General Synod 2013 – Saturday 8th June

August 6, 2013

The third day of Synod began with the morning Office and a presentation was then received from the Reverend Harriet Harris, on behalf of the Doctrine Committee, on the 9th Grosvenor Essay – The Art of Dying Well. This was accompanied by a brief film illustrating work that is ongoing within Strathcarron Hospice and the presentation prompted a number of comments from Synod members. Diaconate Working Party – The Rt Rev Dr John Armes, Bishop of Edinburgh, provided Synod with an update from the Diaconate Working Party and expressed gratitude for all who had made comments and provided both questions and suggestions to the Working Party. As there remained work to be completed, the Working Group sought Synod"s encouragement and approval to continue for a limited time to enable this to be done. Motion 23 was then proposed by Bishop John and seconded by the Reverend Cannon Dr Anne Tomlinson, requesting Synod to affirm the work of the Diaconate Working Group and approve its continuation for a further period of not less than three years. Following a number of submissions from the floor, which Bishop John considered to be helpful, Synod voted for the motion. The Convener of the Administration Board, Mr Michael Lugton, provided Synod with an account of the work of the Administration Board and its pendant committees and he reported progress on several fronts. The Investment Committee saw the investment portfolio performing reasonably well and enabled the Committee to maintain the same level of distribution as last year; it also worked closely with the Church in Society Committee on the subject of ethical banking. The Finance Committee continued the work on the issues identified by the Standing Committee in its review of 2011 and the Buildings Committee saw the reintroduction of the Dunderdale Grant but was unable to consider reintroducing the larger grants scheme before 2014. The Retirement Welfare Committee continued to oversee the properties owned by the Scottish Episcopal Church. Mr Lugton then explained the background to Motions 24, 25, 26 and 27, which were intended to reflect the results of the consultations in 2012 with dioceses and congregations in respect of governance. These motions were proposed by Mr Lugton and seconded by the Rt Rev Dr Robert Gillies, Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney. The Motions were carried. The Convener of the Standing Committee, Mr David Palmer, advised Synod that the Digest of Resolutions permitted the terms of office of certain positions to be extended beyond those set out in the Canons and reported that the Committee had received a recommendation from the Mission and Ministry Board that the term of office of its Convener, the Primus, be extended until the conclusion of General Synod 2015, the substance of Motion 28. The Motion was passed. The Final Session of General Synod 2013 saw the Convener of the Standing Committee, Mr David Palmer, advising Synod on the Budget and Quota. In proposing Motion 29 to increase the quota for 2014 to £658 837, Mr Palmer provided Synod with some context to support the detail provided in the Synod papers. The Motion prompted a number of questions from the floor of Synod and was carried. In concluding his presentation, Mr Palmer thanked the Primus for his leadership throughout the year and this was warmly applauded by Synod. The Secretary General, Mr John Stuart, advised Synod on the nominations for vacancies on the Administration Board and the Mission and Ministry Board. In the absence of other nominations, elections were not required and Mr Graeme Hely, Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway, was approved as a member of the Administration Board and Mrs Sari Salvesen, Diocese of Edinburgh, was approved as a member of the Mission and Ministry Board. The Primus then confirmed the Acts of Synod and the General Synod 2013 concluded.