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Council considered the Open Meeting Policy presented by the Anglican Journal Board in its report #014-01-07-11 Revised. Council came to consensus on a number of changes to the policy as presented and proposed:
That the Council of General Synod adopt the Open Meeting Policy for use in the Anglican Church of Canada.
APPROVED BY CONSENSUS #18-11-07
It was noted that this policy applies only to meetings of national organizations, not to diocesan or parish organizations. The Chancellor suggested and Council agreed that the Open Meeting Policy be included in the Handbook of General Synod as a new appendix.
The policy as approved by Council is attached as Appendix C.
1. Open Meetings and the Anglican Church of Canada
Concern is sometimes expressed by members of the Anglican Church of Canada and media about decisions being made by church committees behind closed doors. They feel that the church should be more public in its discussions of important issues and open in its decision-making processes. Other members argue that they feel constrained by the presence of the public and media from being able to express themselves fully.
At present, there is no written policy in the Anglican Church of Canada governing when meetings should be open or closed. The intent of the draft policy that follows is to fill this gap. It is based on the following assumptions:
- That the Anglican Church of Canada seeks to be as open as possible in discussing issues and making decisions;
- That all meetings should be open by default unless they are closed for a specific reason;
- That there are limitations on what can be discussed and decided on in public; and
- That creating a policy that helps members of church committees decide when it is appropriate to close an open meeting and how to do it will provide clarity to the church, the public and the media.
2. Policy on open meetings in the Anglican Church of Canada
The purpose of the policy on open meetings in the Anglican Church of Canada is to enshrine the concept that the exercise of the ministry of the church in meetings is conducted openly and inclusively except under clearly defined circumstances as explained in section three.
2.2 Open meeting definition
An open meeting is any regularly scheduled or special meeting of a group that has been elected or appointed by the General Synod or the Council of General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada that may be attended by people who are not members of the group holding the meeting.
2.3 Groups affected by this policy
Any group that has been elected or appointed by the General Synod or the Council of General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.
2.4 Conduct of business
The proceedings of open meetings are recorded and become part of the public record of the church, available for news reporting and historical reference.
Agendas and background material are distributed in advance to all members of the group present for the meeting. In addition, agendas and background materials may be distributed to staff, people who are invited to speak at the meeting, and members of the media.
Only members of the group and those invited by the group to speak, may participate in the meeting.
Only members of the group may vote.
3. Policy on closed meetings in the Anglican Church of Canada
The purpose of the policy on closed meetings in the Anglican Church of Canada is to define the circumstances under which the ministry of the church is exercised in a closed session and to provide a mechanism for moving from an open to a closed meeting and back again.
3.2 Closed meeting definition
A closed meeting is any regularly scheduled or special meeting, or a part of that meeting, of a group that has been elected or appointed by the General Synod or the Council of General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada which may be attended only by people who are members of the group holding the meeting and by those invited to attend by the members of that group.
3.3 Reasons for closing a meeting
A closed meeting may be held to discuss personnel issues, contract proposals, financial matters, litigation, and/or at the request of a member (subject to section 3.3)
3.4 Moving from open to closed session
A majority of voting members is required on a motion to close an open meeting. The motion must include the reason for closing the meeting and is part of the public record.
3.5 Conduct of business
The proceedings of closed meetings are recorded. Where appropriate, decisions made and reasons for them become part of the public record of the church, available for news reporting and historical reference.
3.6 Moving from closed to open session
When all issues to be dealt with in a closed session are completed, a motion to come out of a closed session shall be called for by the Chair.
3.7 Reporting after a closed session
If the closed session is part of an open session, the chair shall where appropriate, relate the messages agreed to by the members, to those excluded from the meeting.
Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada will hold a news conference today, Monday Oct. 18 , at 1:30 p.m., at which he will make a statement on the report of the Lambeth Commission on Communion (Eames Report) and answer questions. Also attending will be the Rev. Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, who was a member of the Commission.
The News Conference will be held at 1:30 p.m. in the Boardroom of the Anglican National Offices, 80 Hayden Street, Toronto, Ont.
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For more information, please contact: Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; 416-540-3653 (Cell); email@example.com OR Paul Feheley, Principal Secretary to the Primate, 416-924-9199 ext. 277, firstname.lastname@example.org
About 400 Anglican delegates, staff and national and international partners will gather in Winnipeg in June  with an agenda that includes the election and installation of a new national leader and resolutions on the same-sex blessings controversy that could affect the Anglican Church of Canada's future status in the worldwide Communion.
The gathering of the Anglican General Synod, the church's highest governing body, occurs every three years and brings together bishops, priests and lay people chosen from every Anglican community in the country. Hosting the event this time is the diocese of Rupert's Land, based in Winnipeg. Anglicans are taking over two downtown hotels and parts of a third for the synod, which runs from June 19 to 25 .
The General Synod meets to deal with specific issues of the day as well as to care for the housekeeping affairs of the church.
On the agenda of the Winnipeg meeting -- the 38th General Synod -- are the following key matters:
- The election of a new Primate or national leader to succeed Archbishop Andrew Hutchison who was elected at the last General Synod in St. Catharines, Ont., in 2004 and is retiring;
- Votes on resolutions dealing with the issue of same-sex blessings. Among other things, the Synod will have to decide whether or not same-sex blessings are a matter of doctrine;
- Responding to the Windsor Report on the state of the worldwide Anglican Communion;
- Acting on a report on governance which examines the structure of the national church and makes recommendations in the context of declining numbers;
- The introduction of a National Indigenous Bishop appointed by the Primate earlier this year;
- Status reports on church finances and the Indian Residential Schools agreeement with the federal government.
