Inclusive Church at General Synod
Inclusive Church will be at the Church of England General Synod in February (13th – 16th).
We have booked a stall, which we can use to profile our work, and it gives us an opportunity to talk with Synod members. In the past we have profiled work around mental health, disability and the book series. This session of Synod we will be profiling The Sheldon Hub which is being launched in March. Focussing on clergy well-being this is an important issue in the life of the church for clergy, their families and the churches in which they serve.
We will be supporting a number for synod fringe events and connecting with those who were elected as inclusive Synod members. We are very aware that during this synod there will be a lot of people wanting to talk about how they feel as a result of the House of Bishops statement – and the Synod response to this.
We are grateful to trustees and the Sheldon Community in helping us with Synod.
There is a financial cost for Inclusive Church to have a presence at General Synod – booking the stall, accommodation and travel. Basic cost is about £500. If you want to give something to Inclusive Church to support this – simply go here. Contributing to the cost of Synod will allow Inclusive Church to strengthen its work in other areas.
Presence and Prayer at Synod.
We are supporting this initiative from LGCM
On Wednesday 15 February, the General Synod of the Church of England will debate the Report of the House of Bishops arising out of the Shared Conversations on sexuality. It's a debate which has huge implications for LGBTI people across the churches and for all in our communities - looking to the church to proclaim once more God's life-giving love for all of humankind.
We know that many people will want to be present on the day of the debate to voice their support for inclusion, diversity and compassion. Others will want to support prayerfully at home.
If you'd like to join us in Westminster, you'll be able to find the information you need here, and updates on a Facebook event, which you can find here.
We are planning a dignified, peaceful presence on the steps of Church House, in Dean's Yard, at three key times during the day:
from 8.30 - 10am, as people arrive,
from 10.30 - 12noon as people are leaving after the morning session,
and from 5.30pm - 7pm while the debate is taking place.
We're also hoping to have small presence on the alternative entrance to Church House, in Great College Street. Please feel able to invite people to join you for all or part of the day. Bring your most colourful and creative placards, and candles if you're coming along in the evening.
In particular, it would help if you could indicate whether you're planning to be there, so we have an idea of numbers and scale - either head over to the Facebook page or let us know by using the link here. There is limited space in Dean's Yard (and indeed on the pavement in Great Smith Street), vehicles use the Yard as turning space, and there are offices all around. As strange as it it to think of church property as 'private property', we will be there as guests and I'm confident we'll be beautifully behaved - but it will help enormously to know if it's likely to be three of us and a Thermos, or a grand crowd.
It's quite likely to be cold, and we're concerned that those who have travelled a distance will need to warm up! So we'll be basing ourselves at the Washhouse Cafe in the Abbey Community Centre, opposite Church House Bookshop, for the day.
We really hope as many people as possible will want to join us, and that you will hold us and the members of Synod in prayer if you are unable to be there in person.