Salesbury - St Peter

        Deanery Synod



Past Meetings 


The meeting was held at Christ Church, Chatburn with the Area Dean, Rev M. Woods, in the Chair. 
The     Rev’d Canon Rodney Nicholson led the meeting in prayer and used the theme “Renewal of Life Through Christ”.

Synod split into 4 groups to consider the following:

1. How can Synod work more closely together and more effectively as a broad Church within the Deanery?

2. Does the Synod want to be involved in the challenges of a changing Church which will give opportunities in the future for the Deanery?

Matters which came out in the discussions included inter-parish website communication, greater ecumenical involvement, congregations joining up for services, avoiding clashes of events, a Deanery Charity Event, the Parish Share distribution to be Deanery based, a joining together as a united benefice on the fifth Sunday (i.e. 4 times a year) and a Training Day for the Deanery with a particular theme. Numerous advantages and disadvantages were pointed out during the final discussion.

A discussion took place on the Parish Share, all the details of which are now on the Diocesan website. 97% of the Parish Share has been paid in this Deanery. Arguments were raised about naming and shaming defaulters as there is no indication why it is not being paid. There are probably good reasons or extenuating circumstances in most cases for the default and parishioners get upset and dispirited if a parish is named. It was felt that the number of communicants which affects the Parish Share may not be accurate in some cases.

The Diocesan Synod Report was limited to two items, which dealt with the Episcopal consecration of women. The Area Dean mentioned the Bishop’s request for a Day of Fasting and Prayer on Ash Wednesday.

  •  A Diamond Jubilee Event is to be held in Clitheroe on the 3rd June, 2012.
  • The Archdeacon’s Visitation is to be held at St James, Haslingden on the 9th May, 2012.

The next Synod meeting will be at Whalley on Thursday, 21st June and the following one at Rishton on Wednesday, 26th September.

David Dickinson




Whalley Deanery Synod: 3rd October 2011

The meeting was held at Mytton Fold Hotel, Langho, and Reverend Canon Norman Atty led opening devotions.   

Peter Jelley, Lay Chair, welcomed the Reverend Michael Woods as the new Area Dean and offered sincere thanks to the Reverend Canon John Hartley for his work as Area Dean over many years.

The main item on the Agenda was an address entitled:

 ‘Emergency Planners and Faith Responders’ by the Reverend Canon Ed Saville, Diocesan Lead Officer for Social Responsibility.

The Faith Group is one of a number of voluntary organisations providing support to the Lancashire Resilience Forum in the event of a major incident.

The Emergency Planners insist that a Faith Representative goes out on the first call following an incident. Events which the Faith Group have been involved with include: Grayrigg Train Crash, Cockle Pickers in Morecambe Bay, Gas Explosion in Rossendale, Major Fires, Flooding, Helicopter Crash in the Irish Sea.

Voluntary Organisations work alongside Statutory Agencies in a number of different venues including: Rest Centres, Survivor Centres, Family and Friends Centres, Family Support Teams (in hospitals) and Temporary Mortuaries.

The role of Faith Support is to provide spiritual support to those caught up in emergencies. This is largely by having a listening ear, responding to need and generally trying to cope with the unexpected. It is important to be calm and empathetic and to be aware of others in the area with different faith needs and those with none.

The Faith Group is a small group of people, both laity and ordained from all denominations and all faiths. It is in fact a good opportunity for people of different faiths to work together.

When major incidents occur people often ask ‘Where is God?’ God is in the people who come to help and that is what the Faith Group does.

Could you join the list of volunteer responders?

More people are required and there is an open invitation to lay or ordained people. Hopefully you will never need to be called out but it is necessary to plan for the ‘unplannable’!

All that is required is that volunteers attend one evening of initial training followed by an Exercise or Refresher Training on an annual basis.

It is important to be able to listen and to respond calmly.

Could you help?

