About 400 Anglican delegates, staff and national and international partners will gather in Winnipeg in June with an agenda that includes the election and installation of a new national leader and resolutions on the same-sex blessings controversy that could affect the Anglican Church of Canada’s future status in the worldwide Communion.
The gathering of the Anglican General Synod, the church’s highest governing body, occurs every three years and brings together bishops, priests and lay people chosen from every Anglican community in the country. Hosting the event this time is the diocese of Rupert’s Land, based in Winnipeg. Anglicans are taking over two downtown hotels and parts of a third for the synod, which runs from June 19 to 25.
The General Synod meets to deal with specific issues of the day as well as to care for the housekeeping affairs of the church.
On the agenda of the Winnipeg meeting – the 38th General Synod – are the following key matters:
- The election of a new Primate or national leader to succeed Archbishop Andrew Hutchison who was elected at the last General Synod in St. Catharines, Ont., in 2004 and is retiring;
- Votes on resolutions dealing with the issue of same-sex blessings. Among other things, the Synod will have to decide whether or not same-sex blessings are a matter of doctrine;
- Responding to the Windsor Report on the state of the worldwide Anglican Communion;
- Acting on a report on governance which examines the structure of the national church and makes recommendations in the context of declining numbers;
- The introduction of a National Indigenous Bishop appointed by the Primate earlier this year;
- Status reports on church finances and the Indian Residential Schools agreement with the federal government.
In addition to the regular agenda, a day of General Synod will be spent with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada which is having its convention in Winnipeg at the same time. The Anglican and Lutheran churches have a close partnership which was formalized in 2001 when they signed an agreement to enter full communion.
The theme of the 38th General Synod is Draw the circle wide – draw it wider still – from an Anglican hymn. The reference is to promoting a church that is inclusive.
General Synod is open to news media.
In advance of the June meeting, a number of news releases will be issued, of which this is the first. A newsroom for accredited journalists will be maintained and staffed and news releases issued at regular intervals throughout the synod. However, space is limited, both on the General Synod floor of the plenary gathering, and in the newsroom. Journalists planning to cover all or most of the proceedings are therefore urged to register in advance. This will allow us to reserve space in the newsroom for you and to ensure that we have an adequate number of documents. A media information kit will be available at the start of synod for registered journalists.
The plenary hall is generally open to photographers, but they are limited in where on the floor of General Synod they can go. All photographers will be expected to comply with these limitations which are aimed at minimizing the disruptions for General Synod members.
The newsroom will be staffed by the following people, for whom telephone numbers will be made available closer to Synod:
- Josie De Lucia, Newsroom Manager, Media Relations
- Keith Nethery, Media Relations
- Brian Sarjeant, Writer, Media Relations
- Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director, Communications and Information Resources
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