Challenge and change face Scottish Episcopal Church as it prepares for its annual General Synod

May 31, 2019

The annual meeting of the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church takes place from 6-8 June in St Paul’s & St George’s Church, York Place. Edinburgh. Church members from across Scotland who have been nominated members of General Synod will gather in Edinburgh for the three day meeting at which a range issue, concerns and opportunities facing the Church will be discussed and debated.

This year’s agenda includes a report on a Clergy Wellbeing Survey carried out earlier this year, in which indications of bullying and harassment have been made. This is of serious concern to the Church and will be a priority for its leadership to address over the coming weeks and months. Other items include a proposed revision of the Church’s Ethical Investment Policy and a report on the Church’s Safeguarding Audit.

Interfaith relations are always of importance in the Church’s life and this year General Synod is delighted to welcome the Director General and Chief Imam of the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society, Sheikh Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi, to address Synod.

What it means to be human is a question that Synod members will be considering when presented with a report on the Challenge of Genome Editing from its Church in Society Committee.

General Synod will be constituted by the Most Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church when he delivers his Charge to Synod during the opening Eucharist on the morning of 6 June. Bishop Mark says “We approach Synod this year with an increased sense of awareness of the challenges we face, both internally and externally, as a Church in the current climate of social and political uncertainty. The College of Bishops will present some thoughts on the role of the Churches in reconciliation following social change and we hope this will encourage Synod members to respond in ways that can help bring about change and greater collaboration in the work we do in our communities and with one another.

“The clergy wellbeing survey revealed some areas of concern for the Church but it has also provided us with an opportunity to address the issues that matter and enable us to bring about change where it is most required.

“Our Mission Board drives much of what we do as a Church, and Synod will have an opportunity to hear from those whose roles focus on discipleship within the Church and outreach beyond it.”

Anyone who is not a member of General Synod is welcome to sit in the public gallery of St Paul’s and St George’s Church during the meeting of General Synod. Video livestream coverage of the meeting will be available on the Scottish Episcopal Church website here, together with online updates of the proceedings and decisions made by General Synod.