Synod in Past Years
2003 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 2002 we have met 11 times. The names of the members are listed in the 2003 Diocesan Year Book and on the Synod's website at www.sydney.anglican.asn.au/synod.
During the year, the following changes took place to the membership of the Standing Committee -
We are thankful for the service which the former members provided to us.
1.4 Management and structure
Each meeting of the Standing Committee is like a small Synod meeting. The major committees are -
We decided to discontinue appointing the General Purposes Committee, the Panel re drafting of Synod Ordinances, the Synod Arrangements Committee and the Legal Committee.
Other committees are appointed from time to time for special jobs. We thank God for the faithfulness and expertise of the people who serve on our committees.
2.1 Diocesan Mission Strategy
At Synod 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 as part of the strategy is -
The fundamental aim of the strategy is -
The mission strategy has directed much of the work we have undertaken during this year. In particular, the Mission Taskforce has continued to play a central role in promoting the Diocesan Mission Strategy.
2.2 Extension of retirement age of the Archbishop
In April 2003, we extended the retirement age of Archbishop Peter Jensen to the date of his 70th birthday under clause 5(1)(a) of the Retirements Ordinance 1993. In making this extension, we recognised the historical significance of the recently adopted Diocesan Mission and the critical importance of Archbishop Jensen's leadership to the Mission. The Archbishop's retirement age is now the same as his predecessors and the other Archbishops in the Anglican Church of Australia.
At our request, the Diocesan Secretary informed parishes that our decision was taken without the Archbishop being present and without any request from him that this action be taken.
During the year we spent time discussing issues concerning policy, development and strategy for the Diocesan mission.
The issue which has initially been the focus of our discussions has been that of education and the mission. One outcome of our discussions was to ask Dr Bryan Cowling to prepare for our consideration a draft diocesan policy statement on education.
2.4 Strategic plan for land acquisition
Last year we reported on the establishment of the Mission Property Committee (MPC). The main function of the MPC is to prepare for our consideration a strategic plan for acquiring land and/or acquiring or constructing buildings in the Diocese for ministry uses.
We recently approved a strategic plan prepared by the MPC. In preparing the strategic plan the MPC adopted the following methodology -
In summary, the strategic plan contemplates that a total of $91 million needs to be spent over the next 15 years to address the property requirements of the Diocese in proposed development areas. Of that amount, $28.5 million ($21 million for land acquisition costs and $7.5 million for building costs) should be spent in the next 3 years.
Potential sources of funding identified in the plan are -
aving regard to the need for $28.5 million to fund the acquisition and construction activity identified in the strategic plan over the next 3 years we -
We also requested the Mission Taskforce to review the property needs of the Diocesan Mission generally and establish a means by which these needs can be taken into account as the MPC pursues its strategic plan.
2.5 Assessing the strategic value of retaining parish property
During the year, we became aware of the need to ensure that the sale of church buildings was undertaken having regard to the needs of the Diocesan Mission. On the recommendation of the Mission Property Committee and the Mission Taskforce we adopted the following procedures -
Ministers, churchwardens and parish councillors were notified of these procedures and advised to discuss any proposed sale of parish property with their Area Archdeacon and the Diocesan Property Manager at the earliest possible stage of the proposed sale.
3.1 Estate of Late M.A. Grant (Sisters' Endowment)
The Archbishop-in-Council appropriated $49,000 from this Estate for distribution by the Archbishop to assist clergy, clergy widows and clergy children or orphans who are in need.
3.2 Regulations re Application for Faculties
The Archbishop-in-Council amended regulation 8(1) of the Regulations re Application for Faculties made under the Church Grounds and Buildings Ordinance 1990. This gives the Archdeacon discretion as to whether a meeting of parishioners is convened when an objection is lodged to an application for a faculty. Previously, the Archdeacon was required to convene a meeting if an objection was lodged.
3.3 Parramatta '54 Free Fund
This fund is held upon trust to distribute the income among the objects of the Diocese of Sydney as determined by the Archbishop-in-Council. No distribution from this fund has been made this year.
