Just over 300 people gathered for the first session of the fifty-sixth Auckland Diocesan Synod at Holy Trinity Cathedral in early September.
Over two days clergy, chaplains, church members, and representatives of associated Anglican agencies discussed matters relating to the governance of the diocese as well as national and global issues.
Social justice was a theme of many of the motions presented, along with climate change. Concern was expressed for the vulnerable – refugees, workers earning less than a living wage, the elderly and people with disabilities, and those coping with grief and loss. Climate change was dealt with via two motions calling for action and resources for sustainable living and a zero carbon plan.
In his charge, Bishop Ross Bay reported on the progress of the Auckland City Mission’s HomeGround project. City Missioner Chris Farrelly thanked synod members for the $180,000 raised from churches around the diocese for the project. However, he said the Mission’s cupboards were bare ahead of the busy Christmas season, with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels already this year.
Synod members raised $415 in individual donations for the City Mission, which also benefitted from leftover lunch boxes and fruit. Synod caterers Eat My Lunch distributed 1261 lunches to schoolchildren through their ‘buy one, give one’ scheme.
Diocesan Manager Sonia Maugham said synod organisers deliberately planned to make the event more sustainable and socially responsible this year and she commended synod members for responding positively to the changes.