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Tuesday, 13 February 2007

York General Synod - Fri7Jul2006

General Synod July Sessions 2006

What follows is not a verbatim report of the meeting of General Synod but an outline to keep people informed of what Synod is getting up to. A full outline of all motions can be found in the Agenda for the February Group of Sessions (GS1612); that and all Synod papers quoted are available from Church House Bookshop or at this link.

Most of the day was spent travelling to York with sessions starting mid afternoon. The debate on the paper relating to Further Education Chaplaincy Pushing Further: From Strategy to Action enabled a lot of personal stories to emerge of the value of chaplaincy services, especially at a time of crises. 43% of young people aged 16-19 years are learners in FE colleges as well as 4.6 million adults. The paper encouraged the church to double the number of posts and the addition of central & regional support through 7 tasks. These tasks were likely to be challenging in today’s financial climate.

The Presidential Address by the Archbishop of York exhorted the synod, at a time of controversy, to heed St Paul’s words, ‘let your gracious magnanimity be manifest to all’ (Phil 4:5), adding that ‘a graciously-magnanimous church has a responsibility to affirm moral standards’.

The Archbishop of Canterbury made a statement following the recent decisions by the Episcopal Church in the USA not to fully respond to the request in the Windsor report in the matter of sexual ethics. The Archbishop made a carefully worded statement on the importance of unity even in the face of strongly divergent opinion. He said, ‘It is a question of how we work out, faithfully, attentively, obediently what we need to do and say in order to remain within sight and sound of each other in the fellowship to which Christ has called us’. However he foresaw ‘a situation in which there may be more divisions than at present’. He further explained the idea of possible ‘constituent’ and ‘associate’ members of the Communion. The situation is being monitored in preparation for the Primates’ meeting in February 2007.

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