The next Synod, or church parliament, of the Diocese of Sydney will not go ahead in February as planned.
The special session, planned for 26 February to 2 March, was to have begun with an historic ‘Synod in the Greenfields’ day in which Synod delegates would have toured new areas of Sydney’s outer suburbs and the Archbishop was to give his Presidential Address in the new suburb of Oran Park.
the risks of Synod becoming a ‘spreader event’ are too great for us to continue as planned….(cancellation) seems the only viable course…"
Archbishop Raffel said he was disappointed to have to make such a decision, but had taken advice from the Synod Secretary, Daniel Glynn, and the Senior Staff.
“I have formed the view that the risks of Synod becoming a ‘spreader event’ are too great for us to continue as planned,” the Archbishop said. “Given the format and duration of our meetings; the fact that we draw from every part of the Diocese; the likelihood of some people being positive and others needing to isolate as a result,” the Archbishop said cancellation of the meeting was the only viable course.
February’s day in the Greenfields was to include bus tours of the rapidly developing new areas of Sydney, as well as walking tours of Oran Park. Synod will be considering future ministry in greenfields areas.
In writing to Synod members, the Archbishop said he intends to work towards rescheduling the ‘Synod in the Greenfields’ for the weekend before the September session. That session is scheduled for 12, 13, 14, 19 and 20 September 2022.
“Please pray for our rectors and local churches, for our schools and agencies as they resume ministry, facing the ongoing challenges of the pandemic,” Archbishop Raffel said. “I am deeply humbled by the diligence, prayerfulness and resilience of those who serve among us.”