Deanery Synods are the governing bodies for each deanery, a legal collection of local parishes. In the Diocese of Bristol, there are seven deaneries.
Deanery Synods brings together the thinking of the church's life in the deanery. It is sometimes asked to consider matters referred to it from the Diocesan Synod and from the General Synod. It is the place where the voice of the parish is first heard beyond the PCC. The Area Dean and Lay Chair preside. The clergy in the deanery are automatically members of the Deanery Synod. Lay members are elected by the Annual Parochial Church Meetings (APCMs) of all the parishes in the deanery.
The Area Dean assists the bishop in the pastoral care of the clergy and parishes in the deanery.
The Lay Chair is elected to share the chair of the Deanery Synod with the Area Dean.
The Deanery Chapter includes all the clergy in the deanery who hold the bishop's licence. They meet for study, prayer and mutual encouragement.
The Synodical Government Measure provides a list of purposes for a deanery. Namely:
- To connect with the parishes of the deanery and bring together the views on common problems;
- To discuss and formulate common policies on those problems;
- To foster connectedness and community among those parishes;
- To promote in the deanery the whole mission of the church: pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical.
Deanery Synod members also nominate and elect people to Diocesan and General Synod.
In accomplishing these purposes, the Deanery Synod acts as a strong link in the chain of communication from both Diocesan and General Synod to parishes and vice versa, and therefore plays an important role in the overall structure of the Church of England.
Click to download the Diocese of Bristol Rules for Deanery Synod
Click to download the Information Leaflet about Deanery Synod Elections