General Synod votes to review governance structures

General Synod delegates gather for a moment of prayer after the marriage canon vote. Photo by Milos Tosic
By on September 24, 2019
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An amended motion for a constitutional review passed on the last day of General Synod 2019, setting the stage for a thorough examination of the body’s governance structures.

Resolution C005, as amended, directs the Council of General Synod to review the composition of membership and the rules of order and procedure of General Synod, and to bring forward any recommended changes for consideration to General Synod 2022.

The original motion, which did not include a review of the rules of order and procedure, was moved by Monique Stone and seconded by Beth Bretzlaff. Stone noted that the Anglican Church of Canada was in the midst of significant organizational change with the election of a new primate, shift to a new strategic plan and establishment of new church structures.

“Evaluation and adaptation are key traits of success for sustainable, responsible and responsive organizations that honestly and authentically examine where they are in their current context, and how they will move into the future,” Stone said.

The amendment to include rules of order and procedure was moved by David Harrison and seconded by Ian Alexander. Speaking on the proposed amendment, Harrison said that governance would be one of the main issues coming out of synod.

“I think some of us have felt that we haven’t had the kind of mechanisms that we might need, as the Order of Clergy or Order of Laity, to speak into this synod as the Order of Bishops has,” Harrison said.

Though none of the speakers directly linked Resolution C005 to the marriage canon vote, secular media drew a connection, with The Canadian Press reporting: “One of Canada’s largest Christian denominations will spend the next three years considering whether to change its governance structure amid outrage that just two bishops’ votes stood in the way of having same-sex marriage recognized by the church’s laws.”

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  • Matthew Puddister (aka Matt Gardner) is a staff writer for the Anglican Journal. Most recently, Puddister worked as corporate communicator for the Anglican Church of Canada, a position he held since Dec. 1, 2014. He previously served as a city reporter for the Prince Albert Daily Herald. A former resident of Kingston, Ont., Puddister has a degree in English literature from Queen’s University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario. He will continue to support corporate communications efforts during his time at the Journal.