Instead of rejoining the St Clement’s PCC directly this year I elected (or, rather, was willing to be elected) to become a lay member of the Deanery Synod. I still sit on the PCC by merit of this appointment but this gives me a view on what is happening from a Church of England perspective across a wider area than just one congregation.
Last night was the first synod meeting I was able to attend in my term, a joint meeting between Cowley and Oxford Deaneries. It still leaves me uninformed as to what a regular meeting is like but it was interesting to hear short contributions from a number of people working with some of the most vulnerable people in society. Oxford, for all its gleaming spires and high culture, also has a significant number of people either homeless or living in very straitened circumstances.
It was good to hear that local churches are playing a significant part in being good news to the poor but, with indicators like the use of food banks significantly up, the work is certainly not over.