Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage
Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage

Synod Bites: ‘A whole synod in a half hour’

 Welcome to A whole synod in a half hour, a new way to connect with what’s been discussed and debated at St Albans Diocesan Synod.

It can be read on the with clickable audio links or heard as an audio podcast in its entirety.

Presidential Address

Opening his presidential address to October 2019’s Diocesan Synod, which you can read in full on, Bishop Alan said:

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And picking up on the Big Coversation, coming to a PCC near you in 2020 he said:

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Later in the morning, Bishop Richard gave us more insight into why we want to grow younger.

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Back to the Presidential Address.

Reading Greta Thunberg’s words to the United Nations, Bishop Alan spoke about the passion of young people for the creation, observing:

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He went on to talk about the Christian imperative to care for creation:

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and what we can do about it

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Arocha Video :

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Artificial Intelligence

Intellectual exercise was provided by a presentation in which we used: “our human intelligence to learn about artificial intelligence,” as Revd Javaid Iqbal, Chair of the House of Clergy, put it as he introduced the item.

The Rev’d Canon Dr Tim Bull:

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Revd Dr Sam Cappleman gave examples of the prevalence of uses of AI today and the concerns they raise,


He then highlighted three critical areas affected by AI:


Revd Fiona Gibson gave a more theological perspective. Among the questions she posed were “What does AI do to our identity? What does Ai do to our humanity?  and ‘What does sin look like in an AI world.’


She closed the presentation, before group discussion, posing some questions.


Financial motions

Perhaps slightly less intellectually taxing for most was the set-piece autumn financial business to approve the increase in clergy stipends for 2020 and the diocesan budget for 2020. Both were overwhelmingly approved.

The Chair of the DBF summed up the parish share request for 2020:

“The request is for an increase of 1.93%. You get out what you put in: the total parish share request of £14,052,000 contributes just about the same percentage to the funding as the   parochial ministry is to the total costs.”

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Clergy stipends

The proposed clergy stipend increase was 2%. Over the last three years the stipend has kept pace with consumer prices, having over the previous 7 years slightly lagged behind.

in response to a question about the reduction in the number of stipendiary clergy by 2, Bishop Alan spoke about clergy numbers and how they have been maintained above the level agreed by Synod some years ago and increased by the programme to seek more ordinations.

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Changes to lay training for growth and flourishing


Lay ministry training is changing: Revd Canon Dr Tim Bull tells us why in his introduction to a motion asking for approval for the new plans.


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