Diocesan Council’s April meeting took place just before Ministry Leaders’ Family Camp, beginning as usual with midday Eucharist at the Cathedral. Afterwards, we kicked off our meeting by sharing where we had seen God at work recently, and we were hugely encouraged by the stories shared of God’s presence and work amidst our various communities over Holy Week and Easter. God’s spirit is alive and at work in awesome ways throughout the Diocese, and we were deeply heartened to share these stories, especially the transformational stories coming from our young people after Easter camp.
We heard an update from Diocesan Manager Nick Young on the progress of the Special Projects/Systems Development Plan he and the Diocesan office team have been pulling together, to build up our capacity to support the various ministries of the Diocese. This includes a piece of work around HR support of clergy appointments, updating various Diocesan systems and processes to keep up with the many changes in our life together, and looking at opportunities to support and support new initiatives across the Diocese.
Council affirmed the missional value of building development work adjoining St David’s Naenae. This is a project that may provide learning for other parishes looking at housing developments.
One role the Council fulfils is appointments to provincial church bodies and local trust boards. This month Bishop Justin, Reverend Jenny Dawson and Gendy Thomson were appointed as the Wellington Diocesan representatives to the Tikanga Pakeha Ministry Council. Atawhai Tibble was appointed to the Wellington City Mission Trust Board. Duncan Johnston, Robert Craig and Susan Foley were reappointed to the Huntley School board, and Martin Gray and Martin Russell were reappointed to the Whanganui College BoT. Ruth Treacy was appointed to the Wellesley College BoT.
The Council also approved the increase in stipend payments, in line with the provincial recommendations. The Diocesan Finance Committee has recommended changes to the petrol allowances granted to parishes for Synod travel, and Council approved this recommendation, which will now go to Synod for ratification.
Diocesan Council were updated on Bishops Justin and Ellie, and Gendy’s time spent in gathering with and resourcing our clergy cluster groups. While this is a large time commitment in their diaries, it is proving really worthwhile in deepening relationships and a sense of family across the Diocese. Feedback was given and passed on to Council on the helpfulness of the Lenten study materials, and so a note of thanks is being conveyed to Wayne Kirkland, Reverend Michael Brantley and Diana Langdon, who worked on developing that material.
The next meeting of Diocesan Council is planned for 6 June 2018.