The Diocesan Conference has lay representatives from every parish and deanery, plus all clerics who hold the Bishop’s licence, and is a key way of sharing what’s going on in the Diocese. Meeting annually on the last Saturday in September, it looks back over the previous year and forward to new and exciting ventures. It approves key diocesan policies such as the new Fairer Share Scheme, and can influence the whole Church in Wales – a 2013 motion on support for food banks went all the way to the Governing Body! Diocesan Conference members also elect diocesan representatives on key committees such as the Electoral College, the Diocesan Board of Finance and the Governing Body of the Church in Wales.
The main theme for each Conference is decided by the Diocesan Standing Committee, which normally sets up a small working group to do the detailed planning. The Standing Committee also decides how to follow up anything that is raised at the Conference – forwarding motions to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales, for example, or asking other Diocesan committees to respond to particular issues.
The Conference moves round the Diocese on a six-year cycle: two years in each Archdeaconry. Where possible it’s held in one of our Church Schools; with around 300 people attending each time, it needs a big venue!
What’s expected of members?
- An interest in what’s going on in the Diocese and the wider Church in Wales
- Attendance at the annual conference
- Feedback to your church, taking back key messages
- Vote on diocesan business
Things to do before each meeting
- Read all the papers!
- Think about what you might want to ask or find out during the meeting
Things to do during the meeting
- Get involved with what’s going on
- Ask questions
- Network with other members
Things to do after the meeting
- Write something for your parish newsletter or magazine
- Report back to your PCC or Deanery Conference
Things to do between meetings
- Think about getting matters discussed at the Conference – via deanery motions, Questions for Oral Answer or as suggestions to the Standing Committee
- Assist with the various elections by publicising them in your parish or deanery and encouraging people to stand – and don’t forget to vote!