Names are being put forward as nominees for the Synod that will elect the next Archbishop of Sydney.
The Archbishop’s summons was issued on January 25 laying out the times, dates and venue for a one-day “ordinary” session of Synod, followed by the Election Synod. Due to changing COVID restrictions in the past few months, the summons differs from what was originally foreshadowed last year.
The message, sent to all eligible Synod members, calls them to an ordinary session of Synod on Monday, May 3. The session will be preceded by a service at St Andrew’s Cathedral. Synod members will then move to the International Convention Centre (ICC) at Darling Harbour for the ordinary session, at which Bishop Peter Hayward will preside and give the address.
Bishop Hayward, as the longest-serving bishop, will act as the Administrator of the Diocese with powers normally given to the Archbishop. The sessions from May 4-7 have been set aside for the Election Synod, as needed.
“The electoral process is governed by ordinance and has proved difficult to manage given the unprecedented restrictions of COVID-19 and changing public health orders regarding large gatherings,” says diocesan secretary Daniel Glynn.
“But I am pleased that we now have a way forward that complies with current health requirements and allows delegates to meet in as safe a manner as possible to fulfil the responsibilities of the Synod.”
Synods in Sydney comprise hundreds of elected delegates, both lay and clergy, from every parish as well as diocesan organisations. “Bookings needed to be made at the ICC instead of the usual venue, Wesley Theatre, to allow enough space to comply with COVID-safe practices,” Mr Glynn says.
Now that the summons has been issued, nominations are open. The process has changed slightly from previous years in that nomination forms can be submitted by a single Synod member (rather than two or more) – although a nominee still requires the support of 20 Synod members in order to be formally nominated.
"I am sure all Sydney Anglicans will be in prayer for the work and outcome of the Election Synod.”
While people may be anxious to know who has been nominated, the names will not be made public until they have been confirmed. Confirmation involves the required number of nominators, plus safe ministry checks and the agreement of the person nominated that their name may go forward.
Archbishop Glenn Davies will retire on Friday, March 26. His term was extended from his original retirement date of July 2020.
“Determining the time and location for these sessions has been a significant challenge for our diocesan secretary,” Dr Davies says. “I am grateful for his navigating the changing regulations for a gathering of up to 800 people in a COVID-safe manner.
“It has been a demanding exercise and we are in Mr Glynn’s debt for securing the ICC for such an important week in the life of our Diocese, as we seek God’s guidance in electing the next Archbishop of the Diocese of Sydney. I am sure all Sydney Anglicans will be in prayer for the work and outcome of the Election Synod.”