Law and grace

I came out of my room this morning to be greeted by the sight of a balloon gently moving across the sky as I walked to the dining hall to get my breakfast.  Lovely, but nothing at all to do with this blog, but just a nice beginning to the day.


A nice way to begin the day

Anyway, at Morning Prayer for the past few weeks we have been reading Paul’s Letter to the Romans.  In Chapter 6 of that letter Paul writes

‘You are not under law but under grace.’ (Romans 6.14)

Of course, grace abounds in the meetings of the General Synod but, unfortunately, we also have to deal with law and it is legislation that is going to take up a great deal of our time in the two Sessions that lie before us today.  We will be looking at Faculty Jurisdiction, Religious Communities, Standing Orders, some miscellaneous provisions – a kind of rag bag of stuff including revisiting that clause relating to unused burial grounds which is where we began this Synod – and cathedrals.

Last July we were considering the report of the Cathedrals Working Group.  This year we are looking for the first time at the draft legislation, the Cathedrals Measure, that has come out of that report.  The twelve months in between have seen a huge number of meetings between the various interested parties, not just deans, not just Residentiary Canons, but the many, many groups of people for whom cathedrals are significant.  The draft measure, however, contains the recommendations of the report, some of which are not workable, some of which are not welcome. I have been appointed as the chair of the Revision Committee.  So, if the Draft Measure gains Synod’s approval in this first reading it gets passed on for revision which is when we will be able to tidy it up and recommend changes to the law, that grace may abound.  So I’m hoping for a really good debate which will highlight the areas that we need to look at.  If all goes to plan the amended Measure will come back to Synod in February.

The rest of the day, when we are not talking about law, we will be talking about the budget for next year, the work of the Archbishops’ Council and looking at ‘Mission-Shaped Church’ 15 years on.  So it should be an interesting day.

God of grace,
may your church live
your law of love.

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