Saturday, 7 July 2018

General Synod, York 2018 - Day 2

Today's session started off with the Archbishop of York's presidential address. The full text of this may be found here.

Following on from this the synod moved on to the very important issue of safeguarding. A document (GS 2092) has been produced as the basis of this discussion.

Initially synod received a presentation from some abuse survivors before moving on to a debate.

It goes without saying that there is no doubt that the church has totally failed to live up to the standards expected of it and it is vital that the synod can make the culture change required within the church to make sure that it will not happen again and to find a way to help, in a way that is right for them, those to it did happen.

There were many excellent contributions to this debate, but I will mention only two.

Fr Andrew Dotchin (St Edmundsbury and Ipswich) in his speech mentioned a tweet from a friend :-
‘Church, we have got to stop introducing Safeguarding Training with comments like
“Sorry, I’m afraid we have to go through the boring safeguarding stuff, it’s the rules”
This is part of the problem.
Friends for as long as we see safeguarding as a chore and some kind of ‘necessary evil’ we will continue to allow darkness to grow in the home of light and the hope we are called to offer to a lost world will wither and die.
Jayne Ozanne (Oxford) asked what the church can do to victims to make reparations for what was done. An important question I think which needs to be asked more.

In the afternoon there was a number of seminars members could attend. Additionally the England vs Sweden football World Cup quarter final was shown on the big screen in the main synod chamber. (Clearly having synod in session helped as England cruised into the semi final - I wonder if it was down to the continuing praying presence that always happens when synod is in session)

I attended a session on Digital Evangelism. As well as covering the latest on a Church Near You and the 2018/19 Advent / Christmas / Epiphany campaign we saw a demo of the Alexa Church of England app

and heard some statistics about how it has been used.

Finally after the work of synod was over after diner I enjoyed a couple of pints with my friends and synod colleagues Ben Franks (Birmingham) and Fr Mark Bratton (Coventry)