Posted Friday 08 June 2012
The second day of General Synod started with the presentation by the Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway of Motion 26 - that this Synod agree in principle to adopt the Anglican Covenant and instruct the Faith and Order Board to arrange to bring forward appropriate canonical provision for consideration for first reading at General Synod 2013. Chairing this Session, the Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness advised Synod that there would be a variety of strongly held views expressed in this session and reminded Synod that they were among colleagues and friends and anyone speaking, regardless of the strength of their views, must respect the views held by others.
Comments were made both in support of and against adopting the Covenant. Comments included the impact of the Covenant on developing mission within the Church, and that the Covenant should be rejected for positive rather than for negative reasons; a reminder of the passage in John Chapter 15 which says “love one another as I have loved you.”: There was concern that the Covenant does not recognise that Anglicanism is not static but rather a dynamic movement. Motion 26 fell on a vote of 112 against, 6 in favour and 13 abstentions.
The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane then presented a resolution on the Anglican Communion in support of Motion 27, saying “The Anglican Communion matters deeply to us in the Scottish Episcopal Church. We invoke the history of Samuel Seabury, consecrated in 1784 by the Scottish bishops as the first bishop of the church in the United States of America. We want to be part of the re-founding - the bringing to birth of a new phase of Communion life.” Following supportive comments from the floor of Synod, Motion 27 was carried. The Motion stated that this Synod:
Give thanks for the part played by the Scottish Episcopal Church in the early stages of the evolution of the Anglican Communion through the consecration of Samuel Seabury in Aberdeen;
Affirm its desire to continue to be part of the Anglican Communion as it seeks closer union while celebrating its diversity;
Call on the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates’ Meeting, the Lambeth Conference and the Anglican Consultative Council to encourage the development of bonds of shared mission, respect and mutual support through which the Anglican Communion can help spread the love of Christ across the world;
Affirm the work of the Anglican Communion Networks, bodies and initiatives through which those bonds can be nurtured.
Synod then turned its attention to the Whole Church Misssion and Ministry Policy. The Primus, in his role as the Convener of the Mission and Ministry Board, presented an overview of this policy (full text available below). The Provincial Director of Ordinands, the Rev Canon Dr Alison Peden, stressed the importance of the training and development of candidates for the variety of ministry within the Church. Mr Peter Smart, Convener of the Ministry Development Committee, and the Rev Canon Dr Michael Fuller, Ministry Development Officer, gave a presentation on the quality assuring of training materials and advised Synod of the steps that the Mission and Ministry Board have embarked on to address this aspect of the Church’s work. Following discussion in groups, some members of Synod spoke in support of this area of work, making a number of points that the Board may wish to consider.
The morning Session came to a close with a presentation from the Convener of the Inter-Church Relations Committee, the Rev Canon John Lindsay.
The afternoon session began with Mr Peter Smart, Convener of the Ministry Development Committee, providing Synod with a report on the work of the Committee. Mr Smart highlighted some of the issues facing the Committee and, in particular, spoke about the forthcoming inspection by the Ministry Division of the Church of England.
The Rev Canon Val Nellist, Convener of the Overseas Committee, then presented Motion 28, that, recognising that Millennium Development Goals Number 2 (Achieve Universal Primary Education) and Number 3 (Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women) are identified for particular attention and support in the current year, this Synod endorse the renewal of support for the men and women across the world who are working to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by confirming its support of Diocesan Companionship Links and the mission and aid agencies. This was associated with an interview by Mr John Rea, member of the Provincial Overseas Committee with Dr Elaine Cameron, member of the Inter Anglican Women’s Network, on her attendance at this year’s United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The theme of this year’s Commission was the empowerment of rural women and Dr Cameron provided a stimulating presentation on the Commission. The motion was carried.
The Very Rev Ian Barcroft, Convener of the Church in Society Committee, presented motion 29 to Synod. The motion, that this Synod welcome the report of the Anti-Human Trafficking Ecumenical Group of Action of Churches Together in Scotland and urge that the Scottish Parliament take note of that report in devising any future legislation on the subject of sexual exploitation, was accompanied by a powerful and emotional presentation from Ann Glenesk, member of the ACTS Anti-Trafficking Group, on the very serious issues confronting women who are trafficked for sexual exploitation. This motion was carried unanimously.
To conclude the session, the Rev John Conway, Convener of the Committee for Relations with People of Other Faiths, spoke on the work of the Committee ; and Mrs Elspeth Davey, Church Relations Officer, provided an update on the work of the Church for All Group.
The final session of the day was led by the Bishops of Argyll and The Isles and Moray, Ross and Caithness, in a discussion on the challenges facing rural congregations and the support and assistance that the Whole Church Mission and Ministry Policy provides in this respect. In an amusing and entertaining way, the Bishops reported on the vibrancy and potential of many of these congregations within their respective Dioceses.
The second day of Synod closed with Evening Office at 4.45pm.
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Category: General Synod 2012