People from Church of England parishes in Burnley and County join Bishops in saying Stand for Synod

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People from parishes across the County - including Burnley - are currently fronting a major new campaign (#standforsynod) to encourage others of all ages to stand for the primary governing body of The Church of England in Lancashire (Blackburn Diocese).

As part of an ongoing three-week initiative, running until May 23, existing members of the Diocesan Synod, including several from Burnley, have joined forces with the Bishops of the Diocese for the push during the election nomination period; including on social media. And today all the participants feature in a brand new 'highlights' video released for the first time on our YouTube channel. They also feature separately, individually, in videos being released daily on our social channels. From Leyland to Tunstall, Blackpool to Burnley, 12 participants – clergy and laity - feature in an additional series of social media shorts on Twitter/X and Facebook - one every day of the campaign. The shorts (and the highlights video) also feature the two Bishops of the Diocese - Rt Rev. Philip North, Bishop of Blackburn and Rt Rev. Dr Jill Duff, Bishop of Lancaster; both keen to ensure people #standforsynod. Alan Roadley, an Authorised Lay Minister and Deanery Synod representative for Burnley St Peter commented: “The highlight of my time on Diocesan Synod was the launch of Vision 2026 in 2016. I was really up for it. I even became a vision champion and I've really embraced and worked to support the vision ever since. “Being on Diocesan Synod gives you a chance to give something back to the Diocese and the wider church and increases your knowledge of what makes the Diocese tick.” Rev. Munawar Din, Vice Chair of the House of Clergy and Vicar of Burnley St Cuthbert and Brierfield St Luke said: "I think it's a great way to serve in the mission and ministry of the wider church, meet other like-minded people as well and learn about the work of God that is going on in other parts of our county and our Diocese." The campaign includes external promotion via local and regional media; information on the Diocesan website; regular content on the Diocesan social media channels every day until the closing date for nominations (May 23) and regular articles in the ‘Parish Update’ ebulletin. The Diocesan Synod is the main decision-making body for the Church of England in Blackburn Diocese. Synod considers major strategic decisions, policy and governance changes and agrees the budget for the Diocese. It is where debate occurs to set an agreed direction of travel for the work of the Diocese. The officers of the Diocesan Board of Finance; Archdeacons; Bishops; clergy and parishes are all accountable to Synod. Elections are held every three years and are guided by the Church Representation Rules for Diocesan Synods. Elections taking place this year are for members of the House of Clergy and House of Laity. A layperson can be elected from as young as 16 based on several criteria (all in the Rules) including being a communicant member of the Church of England and having their name on the parish electoral roll. For younger people in particular, being a member of our Diocesan Synod could be a very useful way of gathering experience and life skills for the CV; including public speaking/debating; networking and strategic awareness. Meanwhile, for clergy elections, the Rules state a ‘clerk in Holy orders’ who is a member of a deanery synod is qualified for election by the house of clergy of that deanery synod to be a member of the diocesan synod. Anyone prayerfully interested in standing for Diocesan Synod should speak to their parish priest in the first instance; then there is a process for nomination they will be pointed towards that is overseen by local presiding officers in each Deanery. Full details of how to get involved, criteria for nomination and more are here on the Diocesan website. In his video, Bishop Philip says: “I’m calling for people across the Diocese to think and pray about standing for Diocesan Synod which has a key leadership role across the whole of our common life. “It meets two or three times a year, with rich and varied agendas and we need a wide range of people to serve: young adults as well as older people and from all demographics for a Synod that represents the diversity of Lancashire. I really hope you consider putting your name forward.” Bishop Jill adds: “At Diocesan Synod, members listen to each other and, most importantly, listen to God on key strategic areas of our life together as a family here in Lancashire. “We want our Synod to represent all the different communities in Lancashire; all ages and stages. So we'd love you bring your leadership gifts because we long to see His kingdom come and His will be done in Lancashire as it is in heaven.”