SYNOD OF THE DIOCESE OF CHRISTCHURCH
REPORT TO PARISH OF OPAWA ST MARTINS
BISHOP’S CHARGE: The diocesan Strategic Plan ‘Growing forward’ with its three priorities of Christ – Centred Mission, Young Leaders, and Faithful Stewardship with it’s four verbs ‘inviting, forming, sending and serving’ were used to explain what we have done over the past year in very difficult circumstances, and what we must continue to do in the months and years ahead. That there are more questions than answers for our Diocese was reiterated, but we were encouraged to look forward to find what the next steps must be. (The bishop’s charge in full is yet to be posted on the Diocesan website but your parish synod reps have hard copies available).
Bill 1: The Clergy Appointments Bill 2011: this was first put to the Synod last October but was withdrawn because insufficient notice had been given. This was a comprehensive re-write of the appointment process for clergy, including curates and vicars. Its’ main intent, apart from tidying up some areas, was to allow Standing Committee to have a bigger pool of Diocesan nominators to call upon to make clergy appointments. Details of the Bill were challenged and finally it was withdrawn to allow further work to be done.
Bill 2: The Diocesan Local Ministry and Mission Units Statute Amendment Bill 2011: This concerned the rights of Parish full or part time paid employees to serve as officials (Church Wardens, vestry members) in that Parish. After some insignificant amendments this was passed.
Bill 3: St Margaret College Consolidation bill 2011: This was to update the Trust Deed under which the St Margaret’s Trust Board operate. The Bill gave wider powers to the board (which are needed anyway but especially to enable the board to get on with earthquake rebuilds of the parts of the college). Some areas were referred to Standing Committee for clarification and further discussion, but the Bill was passed in principle.
PRINTED REPORTS: These were taken as read, and, after an opportunity for questions and comments, received.
Motion 1: Granting of Speaking rights to non members of Synod. Passed.
Motion 2: that General Synod Meeting should not meet in Fiji 2012: Concern about the safety of members, the likelihood of interference by government officials in the affairs of the Synod, especially in the discussions surrounding the covenant, and the messages such a gathering sends to the people of Tikanga Polynesia prompted this motion .The motion was passed but there were a large number of abstentions.
Motions 3 and 4: Financial statements of the Diocese and Church Property Trustees: Passed without amendment:
Motion 5: Diocesan Budget: passed without amendment.
Motion 6: Diocesan Missions Target for 2012 – revised to be Diocesan Overseas Missions Target and the amount aimed for (245,000) was unchanged from last year. Passed.
Motion 7: General Synod – The Alternative Services Statute 2010. This concerned the new series of services ‘Ashes to Fire’ – for use between Ash Wednesday and Easter. It has already been accepted by General Synod, but discussion became muddled by concerns about an illegal printing of a revised Prayer book. It was defeated and a new motion brought later in Synod.
Motion 8: South of Timaru (South Canterbury): This is an initiative to form a new parish to cover the area included in the Waimate Parish, the St Andrews Co-operating Parish and the Waihao Co-operating Parish. This in the interest of ministry in the area and was passed without amendment.
Motions 9 and 10: these two motions concerned the Anglican Covenant and had been withdrawn before Synod commenced. They will be discussed at Synod in March 2011.
Motion 11: This was the response to Motion 7, and called for General Synod to have a full review of the way in which new liturgies etc were developed and processed so that the present tangle could be sorted before we accept any new services. Passed without further discussion.
Motion 12: Mike Coleman Continues Red Zone Awareness at Synod. This inspired considerable debate and was ultimately passed by the members:
“The Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch urges the Government and CERA to support Cantabrians leaving their homes as a result of earthquake damage to their homes and / or land by:
1) Challenging insurance companies to honour full replacement policies for homes in the red zone, including homes that would otherwise be considered repairable but are on land now deemed unsuitable to build on;
2) Reopening the Rateable Valuation to objections on individual properties, and allowing Government Valuations to be reviewed where there is significant and demonstrable undervaluation of larger numbers of properties in an area;
3) Take measures to improve the availability and affordability of relocation options.
4) Providing certainty and clarity about the future use of the red zone lands; and
5) Encouraging the Government to be more transparent and open in dealing with the land issues across Canterbury.
There were elections to key committees such as Standing Committee and Church Property Trustees. Synod also elected our diocesan representatives to General Synod. This was tightly contested as the Anglican Communion Covenant will be voted on by General Synod in May 2012. The results of these elections should be on the Diocesan Website in due course.
Church Property Trustees: A presentation on the situation facing diocesan churches and properties was presented and questions asked and responded to, especially about insurance matters. There was quite a lot of anxiety coming from parishes where depopulation is expected and their church buildings have been demolished. Warren & Mahoney, Architects, also presented and a process of diocesan wide consultations to develop building design guidelines was announced.
MAPS (Mission Action Plans) given by Archdeacon John day: Further to the Bishop’s Charge this presentation showed us where we have been (a DVD of our city and its Churches) and some of the strategies and plans for how we will move forward so that we continue in our goal of Christ Centred Mission. Training courses, a Strategic working Group details of the finance and personnel available to help the rebuild and repair of our diocese were presented, and more details will be available as time goes on. The key point is that all parishes will be asked to prepare a Mission Action Plan.
Young Leaders and Ministry to Young People: an hour -long comprehensive report was given by those involved with the Kiln, Kiln Pro and The Society of Salt and Light as well the developments in Children’s ministry and ministry to under 40’s. There is a great deal being achieved by these groups and a lot of energy is being put into building a Church for all ages. (See Anglican Life magazine for ongoing details.) A band from the parish of Geraldine helped lead midday worship around the same time as this presentation.
CONCLUSION: Despite technical issues and many unanswered questions, the work of the Diocese continues and is going forward in hope.
Jean Shewan, Margrett Sherwood – Lay Synod Representatives.