If you want to know more please contact either Canon Ed Saville or Christine Lowe at:

St Mary’s House

Cathedral Close



01254 503275





Whalley Deanery Synod  23 May 2011

The meeting was held at St Paul’s Church, Low Moor, Clitheroe, and Canon Rodney Nicholson led opening devotions.

The main item on the Agenda was an address entitled:


 ‘Working with Young People’ by Craig Abbott, Diocesan Youth Development Officer.

Craig explained that there are two main aspects to his work:

  • Working with a Team of Youth Support Workers in C of E High Schools
  • Supporting Church Based Youth Work


Work in C of E High Schools

This is largely an administrative role, working with Head Teachers and Heads of RE to set up posts and make appointments. Six of the ten C of E High Schools have Youth Worker Chaplains.

The Youth Workers/Chaplains:

·         Provide Pastoral Support for the young people

·         Plan and in some instances deliver Collective Worship

·         Help other schools in the delivery of Collective Worship

·         Deliver some RE and PHSE lessons

·         Provide resources

·         Lead Spirituality Days on certain issues e.g. Justice, Marriage, Abortion

In addition the Chaplains have links with local churches where they facilitate Youth Work. The Youth Workers/Chaplains provide an important Christian presence in the school and are available for both staff and pupils.


Supporting Church Based Youth Work

Susan Witts, is the Children’s Work Adviser and supports churches in their work with 0-11 year olds. Craig works with mainly 11-18 year olds but also with some young adults up to 25. Susan and Craig are involved in some cross over work for 9-14 year olds.

The support provided includes:

  • Training - this forms a large part of Craig’s work and includes Basic Training on Working with Young People as well as Certificated Courses and tailor made training.
  • Resources – this involves keeping people up to date as well as providing materials.
  • Residentials – There are 2 per year: The Confirmation Camp which is activity based and is for 10-14 year olds and the Youth Conference, which is study based for 16-24 year olds.
  • Sounding Board – Craig provides basic consultation for parishes when they are at the early stages of setting up groups or activities and then helps to maintain initiatives.

Some parishes have their own Youth Workers although these are decreasing in number due to financial constraints.

Craig explained that there are many issues facing young people today with self-esteem being particularly significant. Others include: bullying, self-harm, mental health, relationships, peer pressure, money.

Craig is training for ordination and will be leaving his current post next summer. The Diocese is therefore reviewing its work with young people.

The Church of England Nationally has identified the following priorities and these will inform future Youth Work in the Diocese:

  • Work towards every child and young person having a life-enhancing encounter with the Christian faith and the person of Jesus Christ.
  • Transformation both in the Church and in the world, and to recognise and enable the capacity of children and young people to be the agents of change both for themselves and for others.


  • Provide professional support and development for all those working with children and young people in the name of the Church, so that they might demonstrate the highest qualities in their practice and personal life.


Pilgrimage to South Africa

In 2009, Bishop Nicholas, his wife, Craig and 14 young people visited South Africa. Sophie Entwisle, one of the young people, attended Synod and talked about the visit. One of the main aims was to visit schools, both Township (Government Funded) and private. It was noticeable that children were keen to learn, valued their education and that schools were proud of their students. Visits were also made to Hospices and churches.

The style of worship is an interesting mix of high mass with incense (as missionaries exported Anglo-Catholicism to the Free State) and spontaneous, unaccompanied singing and dancing typical of the Pentecostal Church.

At the end of June, this year, 15-20 Young People from the Free State are visiting the Blackburn Diocese.

Craig noted that the Pilgrimage had a dramatic impact on the young people who attended in terms of their attitude to life. Many want to return to South Africa and/or raise money for various projects.

The view of The Bishop of the Free State is that:

Young People are the church of today and leaders of the church tomorrow.

Work with young people is therefore extremely important and Craig’s hope for the evening was that there might be people who wish to contact him to talk further about engaging with young people.

