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Motion to Share Historic Wealth

by ajack last modified 26 Nov, 2021 10:08 AM

The Synod induction earlier this month allowed everyone to become: ’simpler, humbler, bolder'

Monday 15th November marked the induction of the new Synod. Roughly 60% of members had been newly elected, and an induction allowed everyone to get to speed on current issues around the vision: ’simpler, humbler, bolder' 

On Tuesday 16th November, Synod members and guests attended Holy Communion at Westminster Abbey, led by the Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London. HRH the Earl of Wessex was among the guests. After lunch, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, welcomed the Earl of Wessex, representing Her Majesty.  

The Archbishops’ Presidential Address focussed on the nature of change, reminding us that there has never been a moment when the Church was without it. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury spoke of the transformational change in the disciples in the catch of fish in John 21, reminding us that without Him we achieve nothing, and by listening to His voice and acting in obedience, anything is possible. 

“You have caught nothing? Throw your nets on the right side.” 

While the Archbishop of York discussed the heart of the vision which has been in development for more than 2 years, expressing the priority of bringing “Good News of the Kingdom and to teach, baptise and nurture new believers” before all else. 

The theme of journeying was taken up by Archbishop Stephen, reflecting on the diversity of views of this new Synod, how we are tasked to draw the map and to work out what it means to be the Church of England in this day and age: 

“The aim is not to reach agreement by means of contest between opposing positions but to journey together to see God’s will, allowing differences to harmonise, to meet each other with respect and trust, to believe in our unity.” 

A note-worthy motion from the Diocese of Sheffield requested legislation for Dioceses to share their historic wealth with other Dioceses across the Church of England due to huge disparity in finances.

Amongst discussions, Diocese were urged to consider how they could live generously without waiting for legislative protocol and were encouraged to explore total return accounting. There was an impassioned speech in support of this motion, and on a show of hands, the motion was carried. 

A holding budget for 2022 was approved by Synod in July 2021 on the basis that the Archbishops’ Council would provide an update to Synod at this November Group of Sessions. The full breakdown of budgets and more can be found in the full Synod report here. 

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