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Report of the Standing Committee meeting held on 15 October 2007

The Rev Stephen Semenchuk and Mrs Claire Smith led in prayer.

Minutes of the Mission Board

Standing Committee noted the minutes of the Mission Board of 27 August 2007.

Minutes of 27 August 2007

Standing Committee approved of the minutes of 27 August 2007, having been certified by the Archdeacon Deryck Howell as minute reader, being signed as a correct record.

Policy debates

The Archbishop briefly addressed the Standing Committee about this matter.

Standing Committee noted a report setting out topics for possible policy discussions at future meetings.


St Philip’s Sydney York Street Property Leasing Ordinance 1966 Amendment Ordinance 2007

The purpose of this ordinance was to amend the St Philip’s Sydney York Street Property Leasing Ordinance 1966 to make provision for the distribution of rental proceeds arising from a lease of certain property in York Street, Sydney.

Diocesan Endowment Amendment Ordinance 2007

The purpose of this ordinance was to amend the Diocesan Endowment Ordinance 1984.

Normanhurst Mortgaging and Leasing Ordinance 2007

The purpose of this ordinance was to authorise the mortgaging and leasing of property at Thornleigh in anticipation of it becoming church trust property and the application of the proceeds.

Woodville Road (Old Guildford) Land Sale Ordinance 2002 Amendment and Variation of Trusts Ordinance 2007

The purpose of this ordinance to amend the Woodville Road (Old Guildford) Land Sale Ordinance 2002.


Canon John Cornford, Mr Ian Minnett and Mr Bill Nicholson – resignations as members of the Standing Committee

Standing Committee noted the resignations of Canon John Cornford and Mr Ian Minnett, as members and gave thanks for their past contribution to our work.

Standing Committee noted the resignation of Mr Bill Nicholson as a member, and gave thanks for his past contribution to our work over many years.

Elections of persons as members of school or university college councils

Standing Committee received a report from the Diocesan Secretary and –

(a)      made the regulation referred to in the report under clause 6(5) of the Standing Committee Ordinance 1897, and

(b)      requested the Diocesan Secretary to prepare amendments to the Synod Elections Ordinance 2000 to give effect to the additional matters referred to in the report.

Mission Board

Mr Graham Murray was elected.

Ordinance Reviewers

Mrs Elisabeth Boyce was elected.

Sydney Diocesan Education and Book Committee

Mrs Rhonda Watson and the Rev Zac Veron were elected.

Sydney Diocesan Secretariat

Mr Ian Miller, Mr Warwick Olson AM, Dr Stephen Judd and Bishop Robert Forsyth were elected.

Arden Anglican School Council
Department of Evangelism, Board of Management
Mission Property Committee
NSW Council of Churches, Diocesan Representatives on
St Andrew’s House Corporation, Council of
Sydney Diocesan Superannuation Fund Board

These matters were deferred.

Casual vacancies

(a) Sydney Anglican Indigenous Peoples’ Ministry Committee – Pastor Jim Lawrence had resigned and Mr Ray Beale had died and vacancies were declared for 2 Indigenous persons to be appointed by the Archbishop with the approval of the Standing Committee and taking into account the recommendations of the Indigenous Committee.

(b) General Synod, Sydney Representatives – Archdeacon Deryck Howell and the Rev Dr Andrew Cameron had resigned and vacancies were declared for 2 clerical members.  Dr Andrew Tong had also resigned and a vacancy was declared for a lay member.

Mr Stephen Tong was elected as the lay member.

The Rev Allison Street and the Rev Gavin Poole were elected as the clerical members.

Secretariat and Glebe Board


Standing Committee noted that the minute book had been tabled.

Report of the Chief Executive Officer

Standing Committee received a report.

Financial Matters

Local revenues test

Receipt of Report

Standing Committee received a report from the Secretary of the Finance Committee about the parish of Bankstown.

Request for report from the George’s River Regional Council

Standing Committee requested Georges River Regional Council report to the meeting of the Standing Committee on the 18 February 2008 as to –

(a)      what strategies are being implemented by the Parish of Bankstown to develop discipleship, disciple making, to develop Christian growth, leadership and ways and means of reaching the lost in the Parish, and

(b)      what Diocesan support is required to nurture and support the Parish, the Parish leadership team, the Rector and his family.

Actions by the Work Outside the Diocese Committee under delegated authority

Standing Committee noted that, acting under delegated authority, the Work Outside the Diocese Committee had ratified the payment and approved the expenditure outlined in a report.

Legal costs of respondents before the Diocesan Tribunal and Discipline Tribunal

Standing Committee –

(a)      received a report, and

(b)      approved the scale of costs included in the report for the purposes of clause 69(2) of the Discipline Ordinance 2006.

Actions by the Finance Committee under delegated authority

Standing Committee noted that, acting under delegated powers, the Finance Committee had –

(a)      approved the form prescribed for the parish Prescribed Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2007 under clause 20(1)(k) of the Church Administration Ordinance 1990, and

(b)      approved the form prescribed for the parish Annual Financial Returns for the 2007 year in accordance with clause 5(1) of the Assessment and Charges Ordinance 1975.

Synod Matters

Synod minutes of 25 September 2007

Standing Committee noted that 2 members of the Minute Reading Committee have signed the minutes, and recommended that the Archbishop also sign them.

