In the presentation of the task group reports in preparation for the work we will be engaged in tomorrow morning, Bishop Pete Broadbent, who was presenting ‘Simplification’, said to Synod that there appeared to have been a drop in energy levels. I think he was right, it wasn’t just me with a heavy cold who felt a bit stultified by the afternoon; it felt as though we all did.
I went back into the Chamber in time to vote against the final stage of the change in names of dioceses legislation. Thank God it was defeated! Why are some people so dismissive of the inheritance of the church that we enjoy and have received with joy? The church exists in the local and bishops exist and relate to that local and what is more, urban, reality. That has always been the case and I think for good reason. If it really is a block to mission – well, I cannot believe it. What is more of a block is not having confidence in Christ who is the head of the church, Christ who was incarnate in the particular, in the urban setting, who died in the particular, urban setting and who prepares a place for us in the named place, the heavenly Jerusalem. Of course a region has souls in it, but it does not have that particular, located feeling. Anyway, it is off the books. Hurrah!
So that excited me and normally I am excited by Questions (a bit of rough and tumble) but, perhaps because this was a new way of doing (managing) it, it felt less exciting, less responsive. The answers are printed in advance in the booklet that used only to contain the questions. The answer is assumed to have been read and supplimentaries are then taken. I found all of that quite a lot to get a handle on – remembering what the discussion was about from what you have read. But we need to give it time.
But that may have rather subdued Synod, hence Bishop Pete’s comments and add to that the raft of papers for tomorrow. But that is tomorrow!
Lighten our darkness,
Lord, we pray,
and in your great mercy
defend us from all perils and dangers of this night,
for the love of your only Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.