Julie Bradshaw


Deanery Synod Meeting of 20th January

We hosted this meeting and welcomed the Rev Dr Peter Shepherd as the main speaker – ‘Self Supporting Ordained Ministry’.

Dr Shepherd described his own path to ministry.   His vocation took him into teaching, but he followed the process to priesthood and ordination, and for the past 30 years he has assisted with the parish of St Mary’s, Clitheroe, as well as being the Bishop’s SSM Officer for the diocese.

Dr Shepherd the synod members to consider their own call to ministry – quoting words from St Paul – ‘there are different ways of serving, but the same Lord is served’.   All who are baptized have a ministry to offer and part of being a Christian is to find ways in which to exercise this ministry.   The ‘professional’ ordained Ministry being a small, but important part, of a greater whole.

Currently there is a need for more SSOMs.   This is due to the decrease in the number of full-time stipendary clergy (vicars, for example) and a decrease in the money available to pay full-time priests.

Training arrangements are now more flexible, with part-time, non-residential opportunities, recognizing that many people still hold other employment.   Age is no barrier, nor is a lack of prior academic qualification.   Applicants are valued for their sense of vocation, and the knowledge, experience they bring to the role.   Help and support is available for the practical, spiritual and academic aspects of any training course.

Dr Shepherd also spoke of the variety of ministries – in addition to parochial ministry  there is ministry in schools, colleges, hospitals, prisons and industry.

Dr Shepherd concluded by asking, “Who is God calling today?”, inviting everyone at the meeting to consider, sensitively, people they know, who might just need ‘a prod’ to respond to God’s calling.   His own story and testimony provided an excellent illustration of God at work.

We are very fortunate at St Peter’s to have Andrew, as a living, working (Burnley supporting) example of the journey that Dr Shepherd described.   Andrew has shared with us his journey from police to priesthood.   We have seen Andrew in action, as a deacon, priest, curate, and much more besides.   There is a real challenge to us, to look, and pray, for ways in which we can fulfil our baptismal call to ministry as lay or ordained people of God.   Over to you !   The Church needs you !

Sheila Goodman



OPEN Meeting of the Deanery Synod

Women in the Episcopate

at Chatburn C E Primary School on 5th April at 7.30pm

This is an important meeting to which ALL church members are invited.  The object of the evening is to give the deanery the opportunity to listen to visiting speakers (4 in total) who will offer thoughts for and against the legislation suitable for this proposal.   It is not a debate about the principle of women becoming bishops, rather the motion put forward by the General Synod – the legislation and the Code of Practice.

In addition our Bishops have drafted three questions which they hope will assist us in our discussions.   They are:

1        Our 1662 Prayer Book says “From the Apostles’ time there have been these orders of ministers in Christ’s Church: bishops, priests and deacons.’   How important is it that the whole Church agrees on the gender of the ordained minister ?

2        Do you think that a Code of Practice could safeguard the position of those who cannot accept, on theological grounds, the consecration of women as bishops ?

3        Can you see any way forward that would keep us all in one fold, and in the wider Church continue the ecumenical journey to visible Church unity ?

If you would like to attend the meeting please contact one of our Synod Representatives – Sheila Goodman, Julie Bradshaw, Michael Grime or David Dickinson (or Andrew and the Vicar), in order that transport can be arranged. 

After the meeting the Deanery is invited to submit a short report of the discussions, and details of any vote taken (though this is not a ‘must’), to the diocese, prior to the Diocesan Synod’s vote.

The Vicar


Whalley Deanery Synod - 23 September 2010

The meeting was held at St James Church, Clitheroe, and The Rev’d Mark Pickett led opening devotions.

The Right Reverend John Goddard, Bishop of Burnley, addressed Synod by speaking on three issues identified by members.

