This Synod marks the end of the 43rd triennial Synod. Next year we will welcome some new and some returning faces for the first Synod of the 44th triennium. We will also hold elections for appointments to various roles and committees in our Diocese.
As we close this triennium, it is worth reflecting on the achievements and hard work of Synod over these past three years. This year, as in all years, matters important to the future of our Diocese were discussed.
In 2016, Synod convened twice, once for its annual gathering and a second time to appoint the Diocese’s 10th Archbishop. It’s meeting in October was also filled with elections for the start of the 43rd triennium. At that time, the Synod gave thanks to God for the ministry and growth of St Barnabas College and expressed its support for the ongoing establishment of a leading theological library onsite, including the unpacking of 70,000 books.
A Reconciliation Forum was also held and the Synod encouraged the work of the Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group.
In 2017, Synod was held during important times for the nation - the plebiscite on same-sex civil marriage was underway, and we were awaiting the final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Commonwealth Government had announced the intention for a National Redress Scheme. A session of General Synod was also held in that year.
The Synod itself engaged in important decision making about our legislation that makes our churches safer places for everyone, adopting a number of canons concerning:
Safe Ministry to Children
Amendments to the Offences Canon
The limitation period of the Special Tribunal
Changes to Confessions as it relates to children and vulnerable persons
Removal from exercise of ministry
Reflecting on the past sessions of this triennium, even only briefly, shows us the important part that Synod and its membership play in the story of our Diocese.
The decisions that have been made this weekend build upon that story.
For those that will return for the next triennium, I look forward to welcoming you to Synod 2019.
For those that are retiring from Synod, thank you for the contribution you have made to the governance of our Diocese.