Social Issues Committee

        Terms of Reference

        1.      The Social Issues Committee is a subcommittee of the Standing Committee which is accountable to the Standing Committee and through it to the Archbishop.

        2.       To equip Anglicans in the Diocese and others to think about and respond to social issues in the light of the teaching of Scripture and Evangelical theology.

        3.       To provide advice to the Archbishop, the Synod and the Standing Committee on social issues.


        4.     No less than 6 persons appointed by the Standing Committee, at least 2 of whom must have formal theological training.  

        5.     At least one-third of the members must be Standing Committee members.  At least 1 of the members must be a current member of the Moore Theological College faculty with relevant expertise.

        6.   A member ceases to hold office if any of the circumstances set out in rule 7.1(2)(a) of the Schedule to the Synod Elections Ordinance 2000 arises.

        7.    Current members are -

        The Rev Dr Andrew Errington
        Dean Sandy Grant
        Mrs Jeanette Habib
        The Rev Dr David Höhne
        Dr Darren Mitchell OAM
        Professor Jonathan Morris AM
        The Hon John Ryan AM JP
        Ms Simone Sietsma


        8.    The Committee shall elect a Chair from among its members, who is to hold office until the first Standing Committee meeting after the first session of each Synod.


        9.   4 members (Meetings (Quorum, Attendance and Resolutions) Ordinance 2007), including at least one Standing Committee member.

        Administrative Arrangements 

        10.   The Committee shall be assisted by a researcher to provide for the day to day functions of the Committee and specific research support as members require.  Accounting, audit and financial reporting are currently undertaken by Moore Theological College. 

        11.    The Committee shall meet at least four times a year.

        Reporting to the Standing Committee and the Synod

        12.   The Committee is to provide the Standing Committee with a copy of any final Report or Submission published by the Committee.

        13.     A report summarising the work of the Committee (including the names of its members) is to be given to the Synod at each ordinary session.

        Response to outside bodies and publication of documents

        14.   The Committee may respond to requests for advice, reaction to reports, etc, from outside bodies within the terms of previously agreed documents.

        15.     The Committee may publish and circulate in its own name documents, the status of which shall be clearly designated as –

        1. “Draft Statements” for private circulation.
        2. “Discussion Papers” which explore possible lines of approach to a particular issue and invite responses from a designated “target audience”, eg, a panel of expert opinion, informed community opinion, or general parish discussion.
        3. “Briefings” to equip Anglicans in the Diocese and others to engage in discussion on social issues in the light of the teaching of Scripture and Evangelical theology.
        4. “Draft Reports” and “Draft Submissions” which are circulated in an appropriate manner and which invite response prior to the final report or submission being prepared. 
        5. “Reports” and “Submissions” which are final versions of the drafts previously circulated for response. These statements are to be formally approved by the Standing Committee or, if time does not permit, by the Archbishop. 
        6. Other suitable documents, with the approval of Standing Committee.

                  Suitable disclaimers will be made in such documents on the status of these documents.

        16.   The Committee may not publish or circulate a document in the name of the Standing Committee unless such document is approved by the Standing Committee before it is published or circulated.

        Modes of Operation 

        17.    The Committee may determine its own ways of working including the appointment, within its budget, of part-time or casual research workers, writers etc and the formation of sub-committees.

        18.     The Committee is required to respond to requests for advice by either the Archbishop, the Synod or the Standing Committee.  The Committee may otherwise determine an order of priority for the treatment of issues. It is recognised that the Committee may therefore have to decline particular requests (except requests for advice by the Archbishop, the Synod or the Standing Committee).

        19.     The Committee may at its discretion seek the advice of consultants or experts in particular fields.

        20.    In undertaking its work, the Committee is, where appropriate, to consult and work in cooperation with the Religious Freedom Reference Group, the Sydney Diocesan Doctrine Commission, other diocesan agencies and, where practicable, Christian organisations and other bodies outside the Diocese.


        21.     Members hold office at the pleasure of the Standing Committee but retire at the first Standing Committee meeting after the first session of each Synod.

        Recent documents

        VAD Pastoral Guidance and Theological Reflections 30 November 2023



        Current as at 1 May 2024