The 2014 Synod of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf took place at the Lordos Beach Hotel, Larnaca between 10 and 14 February.

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The theme of Synod 2014 was Ministry.

Parish videos reported on the variety of ministries that take place throughout the diocese; from welcoming pilgrims to visiting labour camps: from organising food banks to leading worship, and many more.

A key debate looked at ways in which ministry could be coordinated and developed, and was enthusiastically received. Another important session considered the future structure of the diocese, as it approaches its fortieth birthday. The challenges of different understandings of ‘diocese’, of distance and of finance were all faced. The newly formed Spirituality Development Team provided inspirational glimpses of their potential contribution, and the Communications Team set out an ambitious agenda of cultural change.

Reflections on the theme of Ministry at the Convent of St Raphael
Bishop Michael Lewis delivering the Presidential Address to Synod

This was one of the largest gatherings at Synod ever. Representatives and observers came from all the parishes, as well as from associated support groups based in the UK, and representatives from the twinned diocese of Exeter and Thika, Kenya. The general impression they were left with was of a diocese that was serious about ministry and beginning to grapple with the prospects of being a growing thriving but very individual diocese in a significant place at a significant time.

Canon Robert Jones

Canon Robert Jones at the Convent of St Raphael in Xylotymbou Village (photo Julia Denny-Demetriou)

Canon Robert Jones, who gave the spiritual addresses at Synod 2014, is now a firm friend of Cyprus and the Gulf.  The connection was first made under Bishop Clive Handford through Fr Stephen Miller, until a few years ago Mission to Seafarers senior chaplain in Dubai.  Stephen was Robert’s curate in the Diocese of Worcester in the Church of England.  He encouraged the standing committee  to invite Robert to use his special talent to prepare and support worship and music, and he has done so with aplomb every year since then.

Quite by coincidence Bishop Michael and Julia are old friends of Robert’s.  The bishop and he were at Cuddesdon Theological College in Oxford together in the seventies.  When the Lewises moved to the Diocese of Worcester in 1991, Robert Jones was a priest-colleague in the same deanery and Julia and he served on the governing body of the same secondary school.

After many years of parish ministry in tough places in the West Midlands he is now head of Worcester’s Department of Training and Development.  As well as being Director and a canon of the cathedral he has special responsibility for lay training and discipleship, and for clergy continuing ministerial development. He also resources the Stewardship and Giving task group and programme.

This year he led us on a deeply thoughtful and perceptive journey as we considered what ministry and vocation and discipleship and priesthood might be among the whole People of God.  His contribution was widely appreciated.

Chaplaincy Presentations

For Synod this year each Chaplaincy produced a media presentation on the theme of “Ministry”.  Click on any of the thumbnails below to view the full video presentation.

St Paul's Cathedral Nicosia
St Barnabas' and St Lazarus'
Christ Church Ayia Napa
The Anglican Church of Paphos
St Andrew's Kyrenia
St Mark's Famagusta
St George's Baghdad Iraq
St Christopher's Cathedral Bahrain
Mission to Seafarers Bahrain
St Andrew's Abu Dhabi
St John the Evangelist, Deryneia
Mission to Seafarers Dubai
Mission to Seafarers Limassol
The Protestant Church in Oman
Diocese of Thika
Diocese of Exeter - Exeter Cathedral
Church of the Epiphany Doha
St Paul's Kuwait

Many thanks once again to Tim Heaney, Associate Chaplain at Holy Trinity Church in Dubai, for coordinating the video presentations during Synod.

A wider selection of photographs from Synod can be found on our Facebook page (even if you are not a Facebook user) by clicking the links below.

Synod Snapshots

At the Convent of St Raphael in Xylotymbou Village

Synod Eucharist

And if you are a Facebook user, please make sure that you have “LIKED” the Diocese FB page, then you can tag yourself in any of the photographs

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