News and notices‎ > ‎

Edinburgh in June - General Synod

posted 3 Aug 2012, 10:55 by St. Thomas' Church Aboyne

By Ruth Salthouse

It was quite surprising that we all found our way to Palmerston Place; - the ‘tram works’!! around the Haymarket were unbelievably chaotic this year. But episcopal purple, dog collars and laity, clutching piles of papers (agenda papers and annual report weighed 2 ¼ lbs), did manage to meet on time. The Opening Eucharist was a beautiful, moving service, setting the tone for a serious, thought-provoking and important Synod.

The main item on the agenda, the acceptance or otherwise of the Anglican Covenant, did not come until the Friday morning. Before that there were several ‘business’ motions concerning the Annual Report, Budget, amendments to Canons - and very important - the Report on Pension Fund Triennual Valuation. The Standing Committee was empowered to work with the Trustees and Pensions Regulator to ensure continued affordability and sustainability.

The debate on the Anglican Covenant was led in a thoughtful manner by Bishop Mark Strange - Moray, Ross and Caithness. The Covenant was rejected by a large majority, 112 - 6 with 13 abstentions. The result was received with a period of silent prayer and reflection.

Then, after a moving introduction by the Primus, the following resolution was passed, with just one abstention:

“Motion 27: That this Synod

  • Give thanks for the part played by the Scottish Episcopal Church in the early stages of the evolution of the Anglican Communion through the consecration of Samuel Seabury in Aberdeen;
  • Affirm its desire to continue to be part of the Anglican Communion as it seeks closer union while celebrating its diversity;
  • Call on the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates’ Meeting, the Lambeth Conference and the Anglican Consultative Council to encourage the development of bonds of shared mission, respect and mutual support through which the Anglican Communion can help spread the love of Christ across the world;
  • Affirm the work of the Anglican Communion Networks, bodies and initiatives through which those bonds can be nurtured.”

Other subjects covered includes: - Two of the Millenium Development Goals on 1) Primary Education and 2) Gender Equality; and the Anti-Human Trafficking Ecumenical Group of Action Together in Scotland. There were also informal lunchtime discussion groups on such themes as Bethany Trust and Internet Technology.

The morning and evening worship had been carefully prepared and offered a welcome twenty minutes of quiet reflection at the beginning and end of each day.