3.4 Parishes of Brighton/Rockdale and Northbridge - right of presentation
The parishes of Brighton/Rockdale and Northbridge 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, neither parish should have the benefits under the Ordinance.
3.5 Application of Presentation and Exchange Ordinance 1988 to a recognised church
Under clause 14 of the Recognised Churches Ordinance 2000, the Archbishop-in-Council resolved that clauses 8(1)(a) and 8(1)(b) of the Presentation and Exchange Ordinance 1988 should not apply to a recognised church until 12 months after the date on which that declaration was made.
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 for the information of Synod members. Those of the Sydney Diocesan Account (a small group of sub-trusts and clearing accounts) will be tabled.
4.3 General Synod statutory assessment
Each year the General Synod levies a statutory assessment on dioceses under section 32 of the 1961 Constitution.
During the year we were advised that the amount of the General Synod statutory assessment for 2003 had increased by 6% over the previous year. Our share of this statutory assessment is $185,446 but the sum allocated in the Synod Appropriations and Allocations Ordinance 2002 for this purpose was only $169,000.
We approved the payment of $16,446 from 2003 Synod fund contingencies to meet the shortfall in funds allocated in the General Synod statutory assessment for 2003.
4.4 Borrowing limits for organisations
Increased borrowing limits were approved for 6 organisations.
4.5 Ordination training fund
From this Fund, bursaries are available to -
Bursaries and examination fees of $578,810 were paid in 2002 ($578,040 in 2001).
The following table shows the numbers of ordinances passed and assented to in 1997 to 2002 and in 2003 to 3 October.
A separate report lists the ordinances passed by the Standing Committee since the 2002 session of the Synod. There are 9ordinances of particular interest.
The Cathedral (Cheltenham) Land Sale Ordinance 1997 Amendment Ordinance 2002 directed the Property Trust to forgive loans made to the Cathedral Chapter under the Cathedral (Cheltenham) Land Sale Ordinance 1997. The loans were initially made to the Chapter in 1998 to be applied to meet the costs of works intended to be undertaken from moneys raised in the course of the Restoration Appeal conducted by the Chapter. The Chapter was unable to repay the loans and in the circumstances the Standing Committee considered it appropriate to forgive the loans.
The Clergy Removals Fund Ordinance 2003 re-declared trusts in respect of the fund known as the "Moorebank Account (Clergy Portion)" so that the income from that fund could be used solely to meet the removal costs of members of the clergy. The ordinance also allows full reimbursement of the reasonable removal costs of a member of the clergy or surviving spouse who moves outside the Diocese to a place which is within 175 km of the place where they previously resided. Following the passing of that ordinance, we requested that the Secretary report on the costs of extending the benefits under the Clergy Removals Fund to full time lay ministers in the Diocese. A report has not yet been received.
The Ordination Training Fund Ordinance 2003 appropriated $150,000 from the Provision for Distribution of the Diocesan Endowment for additional one time funding to enable the Ordination Training Fund to pay bursaries to qualifying students at an appropriate level for 2003. We considered it important to pass this ordinance given the critical importance to the Diocesan Mission of policy 3 "to multiple well trained persons".
The Church Administration Ordinance 1990 Amendment Ordinance 2003 enabled the Archbishop, at the request of the minister and churchwardens of a church, to permit an annual vestry meeting for a particular year to be held on a day which is outside the usual period in which such meetings must be held, namely between 1 February and 31 March in that year.
The Use of Church Property Amendment Ordinance 2003 made amendments to the Use of Church Property Ordinance 1995. The amendments permit a church of another denomination whose profession of faith is Bible-based to hold an occasional service in a licensed church building.
The Sydney Anglican Indigenous Peoples' Ministry (Land Acquisition) Ordinance 2003 provided for the addition of land at Tregear to the capital of the Fund established by the Sydney Anglican Indigenous Peoples' Ministry Ordinance 2002. This is the first parcel of land held in that Fund.
