Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Bishop: ‘Our agenda is to be transformed by God for the transformation of the world’

16th Nov 2015

Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford has told the Chelmsford Diocesan Synod:

“Our agenda is this – that we might be transformed for the transformation of the world.”

Bishop Stephen had some good news to report. The first two Mission and Ministery Units had been formed, said the Bishop, and there was a 43 per cent increase in people offering themselves for Ordination over the past three years.

The Synod was held on November 14, 2015, the day after the terrorist attacks in Paris. The Eucharist included prayers for peace and justice.

The debates explored issues of mission, ministry, diversity and inclusion and commitments were renewed to:

  • Inhabit the world distinctively, evangelise effectively, re-imagine ministry and be held accountable to God and each other - the four priorities of Transforming Presence, the strategic priorities for the Diocese of Chelmsford.
  • Nurture Black and Minority Ethnic vocations at every level of church life, in particular by tackling any unconscious bias.

A series of Lent lectures on the Transforming Presence priorities will be delivered by the Bishops of the Diocese. Download the leaflet here.

Archdeacon Mina Smallman, the first Black female Archdeacon in the Church of England, led the debate on issues of diversity and inclusion in the Diocese.

A presentation was made by Pete Winmill of Prospects, the Christian charity which works with people living with learning disabilities.

Synod approved the diocesan Budget for 2016.


Revd Louise Williams was elected Chair of the House of Clergy in succession to Canon Martin Wood, and Canon Robert Hammond was elected Chair of the House of Laity in succession to Canon Susan Atkin.


The retirements of Canon Don Cardy and Anthony Nicolle, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Budget Committee respectively, were announced. The Budget Committee has now been dissolved and its functions have been transferred to the Finance Executive.

More information

Visit our Diocesan Synod web page for more news about the work of the Chelmsford Diocesan Synod.