On Saturday 5th March, Clergy and Laity from across the Diocese met at Holy Trinity & St Barnabas in Paisley for the 2016 Synod.
Bishop Gregor celebrated the Synod Eucharist and delivered his Charge to the Diocese Synod Charge 2016
The early part of the morning session comprised of administration – Minutes of 2015 Synod, election of members & alternate members to General Synod, followed by the submission of Synod Returns.
Mrs Anne Jones presented her report on the Protection of Vulnerable Groups and explained the training processes which had taken place across the Diocese. Not all charges have undertaken this training and further opportunities will take place this year. Safeguarding Training Event.
The Diocesan Treasurer, Mr Bob Burgon, presented his report for adoption, which inevitably led to some heartfelt discussion.
As time was pressing on, debate on the changes to Canons were delayed until after lunch to enable discussion on The Diocesan Constitutional Review, presented by the Provost, Very Revd. Kelvin Holdsworth. Groups, based loosely on geographical regions discussed the questions on the role and boundaries of current regions, with a wide range of views expressed.
Synod was then asked to approve a Local Ecumenical Partnership between St Mark’s Episcopal Church, East Kilbride and Righead United Reformed Church, in the Murray area of East Kilbride. A moving account of the process to date was given by Revd Paul Fletcher, Rector of St Mark’s and Revd. Lindsey Sanderson from Righead URC.
After lunch, there was a presentation on work of the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation, which is this years beneficiary of the Bishop’s Lent Appeal.
The proposed changes to Canons were outlined by Revd Paul Romano. These were proposed to bring the Canons into line with the age of majority in Scotland and to encourage young people in the life of the Scottish Episcopal Church. There were several impassioned speeches on both sides of the argument but Synod approved the changes which will now go before General Synod for a second reading.
Revd Canon Anne Tomlinson, Principal of the Scottish Episcopal Institute addressed Synod on the work of the Institute which has succeeded TISEC.
There then followed a number of short but inspiring presentations on Outreach News:
Kirsty Buchan, on St Mary’s For All
Revd David Gifford, St Mary’s Port Glasgow on the “Clydemen”
Revd Canon Robin Paisley from St John’s Dumfries
and Revd Lesley-ann Craddock of St Oswald’s Kingspark, who had Synod in stitches at her tales of getting St Oswald’s known about in the area, discovering that it was known locally as the “Slimming World Church”!
Rachael Fraser filled one of the “5 minute slots” talking about the UN Commission on the Status of Women at which she was to be the SEC Delegate. (she has subsequently produced a blog about her “Piskie Adventures in New York“)
Following the results of the elections, the Bishop pronounced the “Confirmation of the Acts of Synod” and The Blessing.
Photos from Synod: Flickr photos