1 April 2022
The first Australian General Synod in five years remains on track to be run as an in person event on the Gold Coast.
The blessing of same-sex marriage is likely to be high on the agenda after Australian Primate Archbishop Geoffrey Smith confirmed that plans to deal with the issue in a standalone conference had failed.
The diocesan office of Bishop Smith, who is Archbishop of Adelaide, has confirmed that Synod remains on track to be held in May on the Gold Coast.
Bishop Smith’s spokesperson Bill Condie said synod at present was planned to be in person on the Gold Coast
Bishop Smith said in a statement that after several postponements he was looking forward to the first meeting of General Synod since September 2017.
“The gathering will be a significant opportunity for fellowship across the nation as well as important business to be done,” he said.
In a letter posted on the General Synod website, Bishop Smith said he had wanted to have a separate conference on human sexuality outside of General Synod, but this had proved unworkable.
Bishop Smith noted that the Anglican Church’s top legal body, the Appellate Tribunal, had approved the Church’s blessing of same-sex marriage, and that this had proved controversial.
He said this meant the issue of blessing of same-sex marriage would therefore be on the agenda of General Synod.
“The recent majority opinion of the Appellate Tribunal means that we are in now a very different position from 2017, and the business before the General Synod will no doubt reflect this new space,” Bishop Smith said.
“This issue, along with other important issues, will be before us when we are able to meet together and seek to discern God’s leading for us as the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia.”
Bishop Smith said the standing committee of General Synod had rejected running a separate conference on sexuality-based issues due to technology constraints.
“I am personally disappointed that we have not been able to hold the planned conference, but it has been overtaken by current circumstances,” Bishop Smith said.
General Synod is scheduled to take place from Sunday 8 May to Friday 13 May 2022 at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast.