The 53rd Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne was dissolved on 16 October 2022 following the completion of its third ordinary session. The Cathedral has two lay representatives (and an alternate lay representative) at Synod.
Nominations are now open for two lay representatives (and an alternate lay representative) for the 54th Synod. Elections will take place in person at all three Sunday services on Sunday, 12 March. Voters and nominees need to be members of the Cathedral’s Electoral Roll.
Nomination forms are available here. Nominations close at 7.55am on Sunday 5 March 2023.
What is Synod?
Synod is the gathering of the clergy and lay representatives of the Diocese with the Archbishop to make decisions about our corporate life in Christ. We begin each Synod session by coming together as the Body of Christ in a celebration of the Eucharist; the business meetings that follow are an extension of the Eucharistic gathering.
Synod governs our corporate life as Anglicans in Melbourne – and our relationships within the Anglican Church generally and with wider society – in many ways. Synod members elect Archbishops, most members of Diocesan Council, other diocesan committees, and representatives on wider church bodies. They also make decisions in many important areas, such as:
- Establishing how clergy are appointed to – and removed from – parishes, and how parishes function in terms of their finances, property and office-bearers;
- Ensuring children and vulnerable people are protected in church and church-related activities;
- Monitoring and reviewing diocesan finances and budgets, and the oversight of diocesan property; and
- Encouraging and sometimes implementing change in areas such as who can be ordained (Melbourne Synod was a pioneer in the women’s ordination movement, for example), and in ecumenical relationships.
Synod also comments on issues and concerns in Australian society from the Gospel perspective, such as care of the environment, marriage and family life, education, and refugees.
Sometimes described as the Church’s “parliament”, Synod conducts its business on a model based on the Westminster parliamentary system, similar to that followed by Australia’s federal and state parliaments. As with parliaments, each Synod is elected for a term, usually of three years. The minimum is two and a half years; the maximum is three and a half. Meetings must be held annually (except when there is no Archbishop in place), and generally they are held over a four-day session in October each year. Occasionally additional meetings are called for specific purposes.