Council of General Synod received enough funds for spring meeting

Published May 12, 2009

Mississauga, Ont.All of the money required to cover the cost of the May 8 -10 meeting of Council of General Synod (C0GS) came together, according to Archdeacon Michael Pollesel, general-secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada. The bulk of the money came from the dioceses with the remainder reallocated from the general secretary’s departmental budget as well as from contributions from two provinces, groups and individual members of CoGS.Last fall, CoGS asked dioceses to contribute at least $2,000 each to cover the cost of the governing body’s spring meeting, but by the end of January only about $20,000 of an estimated $70,000 was raised. The possibility of canceling the meeting and working by teleconference was suggested in order to comply with a previous decision that all national church committees cancel at least one meeting to help prune the national church’s budget deficit.But CoGS members argued that they needed to have face-to-face meetings in order to govern properly and asked Mr. Pollesel to repeat the request for funds for the spring meeting. This second request yielded more funds. Sixteen dioceses and two provinces contributed, and money from the general secretary’s budget was reallocated to CoGS. In addition, Dianne Izzard, assistant to the General Synod co-ordinator, noted that several CoGS members also offered to use their air miles or to find other funding for their expenses, and two Anglican Church Women groups in Nova Scotia sent contributions.Costs were reduced by replacing the face-to-face meeting of the planning and agenda team, originally estimated to cost about $11,000, with a conference call meeting. Ms. Izzard said initial estimates of travel costs for CoGS members were lowered to reflect current travel prices. Costs also decreased when some members said they could not attend.CoGS used small groups and plenary sessions to discuss whether or not General Synod 2010 should be asked to amend the marriage canon to allow for the marriage of same-sex couples. When asked if the meeting could have been done by teleconference, youth delegate Matt Koovisk from the diocese of Kootenay said, “No, that would have been a disaster. A 45-person conference call? You can’t raise your hand on the phone, and we all would have been interrupting each other.”


  • Leigh Anne Williams

    Leigh Anne Williams joined the Anglican Journal in 2008 as a part-time staff writer. She also works as the Canadian correspondent for Publishers Weekly, a New York-based trade magazine for the book publishing. Prior to this, Williams worked as a reporter for the Canadian bureau of TIME Magazine, news editor of Quill & Quire, and a copy editor at The Halifax Herald, The Globe and Mail and The Bay Street Bull.

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