The last lap

The finishing line is in view, this is the last lap.  At the end of this morning’s Session we will be Prorogued (interesting how that is a word that more people are now aware of – I’d only ever used it in relation to Synod, but Brexit is having unforeseen effects) and we will head back into real life.

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The morning is book-ended by two debates and in the middle are two bits of legislative business.  The first debate will be on ‘Setting God’s People Free’.  This is an initiative begun in 2017 about ‘encouraging and enabling lay people to follow Jesus confidently in every sphere of life’ and helping the ordained and lay members of the church to see their roles as complementary.  Dioceses have been taking this on in different ways and I suppose this morning we will be hearing lots of stories about what has been happening.

The last debate is on a motion from the Diocese of Rochester about ‘Anna Chaplaincy’.  I had never heard about this until I was coming to this Synod.  It seems that Anna Chaplains work with the elderly and those living with dementia.  They have a vocation to listen and be alongside.  Their name comes from Anna who appears out of the shadows of the Temple in Luke’s account of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2.36-38)

She’s a fascinating ‘bit-part’ player in the gospel and it will be great to celebrate her – one of God’s people who are set free as she encounters the one for whom she has been looking and waiting.

In between? There are two pieces of legislation to approve, one on the Patronage of Benefices and the other on the Church Representation Rules.  So we just need that final spurt of energy to get us to the finishing line.

Loving God,
give us the energy we need today,
to do whatever lies before us.
Amen.

Holy Land

A pilgrimage for returning pilgrims

My Lent Diary

A journey from ashes to a garden

In the Steps of Martin Luther

A Southwark Cathedral Pilgrimage 2017

sabbaticalthoughtsblog.wordpress.com/

Canda, Jerusalem, Mucknall

Southwark Diocesan Pilgrimage 2016

Hearts on Fire - Pilgrims in the Holy Land

A good city for all

A good city for all

In the Steps of St Paul

Southwark Cathedral Pilgrimage June 2015

LIVING GOD

Reflections from the Dean of Southwark

Andrew Nunn's reflections from General Synod

the personal views of the Dean of Southwark