A vote of thanks was the final order of business for Synod 2017, moved by John Wilson, Diocesan Council member. John began by thanking the Diocesan Manager, Nick Young, for all his hard work to make Synod a success. “He is unfailingly courteous, delivers good results again and again and again, and he does what he says he will do,” said John. Karen Stewart, the Anglican Centre Office Manager and Nick’s Personal Assistant, was thanked along with other Anglican Centre staff for the hard work of managing the logistics of Synod so well. Karen has worked tirelessly for weeks and months to prepare for Synod, and her meticulous attention to detail is appreciated by all.
John thanked the Chancellor, Tony Hill, as well as the Revising Committee and Steering Committee. The Chancellor has an additional workload of providing legal advice to the Bishop on several occasions throughout the year. Rev Canon Sue Fordyce was thanked as the Deputy Chancellor, along with David McLay and Bill Atkin for their work of revising Canons to be put before Synod.
Thanks was given to Rev Cath Growcott, Lyn O’Fee, the audio-visual team of David Kendall and Stewart Phillips, the timekeepers, messengers and scrutineers for their work of keeping Synod running correctly and to schedule. Rev James and Rev Julia Coleman were thanked for their chaplaincy to Synod, with the highlight being the late afternoon Eucharist at which many members of Synod received healing from God. “It brought God’s involvement to a whole new level which was glorifying to Him,” John said.
John continued that God’s presence was seen in those who cared for our physical needs – and one whose steadfast commitment and creativity is constantly appreciated is Dorothy Weston, of St Peter’s Parish in Palmerston North. Once again, Dorothy’s inspired floristry was enjoyed by those present, and once again, her creation was designed specifically with the theme of “Being Sent” in mind – complete with a backpack for the journey!
Synod was also extremely grateful for the hard work of the many volunteers from St Matthew’s Parish in Awapuni, Palmerston North, who provided lunches on both days of Synod, and for the use of All Saints’ on the Square as a venue for the Saturday lunch. A special mention must be made for the parishes of Palmerston North, especially to David and Helen Chapple, who have been so generous in their hospitality to Synod over the past fourteen years. St Matthew’s Parish has made over 8,000 lunches for the Synod gatherings as well as two electoral colleges!
John Whitehead, also a member of the Diocesan Council, seconded the motion and offered thanks to John Wilson for his work on Council, especially to overhaul the Canons to make them work for us, rather than the other way around.
John Wilson continued in thanks for our bishops. He stated that an assistant bishop is really needed, and that Bishop Eleanor is so complementary to Bishop Justin, that it could only have been God-inspired. “We are so fortunate to have Ellie,” he said. He continued: “This Synod is a testimony to Bishop Justin’s leadership. It’s a tribute to you that our culture is now embedded. In this Synod we’ve had some things to argue about. But we have debated as members of the same family, all concerned about mission units that thrive. We are disciples: which is why we were able to focus on healing in the Eucharist service. We care the last, the lost, and the least: which was highlighted in so many ways in our hotspots.” John described how the culture of our diocese is not necessarily the average church culture in our world, continuing: “in your charge, you challenged us to grow in an encouraging way. To believe in ourselves, to believe we will succeed, you’ve given us hope, and pointers on how to do it.” As Bishop Justin and Jenny head away on their sabbatical, John prayed for refreshment in their time away.
Concluding, John sought forgiveness for those who he may not have mentioned. Indeed, Synod was the work of so many, and each person’s contribution is thoroughly appreciated.