The Prohibited Persons (Church Administration) Ordinance 2003 extended the prohibitions under the Child Protection (Prohibited Employment) Act 1998 to provide that a prohibited person is not entitled to be elected or appointed or to remain in the position of parish councillor or churchwarden. The ordinance also expanded the declaration to be signed by a person who is proposed or nominated for election or appointment to these positions to include a statement that the person is not a prohibited person.
The Tribunal Appropriation Ordinance 2003 authorised the appropriation of up to $100,000 from the Provision for Distribution of the Diocesan Endowment for such purposes of the Tribunal as the Standing Committee, acting on the advice of a committee comprising 1 clerical and 2 lay Standing Committee members, determines. The need for funding arose out of a recent hearing of the Tribunal. We subsequently determined that certain costs and expenses arising from that hearing be paid pursuant to this ordinance.
The Assessments and Charges Ordinance 1975 Amendment Ordinance 2003 amended the definition of gross receipts of a parochial unit under clause 3 of the Assessments and Charges Ordinance 1975. The amendment ensured that amounts (whether income or capital) received by the Property Trust for a parochial unit are generally included as part of the unit's assessable receipts. The amendment removed doubt as to whether additions to a standard trust fund for a parochial unit would be regarded as income received by the Property Trust for the purposes of clause 3(i) of the principal ordinance.
4.7 Ordinance fees
We agreed to retain the existing scale of fees for 2003 and 2004 as follows -
* But a contribution may be sought towards printing costs.
The fees are based on a 80% recovery of costs, which covers the examination of procedural requirements, the giving of advice, the writing of reports, the typing and sometimes the redrafting of bills, the keeping of records and, where required, the attendance of staff members at meetings.
4.8 Parochial cost recoveries - arrears
The following table compares the arrears as at 30 June 2001, 2002 and 2003.
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 Parish of Picton - maintenance of parish status
During the year we were advised that the parish of Picton had failed the "local revenues" test for the last 3 years under the Parishes Ordinance 1979. The parish is the subject of a review which will extend until December 2003. In the circumstances, we determined, under clause 8(1A) of the Parishes Ordinance 1979, that clause 8(1) of that Ordinance did not apply to the parish of Picton for 1999. This determination enabled Picton to retain parish status until at least 31 December 2003.
4.10 Parochial cost recoveries for 2004
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 2004 and the cost recoveries charge estimated to be payable by each parochial unit in 2004 is printed separately.
4.11 Recovery of insurance premiums under parish cost recoveries charges
Last year our previous insurance brokers advised that insurance premiums for the Diocesan Insurance Program for 2003 would rise by 20% from the previous year. The amount recovered from parishes for insurance premiums under the Parochial Cost Recoveries Ordinance 2002 was based on this 20% increase. In February 2003, we received advice that the average premium increase would in fact be 43%.
Despite the higher than expected increase in insurance premiums, we decided to maintain the variable component of the 2003 parish cost recoveries charge at 5.18% of Net Receipts. In taking this decision we accepted that the planned additions to the provision for future self insurance and contingencies in 2003 would be limited to $100,000 rather than $400,000 as initially proposed.
4.12 Synod appropriations and allocations for 2004 and 2005
Under the Synod Appropriations and Allocations Ordinance 2002, we are required to bring to the forthcoming session of Synod an ordinance to authorise specific allocations for 2004 and to indicate the Synod's intentions for allocations in 2005.
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 Archdeacon of Women's Ministries.
During the year we determined that the salary, costs and other expenses of, and in relation to, the Archbishop's media officer be paid from the Endowment of the See.
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 contracts for the sale of the Centre had been exchanged.
The sale was completed in November 2002.
The proceeds of sale 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 Amalgamation of Anglican SuperFund Sydney and Anglican Superannuation Australia
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 provided to each ordinary session of the Synod until the merger is completed.
