Tuesday, 14 June 2011


It's now nearly one week PS - post-synod - and I am trying to grab a spot from the busyness to reflect.
The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church (my first one) was a most interesting experience. As a newcomer to the Synod (and as an ordained person, the province) there was much to observe.
Many people knew each other incredibly well - almost clubbily well. Is that a good thing? Yes and no, I suspect.
The issues discussed had a slight feel of being the continuing processing of well-established positions and inevitable unfolding of pre-assumed outcomes. What do I mean by that? A feeling of a church that is (or has been) rather homogeneous in ecclesiology and outlook - so has some rather foregone conclusions. The homogeneous features appear to be things like 'liberal' and 'catholic' and 'sacramental' and 'rational'.
I also sensed (largely based on a three minute conversation with one delegate at the very end) that this is changing, and some slightly broader perspectives are creeping in.
Overall, I sensed some confusion over being 'Anglican' (at a provincial synod this appears to be a self-defining feature), 'Episcopalian' (a brand that means different things to different people) and 'Scottish' (again, a brand that has many facets). I came to the personal conclusion that we are a church, in our own right, and that label is large enough to contain all of the above.
Did we change things for the better? I'm not sure. Did we change things for the worse? Probably not. Did we grapple with the real issues of survival and even flourishing as a church?

1 comment:

  1. Do you think you can, in such a short time? Would it be better to do the tedious stuff (define that for a start!) offstage? I know I missed a chunk this year - but I was left feeling we'd only just started. I'd liked to have more of the Friday afternoon indaba method - but you'd end up getting no "business" done at all!