The President of the General Synod of the Anglican Church, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, said he is very happy with the sense of unity that the Synod has witnessed this week on a range of critical issues.
The Church is finalising its General Synod in Canberra. The event is the Parliament of the Church which sits every three years.
The Primate highlighted the following decisions:
Dr Aspinall said another historic element of the General Synod was the listening process. “In one of the most poignant moments Synod members paused to listen to the stories of four gay people in the church. We all know there is much debate about this internationally but this event had no agenda, no-one was taking sides, we simply listened with sensitivity and compassion.
“The listening process was a creative exercise placed deliberately at the end of the day. We could hear and pray then adjourn, reflect and digest.”
The General Synod also passed a Church law to establish a national register to protect children and parishioners from abuse. “This is about safety, first and foremost. It means that abusers and those facing unresolved allegations of abuse will no longer be able to move from parish to parish without their record being known.”
“I want to commend every member of General Synod for the way in which they have conducted themselves and entered into the spirit of our mission. I believe that despite our differences we have entered a new stage that can only see the Anglican Church of Australia grow stronger,” said Archbishop Aspinall.
The Primate said the Church’s most important gathering in three years exhibited a good spirit of cooperation.
“Our experience this week has been far from the schism and fracture that is often publicly associated with the Anglican Communion. General Synod members here in Canberra have displayed a maturity that permits differing opinion to be heard, discussed and reflected upon.
“There are numerous highlights of this General Synod. Some of the motions and bills passed will serve to strengthen the bonds of affection across Australia’s Anglican community and boost the Church’s outreach to the wider community.”