Sherborne Deanery

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with His people




Present: Tony Gilbert (Chairman) Three Valleys Benefice, Sir Andrew Graham (Lay Chair) Batcombe, John Bradshaw (Treasurer) Sherborne Abbey, Fiona Mullins Holwell, Chris Wilding Thornford, Jeanette Hole Caundle Marsh, Daniel Ingles Melbury Benefice, Mike Keatinge Sherborne Abbey, Lesley McCreadie Sherborne Benefice, Stuart McCreadie Longburton, Michael Rawlinson Poyntington, Hugh Bonsey Sherborne Benefice, Louise Sandy Glanvilles Wootton, Jim Edie Sherborne Benefice, Paul Wilcock Maiden Newton, Martin Lee Sherborne Benefice, Yvonne Libbey St Paul’s Sherborne, Ann Hyland Folke, Sue Bradshaw Sherborne Abbey, Tim Greenslade Melbury Benefice,

Martin Farber Poyntington, Judy Griffiths, Hugh Griffiths, Rebecca McDonnell Sherborne, Keith Budgell Holwell, Anne Budgell Three Valleys Benefice, Elizabeth Kenton Hermitage, Charles Watson Lillington, Gary Siggins Bradford Abbas, Richard Kirlew Agricultural Chaplain, Celia Brayfield Yetminster, Eddie Upton Leigh, Jenny Nelson Three Valleys Benefice, Daniel Ingles Melbury Benefice, Tim Fearon Holnest, George Moody Three Valleys Benefice, James Cowan Halo Trust, Nicola Gilbert (Secretary) Three Valleys Benefice

Apologies: David Bond, Paul Worthen, Martin Richards, Linda Willcock, Mark Addison, Philippa Toulson, Andrew Tomkins, Rosemary Benson, Alan Gillard, Susan Gillard, Jane West, Cathy Evans Paul Boyd-Lee, Steve Mullins, Kathy Smyth, Richard Charrington, Richard Hancock

18.10.1 Welcome Tony Gilbert welcomed everyone to the Synod.

18.10.2 Act of worship Daniel Ingles led us in an act of worship looking at All Saints, All Souls and the Diocesan theme of ‘Making Jesus Known’.

18.10.3 The Halo Trust

James Cowan presented a PowerPoint presentation (Annexe A) on the work of the Halo Trust. Its work in removing IEDs and other devices leads to peace and empowerment of local populations with all the attendant benefits. At present they are working in 31 countries and by using mostly local people it gives employment opportunities especially to women.

Andrew Graham praised the amazing work Halo Trust does.

Tony Gilbert asked what Synod could do to help. James said that prayers for the mine clearers, publicity for the work of the Halo Trust and approaches to local MPs and the Conservative Government as the Overseas Aid Budget had been cut so Halo Trust no longer received so much funding, would be very welcome.

18.10.4 Minutes of meeting of 17 July 2023 and matters arising

The Minutes were agreed to be accurate. No matters arising.

18.10.5 Report from Andrew Graham

Andrew Graham had attended a workshop on ‘Making Jesus Known’ which stressed the importance of wider engagement and liaison within the Benefices and incorporation into the Deanery Plan.

John Bradshaw felt that by making Jesus known widely one of the benefits would be more people attending church and therefore raising funds.

Eddie Upton agreed that it was an easier Mission Statement to promote but felt that it should not be seen as simply a way of increasing revenue.

Jenny Nelson had attended a seminar which spoke about creative partnerships with education and to the wider community. She also spoke about its links with social justice wondering whether Jonathan Triffitt could be approached to talk to Synod at a future date. Standing Committee

Three Valleys Benefice had held a Study Day on the theme of ‘Making Jesus Known’ in the autumn.

Andrew had initiated a Building Committee which had discussed the use of Church Buildings for non-Church activities. Many churches provide a social hub for their communities and are a valuable community asset.

Andrew had investigated a Common Insurance Policy for churches but NFU had not been able to provide this and they advised that it would be unlikely that any insurance company would offer it.

