Synod in Past Years
2004 Report of the Standing Committee
The Standing Committee is constituted under the Standing Committee Ordinance 1897. Its duties arise under a number of ordinances and include the following -
Meetings are held in St Andrew's House, Sydney Square and mail should be addressed to 'The Diocesan Secretary, Standing Committee of Synod, PO Box Q190, QVB Post Office NSW 1230' (telephone (02) 9265 1555; Fax (02) 9261 4485; E-mail email@example.com). Office hours are 9 am to 5 pm.
A report on each meeting is published a few days after the meeting on the Synod's website at www.sydney.anglican.asn.au/synod.
1.3 Meetings and members
Since October 2003 we have met 11 times. The names of the members are listed in the 2004 Diocesan Year Book and on the Synod's website at www.sydney.anglican.asn.au.
During the year, the following changes took place to the membership of the Standing Committee -
We are thankful for the service of the former members.
1.4 Resignation of Justice Ken Handley AO as Chancellor
In December 2003, we noted with deep regret Ken Handley's resignation as Chancellor. Ken has given faithful service to the Diocese over many years, particularly as Advocate from 1970 to 1980, as Chancellor from 1980, and as a member of the Standing Committee since 1971. We resolved to record our thanks to God for Ken's selfless service, and to assure Ken and his wife, Di, of our prayers for God's continued blessing on them, and for their ongoing ministries within the Diocese.
1.5 Management and structure
Each meeting of the Standing Committee is like a small Synod meeting. The major committees are -
2.1 Diocesan Mission Strategy
In 2002, the Synod adopted the mission strategy for the Diocese including the following Mission Statement -
The initial goal of the mission adopted by the Synod is -
The fundamental aim of the strategy is -
The mission strategy continues to direct much of the work we have undertaken during this year.
2.2 New capital project
Last year we requested that the Mission Taskforce review the property needs of the Diocesan Mission generally and establish a means by which these needs can be taken into account as the Mission Property Committee pursues its strategic plan for land acquisition.
The Mission Taskforce has considered our request as part of its broader consideration of the capital needs of the Diocese to maintain and increase the momentum created by the Diocesan Mission.
As a result of the work undertaken on behalf of the Mission Taskforce, we are exploring a project aimed at raising substantial amounts of new capital using asset realignment techniques. This 'new capital' project involves 2 stages. The first stage involves the development of a set of strategies to realise capital, including the preparation of a comprehensive data base of diocesan assets. The second stage involves implementing those strategies as appropriate.
To progress consideration of this project, we have passed an ordinance to appropriate up to $1 million from the Diocesan Endowment to fund the first stage of the project.
During the year we spent time discussing reforms to parish administration. In particular, we considered a proposal by the Policy 4 Committee which would include -
The proposal has now been incorporated in a proposed Parishes (Special Administration) Ordinance 2004 which is being promoted at the forthcoming session of the Synod at our request. An explanatory statement and ordinance are printed separately.
Last year the focus of our policy discussions was on education. One outcome of these discussions was to ask that a draft diocesan policy statement on education be prepared. The draft policy statement has not yet been finalised.
3.1 Estate of Late M.A. Grant (Sisters' Endowment)
The Archbishop-in-Council appropriated $45,000 from this Estate for distribution by the Archbishop to assist clergy, clergy widows and clergy children or orphans who are in need.
3.2 Parramatta '54 Free Fund
The income of this fund is to be distributed among the objects of the Diocese of Sydney as determined by the Archbishop-in-Council. A distribution of $8,040 was made to pay the costs of the Archbishop and Sydney bishops attending the 2004 Australian Bishops Conference.
3.3 Parishes of Bankstown and East Sydney - right of presentation
The parishes of Bankstown and East Sydney became vacant during the year but the Archbishop was unable to declare that either parish had complied with clauses 8 and 15 of the Presentation and Exchange Ordinance 1988. These matters were referred to the Archbishop-in-Council which determined that, in the circumstances, the parish of Bankstown should not have the benefits under the Ordinance and the parish of East Sydney should have these benefits.
3.4 Commencement of the Act of Uniformity (Section 10) Repeal Ordinance 2003
See item 8.10.
4.1 Accounts, Audits and Annual Reports Ordinance 1995
Organisations of the Synod which manage church trust property must report annually to the Synod. These reports include audited accounts and must be lodged, together with liquidity reports, by 30 June each year. A different lodgement date has been approved for a few organisations.
The annual reports and audited accounts for about 40 organisations will be tabled in the Synod. Any major problems found by the Finance Committee from a review of these accounts will be reported.
4.2 Audited accounts of the Standing Committee
The audited accounts for the Synod Fund are printed separately. Those of the Sydney Diocesan Account (a small group of sub-trusts and clearing accounts) will be tabled.
4.3 Amendment to regulations re large receipts
The large receipts regulations set out the rules we follow when a sale or leasing ordinance promoted by a parish involves a large receipt and therefore is presumed to contain a 'windfall' element. The normal expectation for an ordinance which involves a large receipt is that 15% of the proceeds will be added to the capital of the Diocesan Endowment and so benefit the Diocese generally.
