When General Synod meets in Richmond Hill, Ont., from July 7-12, making sure the church and Canadian society at large know exactly what is going on will be the cornerstone of the communications plan, said Meghan Kilty, director of communication for the Anglican Church of Canada.
Given the heightened interest around the vote on whether or not the church will change its law to allow for same-sex marriage, Kilty underscored the importance of making lay, clergy and episcopal delegates available to talk publicly about what is happening at synod.
“Especially after coming out of the Primates’ Meeting and after the House of Bishops meeting, there is a need for leadership within our church-and I say leadership in the broadest sense of the word- bishops, clergy and laity-to speak to what has happened within our church,” she said in a March 12 presentation to Council of General Synod.
“The more information you give, the better,” she said. “The wondering [comes] when people fill [in] the blanks with misinformation.”
She said that this would be facilitated by building “regular opportunities” for the media to speak with leaders and people familiar with the issues within the church.
“Rather than putting pressure on delegates who are at the meeting to be pulled [to speak with the media]-which can happen, and as we know everyone has the ability to say yes or no to a media inquiry-we’re also providing the opportunity…within the media room…[for] regular interviews with those [delegates] who want to participate,” Kilty said.
Kilty said that the decision to use tablets programmed with a special General Synod 2016 app rather than the usual three-ring binders would help make the meeting more transparent as well, since “anything that is distributed that is public within the meeting can be accessed by anyone [through the Internet].”