It doesn’t seem long since July and that much more positive experience of Synod that we had in York when we had the facilitated conversations. I think that in my reflections from that Group of Sessions I was less than complementary about the Bishop of Willesden’s suggestions around the next stage of the work. Well, I’m always ready to eat my hat – not biretta – and it would seem from all the reports that the work of the group, whose report is being being brought to this Group of Sessions, are very positive. The responses from the various groupings who have a vested interest in the debate, in that their opinions are known and clear, are that they can ‘live with’ what is proposed. That is very good to know.
The big difference between this ‘parliament’ and the one across the road is that we are not whipped and are all here as independents so we really have to wait to see what the feeling of the Synod is this week. None of us knows until the debates begin.
Anyway, we’re all here and ready to do the work that we have to do. I could have done with more time to prepare this morning but as always life is rather busy in the Cathedral. The day began for me at a breakfast hosted at Roast restaurant in the Borough Market. The occasion was the opening of an exhibition in the restaurant of pictures of the work of Y Care International.
Terry Waite was the principal speaker on what it turned out was the 22nd anniversary of his release from captivity. In his speech he spoke of the way in which the work of Y Care can help young people around the world find release from the past and a new life in the future. He is an excellent and moving speaker and the commitment of him and Iqbal Wahhab, the owner of Roast and a great benefactor and encourager of good community work, is impressive. It was a good way to begin the day, thinking about the way in which the church works effectively beyond the church.
I then had the opportunity to go up the scaffolding on the south side of the Cathedral to see the almost completed work to the roof there. The roof was badly leaking but the work undertaken means that we are now watertight. We now have to complete the work on the northern side of the Cathedral and that all seems to be on course.
It is great though getting above the normal level you see of the building. What always amazes me is the detail that goes into the places that are not seen, the carvings that exist behind the buttresses. Great and imaginative touches.
So a good morning and now to the Chamber for the debates. Please keep the Synod in your prayers and the whole church that we seek to serve. This prayer by Archbishop Laud is a good one to offer on this or any occasion.
Most gracious Father,
we pray to you for your holy catholic Church.
Fill it with all truth;
in all truth with all peace.
Where it is corrupt, purge it.
Where it is in error, direct it.
Where anything is amiss, reform it.
Where it is right, strengthen and defend it.
Where it is in want, provide for it.
Where it is divided, heal it and reunite it in your love;
for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.