(The headline and following article are intended for parish newsletters, etc)
No it hasn’t happened, and no, it isn’t likely to happen — not soon, anyway. But if it did, whose fault would it be?
The policies of the Church of England are, to a large extent, decided through its Synods and various governing bodies. In addition to the Diocesan and General Synod, there are numerous, and often very important, bodies like the Bishop’s Council, the Pastoral Committee, and so on.
Elections to these bodies take place every three years. But it is often the same few people who stand for them and therefore who get elected. They are doing the best they can, but not many of them tend to be from churches with a passion to put the proclamation of the gospel and the conversion of non-believers at the centre of diocesan life.
This year is election year. And it is time to ask, “Will you stand for election?” If enough good-hearted people got on the Synod, it would make a real difference to the life of the local church.
To be eligible for election as a layperson, you just have to be a communicant member of the Church of England, over 16 years of age and on an electoral roll of a parish in the diocese. You do not have to be a member of the Deanery Synod, though those are the people who actually get to vote.
Nominations will begin on the 14th May – just a couple of months away – and close on the 8th June. If you want to stand, now is the time to be thinking about it. Those alarmist headlines may be a ‘spoof’, but there have been and will be plenty of serious topics up for discussion. If you have the time and willingness, this could be a very valuable work of personal ministry. Speak to one of the clergy if you’d like more details.