Synod postponed for 2020 due to COVID-19

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For the first time since World War II, our Diocese has been forced to postpone the annual Synod with ongoing uncertainty about face-to-face gathering restrictions

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Anglican Church Southern Queensland General Manager Tim Reid this week confirmed that the 2020 ordinary session of Synod, which had been tentatively re-scheduled from June to September, has been postponed until next year.

The June monthly meeting of Diocesan Council considered whether Synod should proceed given recent months of COVID-19 related restrictions and the likelihood of ongoing restrictions around numbers for gatherings.

On the advice of Diocesan Council, the Archbishop asked that steps be taken to postpone the 2020 ordinary session of Synod to June 2021.

Mr Reid said the decision was made after considering COVID-19 restrictions and the associated difficulties of holding gatherings of over 400 people in an enclosed space, while meeting social distancing requirements.

“It is difficult to anticipate if or when these restrictions may be eased sufficiently for us to meet,” Mr Reid said in an email sent directly to Synod members.

“We have considered the complexity of usual Synod business and concluded that a full session by way of a virtual meeting is not practical. The Synod Canon mandates that an ordinary session be held in each year.

“In order to postpone the ordinary session, the Archbishop will call a special session of Synod, likely to be during September 2020, with the only item of business being a proposed Canon which will enable the ordinary session to be postponed.

“As there will only be this single item of business, our intention is that the special session can proceed with a bare quorum of members, but we are looking to make provision for any members of Synod who wish to attend to do so by video conference.”

Further information will be sent out to members before the special session of Synod with details regarding how people can attend the meeting if they choose to do so.

Mr Reid said elections for office holders will also be deferred until 2021. Other decisions regarding aspects of Synod business, such as the timing and method of Commission reports, are still being finalised.

“I would like to thank everyone associated with Synod for their understanding and patience while we work through all of the arrangements,” Mr Reid said.

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