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Synod 3: Interesting comment on Synod elections

Dave Walker cartoon, courtesy of

Following on the theme of Synod-related posts at the moment, I thought I would link to several recent articles that I found both enjoyable and interesting during the election process and now that our new Synod gets ready to be inaugurated:

Synod 2: The untold story of the Crown Nominations Commission

Ernest Borgnine in "Red"

The other week, I went to see the new movie Red with a fellow Curate. Enjoyable, silly shtick it was too (what’s not to like about the regal Helen Mirren wielding a .50 calibre machine gun in a ball gown?) However, I digress. I mention it because, halfway through the movie, there is a lovely scene where the CIA’s retired Bruce Willis goes down to a long-forgotten-about vault to consult paper files stewarded by a long-forgotten-about Ernest Borgnine (perfect casting really… I thought he was dead. Seriously… no offence meant but I really thought he had died).

The scene came to my mind today as I sat down to recount the story of the Diocese of Rochester’s Vacancy-in-See Committee and our particular troubles with Synodical elections.

Cast your mind back to 2009 and the resignation of Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali. I guess a Vacancy-in-See Committee is a little bit like Ernest Borgnine in the vaults of the CIA. Read more

More casualties in Christian Publishing, stateside

Church Publishing website screengrab

I heard more sad news over the weekend as the Christian publishing industry continues to face extremely serious struggles.

This time, the news comes from the United States, and my old employer’s ‘equivalent’ company in the USA. As Church House Publishing is (or rather was) to the Church of England, so too Church Publishing is to the Episcopal Church.

Church Publishing has announced cuts of 40% in their workforce and the entire closure of their Denver office. I think they had acquired the Denver office when they bought up Morehouse in 2005 and so this looks like, essentially, a drawing back in of operations to their central hub in New York rather than running two separate bases.

What I thought was interesting in the announcement is that CPI’s overseers clearly still see that Church Publishing is, in their words, a ‘mission-critical’ service. How different to the Church of England’s treatment of Church House Publishing.

However, regardless of strategic perspective, it is still a tragedy to see people losing their jobs and the Christian publishing industry in the doldrums.

Synod 1: over-representation in the Diocese of Rochester


How many members of General Synod ought it to be reasonable for one parish church to have? This is the question at the centre of much concern in the Diocese of Rochester that seems to be bubble around under the surface of the water at the moment.

I should add, before I say any more, that I have the greatest respect for some of our Synod representatives. For the others, I simply don’t know them. So this is not intended as a sleight on their abilities in any way. I haven’t named any individual or church in these articles since my point is not about the people concerned, but about the principle of the matter.

However, the publication of the recent election results for our diocese were pretty depressing for many people, me included. Over the next couple of blog posts, I am going to say more about some of the reasons why they have caused such depression.

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