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Clare has wide ranging responsibilities within the Synod and wider church, but her priorities are always the pastoral care of ministers and the encouragement and support of local churches so that both ministers and churches can fulfil their God-given potential through mission and service. Clare also relates to other Christian denominations at regional level so that wherever possible co-operation can be encouraged, and to ensure that – at the very least – the work of the churches is complementary.
Karen’s role is to support the work of the Synod in various ways, but especially by helping individuals and churches connect to Synod resources in a way that supports them in their life and witness.
She is also a point of contact between the Synod and the wider United Reformed Church through General Assembly, Mission Council and networking with the other Synods.
DEVELOPMENT & SUPPORT OFFICERS
Ray and Mary are available to advise and support churches in their mission. Ray works mainly in the northern part of the Synod and Mary in the southern part. Between them they are able to offer resources (including organising workshops and providing ‘hands on’ assistance) to churches exploring their mission, and offer a wide range of training programmes for lay preachers, elders and others. They administer the Educating Ministry programme which covers the training needs of serving ministers. Ray has overall responsibility for mission enabling and Mary for training issues.
CHILDREN’S & YOUTH DEVELOPMENT OFFICERS
The role of the Children & Youth Development Officer (CYDO) is to ensure that churches, their staff and those who act as leaders are encouraged, enabled and effective in their work with children and young people and ensuring this takes place in a safe environment. The CYDOs are available to support churches through training and development of new or existing work and to support, encourage and empower children and young people to take a lead role within their local churches and within the Synod. They are both responsible for Wessex Camp, children’s days and the Synod Youth Executive.
The Synod Safeguarding Officer is available to local churches in the Wessex Synod. Sharon can offer advice and guidance on managing concerns about children or adults. She should be informed of any concerns or allegation about a volunteer or member of the church staff team and she will work closely with the church and other agencies to manage the concern.
Sharon is responsible for supporting churches with managing offenders insuring that all those involved are safeguarded.
Sharon is also available to offer support and advice on Safer Recruitment, church safeguarding policies or Church House guidance. Sharon is part of the Executive team reporting to them at all meetings, so they have a clear understanding of the safeguarding issues in the synod, she also reports to Synod and Church House.
Sharon chairs the Wessex Synod Safeguarding Reference Group and is a member of the National Safeguarding Advisory Group.
Stuart has overall responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Wessex Trust, but is particularly responsible for providing support in legal matters relating to local churches, the Synod and the Wessex Trust. In particular Stuart deals with property acquisitions and disposals and the sharing of Trust property with others for ecumenical, social and commercial reasons by means of Sharing Agreements, Leases, Licences and Tenancies. Stuart is also Company Secretary of the Wessex Trust.
Ralph’s main role is to assist the Executive Officer in undertaking the day-to-day management of the Trust.
Jim is responsible for the accounting and financial administration of the Wessex Trust and acts as assistant to the Wessex Trust Executive Officer. Within those responsibilities is the administration of loans and grants that have been approved by the Synod and Wessex Trust for the benefit of the individual churches.
Graham and Nicola work alongside local churches to help them translate their mission and vision into the practicality of suitable property development. By working alongside churches they provide a link between the Synod and churches, advising and ensuring adherence to provincial and statutory requirements and the appropriate appointment and co-ordination of the professional project team. Graham covers the southern part of the Synod and Nicola the northern part.
The role of Lay Employment Advisor has been established, in conjunction with the Southampton District of the Methodist Church, to advise and support local churches in matters of lay employment. Penny is available for advice and guidance to churches which may be thinking about or preparing to employ new staff, as well as churches which already employ staff and may have employment issues arising.