1998: A Bridge Thus Far

Stoke Rochford Hall, near Grantham, in October 1998 was the venue for the Sixth Deaneries Conference. The title for the conference “A Bridge Thus Far” was a reference to the report from the Synodical Government Review Group, chaired by Lord Bridge.
The conference was fully subscribed with some 120 deanery and other representatives from 36 dioceses.

Main Speakers
Robert Warren,
National Officer for Evangelism
Professor Michael Clarke,
Member of the Bridge Commission, Head of Public Policy Department, Birmingham University
Rt Revd Tim Stevens, then Bishop of Dunwich, since appointed as Bishop of Leicester
‘Seizing New Opportunities for Deaneries’, the sub title for the conference, and the proposals set out in the Bridge Report to do away with the Deanery level of synodical government, rather than dampen spirits fired delegates to see opportunities to develop the deanery as a proactive and dynamic resource for the church. This accounted for the fact that is was a busy conference with a lot crammed in.
About 90 delegates completed the conference evaluation sheets, which help the organising group to plan for future events. Overwhelming support for another conference in two years – venue generally approved.
One comment sums up the overwhelming view of the conference and a rejuvenated future for the deanery:
“If over 100 people can find it worthwhile spending 3 days in the company of fellow deanery people from all over the country, then the deanery must have a future.’
A report of the conference is published by Parish and People. It includes all the main talks and the results of groups discussions “Looking to the Future”. In addition the Submission to the Revision Committee Re the Bridge Report is included as much of the submission was shaped by the conference.

The Report “A Bridge Thus Far” (ISBN 1 873529 81 3) was compiled by Peter J. Bates. Details from Parish and People 01258 453939 Parish & People or the Conference Organisers

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