13 April 2010
More than one national election is taking place this year. A campaign is launched today to encourage "people with a very big heart" to stand for election to the General Synod of the Church of England. Containing 378 lay and clergy members, and passing Measures that have the same effect as those of Parliament, the General Synod continues to play an essential role in the life of the country as well as the Church. It will be dissolved at the end of the July 2010 group of sessions in York, and a new Synod elected for a five-year term in September/October, and inaugurated in November.
Under the slogan 'Be Part of the Big Picture', new resources include a five-minute DVD filmed at General Synod in February 2010, featuring contributions from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Business Committee chair Preb Kay Garlick, outgoing members of the Houses of Laity and Clergy, and national journalists. Copies are being sent to dioceses to be available for viewings in all 718 Church of England deaneries.
A new website full of vital information for those considering standing has been uploaded at www.generalsynodelections2010.org. It includes an online videocast of the DVD and a free downloadable poster and leaflet, so that parishes can join in the campaign to encourage full representation from across the Church.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, says on the DVD: “Any healthy and mature Church is a Church where everyone feels they have a voice. Synod needs your voice because we need all the voices together to discover the truth that God wants us to know for our generation, society, sanctification, our own hope and our own health.”
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, adds: “We want people whom I call all-weather Christians - people who are all-rounders really that can actually play the different jobs, because there are people sitting on committees, different boards and councils. So what we want are people who have a very big heart, who want to come here and bring friendship, bring love, bring vitality, and we want all ages.”
On the new website Synod members guide visitors through the requirements and election procedures of the Houses of Laity and House of Clergy respectively.
To stand for the House of Laity you need to be:
18 or over
An ‘actual Communicant’ in the Church of England
On the electoral roll of a parish or the community roll of a cathedral
To stand for the House of Clergy you need to be:
Ordained priest or deacon, be beneficed or licensed or have permission to officiate in the diocese or hold office in the cathedral
David Williams, Clerk to Synod, said: “The next few months will be a challenging yet rewarding time of circulating the information and then electing members reflecting the diversity of the Church for the new quinquennium. Nominations are particularly welcome from people of minority ethnic backgrounds as we move forwards into our Ninth General Synod.”
Closing date for nominations is 3rd September 2010; elections take place September/October 2010; the Ninth General Synod is inaugurated at Church House in London on 22nd-24th November 2010.
To find out more about the work of General Synod, visit www.cofe.anglican.org/about/gensynod.