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Overview of our Diocesan Open Synod

People from parishes across our Diocese gathered at St Wilfrid's CE Academy recently for our Open Diocesan Synod meeting. 

  • This page features an embedded video of the key speakers (also available on our YouTube channel) plus embedded highlights from social media posts about the day. 

Pressing forward with our Vision 2026, Healthy Churches Transforming Communities as we continue to Unlock, the meeting gave us a chance to explore the boundless generosity of God in a number of ways. As well as Synod members, two further attendees were able attend from each parish.

The keynote speaker was Alan Smith, who has recently been appointed First Estates Commissioner. This means that he is in effect Chief Executive of the Church Commissioners who hold the Church of England’s £9.3 billion investment portfolio.

With our outstanding schools and some superb children’s work across the Diocese, addressing the post 11 drop-off is a key priority for many of our Parishes.

So we heard from Rachel Gardner about the excellent Launchpad scheme and from Ben Green from the Diocesan Board of Education about learning communities that support parishes in ministry to the young. 

We also formally launched the Parish Giving Scheme, with a presentation from Grant Forrest, CEO of the Scheme. This is a new and time-efficient way of managing people’s giving to the Parish Church and it is incredibly easy to use. 

Finally we also promoted and encouraged those attending to sign up for The Vine Community; our new framework for living a Christian life... find out more and sign up here. 

The whole event was well received by those attended. Here is Bishop Julian giving his immediate reaction on the day ...

  • For a copy of the Diocesan Open Synod agenda click here

Video of all key speakers at Open Synod

Watch a video featuring all of the speakers below. The video has 'chapters' to make it easy to navigate and the breakdown is as follows ...

  • 0:29 Introduction - Bishop Julian
  • 3:40 Keynote Address: Mr Alan Smith, First Church Estates Commissioner
  • 34:42 Reaching New Generations: Introductionby Canon Stephen Whittaker, Interim Diocesan Secretary
    • 37:53 Launchpad - Rachel Gardner
    • 51:00 Learning Communities - Ben Green
    • 1:03:36 Innovation Hub - Rachel Gardner
    • 1:10:24 Experience of Launchpad and Learning Communities
    • 1:12:02 Blackpool Deanery - Canon Tracy Charnock
    • 1:18:35 Chorley Deanery - Rev Joanne Smith
  • 1:22:00 Launch of the Parish Giving Scheme - Archdeacon Mark Ireland
    • 1:23:30 Mr Grant Forrest - CEO Parish Giving Scheme
    • 1:33:05 Stephanie Rankin - Stewardship Resourcing Officer
  • 1:34:33 Final words from Bishop Julian

With thanks to Rev. Damian Platt and Rev. Peter Nunn for the help they provided in putting this video together ... 

Social media highlights

We asked each key speaker to give a summary of what they were talking about at the Open  Diocesan Synod event.

You can watch their full talks in the video via the last section or - of you are short of time - check out the following ... 






Related papers and presentations for review/download

Papers and presentations related to the Diocesan Open Synod on March 26 can be found below. 

Guest Speaker profiles

Resourcing the Mission of God in Lancashire - pdf of powerpoint






Ronnie Semley, March 2022