‘New-look’ Synod sees nearly 500 sign on for Mission

AMS Staff

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our commitment to mission

In submission to the word of the Lord Jesus, the Archbishop and Bishops of the Diocese have committed themselves in unity of heart and spirit to give example, energy and leadership to this Mission. They are doing so in fellowship with the Archdeacons, the Synod, the Standing Committee and its Mission Taskforce, and they invite the whole Anglican community in the Diocese of Sydney (with all other believers) to join them by taking the initiative to see that Christ is proclaimed to all people.

by Geoff Robson

Radical restructuring of Sydney Diocese will see resources utilised to back Mission Strategy

Nearly 500 people, out of Synod membership of 700, have pledged themselves to pursuing the diocese’s goal, to see at least 10 per cent of the population in Bible-based churches in ten years.

In a meeting described as ‘exciting’, ‘new-look’ and ‘unique and historic’, the diocesan Mission took centre stage, culminating in Archbishop Peter Jensen being the first to sign a huge banner containing the Commitment to the Diocesan Mission.

After the regional bishops and archdeacons signed, the overwhelming majority of Synod members present responded to an open invitation to add their signatures.

The Synod opened awith Archbishop Jensen’s Presidential Address, which unpacked the elements of the Mission Strategy. In a break with tradition, this was immediately followed by the Synod Service, including an address by Canon John Chapman focusing on outreach and evangelism.

In the debate that followed, Synod overwhelmingly endorsed the Mission Strategy, following presentations from all five regional bishops. The Strategy comprises the Mission, Goal, Fundamental Aim and FourFold Policy (see page 12). Together, these elements form a wide-reaching plan aimed at reshaping the life of the Diocese for mission over the coming years.

With many people speaking for the first time and members contributing a wide range of ministry ideas during small discussions and plenary sessions, the meeting was viewed by many as being radically different to past Synods.

Introducing discussion of the FourFold Policy, Bishop Robert Forsyth said the policies would allow the Diocese to put the Mission into action and, “help us to actually do what we are aiming to do – glorify God.”

Bishop Forsyth also emphasised that ‘the Diocese’ refers to every churchgoer, not just ‘the official leadership of the Diocese’, and so encouraged all Anglicans to be actively involved in Mission.

The Synod also endorsed a new approach to the diocesan budget, with the new ‘money bill’ to see funding strategically deployed to support the Mission in the coming years.