We amended the regulations so that, on special application, 15% of the proceeds from a large receipt may be allocated to other Diocesan beneficiaries to further the Diocesan Mission. We also agreed to increase the 'large receipts limit' for sale ordinances from $300,000 to $500,000 and for leasing ordinances from $20,000 to $40,000.
4.4 Borrowing limits for organisations
An increased borrowing limit was approved for 1 organisation.
4.5 Ordination training fund
From this Fund, bursaries are available to -
Bursaries and examination fees of $776,303 were paid in 2003 ($578,810 in 2002).
The following table shows the numbers of ordinances passed and assented to in 1998 to 2003 and in 2004 to 30 September.
A separate report lists the ordinances passed by the Standing Committee since the 2003 session of the Synod. There are 9 ordinances of particular interest.
The St George North (Special Purpose) Amendment Ordinance 2004 modified the administrative arrangements that apply in the parish of St George North. The modifications included the adoption of congregations of the parish as the fundamental units by which the parish is administered in place of its churches and to do this on a trial basis over the next 3 years. It also provided for an annual parish meeting of members of all congregations of the parish in place of the annual vestry meeting for each church of the parish. The ordinance established the office of parish warden for the parish as a whole. Parish wardens effectively replace separate churchwardens for each church of the parish. The ordinance will be reviewed during 2006.
The Ordination Training Fund Ordinance 2004 appropriated $215,250 from the Provision for Distribution of the Diocesan Endowment and allocated this to provide additional funding to enable the Ordination Training Fund to pay bursaries to qualifying students at an appropriate level for 2004. We considered it important to pass this ordinance given the critical importance to the Diocesan Mission of Policy 3 'to multiply well trained persons'. However, in view of a similar appropriation ordinance having been passed last year, it has become clear that the level of on-going funding for the Ordination Training Fund needs to be reviewed. The Policy 3 Committee has been asked to consider this in their future budget recommendations.
The Uninsured Liability Ordinance 2004 appropriated $270,000 from the Provision for Distribution of the Diocesan Endowment to meet an uninsured claim made against the Diocese.
The Neutral Bay (St Chad's Church) Sale Ordinance 2004 and the Neutral Bay (St Chad's Rectory) Sale Ordinance 2004 authorised the sale of the St Chad's church and rectory sites at Cremorne Point. From the sale of the church site, 10% of the proceeds of sale (after payment of costs) will be paid to the Indigenous Peoples' Ministry Fund. The balance will be paid to the Mission Property Fund. The proceeds of sale of the rectory are to be paid of Neutral Bay for the purchase of a new residence.
The Wollongong Leasing Ordinance 2004 authorised the sub-division and long-term lease of part of the site of St Michael's Cathedral, Wollongong to construct and operate a residential hotel. A portion of the rental income from the lease will be paid to the Mission Property Fund.
The Bishopscourt Backblock Development and Land Sale Ordinance 2004 authorised the development and sale of residential units on the backblock of Bishopscourt. Further information about this matter is set out at item 4.20.
The New Capital Project Appropriation Ordinance 2004 authorised the Glebe Administration Board to apply up to $1 million from the Diocesan Endowment to meet the cost of developing a capital fund raising project based on asset realignment techniques. Further information about this matter is set out at item 2.2.
The Synod Appropriations and Allocations Ordinance 2004 authorises the specific funding allocations for 2005 approved by the Synod in the Synod Appropriations and Allocations Ordinance 2003 (see item 4.12).
4.6A Ordinance Fees
The Finance Committee, acting on our behalf, has approved the following ordinance fees with effect from 1 January 2005 -
The ordinance fees are set at a level to substantially meet the costs incurred by the Secretariat in checking documents, drafting reports, arranging review, resolving questions, and filing ordinances.
4.7 Proposed assessment of stamp duty on ordinances
Last year we passed the Katoomba Trust Ordinance 2003 to vary the trusts of property held for the provisional parish of Katoomba. The ordinance also provided for certain property held in the name of the Bishop of Sydney to be vested in the Property Trust under section 19 of the Anglican Church of Australia Trust Property Act 1917.
In late February 2004, Land and Property Information NSW (LPI) refused to accept an application to change the name of the registered proprietor of the property vested in the Property Trust until the application was marked exempt from stamp duty by the Office of State Revenue (OSR). The reason for this refusal appeared to relate to recent amendment to the Duties Act 1997 which specifically made vesting of land pursuant to statute a dutiable transaction under the Act. This amendment came into force on 1 January 2004.
The OSR took the view that although the recent amendment to the Act did not apply to the vesting under the Katoomba Trust Ordinance 2003 (since that vesting occurred before 1 January 2004), the ordinance was nonetheless assessable for stamp duty on 2 other grounds. The OSR gave notice of its intention to issue an assessment for stamp duty.
The assessment for stamp duty was postponed to allow formal submissions to be made to the OSR.
In early June the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue indicated that he was prepared to accept that the Katoomba Trust Ordinance did not involve a dutiable transaction. However, in his view, there was a degree of uncertainty and so the Commissioner requested that it would be desirable to undertake a general review of the dutiability of ordinances.
