Sunday, 9 July 2017

Synod Observer (2)

Day three and it was Sunday and the morning was given over to worship.

Synod decamped to York Minister for its annual service with the Minster congregation, whilst on this occasion I popped next door to St Michael-le-Belfrey (left) for a nostalgic service in the church where I worshipped as a York student in the late 1970s.

The 9am service was billed as the more traditional of the 3 services to take place in St Mike's on this day and the congregation was definitely quite a bit older. But it was a great service - of Holy Communion - sensitively led by the curate with an inspiring sermon by a female member of the staff team. Sung worship was led by a small orchestra and organ and included a mixture of older hymns and newer songs, including a golden oldie from my days at St Michael's, written by a church member as the time 'Broken for me, broken for you.' I was glad there were still singing that excellent song and it was good to be back at St Michael's.

And the medieval stained glass on this sunny York day looked wonderful

Back to campus for lunch of roast beef and of course Yorkshire pudding before we resumed our synodical labours at 2.30pm in a debate about the Church's relationship with transgender people. This was followed by a debate on clergy well being, and then a Private Members Motion concerned with school admission codes as they affect people in tied accommodation, including clergy.

The motion was passed and I actually got called by the chairman to speak in the debate (thank you Andrew). An earlier speaker had spoken of the sacrifices made by clergy children when they have to move homes and school as their mother or father moves to a new parish. It was a point worth made and worth addressing.

That all took until 7pm and then it was time for the Southwark General synod members dinner at the Charles XII pub in Heslington, next to the university. It was a convivial and happy evening and a good end to the last full day of the York synod. Thanks Andrew for the photos

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