25 April 2024

Review report requested, Anglican Communion motion withdrawn as synod begins | Melbourne Synod day 1

The 2023 Melbourne Synod has started at St Paul’s Cathedral. Picture: Elspeth Kernebone.
11 October 2023


And we’ve wrapped up the first evening! We got through a great deal of the formalities but also enjoyed a beautiful service at the start, and heard the Archbishop’s charge.

Tonight we heard:

  • The Archbishop’s timely reminder of needing to better ourselves for a just outcome for our First Nations people and communities.
  • The work being done around clergy wellbeing; the PVAW program; and Safe Ministry.
  • He also spoke of the Hospital chaplaincy program saying he hoped the decision to cease diocesan funding was not the last word on the matter.
  • Registrar Malcolm Tadgell mentioned that an amendment to the Hospital Chaplaincy motion has been proposed.

Thanks again for tuning in to us tonight. We hope you enjoyed this start to our coverage, and will stick around with us over the next three days.

So it’s good night from me and from my colleagues, Elspeth Kernebone, Maya Pilbrow and Maria Tan.


Registrar Malcolm Tadgell is addressing the synod procedural matters and sessional arrangements.

Mr Tadgell has mentioned that four new motions, Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglicans in Victoria; International Day of People with Disability; Motion of Thanks for Melbourne Anglican Foundation; and Anglican Diocese of Melbourne Review, have been received.

An amendment to the Hospital Chaplaincy motion has also been proposed.

Mr Tadgell has moved motion 1, the detail of the Orders of the Day.

Seconded by the Advocate, Dr Ian Gibson, the motion reads that presentations of:

  1. no longer than 10 minutes by the Reverend Canon Glenn Loughrey on the Voice to Parliament be an Order of the Day on Thursday, 12 October at 7.30pm and
  2. no longer than 15 minutes by the Registrar on the Diocesan budget be an Order of the Day on Thursday, 12 October at 7.40 pm and
  3. no longer than 10 minutes by the Right Reverend Genieve Blackwell on safe ministry be an Order of the Day on Friday, 13 October at 7.30pm and
  4. no longer than 20 minutes by the Registrar, the Right Reverend Catherine Prowd and Mr Trevor Walker on the payment of claims for child sexual abuse under the National Redress Scheme, the Kooyoora Redress Scheme and legal actions brought against the Melbourne Anglican Diocesan Corporation, be an Order of the Day on Saturday, 14 October at 10.00am and,

that the Diocesan Governance Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 be an Order of the Day on Saturday, 14 October at 10.20 am.

The motion has been carried.

The Reverend Kathryn Watt has moved a motion that reports to synod not yet received be received. It was carried.


The Archbishop has spoken about the hospital chaplaincy program. He said he hoped the decision to cease diocesan funding would not be the “last word”.

He’s also mentioned the work of the Melbourne Anglican Foundation, the Prevention of Violence Against Women program; the work being done with young people in detention, and Safe Ministry.


Archbishop Philip Freier is delivering his charge.

He has acknowledged the traditional owners of the land from which he is joining the synod – the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, and has asked us to pray for a more just outcome for all Indigenous people.

He’s spoken of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum on Saturday, saying we need to be a nation in which First Nations people can flourish.

Dr Freier also said the Diocese has a responsibility to work together with First Nations people in future.

It will offer Indigenous ways of being that will bring better responses to some of the big issues of our time including climate change solutions.

He has also mentioned the crises in Israel and the Gaza strip. Conflict such as that and structural inequality disrupt the lives of many.

The Archbishop has also talked about church plants; parish partnerships; broader access to the word of God, thanks to online technologies that have enabled people who normally might not be able to access services to be able to participate.

Attendees at the Melbourne Synod on Wednesday. Picture: Elspeth Kernebone.


We’re just enjoying a Choral Eucharist that has included the Festive Communion Hymn of Praise and Psalm 106.

Bishop Geneieve Blackwell has just preached the sermon, with an emphasis on forgiveness.


Welcome to The Melbourne Anglican’s 2023 Melbourne Synod liveblog. I’m Jenan Taylor and I’ll be reporting on the key synod happenings from tonight’s in-person event, the first of three evening sessions. A second in-person event will, of course, be at St Paul’s Cathedral, too.

Tonight we have the Synod Eucharist Service, followed by a short break, then the President’s charge.

After that we’ll hear some announcements from the Archbishop, and procedural matters including questions and notices of motion.

Around 9.50pm, we’ll get into receiving of reports.

Key issues this synod:

Instruments of Communion

A motion calling on synod to affirm the diocese remains in full communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury has been withdrawn.

As originally put, the Instruments of Communion motion called on synod to affirm the diocese remained in full communion of the Archbishop of Canterbury and supported him and the the three instruments of communion: Lambeth Conference, Primates’ Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council.

Synod papers released on Wednesday show the motion has been withdrawn.

Read more: ‘Review case for five-day week for clergy’: Synod motion

It had been put forward by Trinity College Theological School Ministry Education Centre director, the Reverend Dr Fergus King, and seconded by Bishop Alison Taylor.

In February, the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches rejected the Archbishop of Canterbury as head of the global church.

The fellowship declared the Church of England was no longer the “mother church” of the Anglican Communion.

It came after the Church of England’s General Synod voted to allow clergy to bless couples who were in same-sex unions. 

Anglican Diocese of Melbourne Review

A motion has been put to synod calling to have the report of a 2023 review into the Anglican Centre provided to all members of the synod, recognising its impact of the report on the decisions to be made by synod.

The motion asked synod to note that Chris Arnold conducted a review into the Anglican Centre through late 2022 and early 2023, the findings of which were tabled as a report to Archbishop in Council in February 2023.

Archbishop in Council accepted all recommendations in the review.

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

The motion also asked that synod note that many of the changes in the 2023 Diocesan Budget and various proposed amendments to governance legislation are Mr Arnold’s recommendations.

The motion was moved by Aaron Hore and seconded by Jitto Arulampalam.

Clergy Working Hours Review

A case for Melbourne’s clergy hours to be standardised at five days a week could be considered by the diocese’s working conditions committee if a Clergy Working Hours Review motion passes at synod. 

Synod delegates will be asked to request the committee to include a review of the case for establishing a standard of a five-day working week for full-time clergy in its 2024 determination recommendation. 

The motion is calling for this as part of a review of the working hours of clergy and their leave arrangements.

Under the current determination full-time clergy work 48 hours across a six-day week. 

The motion was moved by the Reverend Andrew Bowles and seconded by the Reverend Luke Whiteside.

If you want to reach us with any queries, comments or corrections, email us at editor@melbourneanglican.org.au


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