Women and the Episcopate

Bishop John explained that the process of debating legislation to allow women to be ordained into the Episcopacy has been going on for a long time and there is still no clear way forward. General Synods held in York in 2008 and in 2010 have been key to the process but sadly have revealed deep divisions within the church and many opportunities to compromise have been lost.

Bishop John explained his position as follows: If women are ordained as Bishops there must be no distinction in authority to men Bishops and equally there must be adequate and proper provision for those who cannot accept the ordination of women into the Episcopacy. A number of options to allow compromise arrangements have been put forward but largely dismantled by those who do not agree with women in the Episcopacy.

The two Archbishops laid before General Synod an amendment to the legislation which provided a means of maintaining unity within the church. Although the House of Laity voted for this proposal the House of Clergy did not. Bishop John said that he and many other senior clergy were deeply saddened by the nature of the debate and feel that an opportunity for unity in the church was lost at a time when Synod was on the brink of finding a way forward.

Draft legislation will be presented to the Diocese and there will be a vote in 2011 and a final vote in General Synod in 2012/13.

Bishop John asked for our prayers for the Archdeacons and General Synod Members as they continue to strive for a way of maintaining unity within the church despite disparate views.

Lay Ministry

The key issue here is how parishes can develop lay ministry in view of the reduction in stipendiary ministers. The Bishop reminded Synod that, 6 years ago, it became clear that Blackburn Diocese had ‘more than its fair share’ of clergy in terms of the national picture and that for financial reasons this level could not be maintained. At this time there were 245 stipendiary clergy, which has now reduced to 200 and by 2019 will need to have reduced to 160. This is therefore the number we need to plan for. The number of Self Supporting Ministers has increased but not at a level to offset the drop in paid clergy.

Bishop John said that one of the great gifts of Anglicanism is that we seek to care for everyone within our parish boundary and it clearly is an enormous challenge to deliver this core pastoral ministry with significantly less stipendiary clergy. He went on to say that he is currently involved with more clergy suffering from stress then he ever anticipated. It would seem important in the future to engage competent administrators to allow priests to concentrate on their core business.

The only way forward is to change radically our understanding of witness, discipleship and ministry. He explained that, as Synod members, we need to convince our congregations that the concept of one parish/one priest has gone.

The priest is there not to support the laity but to liberate the laity and the laity is there not to support the priest but to be liberated in the ministry of Christ. It is important to help everyone to see the opportunity of ministry that there is for the people of God and to encourage people not to ask what the church can do for them but what they can do for Christ.

Parish Share

Bishop John said that he feels we pay in a reasonably fair way for the 200 stipendiary clergy we currently have. If we are Christ’s body we must care for the vulnerable. He noted that some central posts have been removed this year, including the Stewardship post, and that no post in this Diocese, from Bishop to Curate is appointed without consideration of the financial situation.

Later in the meeting Peter Jelley, Lay Chair, indicated that much work has been done with the Diocese to keep a minimal increase to the Parish Share for the coming year and that the aspiration of the Whalley Deanery is to have no arrears on payments. He asked that parishes help each other with ways to influence Income and Expenditure.

Recent Visit of Pope Benedict XV1

In response to a question from the floor, Bishop John, who had attended the worship in Westminster Abbey, made the following comments:

He was impressed by Pope Benedict’s gentleness and graciousness, which overcame any possible divisions and the fact that it was clearly a State Visit and not confined to those in the Roman Catholic Church. He praised Pope Benedict for adding another eminent voice to views, which have been expressed for some time regarding the secularism of our country. Bishop John also applauded the way he addressed the issues of sexual abuse.

Another thought provoking meeting.

Julie Bradshaw





 Whalley Deanery Synod  on the 10th May 2010

The Deanery Synod met at the Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Mellor.

A Celtic Evening Liturgy from the Iona Community Worship Book was used for the opening and closing devotions.

Mrs. Mary Smith, Resources Officer for the Diocese of Blackburn, gave a presentation on the theme of Giving for Life, with reference to St. Luke 12.34:

Where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.

