Dave suggests that I must have been ‘busy doing what bishops do’. Actually, I couldn’t elbow my way into the Synod wifi and was reduced to my data card – which, in cost terms, is the blogging equivalent of driving a 4 by 4. But while others talked about how the church must embrace the eco-agenda, I commuted steadily on the Brompton [in which I do not have shares] wearing my Bear Scotland yellow waistcoat.
One never approaches Synod with over-high expectations … but actually there was some good stuff. The worship for example – particularly the opening Eucharist and particularly its music. Our diocesan representatives seemed to be very visible and most of them spoke and spoke well. The dinner was as convivial as ever with a wonderful speech from the Minister of St Giles Cathedral who, in the course of a wide-ranging address, introduced us to potential of the rural phone box as a place of sexual assignation and potential.
I spent some time trying to explain to the Scotsman that, although Synod appeared to have been hesitant about the Anglican Covenant, we were still in there. We just don’t like Covenants. Some Synod members had a short, sharp introduction to the practice of Voting by Orders when the proposed canonical revision of the definition of Membership was voted down by the Bishops – not guilty, I assure you.
I was particularly interested in the way Ian Paton gently challenged the idea of ‘inclusive’ as a self-evident good. It’s the invitation which is for all …. It seemed to me that his contribution took the issue out of the area of rights and entitlement and placed it in the area of discipleship and undeserved acceptance.
Finally, I came away having been elected as Convenor of the Mission and Ministry Board. It embraces everything from training to ministry and many more besides – many things that I feel passionately about. It’s full of remarkable people doing wonderful things. It’s a great opportunity and, almost certainly, a poisoned chalice. But that’s what it’s all about.