Members of each fund were informed of the proposed merger in late 2002. The overall response of members to the proposal was very positive. Progress in this matter has also been communicated to members via the 2002 Annual Report and the members' newsletter.
At a meeting on 7 February 2003, representatives from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority met with members of the ASA/ASF Joint Committee and indicated their strong support for the merger based on Government policy initiatives.
Two joint meetings of the two boards have been held and another is scheduled in the near future. The merger is expected to be completed in the 2004/2005 financial year.
4.16 Anglican Provident Fund Ordinance 1990 Amendment Ordinance 2003 - referral of bill
At the request of the Board of the Anglican Provident Fund, we agreed to promote a bill to the Synod to amend the Anglican Provident Fund Ordinance 1990. The Anglican Clergy Provident Fund Act 1908 requires that an amendment to the Anglican Provident Fund Ordinance 1990 must be made by an ordinance of the Synod.
An explanatory statement and bill are printed separately.
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 2002 to June 2003, 153 such positions were filled (68 for the same period in 2001-2002).
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 reports for the reclassification of provisional parishes as parishes under the Parishes Ordinance 1979.
5.3 Use of the common cup at Holy Communion
Last year we asked the Archbishop to appoint a committee to consider concerns raised about the potential for disease being transmitted through the preparation and administration of the elements during Holy Communion.
A report was provided by Dr Bernard Hudson, head of the department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards. In response to concerns expressed in Dr Hudson's report, we asked that the Archbishop recommend to clergy that -
At our request, the Archbishop included these recommendations in guidelines issued to all clergy concerning the distribution of the elements of the Lord's Supper.
5.4 Review of the Presentation and Exchange Ordinance 1988
Last year 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 to 31 May 2004.
5.5 Membership of the Synod
Under part 7 of the Synod Membership Ordinance 1995, the Archbishop is entitled to nominate a number of ministers to membership of the 46th Synod. The maximum number of ministers who may be nominated cannot exceed 10% of the total number of "parochial ministers" (as defined in the ordinance) determined on 1 January 2002. The Registrar advised that this number is 24.
For every nominated minister proposed to be nominated by the Archbishop, we can elect a lay person to be a member of the 46th Synod under part 8 of the ordinance.
Last year the Archbishop nominated 23 ministers as members of the 46th Synod under part 7. We elected 23 lay persons to be members under part 8.
The Archbishop recently appointed an additional nominated minister under part 7 thereby increasing the number of nominated ministers under part 7 from 23 to 24. In view of the increased number of nominated ministers, we elected an additional lay person under part 8 of the ordinance.
We were also advised that Archdeacon Deryck Howell had been appointed by the Archbishop under part 7 in place of Archdeacon Trevor Edwards who had resigned.
5.6 Recognition of Cherrybrook Anglican Church and UniChurch (UNSW) as recognised churches
During the year Cherrybrook Anglican Church and UniChurch (UNSW) were declared to be recognised churches under clause 8 of the Recognised Churches Ordinance 2000. We sent our congratulations and best wishes to the ministers and members of those churches.
Before a declaration to recognise UniChurch (UNSW) was made, we were asked, under clause 2(3) of the Ordinance, to resolve whether the group of persons comprising UniChurch (UNSW) was a church capable of being recognised.
We determined that the group of persons comprising UniChurch (UNSW) was a church capable of being recognised. However in view of the issues raised during debate on this issue, we subsequently appointed a committee of 4 persons to undertake a review of the Ordinance including identifying any peculiarities in the process of transferring a congregation of an existing parish into a recognised church. The committee has not yet reported.
6.1 Sheppard inquiry into charitable and related organisations
Last year we reported that the Government had responded to recommendations made in the report of an Inquiry Committee established to examine existing legal definitions of charitable, religious and community service not-for-profit organisations. The Government's response indicated, among other things, that it has decided to enact a legislative definition of charity for the purposes of the administration of Commonwealth laws. In accordance with recommendations made by the Inquiry, the proposed legislative definition was to closely follow the meaning of charity developed by the common law.
