Reviewing the Life of the Cymru Synod/Circuit – The Latest

You will remember that it was agreed at the Synod meeting in Aberystwyth in 2016 to conduct a review of the life of the Cymru Synod and Circuit under the leadership of the Synod/Circuit Executive Committee in order to seek God’s will for us for the future. Following the process of conducting the review, seeking the opinion of individuals, churches and Areas during 2016-17, it became clear in the interpretation process that six main themes were being outlined in the responses and that those were the themes God was calling us to focus on as we continue to seek his way forward as the Cymru Synod/Circuit. This was accepted in the Synod meeting in Wrexham in April 2017 and it was agreed to establish six small groups to work on the six themes in order to come back to the Synod meeting in 2018 with further recommendations as to how to develop the life of the Synod/Circuit under the themes. In the Synod and other meetings, in an article in The Gwyliedydd (June-July 2017) and on the Synod website, those who were interested in one (or more) of the themes, and who were willing to volunteer to join a group, were asked to get in touch with the relevant Contact Person by 10th July so these could be put before the July 2017 Policy Committee in order to move forward. The Synod/Circuit Executive Committee decided that each group should have a minimum membership of 3-4 and the Policy Committee would decide on the next steps in the case of groups where there were not sufficient names.

To remind you, here are the groups and the convenor of each one:

Spiritual life (Delyth Wyn Davies)
Work with children/families (Jon Miller)
Language – bilingualism/learners (Stephen Roe)
reaching out to the community (Maryl Rees)
Communication (Ffion Rowlinson)
Working together (ecumenically, in the Methodist Church and as the Synod/Circuit) (Ian Morris)

The outcome of the process was that only one name came forward in the case of each of these groups. Taking the point already made that a minimum of 3-4 was needed for each group, this means that it was not possible to establish the groups at that time, making it necessary for the Policy Committee to consider this carefully in its July meeting, seeking God’s will and leadership for the way forward.

The July Policy Committee spent time talking about the matter in groups, considering three questions:

1 How do you respond to what you have just heard? (feelings, reasons, implications)
2 What do you think God is saying to us about this, and about the six themes?
3 What is your opinion on how we should move forward? What are the next steps?

In a long and deep conversation, the members of the Policy Committee expressed a number of points, including their disappointment, their frustration with problems of communication, their concern about apathy and indifference, their questions about the furture of the Synod and the Circuit and whether there is the desire to move forward. In the end, it was not possible to come to a definite proposal about what to do next. It was suggested that the matter should go back to the Synod/Circuit Executive Committee meeting in September 2017 so that a proposal could be prepared on a way forward to be put before the next Policy Committee in November. This was agreed. May God give wisdom and courage to all as we consider the future of the Cymru Synod and Circuit.