There’s a new look to the Worcester Deanery Leadership Team with Sue Roulstone from Christ Church, Lower Broadheath becoming their new Lay Chair and Rob Pearce moving to be Treasurer. The team have been working with the deanery synod to develop a vision for the deanery.
Alongside Sue and Rob, Diane Cooksey continues to serve as Area Dean, Paul Fulbrook continues as Secretary and Paul Wilcox and Anne Potter complete the team.
Sue moved to Worcester four years ago from Bristol and has served on deanery synod for the past three years as a way of getting to know the church better. She said: “When we joined Christ Church, my husband and I were both keen to get involved. We joined the PCC and my husband became parish treasurer while I became our deanery synod rep. It was a chance to get to know the area and learn more about how the church works.”
Diane approached Sue to see if she might consider becoming Lay Chair and Sue spoke to her incumbent, Kalantha Brewis about it. Sue continued. “Kalantha was very encouraging and so I said yes! I see my role as very much being a lay support to Diane and representing the laity in the deanery leadership team alongside Rob and Paul. I am looking forward to getting to know the deanery and understanding what people’s issues are. I want to find ways to support and be a voice for the laity.”
Over the last couple of deanery synod meetings, the Deanery Leadership Team have been asking parishes what they think the deanery might be for, what their church priorities are and how the deanery might support them with those. They have developed three priorities for the deanery – praying for one another, communicating effectively and working collaboratively where appropriate.
“We are now working out how these priorities will work in practice,” said Diane. “Possibilities include making sure we devote time to prayer in deanery synod meetings, setting up an online prayer group and developing a deanery newsletter and Facebook page. We will also be looking at other ways in which we can helpfully work together across the Deanery.”
The team are now looking to put together a more structured plan, finding ways in which they can help people feel like they belong to the deanery. They hope that the paid children and young people’s workers in the deanery will be able to enthuse a wider group of parishes with this area of work and that different parishes will link together to reach new housing developments. They are also planning some deanery worship, for example a youth service.
“The Deanery Leadership Teams are so important for helping to make the connection between parishes and things happening at a diocesan level,” said Diane. “We can also be a facilitator for ideas – sharing them so that other parishes can benefit. We hope that all these things will make a difference and it is a journey that they whole deanery is on, not just the leadership team. A journey that started with listening to deanery synod.”