7 December 2022

The Archbishop Election Bill – ‘cleaner, clearer, fairer’? Melbourne Synod Day 3

Melbourne Synod will be online tonight. Picture: iStock.

14 October 2022

9:45pm

We’ve finished earlier than anticipated with discussion about the proposed new Archbishop Election Bill up in the air.

Just to recap:

Numerous bills were brought in this evening

  • Constitution Amendment (Mandatory Suspension) Canon 2022 (Assent) Bill 2022
  • Constitution Amendment (Mandatory Deposition) Canon 2022 (Assent) Bill 2022
  • Episcopal Standards (Child Protection) Amendment Canon 2022 (Adoption) Bill
  • Safe Ministry Legislation Amendments Canon 2022 (Adoption) Bill 2022
  • Diocesan Legislation Amendment (Conduct of Synod, Electronic Meetings and Other Matters) Bill 2022
  • Episcopal Standards Investigations Amendment Canon 2022 (Adoption) Bill 2022

All bar the last one above, which was withdrawn, were passed.

Dr Alexander Ross expressed disappointment at the way in which the final proposed bill, the new Archbishop Election bill, a bill that would make things, as Dr George said, “cleaner, clearer and fairer”, has so far been received.

He expressed his disappointment eloquently, saying he would much rather have been home reading to his children on this Friday evening.

Discussions on the bill will resume tomorrow with Dr George moving that it be given consideration perhaps after the Clergy Bill.

It could be a lively discussion. We hope you’ll join us here for that, if you’re not intending to be there in person.

Kirralee Nicolle will be here to help kick things off in the morning, and Elspeth Kernebone will take you through to the end of proceedings tomorrow.

Thanks again and it’s good night from me!

9:25pm

Synod voted to give leave to bring in the Archbishop Election Bill 2022, with 96 per cent in favour.

Dr George, however, moved to give further consideration of the bill tomorrow.

The Archbishop has given the grace and concluded the evening’s proceedings.

9:20pm

The Reverend Dr Alexander Ross said however that despite the good the bill could bring, there were baffling amendments and modifications suggested for the Archbishop Election Bill 2022 that work directly against the expressed view of synod of last year.

He commended the bill but held reservations given the changes that have been suggested.

9:15pm

Dr Jenny George has brought in the Archbishop Election Bill 2022, which is seconded by the Reverend Dr Alexander Ross.

It relates to the process to elect an Archbishop of Melbourne, to repeal and re-enact the Archbishop Election Act 1988 and for other purposes.

Dr George has explained some of the many features of the bill, including the advantages of having an entirely new bill.  It seeks to modernise the Archbishop Election Act 1988 and streamline the election process.

She said it would give confidence that there was widespread support for the candidate, and concluded that it would be cleaner, clearer and fairer.

Read more:

There’s two paths for archbishop election – which should Melbourne choose?

9:00pm

We’ve had a short break and are straight back into it.

Ms Laura Tsakmakis voted to pass The Diocesan Legislation Amendment (Conduct of Synod, Electronic Meetings and Other Matters) Bill 2022.

House of Clergy have passed it with 167 voting in favour

House of Laity have also  passed it with 219 in favour.

Dr Arnold-Moore withdrew the Episcopal Standards Investigations Amendment Canon 2022 (Adoption) Bill 2022. I’m not too certain of the exact reasons here, but perhaps we can clear this up later, if not tomorrow if there is time.

Dr Tadgell has also now moved for leave to bring in the Diocesan Acts (Revisions and Repeals) Bill 2022, which is seconded by Dr Arnold-Moore.

An explanatory memorandum describes the bill as one that corrects mistakes that have been identified, addresses inconsistencies in how terms are used and repeals legislation that has become supersede.

It is not intended to change the policy, substance or intent of the legislation that it amends.

Synod has given leave for the bill with 413 voting for it.

House of Clergy has voted to pass the bill with 98 per cent in favour.

House of Laity has also voted to pass it with 234 in favour.

8.30pm

Dr Arnold-Moore moved for leave to bring in Episcopal Standards Investigations Amendment Canon 2022 (Adoption) Bill 2022.

Notably, he said it was developed to deal with very serious matters with very serious consequences.

Synod agreed to return to this.

