Bishop's Synod address: learning to live with difference and change

Monday 24th March 2014

Learning to live with difference and with change were the key themes of Bishop Peter Maurice's presidential address to Diocesan Synod, held in Nailsea on Saturday 22 March.

In an address that referenced women in the episcopate, the Pilling Report on human sexuality, the arrival of our new Bishop, food poverty and our churches' response to the devasting flooding on the Somerset Levels, Bishop Peter quoted the Queen's address to parliament in her Golden Jubilee year, saying: "Change is a constant; managing it has become an expanding discipline. The way we embrace it defines our future."

Read the Bishop's address in full.

Following the address, diocesan synod:

  • Heard harrowing and hopeful stories from Revds Jane Twitty and Jane Haslam on the impact of the recent flooding on the Somerset Levels. A strong reminder that although the flood waters are abating, prayer, practical help and donations to the Somerset Community Foundation's flood relief fund are still needed.
  • Voted strongly in favour of approving proposals to allow women in the Episcopate.
  • Received presentations on the work of Richard Tulloch, our Church Use and Visitors Adviser and the launch of the Friends of the Fund for Church Growth, an initiative to support the Fund's work, allowing it to do even more to help grow God's kingdom in our diocese.

Members of Synod were also presented with copies of the Archbishop's Charge presented to Rt Revd Peter Hancock at the confirmation of his election as Bishop of Bath & Wells earlier this month.  The Charge sets down the key tasks identified for our new Bishop by the Crown Nominations Commission and are taken from the Diocesan Statement of Needs.  The Charge is to help guide Bishop Peter as he prepares to take up his new office in June.

Please note official minutes from the session will be available in the next week or so.

Image: In a change from the usual synod set up, members catch up with coffee and croissants cafe-style before the business of the day.  Courtesy of Stephen Lynas.


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