Diocese of Winchester General Synod Hustings

General Synod circle

As I wrote last week, I am standing to be a member of General Synod.  Rather than doing a physical hustings, the Diocese of Winchester gave members of the Deanery Synods a chance to ask written questions to all the candidates.  The responses from the candidates for the Houses of Laity and House of Clergy, in the Diocese of Winchester, for the 2015 General Synod Elections are below:

Question 1

What do you see as the single greatest challenge the Church must face over the next 5 years, and how would you seek to address it?

Question 2

As we seek to ‘re-imagine the Church’ what are the changes and developments you would hope to see?

Question 3

How should the Church respond to the current refugee crisis?

Question 4

A majority of the parishes in our Diocese are in rural and semi-rural areas. What is your understanding of the challenges of Rural Ministry and how would you seek to address them?

Question 5

What are your hopes and prayers for the current programme of Shared Conversations around Human Sexuality?

I’m standing for General Synod

I am standing for the Church of England General Synod, as a member of the laity, in the Diocese of Winchester.  You can find out information about the other Laity and Clergy candidates in the Diocese of Winchester here.  Find out more about the General Synod here.

Here’s my election address:


Chris KiddThe Diocese of Winchester has a tradition of sending to General Synod experienced men and women, with many years of service to the Diocese and considerable understanding of a range of issues. I hope to complement that experience and understanding with my own fresh perspective, and links to young people across the Diocese. Currently I am a lay member of the Lyndhurst Deanery Synod, the Diocesan Synod, and one of the five lay members of the Bishop’s Council.


I believe strongly in a representative group of both lay and ordained sharing in the governance of the church. I am passionate about collaborative ministry and have experienced, and can worship God through, the rich diversity of churchmanship across our diocese.


I am married to Hannah (since 2004), and we have two children, Daniel (aged 5) and Joshua (aged 3).  I enjoy sport, blogging (www.chriskidd.co.uk) and reading.


My Faith Background

Having been brought up in a Christian family I have always been involved in, and enthusiastic about, church. I became aware of the need to make a response to Christ as a teenager at the Sheffield Alliance Music Festival in 1997 where someone spoke on the need to not be an armchair Christian. This sparked something in me, I realised that Christianity is about being an active disciple of Jesus, not just knowing Bible stories. Support and follow up from my youth leaders led me to make a commitment to Jesus, and to be Confirmed in 1998.


I greatly enjoyed my studies in 2001-2004 at Exeter University in the Theology Department. I felt that this was positive and challenging and that it deepened my understanding of the Bible and the Christian faith. Theology gave me the skills to both ask questions about faith, but also to answer other people’s questions.


Children’s & Youth Work

Over the last 11 years since leaving university I have worked as a Children’s & Youth Worker for three different churches. Currently I co-ordinate a team of over 60 volunteers who run the programmes and activities for nearly 250 children and young people aged 0-18 for St. Andrew’s Church in Dibden Purlieu. I am passionate about encouraging children and young people to engage with their faith in a holistic way.


I am involved both in the church and the local community. I was a Local Authority Governor and Vice-Chair for a Federation of Schools (2012-2015), I chair the Partnership Board for the local Children’s Centre. I also sit on the New Forest Local Children’s Trust Board developing strong links with statutory bodies.


I was privileged to attend Cape Town 2010 – The Third Lausanne Congress as one of 4,000 delegates, where I led a small group of six people from four continents, and was the Lead Blogger for the Congress. In the summer of 2016 I will be attending the Younger Leaders Gathering in Jakarta.


Key Issues for General Synod

A Missing Generation: I am eager for children and young people to have life changing encounters with Jesus. I am passionate about people discovering that they are loved by God and the holistic hope that can bring them. I want people to realise that faith has an impact now and not just in eternity. We are missing a generation in our churches and so we must keep mission and evangelism as the highest priority for the Church, facilitating the new and ancient ways of sharing the hope and the life transformation that the gospel brings.


