Why this weekend’s General Synod could be a disaster for the Church’s witness

Jul 7, 2017 by

by Andy Walton, Christian Today:

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…

For those of us who care about the future of the Church in the UK, it’s impossible to ignore the Church Of England. Sure, it’s not the only church and there are exciting, interesting and beautiful expressions of Jesus to be found in many places outside of it. But it matters. The legacy bequeathed to us of a network of 15,000 or so churches is beyond significant

Many of us desperately seek the renewal and revival of the Church and rightly celebrate when there are many signs of hope.

So eyes turn towards this week’s General Synod, the parliament of the Church. For many churchgoers, let alone those outside, the Synod is a weird world full of arcane language and procedure. But, like any large institution, the Church needs a decision-making body. Synod contains many hardworking servants, experts in their field, committed clergy and laypeople who do their best to extend the Kingdom.

Depressingly, though, daggers are drawn this week over a number of debates, especially on gender and sexuality. This isn’t the place to go into the minutae of the discussions. The Synod, though, is being asked to consider issues on which its members have wildly divergent opinions and beliefs. The problem is that these debates are only ever partly about the actual issues themselves.

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