In addition to the regular agenda, a day of General Synod will be spent with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada which is having its convention in Winnipeg at the same time. The Anglican and Lutheran churches have a close partnership which was formalized in 2001 when they signed an agreement to enter full communion.
The theme of the 38th General Synod is 'Draw the circle wide - draw it wider still' -- from an Anglican hymn. The reference is to promoting a church that is inclusive.
General Synod is open to news media.
In advance of the June meeting, a number of news releases will be issued, of which this the first. A newsroom for accredited journalists will be maintained and staffed and news releases issued at regular intervals throughout the synod. However, space if limited, both on the General Synod floor of the plenary gathering, and in the newsroom. Journalists planning to cover all or most of the proceedings are therefore urged to register in advance. This will allow us to reserve space in the newsroom for you and to ensure that we have an adequate number of documents. A media information kit will be available at the start of synod for registered journalists.
The plenary hall is generally open to photographers, but they are limited in where on the floor of General Synod they can go. All photographers will be expected to comply with these limitations which are aimed at minimizing the disruptions for General Synod members.
Journalists may apply for registration at: http://www.anglican.ca/gs2007/media/registration.htm
The newsroom will be staffed by the following people, for whom telephone numbers will be made available closer to Synod:
Josie De Lucia, Newsroom Manager, Media Relations
Keith Nethery, Media Relations
Brian Sarjeant, Writer, Media Relations
Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director, Communications and Information Resources
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For more information, please contact: Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; email@example.com OR Josie De Lucia, 416-924-0199 ext. 294; firstname.lastname@example.org
Jerrold F. Hames, London, Ontario, has been appointed press and information officer at the Anglican Church of Canada's national headquarters in Toronto. He will assist Rev. P.A.H. Meggs, supervisor of broadcasting, who became also acting supervisor of information upon the recent resignation of Fred H. Wooding from that post. Mr. Wooding now is engaged in free-lance public relations work.
A graduate of the University of Windsor, Mr. Hames, 26, worked for the Windsor Star before joining the London Free Press in 1964. In addition to covering general assignments such as the Civil Rights March from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, he has served as religion editor of the Free Press, reporting major church conferences and activities. He has also written for television and served on the advisory board for the Student Christian Movement at the University of Western Ontario.
Mr. Hames takes up his new duties in Toronto on January 16.
RESOLVED That this Synod place on record its deep appreciation of the valuable service given by the Very Reverend N.R. Burke during the years following the General Synod of 1946, in the development of a comprehensive programme of Public Relations for our Church. With tenacity of purpose, vision, courage and good humour, he has offered vigorous leadership in this important field of activity, and has established, with the aid of the members of the Committee on Public Relations, a firm foundation upon which a strong Department of Information and Stewardship may be built.
(F) The following resolution was presented by the Chairman of the Department of Information and Stewardship: "That the Board of Information and Stewardship accepts the responsibility to provide the Archbishop of Canterbury with Public Relations services while he is in Canada in 1966, and we request the National Executive Council to assist in underwriting the cost of this service."
It was stated that the cost of such a service is roughly estimated to be $2,500. This would cover the cost of one person travelling with the Archbishop all the time, in some areas a second person to be present, plus the cost of an advance trip in order for a public relations man to meet with local people. The Rev. Canon W.E. Hobbs explained that this service was not intended to obtain publicity but to assist the Archbishop in his dealings with the media and to ensure that we receive the type of publicity we want.
Moved by the Rt. Rev. H.R. Hunt, seconded by the Rev. H. St. Clair Hilchey,
That the Council accepts the offer of the Board of Information and Stewardship to provide the Archbishop of Canterbury with public relations services while he is in Canada in 1966, and requests the Board of Finance to provide a grant of up to $1,000 to assist in the financing of this service.
That we delete the request that the National Executive Council ask the Board of Finance to find $1,000.
The amendment was CARRIED.
The motion as amended was CARRIED and reads,
That the Council accepts the offer of the Board of Information and Stewardship to provide the Archbishop of Canterbury with public relations services while his is in Canada in 1966.
It was further agreed that the Department of Information and Stewardship should make such arrangements as necessary, in consultation with each diocese being visited by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Archbishop of Fredericton requested that for the meetings in Fredericton the Primate appoint two people from the General Synod level to handle press relations in general with two people appointed from the local area. The Primate agreed to do so.
On motion of Dr. D.J. Broadwell, seconded by the Ven. D.P. Watney, the report of the special committee appointed by the Primate "to consider the position of Mr. Fred Wooding vis a vis the church" was received. (Committee members: the Rt. Rev. W.G. Burch, Convenor, the Very Rev. F.R. Gartrell, Canon T.D. Somerville, Dr. D.J. Broadwell, Mr. O. Jones.)
The recommendations contained in the report were then dealt with as follows:
Recommendation 1: This Committee recommends that Mr. Wooding's resignation be accepted. (It was noted that the resignation would take effect January 20, 1967.)