Canon W. Asbil informed the National Executive Council that four draft reports have been distributed. Approximately 300 people have received these reports and many answers were returned. A final draft has been written with the assistance of these replies and will be presented to General Synod.
Canon Asbil expressed appreciation to those who took the time to reply.
The Prolocutor thanked Canon Asbil for the report.
24. REPORT OF THE JOINT TASK FORCE OF THE ORGANIZATION AND LONG RANGE PLANNING COMMITTEES ON GENERAL SYNOD, PROVINCIAL, DIOCESAN RELATIONSHIPS
Canon Asbil, the Rev. W.E. Lowe and the General Secretary presented this report.
The General Secretary spoke to the report, after which the Council considered the report by sections.
Concern was expressed that there is no Provincial representation working with the Task Force.
That the National Executive Council recommends that a further consultation of representatives from the Provinces, Organization Committee and Long Range Planning Committee be held to consider this report before the presentation to a General Synod. CARRIED
It should be stated to General Synod that all four Provincial Synods were in common agreement that there should be a three-year Synod.
There was considerable discussion and a number of questions were asked. The Primate reported that Lambeth '78 would be considering the whole role of synodical government out of which would probably come guidelines and directions for future consideration.
This report will now be distributed to the Provinces, Diocesan Bishops and future members of the Task Force, along with the action taken by the Council.
Anticipating possible change in the structure of the national church, the four ecclesiastical provinces, have agreed to continue the canons, or laws, of the church in case of the insolvency of General Synod.
Planning for the agenda of the 25th Session of General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada at Niagara Falls, Ontario, from January 25th to February 2nd, 1971, has moved into its final phase under the direction of the General Secretary, the Venerable E.S. Light.
Archdeacon Light and his staff, are assisted in their work by two task forces of the Church's Organization Committee: the Program Task Force which plans the agenda; and the Arrangements Task Force which looks after the physical arrangements of General Synod. Each of these task forces has representatives from across the country, and the local members have met frequently over the past six months.
General Synod will convene at 9:30 am, Monday, January 25th, in the Sheraton-Brock Hotel, with the opening Eucharist and the opening address, to be given by the senior Metropolitan and Acting Primate, the Most Reverend W.L. Wright. That afternoon, the Lower House of the Synod (clergy and lay delegates) will reconvene in Christ Church, Niagara Falls, as an Electoral College to elect a new Primate. At the same time, the Upper House of Synod (the Bishops) will meet at the Church and nominate candidates from amongst their number to submit to the Electoral College. When a new Primate has been elected by a majority vote from both clerical and lay delegates, the delegates will return to the Sheraton-Foxhead Inn, where the meetings of General Synod will begin that evening. It is expected that there will be approximately 270 delegates in both Houses.
For the first time in the history of the Anglican Church of Canada, the meetings of the regular sessions of General Synod will be presided over by a woman. Her title is Deputy Prolocutor, and she will be acting in the place of the Prolocutor elected at the last General Synod, who has since been made a Bishop. The Prolocutor fulfills the same functions as the Speaker in the House of Commons, and is elected by the Lower House (clergy and lay delegates) at each General Synod. The Deputy Prolocutor is Miss Betty Graham, who has been prominent in the affairs of the Church in the Toronto area. Since 1966, Miss Graham has been the Director of Child Welfare, in the Province of Ontario Department of Social and Family Services.
The last General Synod met at Laurentian University in Sudbury, in 1969, from August 18-26. At that General Synod, a new Canon on the Primacy was passed releasing the Primate from particular diocesan responsibilities, and locating his office in Toronto. The election in January will be the first one under this Canon. Other work at the Sudbury General Synod concerned a report on Theological Education across the country, and a report on Manpower in the Church, from which came resolutions establishing a national office for Personnel Resources. The General Synod also accepted new guidelines for Inter-Communion.
Under the general theme of "change," the General Synod heard reports on the Changing World, the Changing Church and the Changing Ministry.
Perhaps the single, most significant action taken by the 1969 General Synod, was the acceptance of the Hendry Report which redirected the Church's attitude towards the Native Peoples of Canada. A report on the implementation of this report will be one of the most interesting features at the General Synod to be held at Niagara Falls.
"The Upper House shall consist of the Primate and Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada (holding Sees therein), or (b) discharging the functions of the episcopate as Coadjutor, Suffragan, Assistant Bishop or Bishop Ordinary to the Armed Forces, or (c) Missionary Bishops appointed by the Church in Canada to any Diocese outside of Canada under the provisions of any Canon of this Synod; and (d) any such Bishops who having resigned their Sees are residing in Canada and are not engaged in any work, other than episcopal; but Bishops who have resigned their jurisdiction shall not have the right to vote in the Upper House." CARRIED in both Houses.
That Section 40 of the Constitution be repealed and the following substituted therefore:
"Departments and/or Divisions
1. The work of the Synod shall be organized in the following departments or divisions, namely:
(a) Administration and Finance
(c) National and World Program
(d) Parish and Diocesan Services
2. Subject to the authority of the Synod, each department or division shall be under the supervision of the National Executive Council.
3. The Synod may by Canon constitute a Board or Committee for each department or division, which shall have such jurisdiction, authority and powers as may be defined by such Canon."
Moved in amendment by Mr. D.R. Smith, seconded by Mrs. R.K. Naylor, That Section 40, subsection (1) be amended to read:
"The work of the Synod shall be organized in such departments and divisions as General Synod shall decide from time to time." CARRIED in both Houses.
The motion, as amended, was put and CARRIED in both Houses.
Moved by the Prolocutor, seconded by Chancellor H.R.S. Ryan, That pursuant to Section 40 of the Constitution the Synod be organized in the following divisions, namely: (a) Administration and Finance; (b) Communications; (c) National and World Program; (d) Parish and Diocesan Services; (e) Pensions; (f) Planning. CARRIED in both Houses.
That the decision to delete the words "clergy and lay" before "members" in Sub-Section 5 of Section 14 of the Constitution (in the Handbook of General Synod page 22) be confirmed.
The Sub-Section will then read:
5. In the event of a vacancy in the Office of Deputy Prolocutor, by death, resignation or otherwise the members of the National Executive Council present at the next Session of the National Executive Council shall elect a Deputy Prolocutor who shall perform all the duties of the office until the next session of the Synod and the election of a Deputy Prolocutor.