She introduced herself as a Yorkshire woman, with a tendency to speak bluntly!

She referred to Giving For Life, the Report to the General Synod of the Church of England, which was first published in 2009.   A previous Report, First to the Lord, had been issued in 1999, therefore it was timely to take a fresh look at what, and how, we give back to God from His great generosity to us.

Using a powerpoint presentation, Mary introduced us to four key themes:
Generous Giving, an integral part of our Discipleship, which in turn resources God`s Mission in the world, and has an impact on our Lifestyle.

Generosity relates to the values which mark us out as Christians, whether in terms of money, as even the widow`s mite showed the level of her sacrificial giving, or in terms of our time and talents, as demonstrated by the parable of the Good Samaritan.

If we see Mission as related only to our own churches, then we are taking a blinkered view, and could be in danger of ignoring the needs of the wider church, in this country and overseas.  The impact on our lifestyle should be holistic, rather than giving from any `surplus cash` that is left over and spare.  Our discipleship is an ongoing challenge in good times and bad, more so even in a time of recession.

To be a Christian  is to be different.  Christians should talk about giving, otherwise we might only give when we feel `wealthy`, and out of any money we feel is `left over`, instead of putting God first.

Mary presented the following statistics:

In 2007, in the Blackburn Diocese, there were 19,000 planned givers in the pews.

The average level of giving was £7.18 per week.   This is Good Giving, at 2.6% of an average income, yet significantly lower than other Dioceses.   The national average was £9.38, per week, or 3.4% of an average income.   The target, as agreed by the Diocese, of 5%, would release an extra £8.6 million for use across the Diocese and beyond.

The Diocese recognises that individuals also give generously to Charities and Projects in addition to their planned giving through Christian Stewardship. Were this to be at a level of 5%, then we would be reaching the Biblical tithe, or 10% of our income.

In his letter to the Christians in Corinth St. Paul wrote:

“Each one of us should give, then, as he has decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves one who gives gladly”.  (2 Corinthians 2.7)

Mary accepted that giving varies greatly across, and within churches.

Giving for Life seeks to Transform old habits and attitudes, such as a view that Church is like a Club, to which we must pay our dues, almost like a subscription. There`s an emphasis on Nurture, taking a holistic view of our lifestyle, and Encouraging good practice, in thinking seriously about our individual levels of giving.

Each parish needs its own strategy for giving, which would be wider than merely money!

Giving regularly is not the same as fundraising, and each has a place in parish life. If  increasing faith comes first, then increasing giving will follow. One comment from the meeting stressed that : “The Church has no financial problems, only spiritual problems! “ , or , in the words of John Wesley, “The last thing to be converted is the wallet (and the purse)!”

Mary recognised the generosity that is very evident in the ways in which money is raised for specific projects, in house, and for the wider Church family and community. (There is plenty of evidence of this at St. Peter`s, from the Organ Restoration Fund to our current  challenge to use our Talent(s) (SG).

We were left with some questions to ask ourselves:

“How do we express our thanks for all that God has given to us?

Where exactly are we on our journey of giving? Do we give regularly?
Do we give generously? “

These are questions we can only answer individually. It`s a personal challenge, which must leave us at peace with ourselves and honest before God.

The Deanery Synod  is our voice to the Diocesan Synod, which in turn represents us on the General Synod of the Church of England, where contentious debates have been known to hit the national headlines!

John our Vicar is the Area Dean, and this Deanery extends from Great Harwood to Chipping and Whitewell,, with all stations in between. Each Church has  its quota of lay members, and  Julie Bradshaw, David Dickinson, Sheila Goodman and Mick Grime represent St. Peter`s.

The Deanery Synod meets three times a year. It`s an opportunity to visit other Churches, and to experience a range of speakers on a variety of topics, as well as engaging  democratically in the `business` of the Synod and of the Church of England.

Sheila Goodman