18.10.6 Financial Report

John Bradshaw thanked the Treasurers who had sent him hard copies of Parish accounts. The Diocese is tightening up procedures as their oversight is a legal requirement. Sadly, our Deanery is the worst in the Diocese for paying Parish Share and this is likely to have an impact on any request for Clergy to be replaced when present people move on or retire. It costs £75,000 annually to fund a Stipendiary Priest, and most of the Deanery is not able to remit a full Parish Share. He encouraged congregations to attend other churches in the Benefice on Sundays when their ‘home’ church did not have a service. Charles Watson invited all from the Deanery to attend any of the weekly services at Lillington.

Andrew Graham will meet John Bradshaw to discuss the shortfall. ANDREW & JOHN

Celia Brayfield asked whether the Diocese could appropriate PCC reserves?

Tony assured her that they could not, but now that Parishes were submitting their accounts it was easier for the Diocese to see how much was in their various funds. What are the various non-restricted funds for if not to pay ultimately for clergy?

He asked that the Diocesan Budget be discussed at each PCC. ALL

Eddie Upton said that at Diocesan Synod it had been revealed that Parish reserves had increased by £2m – the approximate shortfall of the Diocesan budget.

Mike Keatinge asked how much the Parish Share was to be increased by in 2024 – 8%. Within that 8%, some adjustment could be made for very small congregations.

18.10.7 Rural chaplaincy

Unfortunately, because of the severe weather Richard Hancock had no electricity and was not able to attend by Zoom. It was agreed that he should be approached to attend the next meeting as Richard Kirlew felt that there were lots of developments in Rural chaplaincy. AGENDA

18.10.8 Longburton café Church

Lesley McCreadie talked about the great success of Longburton Café Church. It now meets fortnightly on a Tuesday morning and had focussed on inviting non-church men but had grown beyond this. It provides a community hub with no overt church activities and invites various agencies to talk to participants – Community Police, Weldmar Hospice – in a social setting.

Eddie Upton would be presenting a Workshop on Dorset Carols later this month.

18.10.9 Diocesan Synod

Eddie Upton reported that Synod had met recently in Sherborne – Annexe B.

St Dennis Community had closed down and the Convent sold. £1m from the proceeds had been given to the St Aldhelm’s charitable fund. The money would be available for small scale community activities – applications from January 2024.

18.10.10 Ezo update

Andrew Tomkins sent a report (already circulated). Andrew will provide a flyer and other publicity on the Christmas Appeal.

Andrew will write an article for parish magazines. ANDREW GRAHAM

18.10.11 Eco Group

Jenny Nelson had set up an Eco Group. At its first meeting the group had looked at what was already happening – Recycling, Eco Awards for churches, awareness of climate change – and tied it in with the Diocesan vision. She invited Benefices not represented on the Group to send a rep so that it was a true Deanery group.

Sue Bradshaw commended the Eco award scheme for churches and pointed out that it is not arduous to achieve the Bronze award.

18.10.12 Pastoral Matters

Congratulations to Richard Kirlew who had been appointed Canon for his work in Rural Chaplaincy!

Tony Gilbert will be retiring as Rural Dean and Rector of the Three Valleys Benefice next summer.

18.10.13 Any other business

Richard Kirlew thanked Keith Budgell for setting up Mens’ Breakfast club in the Three Valleys. Richard had copied this idea in East Chinnock, and 25 men now meet monthly.

Andrew Graham thanked Tony and Nicola Gilbert for their work – a new Deanery Secretary will be sought.

Dates and venues of future meetings in 2023


Dates and venues for 2024


Thursday 25 April Melbury Benefice

Monday 15 July Queen Thorne Benefice

Wednesday 13 November Zoom

Standing Committee by Zoom

Monday 11 March

Monday 17 June

Monday 14 October

All parishes are requested to pay a £15 annual fee for each delegate to help fund Deanery Synod – used for hire of premises, paying of visiting speakers’ travelling expenses, farewell gift for participants.

Sherborne Deanery Synod A/c no 05518997 Sort Code 601912

or cheques to Sherborne Deanery Synod c/o Peter Easdale, Townsend Farmhouse, Poyntington, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 4LF

Synod closed with the Saying of the Grace at 9.26 pm.

Nicola Gilbert

Secretary, Sherborne Deanery Synod

  • Rev Tony Gilbert
  • The Rectory, Church Road
  • Thornford
  • Dorset
  • DT9 6QE

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