Take into account the point of view of young people, hear MEPs

Take into account the point of view of young people, hear MEPs

YOUNG members of the Provincial Youth Committee addressed the Synod on the first afternoon of this group of sessions, rather than the slot they previously occupied on the final morning (News, June 16).

Phoebe Prycewho chairs the committee, said she hoped members would “keep in mind” the views of young people in their deliberations over the next two days.

She read a contribution from another young person who was unable to attend, who urged the Synod to approve a motion, to be debated Friday morning, asserting that “the use of nuclear weapons can never be theologically justified.” .

While recognizing that a vote at Synod is unlikely to have any practical effect, it is important that the Church unequivocally expresses its opposition, she said.

Jadon Rongonganother committee member, said Christians were called to save lives and this could have literal application in the form of first aid training and the provision of defibrillators.

Felina Hamiltonwho represents the Diocese of Moray, Ross & Caithness, told of her experience of being one of the only Christians among her friendship group and how interested others were in her faith.

Friends who did not regularly attend church nevertheless help out at church events, valuing a sense of community and meaningful action, Ms. Hamilton said. “I wonder if it’s easier for us to talk to young people about their faith and their connections to the Church,” she said of her fellow Christians, suggesting they could be ambassadors .

Ms. Pryce closed the presentation with comments on the SEC’s environmental work. She praised the work accomplished, but said: “We have well and truly exhausted the value of words.”

Now is the time for “radical action,” she said, and called on churches to hold themselves accountable to the goals that have been set.

She spoke about her fears and anxieties about growing up in a world marked by the climate crisis, rising costs of living and, around the world, a seeming setback in reproductive rights and human rights. women. “I hope you share my vision of justice, equality and peace,” she concluded to loud applause.

EARLIER on Thursday, the Chairman of the Standing Committee, Brigitte Campbellpresented the annual accounts.

She referred to “newspaper articles in recent days” which had drawn attention to the legal costs incurred by the Scottish Episcopal Church in the disciplinary proceedings against Bishop Dyer (News, June 10) . “We recognize that these legal fees are significant, but they are necessary,” she said, to ensure a “fair process for all involved.”

In an interview for the Church times podcast, the Primus, the Very Reverend Mark Strange, spoke about the length of the process, as it approaches two years since Bishop Dyer’s first suspension.

“I would prefer that everything could be done very quickly for the benefit of all,” he said, but “the canonical process that we have in this Church takes you down a certain path.”

BEFORE the afternoon coffee break, the Provincial Environment Group made a presentation to members. THE Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane, The Very Reverend Ian Paton, who chairs the group, said significant steps had been taken over the past year.

The vice president, Cathy Johnstonreminded members of the various mechanisms put in place, and Reverend Kim Lafferty presented a case study of the changes that had been made to his church: St Mary’s, Dalkeith.

Professor Alan Werrity (St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane) drew attention to the fact that funds made available to churches by the Standing Committee were only available if the relevant diocese agreed to match funding.

Dr. Stephen Goodyear (Aberdeen & Orkney) asked whether any grants had been received, noting that the plan that Synod approved last year relied on acquiring such external funding. He suggested that it was necessary for this data to be provided to track any progress made.

Reverend Diana’s Room (Edinburgh) urged members “not to lose sight” of the theological elements of the work, and Amanda Fairclough (Argyll & The Isles) requested that time allocated for environmental discussion be devoted to discussion of discipleship.

THURSDAY’s session concluded with a presentation from the bishops on “statistics”, particularly the census results showing the decline of Christianity in Scotland and the concomitant shrinkage of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC).

“We are definitely in a secular society” the bishop of Brechin, said the Very Reverend Andrew Swift. “We are smaller,” he admitted, but the feeling he has when he travels around the diocese is that “everything is fine.”

“Why don’t we feel like we’re facing a similar type of crisis” as other faiths, he asked, despite the fact that the SEC was now so small that it didn’t did not appear in the census results.

There could be several reasons for this, he suggested, including that the Church was small enough that people would still know about good news somewhere, even if their own Church was in decline.

Bishop Strange said he “liked statistics,” but if he spent his life worrying about numbers he “might become quite depressed.”

Instead, he rejoiced in being able to visit congregations across the Highlands, “however small or large”, who are “filled with the hope and joy of gathering around the table and to share God’s love. As long as there are still a few willing to do so, then we have a Church worth living for and praying for to grow.

In his diocese, there was an increase in baptisms and interactions with people who did not regularly attend church, he said, which he attributed to an increase in the number of churches open all throughout the day.

Bishop Swift presented the statistics collected and suggested that bishops consider stopping recording the gender distribution in congregations. He asked members to discuss around their tables whether this would be a welcome step, and to share their thoughts on what additional statistics would be useful.

There was no time for oral comments before the working day ended with evening prayer, led by members of the Provincial Youth Committee.