To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This year the General Synod was held in a different venue in Edinburgh, in the former pro-cathedral, which had been renovated and enlarged at great expense, the cost of which had been raised by the congregation. Overall, a useful housekeeping meeting was held, with little contentious argument.
In opening the Synod the Primus said that it was easy to be institutionally burdened with reports and papers but that the Church was called to have a Spirit-enlivened spring in its step – a dynamic which shaped relationships, ministry and leadership. What mattered was that differences were re-cast by the Spirit into a dynamic and comprehensive unity, and that there was a need to be both strategy-led and Spirit-led.
To a Synod with little controversial on the agenda apart from the decision about the Anglican Covenant, the Primus in his charge at the opening Eucharist spoke of the economic wilderness through which society and the Church were travelling. The Covenant had been a response to the apparent wilderness of disagreement and disorder in the Anglican Communion, and he hoped that the Synod would express its deep commitment to the version of the Communion in which members were drawn closer to one another. The Scottish Church aspired to be fully engaged in society.
The agenda seemed slight and uncontroversial. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland had been stimulated by the debate on homosexual ministers but nothing in the programme of discussion for Synod seemed likely to spark such feeling and argument. The Anglican Covenant could excite members to threaten schism or lead to a divided Church but it did not look likely.
A resolution recognising the need to address the Covenant carefully and prayerfully was passed after considerable discussion on the final draft of the Covenant; it was remitted to the Faith and Order Board to be given careful consideration. Questions were raised as to whether the Covenant was a reasonable and necessary instrument to strengthen the cohesion of a diverse Communion and whether it was helpful to attempt to define a single view and substitute a central authority for Anglican co-responsibility. The difficulties being faced by the Anglican Communion were being faced by every Church across the world. It was now for the Faith and Order Board to advise on what process or processes might be appropriate to be followed by the Synod to enable due consideration of the final version of the Covenant by the Scottish Episcopal Church. Questions were also asked as to whether a loose arrangement might be better suited to taking the strain and it was suggested that the Scottish Church should not be afraid of breaking with the Anglican Communion. The Primus pointed out that the process as a whole would take a considerable amount of time and it was not a process on which the Church should feel rushed.
Synod discussed the question of whether, by way of Covenant, some degree of regulatory certainty could be given to the Lambeth Conference as one of the Instruments of Communion in the Anglican Communion. The Synod was being asked to give commitment to the process ‘in principle’ but not to the details, and an indication of the synodical process by which the Covenant might be adopted. It was therefore remitted to the Faith and Order Board to decide how this could be done. The Bishop of St Andrews considered that the process was a means of broadening discussion; others were concerned that, if the Church committed itself to the process, it committed itself to the outcome; yet others described the whole concept of a Covenant as very un-Anglican.
A Eucharist set the Synod in motion, the preacher being the Bishop of Manicaland, Zimbabwe. A formal welcome by the Primus followed, in which he encouraged the Synod, since conflict was intrinsic to human experience, to engage in it creatively and in a way which would enliven the mission of the Church. The good wishes of the Synod were then sent to Her Majesty the Queen in this her golden jubilee year. A break ensued for lunch before the Synod pursued its agenda.
‘In Scotland the Church is fortunately in a position of practical independence of the State. Whatever difficulties and hindrances affect the Church in Scotland, and they are many, are more than balanced by the non-interference of the temporal power.’ So wrote Canon Lempriére in 1903, and so it remains. As a result it has adapted to changing circumstances more easily than a body established by law.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.