meeting

19th June 2014

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