Home  |  Calendar  |  Safeguarding  |  News  |  Documents  |  Find a Church

Reflections of General Synod

Date: 17 February 2022


The first full session of the new General Synod, which will sit for five years, met jointly in person in London and remotely on Zoom recently.

Ruth Allen (from Cranleigh Deanery) and The Revd Esther Prior (from Runneymede Deanery), both representatives of Guildford on the Church’s Parliament, reflected on the days of debate.

In his Presidential address opening Synod, Archbishop Justin expressed the challenge we face, precipitated by Covid. He highlighted the tension between individualism and community. This strain is interrelated with global intergenerational equity, technology, climate change, and vaccine nationalism. They have a common feature he said, “Those who have, gain more, and those who have not, bear the consequences. The strong do what they will, and the weak suffer what they must.” At the heart of the matter is what it means to love our neighbour. 

Esther was struck by the passion of Lord Boateng, Chairman of the Archbishop’s Commission for Racial Justice, pleading for action to root out systemic racism within the Church. She was struck by his piercing words about racism being ‘A gaping wound' in the body of Christ. 

The Bishop of Huddersfield, Dr Jonathan Gibbs, provided an update on the work of the National Safeguarding Team followed by Maggie Atkinson, Chair of the newly formed Independent Safeguarding Board. She stressed the need to improve the culture within the Church, but endorsed opportunity to be permissible to celebrate and publicise our strengths in Safeguarding. 

Synod also debated motions on the Persecuted Church in the World and People Trafficking which Esther describes as, “heart wrenching”.

Reviewing the four days of work and debates, Esther reflects, “It seemed clear to me that God is reawakening our hearts for the marginalised and those who have least. He is reawakening our hearts to justice and mercy. ‘Whoever has ears let them hear what the spirit is saying to the church.’”

The Church of England’s national media team have written a series of releases on Synod’s debates. These can be accessed here.

Powered by Church Edit