Synod – Ends

All is over for another year.

Last night’s synod dinner was very enjoyable. The Caledonian hotel does us proud.

This morning, the business ended unusually early, though not before an interesting debate from the Standing Committee on the organisation of the church.

All over for another year. Except for those of us on the Organizational Review Committee who meet in a month to go through it all again.

Synod – membership

We have a debate about how to define the membership of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Sally Gorton speaks against changing our current rules. She has done so before.

Alan Thornton speaks against giving anyone other than the Rector the role of keeping the role.  I think.

John Armes speaks of the importance of keeping involvement of those  who are not communicants. He wants a roll which allows people to say whether they want to be a member or not regardless  of whether they are communicants or baptised. (I agree with this).

Robert Warren speaks – he wants something different too.

David  Mumford speaks in favour – he wants a transparent list of those who are members and that this list could be shared with the  vestry. However, he is concerned that people cannot be on 2 electoral rolls.

James Milne believes in Civil Liberties so speaks in favour of the motion. At the moment people can be put on a list of members against their will.

+Mark speaks – at 16 you can have sex and drink so why not be able to be a member of the church. He speaks in favour of 16 being the age of consent to church.

Darren McFarland speaks in favour of the motion. New legislation is important to stop people abusing church rolls by just turning up to become members by receiving communion to try to swing a vote.

Alison Peden supports the new canon – good for people to know when they actually belong.

Hugh Lee wants the Rector to remain in charge of the roll. Speaks of someone coming to church to receive communion once a year to remain on a roll. Wants to be able to challenge that and throw them off a roll.

Gregor Duncan speaks – he has to read rolls. He thinks that the present roll works well. He thinks it is bad to frame legislation to prevent people from being perverse as they will be perverse whatever legislation is passed.

John Whittall – Aberdeen and Orkney – has been in England and sees no problem with the idea of an electoral roll. Do we really need three rolls?

Patricia Pettie allows Sally Gorton to speak (again!) in the debate. She challenges James Milne to spell out the liabilities that beloging to a church has. He passes the buck to the lovely Jeremy Auld who will respond at the end of the debate.

John Lindsay endorses John Armes’s point. Wants an inclusive church and thinks the present system works.

David Brooke – asks who is responsible for the privacy of the church roll. It is a data prtection issue.

Iain Paton – used to think he was against this canon but now has changed his mind. Are we an unconditionally inclusive church? No the gospel is unconditionally inviting. We have an open invitation. Believes the new legislation will be a pastoral tool that will be helpful.

Jeremy Auld gets up to speak. Rolls should be held by vestry as they are the trustees. This is just the first reading – we can always amend this. There is a liability in law that could fall on every member of a church. Being a member has responsibily. It is right that people know whether or not they are on a roll and cannot be added against their will. It is possible to be the trustee of a charity at age 16 – so 16 it must be!

The motion is put.

It fails in the house of bishops. The motion falls.