The Commissioner has undertaken the review and confirmed that no duty is payable on an ordinance which varies trusts under section 32 of the 1917 Act, where the trusts being varied relate to land held by a corporate trustee. The dutiability of other types of ordinances made under section 32 will need to be ascertained with the Office of State Revenue on a case by case basis.
4.8 Parochial cost recoveries - arrears
The following table compares the arrears as at 30 June 2002, 2003 and 2004.
The main reason for an increase in arrears for 2004 is the inclusion of an amount of $19,166 for Norfolk Island representing its minister's 'on-costs' since mid-2002.
The Archdeacons are in regular contact with parochial units in arrears with a view to finding a solution to the situation. They report to the Finance Committee.
4.9 Arrears of parochial cost recovery charges - St Andrew's Cathedral
During the year we were informed of arrears of $42,764 owing for 2003 parochial cost recovery charges by St Andrew's Cathedral. The arrears arose as a result of the late payment of superannuation contributions for an assistant minister at the Cathedral.
We agreed to write off the whole of the balance of the arrears against the provision for changes and relief funded by the parochial cost recoveries from all parishes.
4.10 Regulations about speaking and voting on allocation of funds
Last year we repealed the regulation adopted on 28 April 1997 about speaking and voting on the allocation of funds at our meetings. We subsequently replaced this with a regulation that requires members speaking on motions dealing with the application of funds to declare any relevant interest.
4.11 Parochial cost recoveries for 2005
In accordance with clause 11 of the Assessment and Charges Ordinance 1975, an ordinance was prepared for the 1st session of the 46th Synod (in 2002) specifying the cost recoveries charge for ministry and property costs to be paid by each parochial unit in 2003, together with the method or methods by which those charges would be determined for 2004 and 2005.
A report including a review of the description and estimated amount of those costs for 2005 and the cost recoveries charge estimated to be payable by each parochial unit in 2005 is printed separately.
4.12 Synod appropriations and allocations
Under the Synod Appropriations and Allocations Ordinance 2002, we are required to bring to the forthcoming session of Synod a report and recommendations for target percentages for each policy of the Mission for the triennium 2006-2008.
A report about target percentages for 2006-2008 is printed separately.
Under the Synod Appropriations and Allocations Ordinance 2003 the Synod expressed its intentions about specific allocations for 2005 and directed us to pass the necessary ordinance to give effect to this intention. We have passed the necessary ordinance.
4.13 Endowment of the See (various approvals)
The stipends, allowances, superannuation, long service leave, housing and office costs of the Archbishop, Assistant Bishops, the Registrar and Archdeacons, the salaries of the registry staff (including the Archives), and the stipend, allowances, superannuation, long service leave and housing costs of the Dean are met from the Endowment of the See. These costs are not a charge on Synod funds except for $54,000 in 2003 for the promotion of women's ministries.
4.14 Sale of the Gilbulla Memorial Conference Centre
In 2001, the Synod passed the Gilbulla Memorial Conference Centre Sale Ordinance 2001 to authorise the sale of the Gilbulla Memorial Conference Centre. Last year we reported that the sale was completed in November 2002.
The proceeds of sale, and income earned thereon, are held for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, adopting and/or renovating a property or building to be used as a conference centre and retreat house in connection with the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Sydney.
To date, no substantive progress has been made in finding a replacement for Gilbulla.
4.15 The future of Anglican SuperFund - Sydney
By resolution 21/02 the Synod consented to the merger of Anglican SuperFund - Sydney (ASF) and Anglican Superannuation Australia (ASA) and requested that progress reports be made to each ordinary session of Synod until the merger is complete.
Last year we reported that some progress had been made in relation to the proposed merger. However, the Board of ASF has since advised that further progress in the merger has been negligible and that it is unlikely that the merger with ASA will occur in 2004.
The Board of ASF has indicated that there is an imperative to merge with another fund in order to deliver the benefits arising from economics of scale in the areas of member costs, administration and investment.
We approved ASF entering into negotiations with Christian Super for the merger of the 2 funds. Christian Super is a non-denominational Christian based superannuation fund open to Christian service organisations in Australia. The fund has over 11,000 members and $190 million in assets.
If negotiations with Christian Super are successful and if due diligence is satisfactory, we requested that the proposed merger be brought to the attention of ASF members to enable them to express their views. We also agreed to consider such ordinances and resolutions as are necessary to effect the merger and requested that progress reports be provided to each ordinary session of Synod until the merger is complete.
4.16 Policy for the payment of the Advocate
In 2003, proceedings were brought before the Diocesan Tribunal under the Tribunal Ordinance 1962. The Advocate was appointed to prosecute the charges.
Following the completion of these proceedings, we adopted the following policy about payments made to the Advocate -
4.17 Alternative methods for determining minimum stipends
In 2002, we requested the Stipends and Allowances Committee to provide a report on the alternative methods of determining minimum stipends.
