As most of you are aware General Synod 2019 concluded its work on Tuesday evening. There were many good things which came out of it.
Of note was the election of our new Primate, the Most Reverend Linda Nicholls. The National Indigenous Anglican Bishop, the Most Reverend Mark McDonald, was made an Archbishop. Future holders of the role will have that title and be part of the Metropolitans' meeting.
Important changes to Canon XXII (National Indigenous Ministry) were made. These concern the establishment of autonomy for indigenous Anglicans. In addition the Primate made a fulsome apology for past actions of our Church towards First Peoples. This was generously received at the end of Synod.
There were also motions re interfaith dialogue and relationships. Decisions were made about responses to climate change. In addition, new liturgical options were passed. I suggest that people read the communications from Synod to discover more.
Of course the debate which caused the most interest concerned Canon XXI (On Marriage in the Church). After the debate the motion to change was lost in the House of Bishops. This means Canon XXI remains unchanged.
This led to many hours of discussion in the House of Bishops and a statement to the Synod was the result. Essentially the statement recognizes that each diocese and bishop will be able to decide about same gender marriage for the area they serve. During the Fall discussions will take place in dioceses across the country, including ours, as to how to respond to the outcome of General Synod.
In order to do this we all need to stand back and reflect. The summer provides us with time to do this.
I am in the UK to bury Janet's ashes, visit her family and care for my parents. I will not be responding to communications until I return on August 15th.
I trust that you will have a good summer.
Yours in Christ’s service,