General Synod

I’m back from the General Synod in Edinburgh. I think that of the four years that I have been there, I probably enjoyed this one more than I have before. The business was not that heavy. Here are the headlines.

We decided, in an over-emotional debate to loan money to a Retirement Home and authorised a committee to close it if enough other money does not come in.

We threw out parts of the SCIFU Church Union proposal – the bits which would have allowed it to carry on in its present form. SCIFU is over. [Mind you, I thought that about the Theological Institute last year].

We manged to get rid of some weasel words in a proposed canon which would have restricted us to only offering Eucharistic hospitality to those who were “in good standing” in another church.

I spoke once in this same debate in an attempt to get the church to begin to think about the theology that its committees have been working with “Journey of the Baptised” for the last couple of years. I’d like to think that “Journey of the Baptised” was a stage on the way to a much more explicitly inclusive theological position. In doing this, I attempted to get a proposed Canon thrown out. This failed, but the debate is begun, and there was a significant number of people, including two of the bishops who voted with me. The bishops do not very often seem to vote against one another in Canonical debates, so this was particularly interesting.

The floor of the General Synod is perhaps not the best place to debate theology – the rules of debate almost mitigate against it. However, I’m sure that conversation is going to be carried on elsewhere.


  1. Anonymous says

    Re: General Synod
    As o­ne “not in good standing” I must congratulate you Kelvin.  Had it not been for your “much wider” approach I would not now be a member of the Episcopalian Church and I would certainly have missed much that has given my life greater value.  Questioning and, reassurance about it, can, in my opinion, only serve to benefit the future of the Episcopalian Church.  May voices and opinions like this continue to be raised.

  2. Kelvin says

    Re: General Synod
    As someone who is both Anglican and URC I am saddened by the Episcopal Church throwing out SCIFU. I think that any denomination that does not see the need to build together is destined to be marginalised or ignored. I welcome the stand against restricting Communion.

  3. Anonymous says

    Re: General Synod
    Thanks for the points raised, Anonymous. I think that in all the comments in the debate at the synod, people were saying that they did want to go on building together, it is just that the SCIFU proposal was not the way that they could see themselves doing it, particularly since the C of S pulled out last year.

    Synod did pass a resolution indicating that it did want to go on looking for unity with other denominations and was explicit in saying that the priority in this was the Methodists and the URC. (I’m not so sure that this part has been well reported).

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