Having considered the report provided by the Stipends and Allowances Committee, we adopted the principle that the minimum stipend should be set each year with reference to the latest available Average Weekly Earnings data and Wages Cost Index data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This should be reviewed every 5 years in light of the trends in the household expenditure survey.
4.18 Sydney Anglican Car and Insurance Fund
In 2002, we asked the Mission Taskforce to consider and report on the future of the Sydney Anglican Car and Insurance Fund and, if appropriate, to make recommendations about other uses of the capital of the Fund.
Having considered the report provided by the Mission Taskforce, we agreed in principle to wind up the Fund. As funds are released from the winding up, we agreed that they should be used for purposes determined by us or the Synod at a future time. However in principle we agreed that the funds should be used to meet capital or infrastructure costs and to further the Mission.
We asked the Mission Taskforce to make recommendations to us about the appropriate allocation of the proceeds of the winding up when they become available.
To date the Mission Taskforce has not made these recommendations.
4.19 Allocation for Strategic Mission Project Funds
We approved the allocation of Policy 2a Strategic Mission Project Funds in 2005 as follows -
We approved the allocation of Policy 2b Strategic Mission Project Funds in 2004 as follows -
We approved the allocation of Policy 3 Strategic Mission Project Funds in 2005 as follows -
4.20 Development and sale of Backblock of Bishopscourt
The site of Bishopscourt comprises 2 blocks. The main block comprises an area of 6,216 square metres. That block and the buildings erected on it are listed on the State Heritage Register. The backblock comprises an area of 2,870 square metres which was purchased after the main block. The backblock is vacant land and is not listed on the State Heritage Register.
In the mid 1990s, a development application for the construction of 10 residential units was prepared and lodged with Woollahra Council. The application was refused and subsequently the Property Trust appealed to the Land and Environment Court. In July 1999, the Land and Environment Court upheld the appeal and approved the development subject to a number of conditions.
To preserve the development approval which would have expired in July 2004, it was necessary to substantially commence construction of the units on the backblock prior to that time.
We passed the Bishopscourt Backblock Development and Land Sale Ordinance 2004 which authorised the development and sale of the residential units. The proceeds of sale, after the payment of the costs of the development, are to be applied for the purposes of the Endowment of the See.
4.21 Mortgaging of consecrated land
We considered a report from the Mission Taskforce about the origins of the custom that consecrated land or land upon which a consecrated building is situated should not be mortgaged. The report addressed the particular problems that have arisen for the development of parish property as a result of this custom.
The Mission Taskforce advised that there is no legal impediment to the mortgaging of consecrated land or land upon which a consecrated building is situated. We have therefore agreed in principle to consider any ordinance to authorise the mortgaging of such land if it is in the interests of the Diocesan Mission to do so.
The appointment of persons to serve on committees etc, continued to be a major part in our business. Some appointments are to fill casual vacancies among Synod appointees, and these appointments fall vacant at this coming Synod session. Other appointments are made by the Standing Committee in its own right.
From November 2003 to June 2004, 37 such positions were filled (153 for the same period in 2002-2003).
5.2 Reports from regional councils
Under clause 9 of the Regions Ordinance 1995 each regional council must give us an annual report for inclusion in our report to the Synod. The annual reports are printed separately, together with any reports for the reclassification of provisional parishes as parishes under the Parishes Ordinance 1979.
5.3 Pastoral care and assistance to victims of abuse
During the year we approved the implementation of a pastoral care and assistance scheme for victims of abuse. The implementation of the scheme was prompted by the following considerations -
It is intended that the scheme will engender an open, honest and proactive approach to dealing with complaints of abuse. In summary the scheme incorporates the following -
We requested that the Director of Professional Standards Unit report to us at least every 6 months about the progress of the scheme and any payments made.
5.4 Review of the Presentation and Exchange Ordinance 1988
In 2002 we reported that we had appointed a committee to review the Presentation and Exchange Ordinance 1988, and report with recommendations by 31 May 2003. At the committee's request, we have extended the time by which the report is to be made. We understand that the committee will report shortly.
5.5 Membership of the Synod
Following the passing of the Synod and Standing Committee (Membership) Amendment Ordinance 2003, the Diocesan Secretary is now a member of the Synod under part 9 of the Synod Membership Ordinance 1995. The person currently holding the office of Diocesan Secretary was previously a member of the Synod as a nominated lay person under part 8 of the Synod Membership Ordinance 1995. We therefore filled the vacancy for a nominated layperson under part 8.
Following the passing of the Synod and Standing Committee (Membership) Amendment Ordinance 2003, we became entitled to declare an additional 2 diocesan organisations to be nominated organisations under part 6 of the Synod Membership Ordinance 1995. Previously, there were 5 such nominated organisations - Anglicare, Sydney Diocesan Secretariat, Moore Theological College, Youthworks and Anglican Media.
The consequence of an organisation being so nominated is that its Chief Executive Officer is a member of the Synod under part 6.
We declared Anglican Retirement Villages Diocese of Sydney and Sydney Anglican Schools Corporation to be the 2 additional nominated organisations for the 46th Synod.
