Friday, 6 July 2018

General Synod, York 2018 - Day 1

Once again the odd collection of people that make up the members of The General Synod of The Church of England gathered at the University of York for the July group of sessions.

The central hall at the university where the synod meets has always been very very hot so I was not looking forward to it in this heatwave. However they seem to have improved the cooling system and it was quite pleasant in the synod chamber.

As ever the synod started off with greetings from Anglican and Ecumenical guests. Synod heard from The Most Revd Humphrey Peters, Bishop of Peshawar, Moderator and Primate of the Church of Pakistan. Bishop Humphrey told us about the issues facing the church in Pakistan and particularly the issues around the persecution of the church.

We then heard from The Archbishop of Central Africa and Bishop of Northern Zambia, The Most Revd Albert Chama. Archbishop Albert talked about working with the national government for peaceful, fair and free elections.

Finally Ralf Meister of the Evangelical Church in Germany, on behalf of the ecumenical guests spoke about the need to work together.
 
As usual the first substantive item of business on the agenda was the Business Committee report. This was given a bit of a hard time from floor around the decisions not to bring forward any private members motions to this group of sessions (aside from an contingency business item) and particularly around the issues of same sex relationships which the have been put on hold pending the production of the teaching document. This caused many synod members (including myself) to vote against or abstain on the business committee report. However it was still passed easily.

Following on from the business committee report we moved onto legislative business.

The items discussed were :-
Draft Amending Canon No 40 is quite interesting as it covers religious communities and how the new religious communities can have oversight from within the church.

Finally the session finished of with questions.

Later tonight is the ACiS (Affirming Catholics in Synod) group meeting.