Synod 2017

A day of visions

The second session of Tasmania’s 53rd Synod may have been the shortest annual synod ever, but it may also have been one of the most visionary.

To begin the day, some of those travelling to Synod early on the Friday morning drove through a remarkable Midlands scene of sunrise over translucent golden banks of mist and a quiet, tree-lined landscape as if newly created; a vision of God’s love for Tasmania.

Synod opened with worship, and communion, and Bp Richard’s drawing our attention to Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1 –  a prayer for the Church, and for Tasmania, that we may know God, know His hope, know our inheritance in Him, and know His power.

Bp Richard’s Presidential Address then launched his Vision for the Diocese in 2022. We learned that this Vision had been developed not only through a process many had already contributed to, but also from Richard having travelled some 35,000 km around the state, and having been away from home some 103 days during the previous year!

A church for Tasmania, making disciples for Jesus is the vision, and the vision has a strategy that will engage all Tasmanian Anglicans.

The Vision’s logo was explained, too: not only when looking at Cradle Mountain are we reminded of Jesus’ lordship, and reminded of the hill of Calvary, but all of Tasmania’s mountains also speak the same message.

A realistic appraisal of our current situation, though, saw Synod pass yet another deficit budget, being mindful too that the Viability and Sustainability Taskforce will be making its final report to Synod next year.

Bruce Geeves’ remarkable ministry with seniors over twelve years was warmly acclaimed by Synod, and in the same vein Paul Cavanough’s resignation after fifteen years of passionate, faithful service to the Diocese was marked with a prolonged standing ovation, Paul having just shared the simple and beloved vision God had given him for his future. 

Synod’s concluding General Business envisioned a Tasmania without pokies, served by missional chaplaincies, and developing a program for fostering children in Christian homes.

To summarise a day of visions, as one new cleric commented at the close of Synod, ‘What a time to be an Anglican!’

Richard Lord




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