5.6 General Synod, Sydney Representatives
We were informed by the Diocesan Registrar that we were entitled to elect 52 representatives to the 13th session of the General Synod to be held in October this year. The 52 representatives comprise 26 clerical members and 26 lay members.
The Synod elected 48 representatives in 2002.
Following this notification, 3 of our General Synod representatives resigned. This created a total of 7 vacancies for Sydney representatives for General Synod which we have subsequently filled.
6.1 Charities Definition Inquiry - Government Response
Last year we reported that the Government had released an exposure draft of the Charities Bill 2003 to enact a legislative definition of charity for the purposes of administration of Commonwealth laws. The proposed legislative definition was to follow closely the meaning of 'charity' developed by the common law. We also reported that the Government had asked the Board of Taxation to undertake public consultation about the draft bill and that a committee we appointed to respond on our behalf had lodged a submission with the Board.
The Government has decided not to proceed with the legislative definition of charity. It has instead retained the common law meaning of the term, subject to a statutory extension to include as charities certain non-profit child care and self-help groups, and closed or contemplative religious orders. The extended definition of charity applies from 1 July 2004.
On a related issue, the Government has also announced the deferral until 1 July 2005 of the requirement for charities (including parishes and churches), public benevolent institutions and health promotion charities to be endorsed by the Commissioner of Taxation to access certain tax concessions. The Government had previously announced these measures would apply from 1 July 2004. The Government has decided to defer these measures due to the relevant legislation not being passed by Parliament and the desirability of providing organisations with adequate time to comply with the new arrangements.
6.2 Anglicare - Kingsdene Special School and Residential Program
During the year we noted with concern the planned closure of Anglicare's Kingsdene Special School and Residential Program due to lack of funding. We called upon Anglicare and the New South Wales and Commonwealth Governments to recognise the vital ministry of the School and Residential Program and to make available funds sufficient to allow the School and Residential Program to continue its special care for the students and families of Kingsdene. We also committed ourselves to considering our capacity to provide additional funds.
We requested that Anglicare report on progress made in obtaining Government funding and other support to enable the School and Residential Program to remain operational beyond January 2005.
In its report, Anglicare indicated that following a meeting attended by representatives of the Federal Minister for Education, Science and Training, the State Minister for Community Services, Aging, Disability Services and Youth and Anglicare, offers were made for additional recurrent funding. The additional funding was sufficient to allow the Council of Anglicare to rescind its previous decision to close the School and Residential Program despite a remaining annual shortfall in funding of $200,000.
We gave thanks to God for the provision of additional funding to secure the future of Kingsdene and thanked the Commonwealth and State Governments, and Anglicare, for providing the additional funding.
We also agreed to make payments of $20,000 per year in 2004 and 2005 to assist in the shortfall.
6.3 Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Equality in Education and Employment) Bill 2004
During the year, the Greens Party introduced the Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Equality in Education and Employment) Bill 2004 into the NSW Legislative Council. A media release issued in conjunction with the launch of the bill stated in part that -
The main objects of the bill are -
The bill also seeks to remove exemptions under the Act that currently apply to persons who employ 5 or fewer employees.
We regard the bill as a significant threat to the right of freedom of association in New South Wales and, more particularly, an attack on the freedom of Christian schools and colleges to associate on the basis of collectively held religious beliefs, practices and values. The bill, if it were to become law, would also prevent religious bodies from declining to offer their services to certain members of the public even when to do so would contravene their religious doctrines or would cause injury to the religious susceptibilities or adherents to that religion. In short, we considered that the bill threatens the freedom of our churches, schools and other organisations to be distinctively Christian.
We have asked a group of people to formulate and implement a strategy to oppose the bill. We also encouraged the Archbishop to take appropriate opportunities to express his concern about the bill and requested that reports be periodically provided to us about developments in this matter.
We understand that the New South Wales Government is not likely to support the bill. However we are keeping a watching brief on this and other matters relating to any changes to the Act.
6.4 Introduction of vendor duty
During the year the State Government introduced changes to the Duties Act 1997 which imposed a duty on vendors on the transfer of property. The vendor duty is payable from 1 June 2004 on transfers, agreements for the sale and declarations of trust over dutiable property (including land) in New South Wales. Payment of vendor duty is in addition to 'purchaser duty' already payable under the Act.
There are a number of exemptions from vendor duty. However, generally, the Property Trust will not be exempt from that duty.
7.1 Statement of Global South Primates
During the year, the Global South Primates issued the following statement -
As Primates of the Global South, we are of one mind that these measures are essential to preserve our Communion in true union and to avoid the tragic realignment which would otherwise be inevitable.
The ACC, upon the recommendation of the Brisbane 1986 Missions Conference, organised a gathering of the non-Western parts of the Communion for mutual consultation on their distinctive contextual mission challenges. The 1st South-South Encounter was held in Limuru, Kenya in 1994. The 2nd South-South Encounter in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1997, produced the important „Kuala Lumpur Statement on Human Sexuality' which was significantly fed into the 1998 Lambeth Conference resulting in no small way in the historic and overwhelming approval of Resolution I.10. Other subsequent gatherings and initiatives took place in more recent years.