Summary of Proceedings of the 2007 Synod Proceedings

Standing Committee noted –

(a)      the Summary of the Synod Proceedings will be printed in the 2008 Year Book, and

(b)      the Summary has been published on the Synod’s Internet home page.

General communication of Synod decisions

Standing Committee noted that the Diocesan Secretary will send a circular to parishes and organisations on matters arising from the Synod session, including a copy of the resolutions passed and highlighting the matters of particular interest.

Resolutions of the Synod

Standing Committee noted a report and the action taken or proposed to be taken in relation to each resolution made by the Synod at its recent session.

Synod attendances

Standing Committee noted a report setting out details of Synod attendances.

Synod in 2008

Standing Committee received a report from the Diocesan Secretary and –

(a)      supported the proposal outlined in the report in principle, and

(b)      indicated its preference that the proposed 2008 event not be a formal part of the Synod, and

(c)      requested that a further report about the proposal together with costings be brought to the Standing Committee in due course.

Other Matters

Appellate Tribunal reference on women bishops

Receipt of report

Standing Committee received a report from the Diocesan Secretary.

Response to opinion of Appellate Tribunal

Standing Committee recorded its disappointment with the majority opinion of the Appellate Tribunal concerning the effect of the amendment to the definition of "Canonical Fitness" in section 74(1) of the 1961 Constitution.

Letter from the Rev Dr Keith Mascord

Receipt of Mascord letter

Standing Committee received a letter from the Rev Dr Keith Mascord.

Receipt of report

Standing Committee received a report from the group appointed to meet with Dr Mascord.

Standards of personal behaviour

Standing Committee encouraged the Archbishop to take steps to raise the profile of the standards of personal behaviour and conduct in pastoral relationships required of all clergy and other church workers in the Diocese, outlined in the Faithfulness in Service code (Second Edition, 2006), particularly sections 4 and 6.

Adequacy of grievance procedures

Standing Committee requested the Safe Ministry Board to report (with recommendations) on the adequacy of grievance procedures in the areas of pastoral relationships and personal behaviour covered by sections 4 and 6 of the Faithfulness in Service code (Second Edition, 2006) (with reference to the procedures outlined in section 3).”

Secure on-line access to minutes and agendas

Standing Committee received a report from the Diocesan Secretary and agreed to the Manager, On-line Services providing a brief presentation to the next meeting about secure on-line access to Standing Committee minutes and agendas with a view to making minutes and agendas available to members after that time.

Meeting dates for 2008

Standing Committee agreed to the following meeting dates for 2008 –

18 February              28 July
31 March                  25 August
28 April                    22 September
26 May                     10 November
23 June                    8 December

noting that the 1st session of the 48th Synod is to be held on 13, 14, 15, 20 and 21 October 2008.

Sudanese immigrants

Hostility to Sudanese immigrants

Standing Committee, while pleased that Australia offers a safe haven for those fleeing violence in many parts of the world, is nonetheless disturbed that recent comments by the Federal Immigration Minister about African immigrants in general, and Sudanese in particular, have led to a perceived increase in hostility to Sudanese living in Australia.  Standing Committee therefore –

(a)      urged all Australian governments to set an example in heeding the command of God, originally given to the nation of Israel: ‘The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:34)’, and

(b)          requested that governments provide generous assistance and support to those from other cultures to help them settle into the Australian community, and

(c)      asked public figures to refrain from comments which reflect badly on specific groups in the community, and which may be used by others as an excuse for violence.

Communication of motion to members of parliament

Standing Committee asked that the Diocesan Secretary convey this motion to members of the Federal and New South Wales Parliaments.

Request for similar motions to be moved at General Synod

Standing Committee requested the Sydney representatives on General Synod to move motions similar to the above at the forthcoming session of General Synod.

TEC House of Bishops’ response to the Windsor Report

Standing Committee respectfully requested the Archbishop to write to the Archbishop of Canterbury expressing Standing Committee’s profound concern that the majority report from the Joint Standing Committees of the Primates and the ACC considers that the TEC House of Bishops response to the Windsor Report and the Primates’ Dar es Salaam Communique to be either positive, adequate or appropriate.

Standing Committee noted that –

(a)      the TEC bishops request that the Bishop of New Hampshire should be invited to attend the 2008 Lambeth Conference,

(b)      there continue to be ‘blessings’ of same-gender relationships in many Dioceses of the TEC, as instanced in Bishops’ letters to their people after the House of Bishops meeting,

(c)      the TEC bishops continue to engage in legal suits against parishes that are  leaving the TEC to join with other Anglican provinces, in spite of the Primates’ request that they desist from such actions, and

(d)      that some TEC bishops also continue to harass other clergy and laity who espouse traditional Anglican teaching and practice though remaining within the TEC.

(e)      the gospel proclaimed by the TEC calls for the full and equal participation in the life of the church of gay and lesbian persons despite agreement to restrain from ordaining or consecrating such persons, which in the context of their reply is contrary to the undertaking given.

Standing Committee also respectfully requested the Archbishop to send this resolution to the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia so that it may be included in the Australian response to the TEC House of Bishops’ response.

Finally Standing Committee expressed its total support for the Archbishop of Sydney’s opinions outlined in his article “The Next Twenty Years for Anglican Christians” that was published in the Church Times on 12 October 2007.

Date of next meeting

Monday 12 November 2007.