all you need to understand or attend a Synod Meeting
Synod Reps Handbook
A simple guide to being a member of the North Western Synod
Click an icon above to download a pdf booklet with all the information you need
What we do
The North Western Synod of The United Reformed Church meets twice annually, in the spring and the autumn, to discern policy on matters of our shared Ministry & Mission, and exercising oversight of our Legal and Financial responsibilities.
We also meet for inspiration and debate on a wide variety of issues relating to your local church.
Do you have an idea?
If you’ve any suggestions for a future meeting, please use the contact form
Suggestions for future Synod Meetings
Fequently Asked Questions are listed below, simply click on each question to discover more.
Who can attend a Synod Meeting?
Anyone who is a member or friend of one of our local churches can attend a meeting of our Synod. However, only members of the Synod will be permitted to speak unless the Moderator gives permission to a guest. Likewise, only members issued with a voting card are permitted to vote.
How long does the meeting last?
Check-in at our Synod Meetings are from 10am, where you will recieve your name badge, papers, voting card, and expenses for as appropriate.
The meeting usually begins with worship at around 10:30am.
There will be a lunch break in the middle of the day.
The meeting closes with worship, aiming to end by 4pm.
Will my travelling 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, available on 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.
Is lunch provided?
It is not usual for lunch to be provided and all attendees are therefore asked to 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 should 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 fully 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 suitible arrangements can be made if practicable.
How do we make decisions?
Perhaps controray to how it may appear when we ‘vote’ in the councils of the church, the United Reformed Church does not make decisions democratically – that is, we are neither supposed to ‘vote’ for ‘our’ own preference, nor simply make decisions by simple majority.
Our aim is to listen to God and each other, and discern together the best way forward.
A more detailed explanation of how we seek to achieve this is on the page Discerning Together, a button taking you there is just below this section.
Do I have to vote the way my church instructed me to vote?
No! As a member of Synod you are a representative of your local church, not a delegate. You should share the views of your local church during the debate if they are relevant to the discussion, however, your role in the meeting is also 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.
Click the icons below to explore our theology of governance, our structures, and the work of our Synod Committees
The Book of Reports and Minutes of previous meetings of the North Western Synod
Records of stuff we talked about
is God’s mission
the strong should help the weak
we belong to each other