The 3rd Session of the 52nd Synod was held, commencing with ‘Synod in the Greenfields’ on Saturday, September 9th at New Life Anglican Church at Oran Park. This was to give delegates first hand exposure to the growing needs of the south-west corridor, and includes talks and tours.
The opening service of Synod was held in the Anglican School’s Hall and was followed by the Presidential address.
Archbishop’s Presidential Address:
This was the current Archbishop’s maiden speech as President. He gave heartfelt thanks for those who served before him and for their faithful ministries. He also reminded us to be thankful for all who have served in every capacity throughout the pandemic.
He went on to give a very moving address on The Challenge Before Us, with the recurring theme: ‘Do you see the crowds?
From Matthew 9:35-38, he spoke of the harvest being plentiful, but the labourers few, with emphasis on the projected huge growth in the western region.
He spoke of Jesus’ ministry, travelling through all the towns and villages of Galilee, teaching healing, engaging with the crowds and his caring for them.
He addressed the of the Anglican Church in Sydney’s moves to purchase land in these new communities for churches, schools and retirement villages.
Multicultural Sydney was also addressed, with the need for the diversity of our communities to be reflected in our Churches and programs.
Although the Church has made advances in Indigenous Reconciliation, there is still a way to go. Past actions by past people still have present day impacts, and local congregations were encouraged to seek ways to partner with indigenous ministries within the diocese. The needs of children and youth (less than 18 years of age) was emphasised, with their number representing 25-30% of the population. The need of Christian infrastructure was made, along with the need of children to have more non-parental role models and mentors to support them.
Family and domestic violence was addressed, noting the progress that has been made in addressing and overcoming this issue.
Members were encouraged to pray for the National Church, in particular because of the decisions some dioceses have taken which are contrary to Biblical teaching.
We encourage you to read the full transcript here.
Key Features of Synod
- The Synod gave thanks to God for the life and reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia.
- The Synod requested the Standing Committee to prepare a property strategy and passed an ordinance to provide for the continuation of the Church Land Acquisitions Levy.
- The Synod considered the matter of Indigenous Ministry in the Diocese, acknowledging and apologising for past failures and endorsed the model for Indigenous ministry established by the Sydney Anglican Indigenous People’s Ministry Committee in Wedderburn.
- The Synod encouraged church members to give generous consideration to the case to vote ‘Yes’ to the referendum question on a First Nations Voice, once the details have been made clear.
- The Synod noted with godly grief the deep breach of fellowship in the Anglican Church of Australia exposed at the eighteenth session of General Synod on matters of doctrine and human sexuality.
- The Synod agreed in principle to continue providing financial support for the Diocese of Bathurst beyond the previously agreed time period.
The Synod requested the Standing Committee to establish the Glebe Administration Board as the centralised investment vehicle for the Diocese.
- The Synod requested the Standing Committee to implement changes to the Nomination Ordinance and the nomination process generally.
Actions for parishes and Synod members
The Synod passed a number of resolutions that included calls to action from parishes and Synod representatives. The Synod:
- Noted that the Archbishop has established a Working Group to provide informed guidance to various parties the theological issues and implications of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act
- Encouraged the parishes to continue to promote the ministry of women.
- Welcomed the "Before it Starts” preventing domestic abuse program and encouraged its use.
- Commended the Know Domestic Abuse course to parishes.
- Invited members of Synod to contribute to the development of a diocesan-wide property strategy.
- Encouraged each parish rector to make positive connections with their members of parliament.
- Encouraged every person to seek reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and commit to partner in Indigenous Ministry through development of an Action Plan.
- Requested parishes to take steps towards identifying and recognising the Indigenous history, community ministries or other significant matters of Indigenous concern in their area.
- Encouraged Parish Councils to give consideration to the Accessibility Guidelines. Called on all Sydney Anglicans to seek at all times to strive to speak the truth in love in all contexts, especially in the present circumstances within the Anglican Church of Australia.
- Requested the Doctrine Commission to report on the relationship between church and state.
- Give thanks for partnerships that exist between parishes in different demographic areas across the diocese.
The Synod passed nine (9) ordinances:
- The Parochial Cost Recoveries Ordinance 2022.
- The Synod Appropriations and Allocations Ordinance 2022.
- The Church Land Acquisitions Levy Ordinance 2022.
- The Ministry Standards Ordinance 2017 Amendment Ordinance 2022.
- The Reportable Allegations and Convictions Ordinance 2022.
- The Safe Ministry Board Ordinance 2001 Amendment Ordinance 2022.
- The Ministry Standards and Safe Ministry Amendment Ordinance 2022.
- The Standing Committee Ordinance 1897 and Synod Membership
- Ordinance 1995 Amendment Ordinance 2022.
- The General Synod – Episcopal Standards (Child Protection) (Amendment) Canon 2022 Adopting Ordinance 2022
Bruce Stanley, Yvonne Hall, Chris Stretton
Synod Representatives (2020-2022)