An exposure draft of the Charities Bill 2003 was released in late July 2003. The Government has asked the Board of Taxation to undertake a process of public consultation in respect of the draft bill and to report its findings to the Treasurer by 1 December 2003.
The draft bill proposes a core definition for charity as follows -
"(1) A reference in any Act to a charity, to a charitable institution or to any other kind of charitable body, is a reference to an entity that -The committee we appointed to respond on our behalf had lodged a submission with the Board in respect of the draft bill. The main issues raised in the submission are as follows -
We asked that diocesan entities be advised of the issues raised by the draft bill. We also requested that, in due course, the committee appointed to consider this matter bring us a further report on the outcome of the consultation process being undertaken by the Board of Taxation.
6.2 Law Reform Commission's proposals for the review of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977
In 2000 we reported on proposals of the Law Reform Commission (in Report 92) for the reform of the current Anti-discrimination Act 1977. In response, by resolution 21/00, the Synod expressed its concern that the proposals, if adopted, would significantly restrict the freedom of members of a religious group to practise their religion in New South Wales.
In 2001 and 2002 we reported that, while the Government had not settled its final position on the report, the Premier had indicated in writing that the Government did not intend implementing the proposals in relation to religion. The Attorney General gave similar assurances.
We recently became aware that the Attorney General is considering certain amendments to the "ethno-religious" provisions of the Anti-Discrimination Act. We wrote to the Premier and the Attorney General to seek assurances that such amendments would not be a prelude to broader reforms in respect of religion under the Act. Assurances to this effect were received from both the Premier and the Attorney General.
We will continue to monitor and, where appropriate, make comment on any proposals to amend the Act.
6.3 Crimes Amendment (Sexual Offences) Bill 2003
During the year the Crimes Amendment (Sexual Offences) Bill 2003 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly by the Attorney General. The Bill was subsequently passed by the NSW Legislature.
One of the objects of the legislation is to reduce the age of consent for consensual male homosexual acts from 18 to 16 years so that it conforms with the age of consent for consensual heterosexual acts.
We endorsed the following views expressed by the Social Issues Executive in a media release issued just before the Bill was passed -
By resolution 1/02, the Synod -
We wrote to the Attorney General about the Synod resolution and indicated that we believed the choice of terminology in legislation conveyed important messages about the Government's attitude to marriage. In particular, the fact that the Government has chosen to redefine the term "spouse" beyond its traditional meaning raised concerns about whether the Government intended to continue to uphold the special status of marriage in our community.
We drew the Attorney General's specific attention to Synod's call that in future the Government legislate in a manner which retains terminology which distinguishes between spouses and parties in a defacto relationship.
In response, the Attorney General indicated that the terminology adopted in Government legislation did not seek to equate defacto relationships with marriage but that since the same legal rights and responsibilities flow from a variety of long term domestic relationships it is desirable that a single, inclusive definition is used across a range of legislation dealing with these relationships. The Attorney General indicated that there is no intention on the part of the Government to undermine the institution of marriage through the use of this definition.
We will monitor this matter although it is likely that the Government will continue to use a legislative definition of "spouse" which includes parties to a defacto relationship.
By resolution 5/02, the Synod -
We wrote to each member of the House of Representatives to communicate the applicable parts of the Synod's resolution.
A report summarising the response from certain members of the House of Representatives is printed separately.
7.1 Bishop's statement on sexuality and the Anglican Communion
Last year we reported that the Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster in the Anglican Church of Canada, when it met on 14 and 15 June 2002 resolved (by majority) to request that its bishop authorise a rite for blessing couples of the same gender who covenant to live together and support each other. Despite calls from a number of bishops within the Anglican Communion, including our Archbishop, that this decision not be acted upon, the first blessing of a same sex union in the Diocese of Westminster took place in May 2003.
