Last Train to Padstow
(Menai's Synod representatives report on the comings and goings of Sydney Anglican Synod 2015)
Synod met over 5 days in the Wesley Centre in Pitt St Sydney. In his opening address, Archbishop Dr Glenn Davies spoke of the challenge to acquire land and build churches in the rapidly expanding western areas of Sydney. He warned that Sydney's population would pass 5 million next year with another 1 million people making Sydney home in the next 15 years. A levy paid by all Sydney Anglican churches raises about $2 million annually to fund some of this expansion
He also commented on social change in our country. Dr Davies said: “It is time that all Christians, especially Anglicans, should enter the Same Sex Marriage discussion and graciously and sensitively explain the reasons why our good Creator has made marriage the way he has." Synod decided for various reason that it would be a good idea for clergy to continue as authorised marriage celebrants even if the laws on marriage were to change.
The Archbishop also welcomed a diocese-wide response on Syrian refugees, saying he had been able to go to a meeting with the Prime Minister with detailed plans of how the Diocese of Sydney could assist. Synod, on its last night, gave further consideration to how the Diocese might assist the 12,000 people who will come to Australia. It was agreed that Australia could do still more.
At the Missionary Session on the second Monday night we heard from Al Lukabayo about the wonderful progress of the Moore College French PTC notes in Mauritius, the Seychelles and Madagascar. In 2010 Menai Anglican helped fund the Moore College studies of Eric and Jacqueline Ma Fat. Eric is the Senior Minister of St Paul's church Plaine-Verte in Mauritius and organises the PTC programme for the Diocese of the Indian Ocean. Our investment is paying spiritual dividends in the lives of ordinary people, many of whom have done 6, 12 and even 18 of the teaching units within the PTC programme. incidentally, St Paul's Plaine-Verte celebrated its 150th anniversary last year.
Along the way Synod gave thanks for the work of Anglicare, Christian teachers in Government schools, SRE in Government schools and the work of Anglican schools. We also prayed for all of these things. Synod also thanked God for and said goodbye to the Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth. We also prayed for the Bishop of Western Sydney, Ivan Lee, who enters hospital on 26 October for a very serious operation.
Bruce Dingwall, Ross Pevely, Bryan Pevely