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Tuesday, 5 March 2019

9 new clergy attend the Gibraltar Archdeaconry synod

The Synod Standing Committee: Area Dean David Waller, Archdeacon Geoff Johnston, Joan Berry and Gwen Furmster
The Gibraltar Archdeaconry Synod is likely the largest of our Deanery/Archdeaconry bodies. It is also a surprisingly popular event. Many people volunteer and pay from their own pocket to attend, who do not have to be there by virtue of their licence or election. A rarity in the Christian world!

At its meeting from 3 to 8 February, near Torrevieja Spain, the Interim Archdeacon Geoff Johnston noted that there had been much change since the synod met last year, with a total of 9 new clergy appointments. As the Archdeacon is involved in all these appointments, this has been a busy year for him, in addition to his other responsibiliteis. Also several new diocesan staff, including the Director of Communications and Bishop Robert's attaché to the European Union, Damian Thwaites, and the new Diocesan Secretary, Andrew Caspari, were introduced to the synod. 

Fr Rodney Middleton
Canon Elaine Labourel

The clergy chapter, meeting before the whole synod, spent time exploring the Church's Healing Ministry, led by Fr Rodney Middleton of Holy Spirit Parish, Costa Blanca. The clergy also had a session on Reader Ministry, introducing the updated Reader Ministry Handbook in particular, which was led by the Director of Reader Ministry Revd Canon Elaine Labourel. The whole synod enjoyed a presentation on aspects of ecclesiastical law by Registrar Aiden Hargreaves-Smith.

Diocesan Registrar, Mr Aiden Hargreaves-Smith

Canon Alan Bennet
The Revd Canon Alan Bennett (Assistant Priest in Costa Almería and Costa Cálida) presided at one of the daily masses, celebrating his 50th year in the priesthood.  I was also able to issue Fr David Waller with a fresh commission for his work as Area Dean. Fr David assists the Archdeacon in supporting the clergy and parishes in the Balearic Islands, and Catalonia.
Area Dean David Waller receives a new commission at Morning Prayer
The ingredients for a good synod seem to come together in the Gibraltar Archdeaconry: excellent leadership and planning, stimulating speakers, inspiring worship, a congenial venue, and time for fun as well as for business.

The Synod Barn Dance!

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