Monday, 2 August 2010

Will you stand for General Synod?

If you haven’t thought about it already, now would be a very good time (if you are eligible) to consider standing for election to the General Synod of the Church of England.

Any adult lay member of the Church may stand, and most members of the clergy. However, nominations must be in by noon on Friday 3rd September.

There is an entire website devoted to the subject, so I won’t bother giving you the details.

Much of the work of the Synod is mundane, and it is very demanding in terms of the amount of reading material sent out. However, for reasons which will be familiar to most readers of this blog, the make-up of the next Synod will be crucial to the future of the Church of England.

One thing that is important to get right, however, is your election address, and there are experienced people willing to help with this. If you would like to be put in touch with one of them in the Diocese of Chelmsford, please contact me via the e-mail address at the bottom of this blog.
John Richardson
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  1. Hi there,
    The process looks positively democratic compared to our Australian process! Here, you have to be a member of diocesan synod, which then elects representatives to General Synod. Then, you have to be in the good graces of one of the Synod "voting blocs" to get on their recommended voting list - in Melbourne, there's usally one each for liberal, evangelical, and Anglo-Catholic. Usually, it means the lawyers and politicians get up (ie synod professionals), rather than being representative of the clergy or laity.
    Andrew Reid

  2. Andrew that sounds very posh! here I know we have a very wide range of poeple and most are strong and determined so not so posh!

  3. It's something I've often considered, but for those of us who work for a living we need to lose between 5 and 10 days of our precious holiday allowance to get involved. And before clergy complain that they also work for a living, let me ask them whether they also regard attendance at General Synod as part of their annual holiday.

    And thus General Synod consists of the retired lay and the active clergy. That's a bit sweeping, I know, but if Synod really wants to embrace the real world in which most church members live, it ought to try a bit harder to meet at times not just designed to suit clergy.

    Neither does it do anything of any great significance to most of us. The C of E is run by its Bishops, not by its Synods. Bishops are not accountable to anyone on earth, as our recently departed Bishop was fond of telling us, quoting Richard Hooker. Down in darkest South London, where I work, the local football team's supporters have a motto - 'No-one likes us, we don't care.' Sounds like a good motto for the Episcopate, at least some of them.

  4. I like your optimism. but there is more chance of my being voted cuddly liberal of the year on Thinking Anglicans than of this being halted for very long

  5. Canon Andrew Godsall4 August 2010 at 10:22

    Ed I think this pretence that you are NOT theologically liberal ought to stop! Can you really subscribe to all 39 articles that John here is so keen on?

  6. I should just clarify that the voting lists are not an "official" part of the General Synod election process in Australia. It's just that you won't get enough votes at your Diocesan synod unless you're included in one of the "How to Vote" lists from the major blocs.

  7. Well, Andrew (Godsall), how's your own commitment to the Articles? Do you think an Anglican should not be keen on the Articles and still make the Declaration of Assent?