Report from Morning Session of the SEC General Synod

The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane and Primus spoke of the Scottish Episcopal Church’s relationships and role within the world wide Church saying “Within our membership of the Anglican Communion, one of our most important and historic relationships is with The Episcopal Church of the United States. It’s historic because their first bishop, Samuel Seabury was consecrated in 1784 by the Scottish Bishops. In ten days time I shall go to Salt Lake City for the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. It would be an exaggeration to say that I am greeted like one of the Pilgrim Fathers. But the feeling that we are an important and valued part of their history is very much alive today. When I go there on your behalf, I am greeted and honoured in that spirit.” Bishop David spoke about the role and responsibilities of the Office of Primus and highlighted a conference he attended earlier this year in explaining “in March this year, I responded to an invitation from Archbishop Thabo, Primate of Southern Africa, to attend what became known as the Eco-Bishops Conference in Hermanus, South Africa. We have had a tentative relationship around ecological/environmental issues with South Africa. I went partly to foster that link. Most of those attending came from parts of the developing world where climate change isn’t just a matter of debate but is a daily reality of life. I was particularly impressed by the contribution of those representing the indigenous people of the world ”“ particularly the indigenous people of Northern Canada. They have a way of seeing themselves in God’s creation which is revelatory for us ”“ but which also calls us back to explore again our roots in Celtic spirituality.”

In conclusion Bishop David said “I have also been serving as Chair of the Reference Group for the Continuing Indaba movement which attempts to develop a culture of ”˜honest conversation across difference’ right across the Communion. Continuing Indaba has attempted to foster conversation between provinces ”“ more recently it has moved towards conversation within provinces. We recognise that while ”˜headline’ disagreements in the Communion are often seen as inter-provincial, every province experiences and must work with its own diversity. Our own Cascade Conversations are part of that broader movement. That movement in turn is linked to reconciliation as one of four ministry priorities of the present Archbishop of Canterbury.”

The Rt Rev Dr John Armes, Bishop of Edinburgh, followed by speaking about the link of friendship and partnership between the Diocese of Edinburgh and Cape Coast, Ghana

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Scottish Episcopal Church