Saturday, 8 July 2017

General Synod, York 2015, Day 1

Thanks to Fr Mark Bratton the Rector of Berkswell who is one of Coventry's clergy members of synod I got a lift up to York and so was there in good time.

After the normal meeting up with people I'd not seen since February.

After opening worship, was a welcome to various visiting Anglican and Ecumenical guests, including the Bishop of Edinburgh how was warmly applauded by the majority of synod (although some hardline ConEvos seemed to think we should have invited a GAFCON schismatic bishop instead.) We then had a short speech of greetings from The Rt Rev'd Matti Repo, Bishop of Tampere of the Church of Finland. Reference was made to the Nordic churches' attitude on sexuality, at  present they are all more inclusive than the CofE

As usual the first substantive item was the business committee report.

During this there was a discussion whether members should have a code conduct. As someone who was a City Councillor on a met borough for 14 years, where there is a code of conduct for elected members I'm actually surprised this is even a discussion point.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty much taken up with the Archbishops' motion on "After the General Election a Still Small Voice of Calm"

There was an attempt to politicise this with various amendments such as reducing the voting age to 16 and introduction of STV, although the amendment Senegal to think this on its own would bring in PR without changes to multi member cobstituencies. Fortunately all the amendments were defeated.

One important issue raised in the speeches was how when parish priests become too partisan party political it can act as barrier to reaching people and hinder mission. I wholeheartedly agree with this point and would encourage certain clergy of my acquaintance to reflect on it.

In the end the motion overwhelmingly passed.

In my personal opinion this debate achieved nothing ave I think synod could have used it's time better, discussing much more important issues or extending the time on later debates

After dinner (lamb) there was a chance to attend fringe events ( I went to the GAS Human Sexuality Group meeting and then the Affirming Catholics in Synod [ACiS] group meeting) followed by a couple of enjoyable pints in the Vanburgh bar, before heading back to my room on the outer reaches of the campus known as Alcuin College.