On the Way...
The Fifty-First Synod of the Diocese of Perth
On the Way...
The Most Revd Kay Goldsworthy AO, Archbishop
There is a guaranteed palpable energy on the floor of every Synod, and the 2022 gathering – with a very full agenda and the opportunity to return to some kind of post-COVID normal – was no exception.
It was a blessing that it came immediately after the Archbishop of Canterbury’s visit to Perth at the start of his Australian tour. Archbishop Justin’s meeting with Clergy to share more details around the Lambeth Calls, particularly relating to Human Dignity, Safe Church and Reconciliation, was a very pertinent background to the weekend’s work.
Added to this, his urging that the Anglican Church learns to ‘disagree well’ was also ringing in our ears as we debated sensitive issues, including those of human sexuality and a number of others on which members held a range of very strong views.
On those matters of particular sensitivity for Synod Members and others across our Anglican communion, it is especially important that the conversations continue, prayerfully and constructively in the weeks and months ahead.
Other vitally important discussions on critical issues such as climate change, the age of criminal responsibility, and the worsening issue of poverty, despite our country’s and state’s significant wealth were raised and debated. Many of the motions agreed to will be high on the Mission Action Plan of parishes, schools and agencies over the next year.
Some of the great highlights of the Fifty First Synod were the unanimous support for ‘First Nations Voice’ and the National Anglican Family Violence Project; the celebration of Wollaston Theological College which was recently ratified as a College of the University of Divinity; and of the work of Parkerville Children and Youth Care whose child-focused, out-of-home care program entitled ‘Our Way Home’ has received national and international recognition.
We also celebrated the 30th anniversary year of the ordination of women – and, as one speaker in favour of the motion urged, “As we celebrate how far we have come, let us be mindful of the distance yet to travel... The marking of this anniversary is a time of celebration, but never of complacency”.
As the Fifty First Synod drew to a close, it was clear there was much to celebrate, and much work still to be done as we take counsel together for the life of the Church and the world as we serve in Jesus’ love. Synod has left all members aware of the challenge, opportunity and invitation we have to build a strong future for the Anglican Diocese of Perth.