At this juncture of critical challenges faced by the Communion for its integrity, credibility and acceptability both within and before other churches, faiths and an increasingly secularised and divided world, we resolve that our fellowship and unity be further consolidated and mutually strengthened for even more concerted efforts in our common faith, witness and mission of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, notwithstanding our diverse social, cultural, religious, economic and political contexts. We challenge ourselves to spiritual renewal and transformation in stewardship and development of resources, both human and financial, through biblical discipleship and mutual care and sharing! Thus, we further intend to gather in a 3rd South-South Encounter in Egypt under the theme of the „One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church'.
As we have experienced deep Christian fellowship and unity in the faith and mandate of our shared mission throughout the two days of our gathering, we are eager to share with you our wonder and joy in the amazing grace of God in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit. By the mercies of God, we urge all His faithful people in our historic and worldwide Anglican Communion, especially those in difficult situations for the sake of the Gospel, to be encouraged and to remain steadfast in „faith, hope and love'.
„Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart'. (Heb 12.1-3).
Most Revd Peter J. Akinola, DD, CON
for and on behalf of the Global South Primates'
We supported the Global South Primates in their request to the Lambeth Commission, recently appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, to include in their Report a specific call to the Episcopal Church of the USA (ECUSA) to repent, and to rescind and revoke their election of Gene Robinson as a bishop.
We also supported the application of disciplinary action against ECUSA and the Diocese of New Westminster, should it be necessary, and supported the maintenance of those parishes and dioceses who are seeking to uphold the historic faith of the Anglican Communion as set forth in Holy Scripture.
7.2 Episcopal ministry and women
Last year we received a draft issues paper developed by the General Synod Working Group on Women in the Episcopate. We asked a committee to consider this paper and to report to us with its comments and recommendations. The issues paper foreshadows the consideration by the General Synod this year of a canon to authorise the consecration of women to the episcopate.
In its report, our committee expressed the view that the theological position expressed in the draft issues paper was misleading insofar as it failed to let the teaching of the New Testament inform its argument on the nature of episcopacy. The committee also considered that the paper misstated the understanding of episcopacy offered by the BCP and its reformation precursors. More generally, the committee considered that the proposal put forth in the paper did not reflect the gravity of the problem it sought to address.
The committee also made a number of comments on a draft bill for the Church Law (Further Clarification) Canon 2004 issued by the General Synod office.
We requested that a copy of the committee's report be sent to the General Synod Working Group on Women in the Episcopate on the understanding that neither we nor the people who prepared the report necessarily speak for either the Sydney representatives on General Synod or the Sydney Synod.
7.3 General Synod - Draft Code of Conduct
Last year, we appointed a committee to review the draft 'Code of Professional Ethics for Practice of Pastoral Ministry' issued by the Child Protection Committee of the General Synod.
Having considered an initial report provided by the committee, we -
The committee prepared further comments in relation to the revised draft code which were sent to the General Synod Child Protection Committee. We requested that the committee make further comments to the General Synod Child Protection Committee as it saw fit to do so.
7.4 Anglican Gathering in Cape Town 2008
We received a report from the Diocesan Secretary about a proposal from the Primates of the Communion to hold an Anglican gathering in Cape Town in 2008 in connection with the Lambeth Conference.
8.1 Remarriage of divorced persons
Over previous years, we reported that we were seeking the comments of the Doctrine Commission on proposals for legislation to authorise the remarriage of divorced persons. Last year the Doctrine Commission provided its report which we have not yet considered.
8.2 Review of the lay ministry licensing system
In 2002 we advised that we had considered certain recommendations made by the committee appointed to review the lay ministry licensing system in the Diocese under the Deaconesses, Readers and Other Lay Persons Ordinance 1981.
We intend to resume consideration of this matter once a revised form of bill for an ordinance for lay ministry licensing is prepared.
8.3 Oaths, Affirmations, Declarations and Assents Canon 1992
In 2002 the Synod deferred until its 2003 session consideration of certain motions in relation to the Oaths, Affirmations, Declarations and Assents Canon 1992. These motions expressed conflicting views in relation to the canon.
At our request the Legal Committee is preparing an opinion about these conflicting views. We had anticipated that the opinion would be available for consideration at the 2004 session. This now appears unlikely and accordingly we recommend that Synod defer consideration of this matter until its 2005 session.
8.4 Review of parochial classifications
In 2002 we appointed a committee to consider the range of issues associated with parochial classifications. The committee reported last year and we referred the report to the Mission Taskforce for its consideration and report. The Mission Taskforce has not yet provided its response in this matter.
8.5 Review of Recognised Churches Ordinance 2000
Last year we constituted a committee to undertake a review of the Recognised Churches Ordinance 2000. The review included identifying any peculiarities in the process of transferring a congregation of an existing parish into a recognised church.
Having considered the report provided by the committee, we requested that an ordinance amending the Recognised Churches Ordinance 2000 be promoted to the Synod in accordance with the principles set out in the committee's report. A bill for the Recognised Churches Amendment Ordinance 2004 and the report of the committee are printed separately.
