Category: 2016

News from the 2016 conference, More for Less, which will focus on the Reform and Renewal agenda.

John Spence

John SpenceJohn Spence is Finance Chair of the Archbishops’ Council and well known for his co-ordinating role on the Renewal and Reform agenda. He has previously been Chair of Chelmsford Diocesan Board of Finance and a Church Commissioner.

In business, John spent 32 years with Lloyds Banking Group culminating in six managing director roles. Since leaving in 2005, he has held many appointments across government, charity and business.

He is a cabinet member on Essex County Council, Finance Chair BITC, a treasurer for the QE2 Diamond Jubilee Trust and other things as well! He has successively been awarded the MBE, OBE and CBE, for services to community, charity and business respectively.

John is married with three children and five grandchildren.

Emma Buchan

Emma Buchan is the Archbishops’ Evangelism Task Group Project leader. The Task Group was set up at the instigation of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York to enable culture change in the Church of England around Evangelism and Witness. 
She has been at the forefront of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ the invitation for a great wave of prayer for the evangelisation of our nation during the week leading up to Pentecost 2016.

Emma is married with two children. Her husband is a Rural Dean so is familiar with the opportunities and stresses of life at the sharp end in a deanery.


Newsletter after the Conference

This year’s conference was an exciting event! We hope you enjoyed it, and found it helpful. There was a great deal of energy around and a lot of interesting conversations.

We’re already starting to review the 2016 conference and think ahead to 2018. We would appreciate your feedback, so do take five minutes to fill in our very brief survey: Click Here


We are still gathering all of the powerpoints and handouts from the speakers. Many are available already, so please check the website for videos, slides and notes.

These will keep appearing as more is sent to us, so please visit again in a week or so…

Feel free to share the links with colleagues in your deaneries. We have tried to make this easy to do, by posting material on the website, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. The links for these can be found below…

Help us tell the story

We know that many people found the weekend helpful and will be writing reports for their dioceses, archdeaconries, deaneries, and parishes. If you are one of these people, please send your report in so we can use it on the NDN website. We would really appreciate your reflections, and it will help us to tell the story of the conference…

I was able to speak to a few people at the conference about our desire to build the network up so that it’s not just an event every two years. We would like to make it possible for people to share ideas, news and stories throughout the year. To do this, we need your input, so if you have anything that you could share, please send it in. Just email your news to us

It would be great if you could also encourage others to join the National Deaneries Network. People can sign up by following this

We hope to send regular emails keeping you up to date on the work of the Network. You can help by sending us news or stories from your area. Please contact us by email or Facebook.

The Next Conference…

The next conference has already been booked for the Hayes Conference Centre between 5th and 7th October 2018. We aren’t taking bookings yet, but you may wish to put it in your diary…

The Organising Group

The Organising Group will be meeting again in December. If you have any ideas for things that we should do or discuss, please drop us a line.

Renewal and Reform

(Audio only)

John Spence introduced the theme of Renewal and Reform (website). This emerged from a realisation that the Church of England was no-longer representing the whole of the nation, and that dioceses wanted to focus on growth – but didn’t have a strategy.

A key issue is maintaining the number of clergy, while releasing the talents of lay people. This means that we need a 50% increase in the pace of ordinations.

It was clear that the formula for distributing funds had lost its relevance. It rewarded failure. Fifty Million of funds can now be distributed to poorer parishes and to strategic development funding.

John payed tribute to deaneries, and to the commitment of people working across diverse areas.

The term “growth” is an issue. It must be used in a way that is relevant in diverse areas.

There is a report coming which will say something about the empowerment of all God’s people.

Revd Canon Dr Roger Matthews

Revd Canon Dr Roger MatthewsDean of Mission and Ministry Diocese of Chelmsford Roger’s ordained ministry has all been based in the Diocese of Chelmsford. Following two parish posts he was appointed Diocesan Mission Officer in 1996, Director for Mission and Ministry in 2001 and became Dean of Mission and Ministry in 2012. He is a member of the Bishop’s Senior Staff team and carries particular responsibility for ministry strategy as well as leading the central mission, training and DDO team. He coordinates the diocese’s world-wide companion links and encourages international learning and partnership. He is a member of the Church of England’s Continuing Ministerial Development Panel. Leadership development has been a major focus of Roger’s work and other ministry interests include spirituality, art, healing and pilgrimage.

Following two parish posts he was appointed Diocesan Mission Officer in 1996, Director for Mission and Ministry in 2001 and became Dean of Mission and Ministry in 2012. He is a member of the Bishop’s Senior Staff team and carries particular responsibility for ministry strategy. He is a member of the Church of England’s Continuing Ministerial Development Panel. Leadership development has been a major focus of Roger’s work.

Rt Revd Peter Hancock – Bishop of Bath and Wells

Bishop Peter’s love of the countryside translates into a strong interest in rural and environmental issues. This, alongside encouraging children and young people, and supporting the homeless and most vulnerable in society, forms what Bishop Peter describes as the “three threads” of his ministry.

Bishop Peter writes:

Bishop PeterI was born in Kent, but my roots really lie in Hampshire. After a childhood on the Isle of Wight we moved to Fareham when I was 11. School days were happy and I am very grateful for the teachers who shaped and encouraged me through my early years. All three schools which I attended were church foundations and this early Christian influence is something which has shaped my future life.

I read Natural Sciences at Cambridge and there met Jane. Jane has recently retired as a teacher and we have celebrated 36 years of marriage. We have 4 children – two boys and two girls. They all work in London. Our eldest daughter worked as a tropical agriculturalist in Tanzania and Sierra Leone and now works as a Global Food Security Officer for Tearfund. Tearfund is one of the 13 charities that make up the Disaster Emergencies Committee. Our oldest son is an underwriter. Our other daughter is a physiotherapist at St George’s Hospital. Our youngest son read Mechanical Engineering at Oxford and now works for Atkins who are consultant engineers. We have one grand-daughter, Esme, aged 10 months and a golden retriever dog.After Cambridge I spent a year in Watford working with deprived and sometimes violent young people looking after a dormitory of boys, many of whom were in the care of social services.

I read theology at Oak Hill College, London then served two curacies at Christ Church, Portsdown and in Weymouth, followed by 12 years as Vicar of St Wilfrid, Cowplain. During this time I also became a Rural Dean of Havant and Honorary Canon of Portsmouth Cathedral. I was Archdeacon of the Meon in Portsmouth Diocese for 11 years and then Bishop of Basingstoke in Winchester Diocese for 4 years. I became the 79th Bishop of Bath and Wells in 2014 and we live in a moated palace in Wells, famed for its swans. The diocese was founded in 909 AD, comprises the County of Somerset and has 562 churches.

My hobbies and interests include watching sport both live and on television. I have enjoyed visits to Wimbledon, the Olympics and the Rugby World Cup in recent years. I support Southampton FC and follow Bath Rugby Club. I am occasionally spotted on a golf course, in a swimming pool or skiing. More often I am to be found walking the dog and enjoying the coast and countryside.I am concerned about environmental and Third World Issues. I have worked with young people and students in different ways and enjoy travel and holidays. Last summer Jane and I went to visit our five link dioceses in Zambia and next month we go to Iceland for a few days. This will be fascinating for me as I studied the geology of Iceland whilst at university.

Having lived near to the sea for most of my life I feel a bit ‘landlocked’ in Wells but the delights of the Mendips, Exmoor and the Quantocks provide beautiful places for us to walk. The Levels have largely recovered from the serious flooding which affected Somerset in 2014 but people remain anxious, especially in the current very wet weather which the UK is experiencing.