Safeguarding: We can barely comprehend the terrible damage that has been inflicted on those vulnerable children and adults for whom the Church should have been a place of safety and hope. In my role working with some of the most broken youngsters in our local community I understand how crucial it is that nationally, and locally, we continue the great strides in improving our safeguarding practices, training, and policies so that the church truly can be a place of safety and hope for the most vulnerable in our communities.


Poverty & Welfare: Through my work I am sadly all too aware of the need of an increasing proportion of our communities for basic necessities. It is essential that everyone works together to highlight these issues and that the Church focuses its resources towards the communities most at need.


Lay Leadership: I long to see the Church committed to making disciples and releasing its members to serve Jesus in the church and in the world. To enable this I want to see clergy and local lay leaders supported and developed so that every congregation is encouraged in maturity and growth. The Archbishops’ programme for Reform and Renewal will be critical for this, and I will support initiatives that free up the laity to live out their Christian potential.


With all issues that will be discussed at General Synod, I will prayerfully consider each on merit. Listening carefully to all sides of the argument, both locally and nationally, whilst at the same time seeking to be obedient to what I understand the Bible to be saying and the Holy Spirit to be prompting.


Your vote is important in this election. I ask for your first preference vote and should I be elected, your prayer in the months ahead.


Do please contact me if you have any questions or would like to discuss any issue.

Questions about Daddy 2015

Hannah, my wife, did her annual questions about daddy with our two boys.  There’s some entertaining answers!

1. What makes Daddy happy?

D – Giving him food.

J – Building something.

2. How does Daddy make you laugh?

D – Tickling me.

J – Tickles me.

3. What was Daddy like as a child?

D – Good behaviour.

J – A scarecrow.

4. How old is Daddy?

D – 32.

J – 5.

5. How tall is Daddy?

D – Really tall.

J – Bigger.

6. What is Daddy’s favourite thing to do?

D – Play games.

J – Work.

7. What does Daddy do when you’re not around?

D – Look for me.

J – Go on a train.

8. What is Daddy really good at?

D – Driving our car.

J – Being in a castle.

9. What is Daddy not very good at?

D – Flushing the toilet.

J – Squirting me.

10. What is Daddy’s favourite food?

D – Meatballs with chicken nuggets.

J – Chicken.

11. What do you and Daddy do together?

D – Play games.

J – Puzzles and games.

12. Where is Daddy’s favourite place to go?

D – Portsmouth.

J – The park.

13. What does Daddy like most about Mummy?

D – Going in her bed.

J – He loves her.

14. What does Daddy do for a job?

D – Work at church.

J – Opens the shed.

15. How are you and Daddy the same?

D – We’ve got the same hair.

J – We’re both boys.

16. How are you and Daddy different?

D – We’ve got different colour t-shirts.

J – Because I’ve got white hair and he’s got brown hair.

17. How do you know Daddy loves you?

D – When he gives me cuddles.

J – Because he tickles me.

18. What makes Daddy sad?

D – When there’s not enough room in your bed.

J – Writing.

19. What makes you proud of Daddy?

D – When he’s good at playing football.

J – Swimming.

Dibden Minis, Kids & Youth – 2013 in summary


The children’s and youth ministry I help to lead has had a fantastic 2013, check out these facts to give you a flavour for what’s been happening:

  • 197 children attended our Monsters Stink holiday club – the biggest summer holiday activity for children in Hampshire
  • 78 assemblies, 29 RE lessons, 104 lunch club sessions and 8 pupils mentored weekly in local schools
  • 150 year 6 children helped with transition to secondary school
  • 225 children visited the church for RE
  • 388 tweets on Twitter
  • 97 Facebook Likes for Dibden Minis
  • 100 Facebook Likes for Dibden Kids
  • 129 Facebook Likes for Dibden Youth
  • 25 young people went to Soul Survivor with 6 young people becoming a Christian
  • 30 young people went to Fairthorne Manor
  • 290 attendances at iDen and jDen
  • 769 attendances at Uncover Tuesdays
  • 13 services led by the Youth Worship Group
  • 50 at the Dibden Youth Christmas Social
  • Over 23,000 watched a testimony video the week before Easter on Facebook
  • 13 young people got Confirmed
  • 1,601 attendances on a Sunday morning and evening
  • 2,115 attendances at Dibden Minis
  • Over 5,420 volunteer hours given, excluding Steph Gray’s time, saving over £50,000 in staffing

Cookie Christmas Tree

Last week, Hannah blogged about the cookie Christmas tree she made for the family using a set of cookie cutters from Lakeland.

