It hardly seems any time since we were meeting in November – well, it isn’t long actually. But there is plenty to engage with in the agenda for this Group of Sessions. Principally, of course, it is the business engaged with the ordination of women to the episcopate that will take a great deal of the time. There’s an old English saying, ‘There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip’ implying that even when the outcome of an event seems certain, things can still go wrong. The atmosphere at the Synod in November was very positive. I’m just praying that we still feel inclined to work together to see this legislation move towards being brought into effect. But none of us should take our eye off the ball, or the cup (you shouldn’t mix metaphors!).
There is a motion on the agenda about the environment and that is important as we are perhaps looking now in the west country at what the effects of climate change might be. There will be debates on gender-based violence, on the use of vestments, safeguarding, the Girl Guide Promise and much, much more.
So there is quite a bit of internal stuff but also important debates about issues beyond the walls and structures of the church – which has to be a good thing.
So please pray for this Group of Sessions of the General Synod. These are prayers prepared by the Archbishops for the last meeting of the Synod. They haven’t passed their ‘sell-by date’.
you call your people to be salt and light in a dark and needy world:
set our eyes on the poor, the helpless and the lost,
open our lips with the good news that you have proclaimed to us,
fill our hearts with love for those you put in our path,
and lead our feet in the ways of your Kingdom;
in the name of Jesus, our Saviour and our strength.
Almighty and everliving God
grant to all your faithful people
in the Church of England
a new understanding of your Kingdom,
a new knowledge of your suffering-love and power,
a fresh vision of your glory:
and so awaken us to the reality of your presence
that we may be caught up in your purposes,
be generous in our judgements,
and serve you with a burning spirit and a quiet mind.
Keep us, good Lord, in the Joy, simplicity
and compassion of your Holy Gospel;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.