All institutions and organisations require governance to control and administer its functions. This ranges from Political institutions and alliances (International to local level), multi-national corporations to family businesses, sporting bodies, clubs and of course wardens and parish Councils. God’s Church is a good example. The early books of the Bible spell out how God selected his chosen people to lead and be organised. He established guiding principles, ritual ceremonials, spelled out specific rules and commandments He expected to be obeyed. In a later period when the Jews requested a change of Governance He conceded to their request and the governance structure was changed to a monarchical system.
The New Testament church was organised initially as a group of what we may now describe as home churches in geographic parishes. It could be argued that that system hasn’t changed. It has simply expanded and through schisms and diversity of opinion on doctrine has subdivided into denominations.
What about today in our Anglican tradition? What do we see? Post reformation, we see history repeating itself. Mostly caused by secular social pressure schisms are developing, hence we have seen the need for Gafcon.
The Australian Anglican church is episcopally led and Synodically Governed. We are subdivided into diocese. We have a National body “General Synod” and diocesan Synods. The Sydney diocese is further subdivided into regions with a Bishop elected for each region and the Archbishop representing the diocese. Our 51st synod has just completed its three- year term. The Archbishop is the president of the Synod. The synod assembles over five days each year and the ongoing synod business is done through The Standing committee.
My Synod experience these past eighteen years has demonstrated we have good governance. It is gospel centred. We are theologically and intellectually well -endowed and full of God’s grace, spirit and wisdom with a generous serving of good humour…
– Robert Hannam