Since that time 2 other events have raised considerable concern within the Anglican Communion in the area of sexuality. The first was the appointment of a leading advocate for gay rights as a Bishop in the Diocese of Oxford in May 2003. The second, in June 2003, was the election as the Bishop of New Hampshire of a clergyman who is in a homosexual relationship. (This election was subsequently confirmed by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church of the USA in August 2003).
In late June 2003, we publicly welcomed and whole-heartedly endorsed the following statement by the Archbishop and Regional Bishops on these developments in the Anglican Communion -
We called on all members of the Diocese of Sydney to study this statement and to pray accordingly.
We also asked that the Chancellor and the members of the former Legal Committee to advise us about the legal implications of the concept of "communion" with particular reference to the 1961 Constitution and the constitution of the organisation known as the "Anglican Communion". No advice has been received to date.
We approved a motion concerning recent events and relationships in the Anglican Communion being promoted to the Synod at our request.
7.2 Anglican Consultative Council
We received a report about the 12th Anglican Consultative Council meeting held in Hong Kong during September 2002. The official Australian representatives at the meeting were Bishop David Silk (Ballarat), Archdeacon Kaye Goldsworthy (Perth), and Mr Robert Fordham (Melbourne). Also in attendance were Archbishop Ian George (Adelaide), Mrs Lenore Parker (Grafton), Deaconess Margaret Rodgers (Sydney) and Mr Robert Tong (Sydney).
7.3 General Synod legislation
In February 2003, we advised the President of the General Synod that we considered the Defence Force Ministry Canon 1985, as amended by the Canons Amendment (Bishop to the Defence Force) Canon 2003, affected the order and good government of the church in this diocese.
We were subsequently advised that the Standing Committee of the General Synod agrees with this opinion. Accordingly, under the 1961 Constitution, the Defence Force Ministry Canon 1985 as amended has no force in Sydney.
7.4 St Luke's Nursing Service, Brisbane
The Archbishop of Brisbane wrote to us seeking our goodwill to allow St Luke's Nursing Service, Brisbane, being an organisation connected with the Diocese of Brisbane, to operate a home nursing service in the Diocese of Sydney. We expressed no objection to this occurring.
8.1 Remarriage of divorced persons
Over the previous 2 years, we reported that we were seeking the comments of the Doctrine Commission on proposals for legislation to authorise the remarriage of divorced persons. The Doctrine Commission has recently provided its report which we have not yet considered.
8.2 Review of the lay ministry licensing system
Last year, 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 and that we would continue our consideration of this matter in due course.
We intend to resume consideration of this matter once a revised form of bill for an ordinance in respect of lay ministry licensing is prepared.
8.3 Oaths, Affirmations, Declarations and Assents Canon 1992
Last year 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. It is unlikely that the Legal Committee's opinion will be available prior to 2003 session and accordingly we recommend that Synod defer consideration of this matter until its 2004 session.
8.4 Review of parochial classifications
Last year we appointed a committee to consider the whole range of issues associated with parochial classifications. The committee has reported and we have referred the report to the Mission Taskforce for its consideration and report.
8.5 13/99 Cross cultural ministry
By resolution 13/99, the Synod requested that we -
By resolution 23/99, the Synod requested that we -
By resolution 24/00, Synod thanked the Archbishop for his Presidential Address and noted the Archbishop's concerns about cross cultural ministry and proposed future arrangements and asked the Diocesan Executive Board (now the Mission Taskforce), the Standing Committee and the Regional Councils to attend to the questions asked by the Archbishop and report on the ways forward at the next session in October 2001.
We appointed a committee to consider these matters but it did not actively pursue its reference. In the circumstances we terminated the appointment of the committee. We do not intend taking any further action in relation to these matters.
8.6 38/99 Clerical tenure - redundancy for clergy
Last year we reported that a draft ordinance to authorise the activities of a board to administer and regulate a proposed system of redundancy for clergy was in the course of being prepared. There has been no significant progress in this matter because of other priorities.
8.7 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 -
Last year we reported that we had appointed a committee to consider and report on the matters raised in this resolution. The committee has not yet reported.
8.8 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.