In view of a number of other matters that were raised in the report of the committee, we also requested that -
8.6 14/00 Administration of confirmation by presbyters
By resolution 14/00, the Synod requested that we appoint a committee, to include lay persons and not necessarily to be confined to members of Standing Committee -
The chairman of the committee (Bishop Glenn Davies) has provided a preliminary report about progress of the matter. The report says that advertisements were placed in Southern Cross in June 2002 inviting submissions. 14 submissions were received. The submissions indicate a range of opinions about the relative merits of confirmation and the value of a bishop presiding at such a ceremony.
The committee has undertaken a deal of work in considering the relevant parts of Scripture, post apostolic evidence, the thinking of the English reformation and the logic of confirmation for both infant and adult baptizands. It has asked members of the Standing Committee to comment on the thinking undertaken to date.
At the request of the committee we have agreed to allow the committee to report to the 2005 session of the Synod.
8.7 26/00 Faculties
By resolution 26/00, the Synod requested that we appoint a committee to review the rationale for and procedures relating to faculties, items which do not require a faculty but do require the Archdeacon's approval, and related regulations and to prepare legislation for consideration by the Synod to simplify and where practicable abolish requirements presently applying.
In 2002 we indicated that the committee appointed to consider this matter was expected to report in due course. The committee has not yet reported.
8.8 8/01 Archbishop's power to withhold assent
By resolution 8/01, the Synod requested that we -
In 2002 we provided an interim report which set out the history of the requirement for assent, the reasons for the power of assent and the known circumstances where an Archbishop of Sydney has withheld assent to an ordinance of the Synod.
Our interim report indicated that the power to withhold assent has been exercised by successive Archbishops sparingly and the existence of the power does not seem to have unduly impeded the government of the Church of the Diocese, particularly in property matters. Further, the repeal of the power, or the more precise definition of its limits, would not be a simple thing to achieve. If the Synod were to consent to such a proposal, it is likely that a canon of the General Synod would be required to authorise an amendment to clause 5(c) of the 1902 Constitution. An amendment to the 1917 Act may also be required to remove of modify section 26(2) of that Act.
We do not consider that the time and expense required to promote a canon and an amending Act is justified at this time. Accordingly we do not think that any action should be taken at this time to repeal the Archbishop's power to give or withhold assent, or to define the circumstances in which those powers might be exercised more precisely.
8.9 15/01 Term of office of assistant bishops
By resolution 15/01, the Synod requested that we review the role of assistant bishops with a view to -
In late 2002, we asked the mover of the resolution to suggest what action should be taken in relation to this matter. He indicated that at the time the resolution was passed, his main concern was to facilitate cultural change so the matters referred to in the resolution could become real options. He indicated he would raise the matter directly with the Archbishop.
We do not propose taking any further action in relation to the resolution.
By resolution 25/01, the Synod requested that we appoint a committee to investigate the options, if any, consistent with law for the practice of lay and diaconal administration of holy communion.
Last year, the committee appointed to consider this resolution provided its report. As a result of the report, the Synod passed the Act of Uniformity (Section 10) Repeal Ordinance 2003. The ordinance contains a clause which says that it commences on a date to be determined by the Archbishop-in-Council. The Archbishop-in-Council has determined the commencement date to be 1 September 2004.
Following the passing of the Act of Uniformity (Section 10) Repeal Ordinance 2003, the Synod passed resolution 26/03 which requested that a bill be brought to its next session which incorporates the recommendations of the committee for consideration by the Synod at that session. The Synod also requested that a report be brought to that session about the possible consequences of the passing of an ordinance which authorises diaconal and lay administration and how any adverse consequences can be avoided.
We have considered the request in resolution 26/03 and have decided that, in the circumstances, it would not be appropriate to bring a bill to the Synod to authorise lay and diaconal administration. Instead we have decided to promote certain motions to Synod for its consideration. A report about these matters is printed separately.
8.11 26/01 General Synod - Promotion of a canon concerning administration of Holy Communion by Deacons
By resolution 26/01, the Synod requested that our representatives on the General Synod, at the next session of the General Synod, promote a bill for a canon to permit a deacon to administer holy communion.
In 2002 we reported that we deferred any further consideration of resolution 26/01 until after the committee appointed to consider resolution 25/01 has reported.
In view of the report of the committee appointed to consider resolution 25/01, we do not propose taking any further action about resolution 26/01.
8.12 3/02 Training and recruiting teachers for Church Schools
By resolution 3/02 the Synod asked that we investigate the ways in which our church schools are, or are not, seeking to train and recruit Christian teachers. By resolution 4/02, the Synod asked that we complete our task of reviewing and enacting legislation for church schools which are set up by ordinance.
We propose dealing with these matters once a diocesan policy statement on education has been finalised (see item 2.3).
