Yorkshire Synod

Learning, discerning and worshipping together

Yorkshire Synod is one of thirteen synods in the United Reformed Church. We are part of the Five Northerly Synods, working together to share ideas, resources, worship and more.

The synod covers a vast area. From bustling cities, to seaside towns, to stunning countryside, we’ve got it all! Nearly 100 churches spanning from the south in Sheffield, up to Leeds, Wakefield and Bradford, spanning west to Huddersfield and Halifax, heading further north to York, Skipton + Harrogate, across to the beautiful east coast to Whitby, Scarborough, down to Hull and back across.

Phew! Well we didn’t mention all the places, but you can find where all our churches are here!

The synod is divided into Mission + Care Groups. Their role is:

  • To deepen relationships between local churches, particularly through mutual awareness, local issues, shared news and prayer;
  • To share in discussions about mission, resources, pastoral support and mutual encouragement.

You can find out about the locations of our Mission + Care groups here.

Synod Meeting

The synod meets twice annually, usually March and October. Though the ‘meeting’ lasts from about 10-4, it is broken up with lunch, wriggle breaks and a variety of content. It will include sharing of news, a guest speaker, as well as more formal proceedings such as voting on resolutions, accounts and other matters.

  • It’s a public meeting, so anyone can attend;
  • Its voting members are one representative from each church, along with all Ministers of Word and Sacraments and Church Related Community Workers.

Next synod meeting…

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can attend a synod meeting?

Synod meetings are public meetings, so anyone can attend! However, only members of Synod will be permitted to speak unless the Moderator (chair) gives permission. Likewise, only members issued with a voting card are permitted to vote.

Will my travel expenses be reimbursed?

If you are a member of the Synod Meeting or an invited speaker or guest, your travelling expenses can be claimed back from the Synod Office by filling in an expenses claim form, which will be sent to you ahead of the day.

Observers are not permitted to claim any costs, but you may be able to organise to share transport with a member of synod from your area.

Meeting venues (churches!) are usually chosen because of their convenience of access, and rotate around the synod so you’re never too far from one!

UPDATE: We are aiming to commit to making all our future meetings hybrid. That is, you will be able to participate fully in the meeting whether you join us online or in-person. We hope this will help with travel costs amongst other benefits.

Is lunch provided?

If lunch is provided, you will be advised in advance and asked to pre-book. You can of course bring a packed lunch. Tea and Coffee are usually provided by the host church upon arrival, during lunch, and at the close of our meeting.

This is my first synod, what can I expect?

If this is your first Synod Meeting, don’t worry, you’re amongst friends. The business parts of the meeting are well explained and the Moderator and Clerk guide us through the business. You may find it all confusing at first, but we hope you’ll soon know what’s going on.

Is the venue accessible?

Every effort is made to choose a venue which is fully accessible to those with mobility issues, as well as a loop system and large text powerpoint screens for those with hearing and sight difficulties. If you have any speacial requirements to further help you participate fully in our meetings, please contact the Synod Clerk well in advance of the meeting so suitable arrangements can be made if practicable.

Do I have to vote the way my church wants me to vote?

No! Your church should not be instructing you how to vote on particular matters. As a member of Synod you are a representative of your local church, not a delegate. You should, however, share the views of your local church during the debate if they are relevant to the discussion. But your primary role in the meeting is to hear the views of others, pray, and listen for the leading of the Holy Spirit – in order to discern the best decision for the Synod as a whole, and not only the local church you represent.

How long does a meeting last?

Synod meetings usually begin at 10am with arrivals and registration. Tea and coffee will be available. The meeting usually begins at 10:30am with worship. There will be wriggle breaks between sessions and a healthy lunch break in the middle to chat and socialise with others. Usually the day concludes at 4pm. No later, but sometimes earlier!!

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