Firstly, a HUGE thank you to everyone who voted me back on to General Synod. It’s a great privilege to be there and a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. I’ll do my very best to keep you informed of what goes on.
Several of you have said to me that it would be helpful to know what is going to happen at Synod in advance of a group of sessions, so this is my first attempt at a ‘pre-Synod blog’. Let me know what you think.
We kick off on MONDAY 23 November with an induction day. As a returning member, I don’t strictly have to go, but having spent two years struggling to grasp quite what was happening a lot of the time, I am looking forward to finally having some explanation of how it all works.
TUESDAY MORNING is the inauguration of the Synod, and this is where it gets really exciting as I will hopefully get to see the Queen. I have seen her once before, at the distribution of the Maundy money at Winchester Cathedral when I was about seven, but I don’t really remember it. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attend a service of Holy Communion in Westminster Abbey for all General Synod members and guests, and I’ve been told that five years ago the dioceses were seated alphabetically so the Coventry cohort were very near the front. I’m really hoping that they don’t decide that it’s fair to turn it round this time. After that the Synod members all troop into Church House where the Queen officially opens the new Synod. We have to wear ‘convocation robes’, an exciting combination of cassock, scarf, hood, preaching bands and academic robe. I’m just glad it’s November.
Business starts on TUESDAY AFTERNOON, and you can watch the proceedings live at the Church of England website. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s presidential address is always a highlight, and that will be at about 3 pm. The main item of business is a presentation on the Reform and Renewal programme, which I would guess would be at some time after 4 pm.
WEDNESDAY MORNING includes a presentation about Global Warming from the Archbishop of York (around 10 am) followed by a debate about the Migrant Crisis, which I think will be very powerful . The morning concludes with a presentation of the results of some very interesting research about Public Perceptions of Jesus (about noon).
The group of sessions finishes on WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON with a no doubt riveting report from the Church Buildings Review Group. I must confess that I haven’t yet read the 66 page report, but I have the weekend…
Prorogation is at about 4.30 pm and then we all head home until we return in February. Do keep in touch. I will be tweeting during the sessions. You can follow me at @RevCGale.