Spring Synod 2010

The West Yorkshire District Synod met on 8 May, designated as World Fairtrade Day – an appropriate time to report that the District has now achieved ‘Fairtrade’ status. Gathering at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in the Skipton & Grassington Circuit, the Chair of District, Rev. Peter Whittaker, led our opening worship reminding us through the words of the prophet Isaiah, and in the singing of our first hymn, that God’s Spirit is within us and we are called to share God’s good news throughout his world.

After a welcome to the Circuit by the acting Superintendent, Rev. Graham Kidman, Synod greeted Michael Harvey who brought members up to date with the Back to Church Sunday campaign, and its impact. Michael Harvey invited representatives to reflect on the question ‘What is our fear? Reminded of the line from our first hymn: “Don’t worry what you have to say ...”, we were encouraged to offer the invitation to come ‘back to church’.

The District’s representative for Action for Children enlightened Synod as to their current work. Liz Bishop brought ‘Emily’ with her (in the form of a large cardboard cut-out), which served as a stark reminder of how easy it is to overlook children. Representatives were encouraged to ‘find Emily’ at www.foundemily.com where a video of her story is available, together with other ways in which action can be taken.

The Rev. Dr Phil Meadows was also welcomed, sharing enthusiastically his passion for the work of Inspire, which is committed to the growth of mission spirituality in the leadership and life of the church. Synod was asked us to remember that we have an awesome Gospel – a Gospel of love – and we are invited to share in the process of sharing that love.
As part of the report from the District’s Policy Committee, Synod received a reasoned statement commending the Rev. Dr Roger L Walton for designation by Conference to serve as Chair of the District from September 2011. Synod was unanimous in its commendation.

Later in the day, Simeon Mitchell spoke on behalf of Methodist Relief & Development Fund (MRDF), encouraging members to respond to God’s command to ‘love our neighbour’. He shared news of MRDF’s work, as well as available resources.

In addition to details of the work of several of the District’s committees, Synod approved an Ecumenical Strategy, a revised Growth in Ministry policy and gave thanks to God for the witness and ministry of the Brighouse, Elland & Ryburn, Halifax and Upper Calder circuits. Full support was given to the formation of the new Calderdale Circuit, from these four, with effect from 1 September 2010.
Our time of Christian conferring drew to a close after news had been shared of those seeking permission to sit down, and those recommended for Reception into Full Connexion and Ordination at Conference in Portsmouth. We left having affirmed our belief that all we do and all we offer should be to the glory of God, in the words of our closing hymn, Thine be the glory!

Reports from Previous Synods