It looks amazing and tastes brilliant – we’ve certainly enjoyed eating it bit by bit this week and the cutters seem to have been lent to half the church since who want to have a go at doing it too:

Cookie Christmas Tree

Books I have read: A Life Too Short

A Life Too Short

Even though I’d count myself as a knowledgable football fan I wasn’t too aware of who Robert Enke was until he sadly took his own life on the 10th November 2009 by stepping in front of a passing train.  Enke was a German goalkeeper who played for Barcelona, Benefica, and a number of other top European clubs.  As a fellow struggler of depression I was interested to read Robert Reng’s award-winning account of Enke’s life, A Life Too Short.

Robert Reng was a close friend who spent a lot of time using his own memories of time with Robert Enke, his wife Teresa, and Robert Enke’s personal diaries.  The book follows Enke’s life and career, sharing the highs and lows of being a professional footballer, but showing the human side of footballer’s, in this case, someone who even whilst his career was on the up, struggled with anxiety and depression.  The book is challenging to read – I really felt for Enke at a couple of points in the book – the match he played for Barcelona against Novelda where he and his team imploded; the moment he and Teresa lost their first child due to a heart defect; the fear that sharing about his depression would lead to his adopted daughter being taken away.

The book highlights that regardless of outside success – in his case being the German national goalkeeper – it means nothing when the inner turmoil of depression exists.  It was the well deserved winner of the William Hill Sports Book in 2011, and if you haven’t read it, do grab hold of a copy, it will certainly be one of the best football biographies you will ever read.

My struggle – leaders fail


One of my biggest lessons in leadership is that leaders fail, and that it is necessary and good to fail.

The more I read of leaders the more I realise that those we often hold up as fantastic leaders in their own fields struggled time and time again with failure.  Their success is built upon a foundation of failures from which they learn and grow.

As Thomas Edison said:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

The other thing I’ve learnt is that just because you fail doesn’t mean you should drop that dream or goal – it may just need more practice or not be the right time for it to work.  Just check out this infographic:


Tropical Island Inside a Hangar

We’ve been away this week on holiday in North Norfolk – it was cold and grey but great fun and refreshing and an explanation as to why the blog has been quiet.


This picture of sandy beach, palm trees and clear, blue water.  But if you think that these holiday makers are lounging on a warm tropical island, you’d be wrong.  They’re inside a giant hangar in snowy Germany!

The ‘resort’ is actually located on the site of a former Soviet military air base in Krausnick, Germany. Tropical Islands is inside a hangar built originally to house airships designed to haul long-distance cargo. And despite it looking like temperatures are through the roof – outside the giant hangar it is actually snowing.


The Daily Mail has more photos: Link

My little action man

Josh, who has just turned one, has always been an active boy, never one for enjoying cuddles, he much prefers to be crawling or cruising around.  He’s recently discovered how to turn on our hi-fi and laptop which is a bit worrying!

In our house in Dibden we haven’t had stair gates as we couldn’t fit it to the bannisters.  Josh was very keen to go up and down the stairs so in the end we ensured that he was safe going up and down the stairs.  He’s now a bit of an expert as you can see from this:


iPotty entertains toddlers during toilet training


Hannah and I have recently been toilet training Daniel, our oldest, he’s done really well, but I wonder if this invention would have helped him or just distracted him, and I’m clearly not the only one thinking that, with Wired asking the same question.

The makers of the toilet don’t want parents to worry about any damage to their tablet — the training potty comes with a clear cover to put over the iPad, as well as a splash guard for boys. The potty can also be disassembled for easy cleaning, CNET reported.

iPotty with iPad

Daniel loves the iPad and is very proficient with it, and quite happy playing with it for a long period of time, but I’m not sure I would pay $40 to have a potty to which it could connect.

What do you think, is this a good invention or an over priced bit of plastic?