Roles and Responsibilities
The Roles and Responsibilities of the Rural Dean, Lay Chair, Deanery Financial Adviser, Deanery Secretary, Deanery Treasurer and Deanery Synod Representatives are given below:
Rural Dean and Lay Chair
The Roles and Responsibilities of the Rural Dean and Lay Chair
- • Lead and unite the deanery and develop mission in the deanery.
- • Act as joint chairs of synod and be ex officio members of the Standing Committee and other sub committees and working parties.
- • Meet together regularly to discuss and plan deanery mission and ministry, finance, administration and communication.
- • Maintain regular contact with the Bishop and Archdeacon.
- • Monitor contributions to the Diocesan Common Fund against pledged free will offerings with a view to supporting parishes in meeting their pledges in concert with the Deanery Financial Advisor.
- • Participate in regular meetings with the Bishop, Archdeacon and Diocesan Officers to understand diocesan policy and strategy and represent a deanery perspective.
- • Brief the deanery about diocesan policy and practice.
- • Ensure priorities for mission are identified, put into action and reviewed on a regular basis.
- • If required, assist the Archdeacon with the annual visitation and admission of churchwardens.
- • If required, assist the Archdeacon with the visitation of parishes under the inspection of churches measure.
- • Encourage and facilitate ecumenical relationships and partnerships within the deanery.
- • Take responsibility and exercise duties to support parishes during ministry vacancies and when selecting new incumbents.
Specific responsibilities of the Rural Dean
- • Exercise overall leadership of the deanery.
- • Convene regular meetings of Deanery Chapter.
- • Exercise spiritual and pastoral care for all clergy and their families in the deanery.
- • Take responsibility for a parish in a vacancy.
Specific responsibilities of the Lay Chair
- • Support the Rural Dean in deanery leadership.
- • Support lay people in contributing to the management and mission of local churches.
- • Encourage the active involvement of Deanery Synod Representatives across the deanery.
- • Represent the views of the laity in the deanery and represent the laity at specific events.
Deanery Financial Adviser
To support the parishes in managing their finances and facilitating the role of money as an instrument for mission.
- • To provide help, support and guidance to Parochial Church Council (PCC) Treasurers in the deanery (individually and collectively) in areas such as:
- the making of appropriate free will offerings.
- the promotion of standing orders.
- the preparation of annual budgets.
- the understanding of cash flows.
- financial decision making and best practice for PCCs - including the preparation of annual accounts which comply with the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) for charities.
- Gift Aid and the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (qualifying donations, Gift Aid declarations and claims to HMRC, including Charities Online).
- • To offer general advice, guidance and support to parishes on any matters relating to Church Finance.
- • To understand and disseminate information as appropriate on the finances of the Diocese and the national church.
- • To monitor contributions to the Diocesan Common Fund - against pledged free will offerings with a view to supporting parishes in meeting their pledges.
- • To help parishes address any concerns identified by the Diocesan Finance team.
- • To be an advocate for parishes in their dealings with the Diocese.
- • To support PCC Treasurers on an ad hoc basis with the preparation and submission of the annual Return of Parish Finance and review returns which have been submitted, highlighting any anomalies to the PCC Treasurer and Diocesan Finance Team as appropriate – this will include encouraging parishes in the use of the web based filing system.
- • To support parishes in their fundraising and stewardship activities.
- • To attend Deanery Synod meetings and present up to date financial information.
Deanery Synod Secretary
The Deanery Synod Secretary is appointed by the deanery synod from among its own members. The Deanery Synod Secretary cooperates with the other officers of the deanery synod, i.e. the Rural Dean, Lay Chair, Deanery Financial Adviser, and Treasurer, in carrying out tasks which ensure the smooth running of the deanery synod, and more widely in the deanery as necessary. In particular, the Deanery Synod Secretary is required to:
- Keep a roll of the members of the synod constantly up-to-date, including the name, address and parish of any person notified to him/her by the Diocese and qualified as an ex-officio member.
- • Arrange meetings of the Deanery Standing Committee.
- • Circulate an agenda (determined at the meeting of the Standing Committee) to every member at least two weeks before a meeting of the deanery synod, or in the case of a meeting called at less than two weeks' notice, at the same time as the notice.
