Saturday, 5 March 2011


I'm not a great lover of Diocesan Synod. People who know me are aware of this, and know that I go simply because I have to. The agenda today was far from dramatic, and there was little chance of anyone falling out dramatically.

My attention today was fixated by "Mercy Ships", and the presentation on their work, mostly in West Africa. I have witnessed their work in Banjul, The Gambia, and know what sort of effect they have, first hand, on the people of that country. The Bishop has made Mercy Ships the recipient of his Diocesan Lent Appeal, and I applaud his decision.

However, today, something was not quite right. We had seen the most horrific images from West Africa then retired quite unperturbed to lunch which was extremely beautiful and probably cost the Diocese an arm and a leg. I know the money we spent today on lunch would go a long way on a Mercy Ship!

We could easily have put on soup and bread, and nobody would have starved. It would have been even more apt if we had been given a bowl of rice and a little sauce, possibly peanut, to keep us alive during the afternoon session.

This is unlikely to happen as we seem keen to lavish money on Diocesan events. And I'll be wrong again and get flack.

The Dean, eruditely reminded us of the whole Eco problem and how we could cut down on our waste of energy and show an example to the world.

When I take photos of Gambians living in mudhuts without a proper water supply, I wonder when the western church is going to wake up to showing an example. Perhaps for the next year or so we should budget for the norm, take the cheapest option, and give the balance to Mercy Ships? I'm sure many would approve!


Christine McIntosh said...

I'm interested to read this - and to reflect on our own Synod, and the things the gender audit threw up in the way of a few stale old jokes about "Awomen". I think sensible men will continue to feel uncomfortable until someone deals with the ones who are still carelessly patronising towards women both in language and in assumptions - but I don't think many women would be happy with engineering things to balance the numbers. Mind, it'd be nice to have a more even representation in the pews!
BTW - the word verification is "pronsubm" which sounds like an acronym for some particularly grovelling form of submission...

Fr Kenny said...


Morag said...

Not that I was at Synod, but if I was I'd be in favour of a cheaper lunch and giving the balance to a charity!

As for the gender thing, the best person for the job should get the job no matter what their gender! And nobody should feel they have to apologise for being male, female or bug-eyed alien monster from Mars.

john macfarlane said...

I would back Morag 's comment all the way! Galatians 3 vv 26-29. And while we are on about catering and accommodation maybe we need to look at the expense of catering and accommodation for the rash of Episcopal Consecrations that will be upon us. More austerity and use of accommodation with local Episcopalians would save a goodly sum which would feed starving children through Mary's Meals and serve as an example to us all