Spring Synod 2011

In his familiar way, Revd Peter Whittaker, the Chair of The West Yorkshire District, sang Synod to order when it met on Saturday 7 May. Gathering at Lindley Methodist Church in the Huddersfield Pennine circuit, our opening worship reflected the continuing Easter season, and offered encouragement to pass on what Jesus taught and who He is.

The Revd Stephen Day welcomed Synod to the Huddersfield Pennine circuit, noting that this meeting marked a moving on not only for the circuit – soon to form part of a new circuit – but also for the Chair of the District, whose retirement is imminent (subject to Conference approval!). Synod then welcomed the Revd Cris Acher, who shared Fresh Expressions news and stories, and details of available resources. As part of the presentation, Deacon Jane Paine also told of new initiatives in the Denby Dale & Clayton West circuit.
As Director of the Scargill Movement, the Revd Dr Phil Stone, spoke of the vision for the ‘resurrected’ Scargill. The Community lies in the Yorkshire Dales, within two hours of several major cities, including Leeds, Bradford, Manchester and Liverpool. It offers a varied programme with space for the transforming work of God, surrounded by hospitality, prayer and mission.

Later in the day, the Deputy Chair of the District, the Revd Ruth Parry and the District’s Ministerial Development Officer, the Revd Richard Thompson, brought Synod up to date on developments with the Ministerial Development Review programme, affirming the role of lay people.

In addition to news of the BibleFresh initiative, events at the Youth Assembly, and details of the work of several of the District’s committees, Synod approved several revised policies and gave thanks to God for the witness and ministry of the those circuits which would form the new Huddersfield circuit, and also the North Kirklees & Morley circuit, with effect from 1 September 2011. Approval was also given to the creation of a new circuit in the Leeds District, formed from Ilkley in the West Yorkshire District and Otley & Aireborough in the Leeds District.
After news had been shared of those seeking permission to sit down, and those moving to appointments outside of the West Yorkshire District, our time of Christian conferring drew to a close with an act of Holy Communion.

During this time of worship, the Revd Peter Whittaker was presented with a gift of hope (in the shape of a rainbow-coloured bear) to mark his final Synod as Chair of the District.

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