What and where is synod?

The Diocese of New Westminster’s special financial synod will be held on Saturday, Nov. 26, at St. Catherine’s, 1058 Ridgewood Drive, North Vancouver, and beginning at 10 am (registration opens at 9 am).

What is a special financial synod?

A synod is our gathering of the bishop, clergy (priests and deacons), and laity, who together constitute the governing body of the diocese. The purpose is to br ing people together for worship, to educate them on issues facing the church, and in the case of a financial synod to deal with financial matters.

Who is a synod member?

Synod is made up of all licensed clergy in the diocese and elected lay members. At its annual vestry meeting in February, each parish elects lay people to become members of synod for one year. Each parish is entitled to from one to six synod members, depending on size, plus one youth member (age 16-21). The size of synod totals about 350.

What will synod members do?

There are two items for consideration and voting. One is a new schedule of assessment rates for parishes – that percentage of parish income that each parish agrees to send to the diocese to pay for the diocese’s operation, ministry, and outreach, plus the work passed on for the work of the wider church..

The second item is a revised budget for 2006. A preliminary budget was passed at the May annual synod, but this will be supplanted by the revised budget, if synod passes it.

Bishop Michael Ingham will also address synod.

The last special financial synod was held at Christ Church Cathedral in January, 2003

Why is this synod necessary?

Canons are the diocese’s bylaws which the diocese must follow, and Canon 26 states that the formula for annual assessments may be altered or amended only by the synod.

Where have these items come from?

Diocesan Council has recommended to the financial synod that it adopt the new assessment rate schedule and the budget. They were drawn up for the council by the diocesan Administration and Finance Committee, following a series of six Archdeaconry Meetings in September.

Will there be food?

Coffee and muffins, but delegates are advised that they should bring a bag lunch.