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Social Issues Committee

Terms of Reference

1.         The Social Issues Committee is a subcommittee of the Standing Committee which is accountable to the Standing Committee and through it to the Archbishop.

2.         To equip Anglicans in the Diocese and others to engage in discussion on social issues in the light of the teaching of Scripture and Christian theology.

3.         To provide advice to the Archbishop, the Synod and the Standing Committee on social issues.


4.         No less than 6 persons appointed by the Standing Committee, at least 2 of whom must have formal theological training.  At least 2 of the members must be Standing Committee members.  At least 1 of the members must be a current member of the Moore Theological College faculty with relevant expertise.

5.         Current members are -

Dr Megan Best
The Rev Dr Andrew Ford
The Rev Dr Michael Jensen
Dr Chase Kuhn
Mr Darren Mitchell
Dean Kanishka Raffel
Dr Karin Sowada


6.         The Committee shall elect a Chair from among its members.


7.         4 members (Meetings (Quorum, Attendance and Resolutions) Ordinance 2007).

Administrative Arrangements 

8.         SDS provides staff and services.  The Diocesan Secretary arranges secretarial work for the Committee and the costs are met by the Synod. 

9.       The Committee shall meet at least four times a year.

Reporting to the Standing Committee and the Synod

10.       The Committee is to provide the Standing Committee with a copy of any final Report or Submission published by the Committee.

11.       A report summarising the work of the Committee (including the names of its members) is to be given to the Synod at each ordinary session.

Response to outside bodies and publication of documents

12.       The Committee may respond to requests for advice, reaction to reports, etc, from outside bodies within the terms of previously agreed documents.

13.       The Committee may publish and circulate in its own name documents, the status of which shall be clearly designated as –

(a)        “Draft Statements” for private circulation.

(b)        “Discussion Papers” which explore possible lines of approach to a particular issue and invite responses from a designated “target audience”, eg, a panel of expert opinion, informed community opinion, or general parish discussion.

(c)        “Briefings” which raise issues for wider discussion and response.

(d)        “Draft Reports” and “Draft Submissions” which are circulated in an appropriate manner and which invite response prior to the final report or submission being prepared. 

(e)        “Reports” and “Submissions” which are final versions of the drafts previously circulated for response. These statements are to be formally approved by the Standing Committee or, if time does not permit, by the Archbishop. 

Suitable disclaimers will be made in such documents on the status of these documents.

14.       The Committee may not publish or circulate a document in the name of the Standing Committee unless such document is approved by the Standing Committee before it is published or circulated.

Modes of Operation 

15.       The Committee may determine its own ways of working including the appointment, within its budget, of part-time or casual research workers, writers etc and the formation of sub-committees.

16.       The Committee is required to respond to requests for advice by either the Archbishop, the Synod or the Standing Committee.  The Committee may otherwise determine an order of priority for the treatment of issues. It is recognised that the Committee may therefore have to decline particular requests (except requests for advice by the Archbishop, the Synod or the Standing Committee).

17.       The Committee may at its discretion seek the advice of consultants or experts in particular fields.

18.       In undertaking its work, the Committee is, where appropriate, to consult and work in cooperation with the Religious Freedom Reference Group, the Sydney Diocesan Doctrine Commission, other diocesan agencies and, where practicable, Christian organisations and other bodies outside the Diocese.


19.       Members hold office at the pleasure of the Standing Committee but retire at the first Standing Committee meeting after the first session of each Synod.


Current as at 29 September 2016