Ms Laura Tsakmakis then moved for leave to bring in the Diocesan Legislation Amendment (Conduct of Synod, Electronic Meetings and Other Matters) Bill 2022.

She said it gave flexibility to allow meetings to be held in-person, electronic or by hybrid means, and made several amendments to make sure it would work with electronic voting, among other advantages.

Synod voted that leave be given.

8.15pm

The Advocate moved for leave to bring in the Safe Ministry Legislation Amendments Canon 2022 (Adoption) Bill 2022

The effect of the bill is to adopt the canon, with an effect of the canon including making it an offence for any clergy to authorise anyone who may pose a serious risk to the safety of children.

There’s a great deal here, so we will look at detailing more of this, if we can, in the next day or so.

Leave to bring the bill in was passed with 425 in favour and four against.

House of Clergy then voted to pass the bill with 200 in favour and four against.

House of Laity also voted to pass it with 424 in favour.

8:05pm

Dr Arnold-Moore also asked  for leave to bring in  the Episcopal Standards (Child Protection) Amendment Canon 2022 (Adoption) Bill.

Synod voted on leave for him to bring in the Episcopal Standards (Child Protection) Amendment Canon 2022 (Adoption) Bill.

422 voted in favour.

He then moved to pass that bill.

The House of Clergy voted and it was passed with 99 per cent in favour

The house of Laity passed the bill as well with 99 per cent in favour as well.

Dr Arnold-Moore asked for leave to bring in the Constitution Amendment (Mandatory Deposition) Canon 2022 (Assent) Bill 2022.

Synod voted to give leave to bring it in with 431 in favour.

House of Clergy then passed the bill, with 199 in favour.

House of Laity also passed the bill, with  431 in favour.

Archbishop Freier said he intended to give his assent to all three bills.

7.45pm

Dr Timothy Arnold-Moore brought the Constitution Amendment (Mandatory Suspension) Canon 2022 (Assent) Bill 2022, the Constitution Amendment (Mandatory Deposition) Canon 2022 (Assent) Bill 2022 and the Episcopal Standards (Child Protection) Amendment Canon 2022 (Adoption) Bill

Dr Arnold-Moore said the intent of the bills together was to satisfy the requirements of the Royal Commission into Child Abuse.

Synod voted on leave to bring in the Constitution Amendment (Mandatory Suspension) Canon 2022 (Assent) Bill 2022.

The vote for leave was passed with 98 per cent in favour.

House of clergy voted to pass the above bill  and 200 voted in favour and 2 abstained.

The House of Laity also voted on it with 98 per cent in favour.

7.15pm

Archbishop Philip Freier has welcomed everyone and noted the flooding that has occurred across Victoria and the emergency services people doing their best to help out.

The Reverend Dr Graham Stanton then brought motion 16 Children’s and Youth Ministry.

The movers asked that synod receives the report from the Children’s and Youth Ministry (CYM) Working Group (established by 2021 Synod Resolution 16); welcomes the establishment of a Steering Committee for CYM; and called for the preparation of appropriate legislation for a Permanent Authorised Standing Committee for Children’s and Youth Ministry with terms of reference and draft legislation to be developed by the CYM Steering Committee.

Bishop Kate Prowd who seconded the motion reminded synod of the sobering statistics on youth ministry in our parishes.

Read more:

Dozens of Melbourne parishes without any teenagers: Synod

Here’s how to help your youth worker grow as leaders

Four vital ways to keep young people in the church

Motion 16 was passed with 390 in favour, This was despite Dr Leanne Beagley saying she didn’t understand the need for a Standing Committee.

7:00pm

Good evening, and welcome back to our Melbourne Synod live blog. Jenan Taylor here.

You can follow the proceedings on the synod livestream on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdOLBR_pH3c

Also, if you want to contact any of our team, you can reach us at editor@melbourneanglican.org.au

Tonight’s agenda items include considerations of Children’s and Youth Ministry; Episcopal Standards (Child Protection), Safe Ministry and Diocesan legislation and the Archbishop Election Bill.

As mentioned earlier, we’ve also clarified the amendments made in respect to the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne’s Budget, and the Property Strategy.

