11 Sep 2012
Synod started on Friday afternoon at 1:30pm. The volume of chatting as people arrived and found seats demonstrated how pleased people were to meet up with others from around the Diocese.
The meeting got down to business fairly sharply with talks by Chief Operations Officer, Gavin Holley and CPT Property Manager Liz Clarke on insurance, earthquake repairs and earthquake prone buildings. There was an open apology from the Chief Operations Officer for sometimes failing to deliver the service the parishes deserve. Liz Clarke gave the numbers with 194 buildings damaged, which accounted for two thirds of the buildings in the Diocese. Forty building repair works are currently in process. Some have already been finished. There were many questions and debate about insurance and how increased insurance premiums will be paid.
While in the Synod Order paper, the topic rationalisation was listed, what happened was two examples of parishes collaborating to work out what possibilities there were for the future. The Venerable Anne Russell-Brighty spoke about how churches in the eastern suburbs were trying to build on the cooperation that has been happening following the earthquakes. She spoke of the thousands of people who live in this region and how the parishes are committed to a neighbourhood presence. She said they are still working on their plans and were "a bit nervous and a bit excited" but it was a good news story. She described it as "a new way of working for the Kingdom of God in the eastern suburbs.
The Rev'd Jill Maslin, Rev'd Indrea Alexander and the Venerable Canon Starky talked about the talks going on in the Timaru area to work out how their parishes could best serve the district. They have been working on drafting the core values the parishes hold to use as a guide as to how they can work together. The Ven. Canon Starky said we have to "see where God is taking us".
The call for a region wide social housing plan was passed with a lot of support and you can read more here.
Synod then shared in a Eurcharist where the Bishop gave her charge which had a number of points of interest worth reading about. (A motion related to her structural review suggestion was passed early on Saturday evening.)
Everyone returned bright and early on Saturday morning with financial reports budgets for the Diocese and CPT.
Phil Trotter gave a talk on the youth ministry he has been involved in over the last ten years at a Diocesan level and what is important in his new role at a national level. He mentioned being able to trust Bishop Victoria with young people and how well she could speak to them. He received a standing ovation from the floor as he returned to his seat.
A report was given about experiences at the General Synod in Fiji and a motion about increasing the Diocesan Mission target for overseas mission work passed easily.
It was a Synod where a lot of information was provided so make sure your Synod reps report back to your parish and your vestries to stay informed and up to date.
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