This was the third Diocesan Synod held via Zoom. We are pleased to report that there was a high number in attendance and those involved took part in the "Environment" topic in a lively talk and presentation held by Bishop Mike, amongst it were many suggestions on how best to improve our churches eco-footprints.
Bishop Martin led his presidential address and gave us a brief outlook onto his life with "a day in the life of a Bishop" and shared about how he ate lunch with young people due to be confirmed by him later on. He spoke to the young people and asked them about why they chose to be confirmed - and recieved some interesting responses!
"All of the youngsters, when I asked them why, would say because it's interesting, or because I was interested in it. They think Christianity is interesting. And that is what set them on or reinforced them on this journey. I asked them; what did they mean by interesting? They answered, very quickly, the Bible, the teachings of Jesus, and thinking about God. By now, in this conversation, which lasted about an hour, they wanted to tell this stranger who had come to their school, a bit more. Christianity, they said, gave you community, it was a family where you could talk about anything, you felt connected to each other and to God. Believing in God gave you security and support, and the confirmation classes helped to deepen their understanding of God."
Bishop Martin | Presidential Address
Revd Richard Stainer | Environment
The motion moved by the Revd Richard Stainer was debated and approved:
This Synod, in line with General Synod motion GS2159 and the fifth mark of mission, recognises the Environment and Climate Emergency, and commits to the following:
- Speaking the truth about the emergency and the changes that are needed to safeguard the environment and mitigate the climate crisis.
- Encouraging PCCs, Voluntary Aided schools and the Diocesan Multi Academy Trust, the cathedral and diocesan officers to take the necessary action to reach net zero carbon across the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese by 2030 with the support of outside agencies.
- Updating the Diocesan Environment Policy to include:
- Raising awareness in Parishes about the climate emergency and our diocesan response, through Deanery Synods, the celebration of Creationtide, and other opportunities within churches to highlight the climate emergency.
- Encouraging individual Christians in our diocese to change their lifestyles and engage in actions that care for creation.
- Highlighting and campaigning about social injustices caused by the environmental crisis.
The Revd Richard Stainer says "We are truly facing an existential crisis which is causing great injustice around the world and destroying God’s creation. If that sentence sounds melodramatic, I assure you it isn’t. It is a statement of fact".
Jane Sheat | Education