  • The Anglican Diocese of Melbourne’s budget – the synod agreed to receive the budget, but also a motion on “Balancing the Diocesan Budget”. This asked Archbishop in Council to reconsider the 2022 budget, looking at ways to bring expenditure in line with income – while preserving ministry as much as possible. It did so noting a deficit of $1,480,000 across the diocese, the Anglican Development Fund and the Melbourne Anglican Diocese Corporation – and the absence of a plan to return the budget to surplus.

This last part now contains the phrase “in the synod papers”.

  • The property strategy – this called on Archbishop in Council to form a strategy for better allocation of assets of the church to ensure that the word of God is preached and the sacraments duly administered in compelling and outward-looking congregations throughout the diocese. It requested the council report back on that acts done in this matter at the next synod. The motion was brought by the Reverend Dr Andrew Judd – who wrote on the topic for The Melbourne Anglican in February – and seconded by the Reverend Angela Cook. Synod passed with amendments relating to the dispossession of Aboriginal people from the land.

The amendments are:

That the Archbishop in Council form a strategy —including engagement with First Nations concerns— for better allocating the assets of the church to ensure that the word of God is preached and the sacraments duly administered in compelling and outward-looking congregations throughout this diocese; And that any such strategy take note of clauses 8-10 of the ‘STATEMENT OF ABORIGINAL COUNCIL TO PROVINCIAL LEADERSHIP’ tabled at AiC in 2018.

Earlier

Hello! Welcome to Friday. Tonight will be the final evening session of the 2022 Melbourne Synod, before delegates meet at St Paul’s Cathedral on Saturday. Melbourne Anglican editor Elspeth Kernebone here with a summary of proceedings so far.

Later today we’ll bring you the link to view the synod livestream on Youtube – it should be available shortly before 7pm. Journalist Jenan Taylor will be bringing you a live blog on this url from the start of proceedings.

Melbourne Synod delegates will meet at St Paul’s Cathedral on Saturday. Picture: file

Read more:

Our big ticket items so far have been:

  • The Anglican Diocese of Melbourne’s budget – the synod agreed to receive the budget, but also a motion on “Balancing the Diocesan Budget”. This asked Archbishop in Council to reconsider the 2022 budget, looking at ways to bring expenditure in line with income – while preserving ministry as much as possible. It did so noting a deficit of $1,480,000 across the diocese, the Anglican Development Fund and the Melbourne Anglican Diocese Corporation – and the absence of a plan to return the budget to surplus. This last part possibly also passed with the phrase “in the synod documents” contained in it – we’ll double check when the synod documents are released for tonight.
  • The property strategy – this called on Archbishop in Council to form a strategy for better allocation of assets of the church to ensure that the word of God is preached and the sacraments duly administered in compelling and outward-looking congregations throughout the diocese. It requested the council report back on that acts done in this matter at the next synod. The motion was brought by the Reverend Dr Andrew Judd – who wrote on the topic for The Melbourne Anglican in February – and seconded by the Reverend Angela Cook. Synod passed with an amendment relating to the dispossession of Aboriginal people from the land, we’ll bring you the details of this when tonight’s papers with amendments are published.
  • Prevention of Violence Against Women – A motion welcoming the Family Violence Policy, Procedures and Guidelines – and encouraging parishes and agencies of the diocese to make use of these guidelines. We also had a presentation on Safe Ministry – which you can watch below.
  • Gender equity and gender disparities – On Thursday delegates passed a motion committing to targets for representative equality within leadership and governance at all levels in the diocese. On Wednesday, synod requested Archbishop in Council investigate the causes behind the disparity in the numbers of men and women in full time stipended roles.
  • Pathways for the continuing professional development of clergy, and the next generation of vocational ministry – Two separate motions touching on some similar issues. The first motion requested Archbishop in Council assess the efficacy of programs for identifying, training and equipping clergy, and submit an interim report to synod in 2023. The second noted the pressing need to communicate the gospel, the challenges around Australia to raise up the next generation of vocational ministers, and the alarming number of vacant parishes in Melbourne. It called on the synod to commit itself to pray that the Lord of the harvest would raise up new workers for vocational ministry in Australia and overseas, asked bishops, clergy and lay leaders to see themselves as talent scouts to identify and nurture future clergy, and requested all clergy preach once a year to call on parishioners to consider vocational ministry.

If the mood strikes you to watch Wednesday and Thursday’s meetings of the Melbourne Synod, you can find them on YouTube here and here.

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