Date: Saturday 13th February 1999

THE final Penrith Deanery Synod of the present three-year term was held on Monday night at St. Andrew’s Centre, Penrith, beginning with a Gospel reading and prayer led by the Rev. Dick Woodger.

First came an hour’s lively introduction by the Venerable David Turnbull, Archdeacon of Carlisle, of the new Common Worship book which is superseding the ASB, which is felt to have become rather stale for many and also lacks flexibility.

He explained the reasons for the change-over and outlined the main components of the new services, particularly that of Holy Communion, with glimpses of the background of General Synod’s moods and thoughts.

Their revision began in 1991. Drafts were produced, tested locally by selected parishes and feedback led to further drafts and discussions, lastly at General Synod.

It is called Common Worship since it is used by most of the other churches in Western Christendom, though the General Synod has introduced its private variations, too. The Book of Common Prayer continues in usage unadulterated.

Common Worship’s text can be had from the Internet, allowing for imaginative usage to suit local needs. The Archdeacon advised caution to prospective bulk buyers of books and forethought to those using them in planning their services.


The second hour of the meeting was taken up with local business. Three new members were welcomed. The rural dean, Canon Richard Frank, said this was his swansong, as he retires in May.

He thanked his lay chairman, Bob Bradney, Addingham, for wisdom, friendship and humour; the deanery’s clergy, readers and parishes for rising to the recent challenges; the treasurer, Marion Sindell, Skelton, for her years in office, with sorrow at her recent stroke and resignation; and the deanery secretary, Susan Ellison, Penrith, saying this was her farewell meeting.

He presented Mrs. Ellison with a Rwandan tea-towel showing a secretary bird, so called from its pen-like crest.

The acting treasurer, Hugh Ellison, presented the accounts and paid tribute to Marion Sindell’s 10 years also on the diocesan board of finance. The last five of these was as one of the two vice-chairmen. This year’s surplus was £49.81 for the deanery.

An information sheet on the Parish Share was circulated. The rural dean reminded the meeting of the urgency in finding a new deanery secretary, the new synod’s first meeting being in June.


Mr. Bradney paid tribute to Canon Frank’s steadfast loyalty in the past three years’ upheaval of reorganisation in the deanery.

Mrs. Elizabeth Metcalfe, Carlisle, gave the General Synod report.

Mrs. Sophia Schutts, Newton Reigny, reported on the millennium plans. She said the main immediate local task is the making of a miner’s gala type banner for each parish, for use at the June weekend festival. She stressed that the weekend would be for all, not just for churchgoers.

The Rev. David Fowler gave the diocesan synod report, comprising a discussion on the farming crisis and how the church could help. This was followed by discussion on how to share out the diocesan finances via the Parish Share, formerly the quota.