- • Receive notice of any business for a meeting of the synod.
- • Prepare minutes of every meeting of the synod.
- • Circulate minutes to the Rural Dean and lay chair for approval before publication.
- • Then circulate to members of the synod.
- • Report to the Diocesan Secretary, decisions on matters referred to the deanery synod by the Diocesan Synod.
During meetings of the deanery synodThe Deanery Synod Secretary should listen carefully to what is said. It is important to make a note of the following: those present; of decisions made (including where necessary, the wording of resolutions passed and the results of any votes taken); of the outcome of discussions; and of important facts brought up at the meeting. The minutes when written should not attempt to be a verbatim record: Notes of discussion are not vital, but if they are included should be concise, giving a flavour of the discussion and of any significant points leading to the decision made or final outcome of discussion. The Deanery Synod Secretary should sit near to the Chair to give guidance where necessary, for instance, to ensure that all items on the Agenda are covered, or to assist with any aspect of the procedure of the meeting.
In relation to the deanery synod standing committeeThe Deanery Synod Secretary is a member of the deanery synod standing committee and has a key role in the administration of the standing committee as it carries out its functions, which are to:
- • Initiate and advise on proposals
- • Ensure that members are adequately informed on questions raised and other matters of importance to the deanery.
- • Prepare the deanery synod agenda.
- • Transact the business of the synod between meetings.
- • Make such appointments and do such other things as the synod may delegate to it.
Relations with the Diocesan Secretary
The link between the Diocesan Secretary and Deanery Synod Secretaries is an important one. Deanery Synod Secretaries should always feel free to contact the Diocesan Secretary with any questions and queries, or just for encouragement!
Deanery Synod Membership – and the importance of accuracy
The Church Representation Rules 2011 (CRR) contain the statutory provisions on the operations of deanery synods, PCCs and Annual Meetings, Electoral Rolls etc. The CRR make specific reference to Deanery Synod Secretaries, which include the following :
- It is important to be aware that the deanery synod, as well as meeting as a synod, also serves as an electoral college. This means that each individual member of the deanery synod (apart from any co-opted members) is part of the body of electors responsible for electing a number of key bodies in the life of the church. These include the York Diocesan representatives of the General Synod and the Diocesan Synod.
- It is therefore very important that the membership list of the deanery synod (which is, in fact, made up of two lists: clerical and lay) is accurate and kept up-to- date at all times, and that Deanery Synod Secretaries inform the Diocesan Department of any changes to the list. (CRR 24(5)).
Diocesan Synod By-Elections
The main elections to the Diocesan Synod are conducted by or under the instruction of the Diocesan Secretary’s Department.
RoleThe Deanery Treasurer is appointed by the deanery synod from among its own members. The Deanery Treasurer cooperates with the other officers of the deanery synod, i.e. the Rural Dean, Lay Chair, Deanery Financial Adviser, and Secretary, in managing the deanery accounts.
- • Manage the deanery administrative accounts.
- • Maintain records of deanery accounts and presenting finance updates to synod meetings.
- • Be a member of the Standing Committee.
Deanery Synod Representatives
Roles and Responsibilities
- • Attend meetings of Deanery Synod.
- • Contribute to meetings, bringing views, experience and expertise from their own parish to debate and discuss at synod.
- • Represent the parish on the Deanery Synod and be a point of contact between deanery and parish.
- • Be prepared to take an active part in Deanery committees and working parties.
- • Support deanery events.
- • Be prepared to collaborate in the development, monitoring and implementation of deanery mission plans.
- • Elect and support the officers of the deanery, treasurer, lay chair, secretary and Standing Committee, and to contribute to the shaping of deanery synod agendas.
- • Support the mission of the Church by prayer and personal example; to seek out and support good practice in collaboration between parishes and ecumenically. To promote honest and harmonious working relationships throughout the Church in the deanery.
- • Inform themselves of issues under discussion at diocesan and national levels.
- • Act as electors to Diocesan and General Synods.
- • Work to grow cultures of generosity and genuine stewardship within the Church, which honour and develop the gifts and ministry resources of all.