Last year we indicated that the committee appointed to consider this matter was expected to report in due course. The committee has not yet reported.
8.9 29/00 Role and function of Archdeacons
By resolution 29/00, the Synod requested that we appoint a committee to investigate the role and function of archdeacons in their context and to report to the Synod in 2001 with suggestions about how the office may best develop and how the identified roles and functions may best be carried out.
Last year, we indicated that we had appointed a committee to consider and report on this matter. The committee undertook some preliminary work but has not pursued the reference. In the circumstances we terminated the appointment of the committee and do not propose taking any further action in relation to this matter.
8.10 8/01 Archbishop's power to withhold assent
By resolution 8/01, the Synod requested that we -
Last year we provided an interim report which set out the nature, basis, origin, history and development of the power to withhold assent. We are presently considering what further action should be taken and will report further to the Synod in due course.
8.11 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 -
As yet, we have not been able to consider this resolution.
8.12 25/01 Lay and diaconal administration of Holy Communion
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.
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.
Last year we reported that we deferred any further consideration of resolution 26/01 until after the committee appointed to consider resolution 25/01 has reported.
Having considered the committee's report, we requested that the form of bill annexed to the report be redrafted and that the redrafted bill be promoted to the Synod at our request. An explanatory statement and the redrafted bill for the Act of Uniformity (Section 10) Repeal Ordinance 2003 are printed separately.
8.13 27/01 Diocesan files on clergy
By resolution 27/01, the Synod requested that the Archbishop-in-Council prepare a protocol under which proper provision may be made for the keeping of material about members of the clergy and stipendiary lay workers in the Diocese, and to allow a member of the clergy or lay worker to inspect all material held on file about them including provision for the correction of apparent errors.
This recommendation has been accepted by the Archbishop thereby enabling clergy and stipendiary lay workers in the Diocese to access and correct personal information held about them in the Archbishop's office in accordance with the policy.
Further information about this matter is set out in the Archbishop's Office Privacy Statement posted on the diocesan website www.sydney.anglican.asn.au.
8.14 28/01 Tribunal Ordinance 1962 Amendment Ordinance
A bill for the Tribunal Ordinance 1962 Amendment Ordinance was first introduced into Synod in 1997. It sought to amend the Tribunal Ordinance 1962 in accordance with the recommendations made by the Select Committee on Clerical Enquiries which reported to the Synod in 1997. At a subsequent session, the bill was approved in principle.
A new form of the bill was substituted in 2001. However before the committee stage, the Synod referred the bill to the next session and requested that the bill be redrafted in plain English.
Redrafting of the bill has not been completed. In addition, by reason of the experience arising from recent tribunal proceedings and the basic principles contained in proposed national model legislation to deal with abuse matters, it is likely that further amendments will need to be made. We also requested that a motion be promoted to Synod to facilitate a review of the Tribunal Ordinance 1962, the Church Discipline Ordinance 2002 and the Relinquishment of Holy Orders Ordinance 1994 and that any amending legislation arising from the review be drafted for consideration by Synod in 2004.
In the circumstances we recommend that the bill for the Tribunal Ordinance 1962 Amendment Ordinance (being the form considered by the Synod in 2001) be withdrawn.
8.15 1/02 Definition of the term "spouse" in New South Wales legislation
See item 6.4.
8.16 2/02 Stipends and Allowances Committee
By resolution 2/02, the Synod reappointed the Stipends and Allowances Committee and directed that it report its findings and recommendations to us for action. A report on the work of the committee is printed separately.
8.17 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).
8.18 5/02 Stem Cell Research
See item 6.5.
8.19 25/02 Funding for Indigenous Peoples' Ministry
By resolution 25/02, Synod -
A report is printed separately.
8.20 Resolutions made by the Synod in 2002 and not mentioned in this report
Circulars were sent to parishes and organisations about the matters arising from the 2002 Synod session. Copies of Synod resolutions were sent to appropriate persons and organisations.
8.21 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
3 October 2003
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