8.13 1/03 Review of Church ordinances and abuse matters
By resolution 1/03, the Synod appointed a committee to review the Tribunal Ordinance 1962, the Church Discipline Ordinance 2002 and the Relinquishment of Holy Orders Ordinance 1994 in light of recent experience and the basic principles contained in the proposed national model legislation for dealing with abuse matters, and consistent with biblical teaching. The committee was also asked to prepare any draft amending ordinances for consideration by Synod in 2004.
The committee has not yet finished its work on this matter, and so there is no report or bill for the Synod to consider.
8.14 2/03 Congregations of other churches joining the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Sydney
By resolution 2/03, the Synod requested that we appoint a committee to consult with the Archbishop on any changes in ordinances, necessary or desirable, to facilitate the possibility of congregations from other protestant churches associating with or joining the Anglican Church in this Diocese. We also requested that any necessary ordinances to effect such changes also be brought to the next session of the Synod.
The committee we appointed has not yet completed the work referred to in resolution 2/03.
We have requested that another motion dealing with the issue of associated churches be moved at the forthcoming session of the Synod.
8.15 7/03 Protocol regarding inheritances from parishioners
By resolution 7/03, the Synod requested that the regional archdeacons draft a protocol regarding the propriety of clergy, employees of parishes, Diocesan officials, and employees of Diocesan organisations, receiving inheritances from parishioners.
Drafting of the protocol is yet to be finalised.
8.16 13/03 Moore Theological College
By resolution 13/03, the Synod requested that we appoint a committee to prepare in consultation with the Council of Moore Theological College, recommendations concerning ways in which the Diocese as a whole and individual churches may support the work of the College in its training of lay and stipendiary ministers and that a report be brought to the next ordinary session of Synod.
The report of the committee is printed separately.
8.17 16/03 Stipends and Allowances Committee
By resolution 16/03, the Synod reappointed the Stipends and Allowances Committee and directed that it reports its findings and recommendations to us for action. Synod also requested that in making any future appointments to fill vacancies arising on the Stipends and Allowances Committee we should seek to ensure that there is always a significant majority of lay membership. A report on the work of the committee is printed separately.
8.18 21/03 Act to amend the Anglican Clergy Provident Fund
By resolution 21/03, the Synod requested the Board of the Anglican Provident Fund (Sydney) to consider seeking from the New South Wales Parliament an appropriate amendment or amendments to the Anglican Clergy Provident Fund Act 1908 and the Anglican Clergy Provident Fund (Sydney) (Amendment) Act 1941 to enable us to exercise delegated powers of the Synod in passing any ordinance in respect of the Fund.
Legislation giving effect to the Synod's request, the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004, has been passed and assented to. The legislation enables the Synod, by ordinance, to delegate to us the power to make ordinances under sections 3(2) and 8 of the Anglican Clergy Provident Fund (Sydney) Act 1908.
We have requested that a bill for the Delegation of Powers (Provident Fund) Amendment Ordinance 2004 be promoted to the Synod to give effect to the delegations authorised by the legislation. A copy of the bill and an explanatory statement are printed separately.
8.19 24/03 Prohibited persons
By resolution 24/03 Synod requested that we ask the Professional Standards Board to review clauses 22(6) and 32(2) of the Church Administration Ordinance 1990 which respectively provide that -
The Synod also requested that the Professional Standards Board report to the 2004 session of the Synod on -
A copy of a report from the Professional Standards Board is printed separately. In essence, the Professional Standards Board has recommended the clauses 22(6) and 32(2) of the Church Administration Ordinance 1990 be retained in their present form.
8.20 25/03 Freemasonry
By resolution 25/03, the Synod, noting the 1988 report to Synod entitled 'Freemasonry Examined' and subsequent resolution 9/88 of the Synod -
By that resolution Synod also -
We have commissioned the preparation of a draft of a booklet referred to in the resolution for review by the Archbishop prior to production and distribution. It is hoped to have the booklet available by the time the Synod meets.
8.21 26/03 Lay and diaconal administration of Holy Communion
See item 8.10.
8.22 27/03 Creation of a mission partnership fund
By resolution 27/03, the Synod asked that in calculating the cost recoveries charge payable by parochial units in 2005, we consider the creation of a mission partnership fund. We considered the Synod's request, but do not propose the establishment of such a fund.
See the separate report on Parochial Cost Recoveries for 2005.
8.23 29/03 Future shape of ministry
At Synod last year, a presentation was made about the future shape of ministry within the Diocese. Subsequently, by resolution 29/03, the Synod encouraged us and the Mission Taskforce to consider such proposals further. It specifically encouraged the consideration of matters such as the permanence of ministry (including whether 'ordination' as a minister is temporary or permanent), the ministry of deacons, and proposals for lay stipendiary workers.
We have requested that a motion about this matter be moved at the forthcoming session of Synod. A report on this matter is printed separately.
8.24 Resolutions made by the Synod in 2003 and not mentioned in this report
Circulars were sent to parishes and organisations about the matters arising from the 2003 Synod session. Copies of Synod resolutions were sent to appropriate persons and organisations.
8.25 Ordinances for this session
The bills for ordinances for this session of the Synod are printed separately, together with explanatory statements.
For and on behalf of the Standing Committee
7 October 2004
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