Deaneries are designated groups of parishes within an Archdeaconry which have the opportunity and encouragement to work in partnership with each other to celebrate and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the people entrusted to their care.
Deaneries form an important bridge between parishes and the wider church, including the Diocese. Working together, churches within a deanery support each other and share resources as well as information on Mission Action Plans (MAPs) and Parish Support Fund pledges. To underline this interconnectedness, it may help to consider using the strapline ‘Rooted in my parish, connected in my deanery, growing in our Diocese’.
In Southwark Diocese there are 25 deaneries. Each is jointly led by the Lay Chair, who is elected by the lay members of the Deanery Synod, and the Area Dean who is appointed by the Bishop after consultation with local clergy and the Lay Chair.
Diocesan Toolkit for Deaneries
Deanery and Deanery Synods
Deanery Leadership Teams
In July 2018, Diocesan Synod approved the main recommendation of the Deaneries Advisory Group that every deanery should have a Deanery Leadership Team (DLT). The purpose of the DLT is to:
- work together to lead the deanery in fulfilling the Southwark Vision for mission and growth
- take on the functions of the standing committee – the members of the standing committee comprising the three officers should be members of the DLT.
The DLT is accountable to the Synod and should report to each meeting of the Synod.
Membership of the DLT is confirmed by the Synod – members should comprise a range of people who are committed to delivering the objectives of the Southwark Vision within the deanery. Membership of the DLT should be reviewed at the start of each triennium and kept under review.
Deaneries as centres for mission
The National Deaneries Network is a national-level network with useful links and support for the development of deaneries as units for mission and ministry. It organises a conference every two years which is particularly valued by Lay Chairs and Area Deans as a space for mutual support, networking and shared learning. The Diocese sponsors residential attendees from the deaneries to attend and a National Deaneries Conference Report is circulated following the event.