Re: Dioceses question cost of Synod meeting (May issue). Given the projected expense on General Synod 2007 in Winnipeg and the possibility that the cost may be too high for some delegates to attend, why does the national church not consider an electronic synod? Given the technical possibilities with the Internet and e-mail, why not connect groups of delegates in this way? In this way each delegate would have a voice and the church and parishes would be spared large expense. Anglicans usually appreciate careful use of their resources and they would likely appreciate this solution.
Use fair formula
Having worked with Margaret Shawyer, co-ordinator of General Synod planning, many years ago, I believe she would have negotiated the best deal possible for General Synod 2007 in Winnipeg. So then, how to ensure that all dioceses are able to send the required number of delegates – essential for full and proper debate of our church’s affairs?
One suggestion: I once attended a national church gathering for women in Ontario. The conference and accommodation fee was common to all. The transportation cost was also common to all. Regardless of whether we lived in the host city or in a remote corner of Canada, we paid the same: the total travel cost for all delegates was divided by the number of delegates and that was the travel cost for each individual. The formula seemed infinitely fair then and the best way to ensure fair, equal and full national participation.
If this principle is followed for General Synod 2007, perhaps the reduced travel costs for some (even though it will mean increased costs for others – particularly delegates from the host city) will allow a transfer of money toward the accommodation and food charges.
Bishop Victoria Matthews has expressed her concern that the increased cost to attend General Synod in 2007 could mean that “some of the smaller dioceses that are conservative are not represented.”
Wasn’t that the intention?
Burritts Rapids, Ont.