Dear Friends
A Special Session of Synod - 10th February, 2018:
With the approval of Diocesan Council, I will hold a special session of Synod on Saturday 10th February, in St. James’ Cathedral from 9.30am to 3.00pm, to assent to and/or adopt the General Synod Canons that were passed at the General Synod held last month, in regard to Safe Church and Child Protection.

At the General Synod in September the nine Canons listed below in the two groups were passed. Usually when a General Synod Canon is passed, it goes to each Diocese. For a Canon to come into effect, 75% of the twenty-three dioceses, including the five metropolitan Dioceses have to agree.

These Canons require the urgent attention of the Church. The constitution of General Synod allows for a vote in each House to pass the Canons. For this to succeed there has to be more than a 75% in favour vote in all three Houses. For the Canons to be effective in the Diocese of North Queensland, the Synod of the Diocese must pass the Canon.

With General Synod Canons, we as a Diocesan Synod cannot change the Canon in any way. We either assent to the Canon (we assent to Canons where there is a change in the Constitution) or adopt a Canon (we adopt Canons relating to ministry practices of the Church).

The Canons are on our web page. You can find them by scrolling to the bottom of the home page and clicking on: 2017 General Synod Canons to be adopted by the Diocese of North Queensland - Read now.

The Canons can also be read on the General Synod of Australia website.

The Canons requiring assent are:
Canon 2 Constitution (Appellate Tribunal) Amendment Canon 2017
Canon 6 Constitution (Jurisdiction of Special Tribunal) Amendment Canon 2017
The Canons requiring adoption are:
Canon 4 Safe Ministry to Children Canon 2017
Canon 5 Episcopal Standards (Child Protection) Canon 2017
Canon 7 Offences Amendment Canon 2017
Canon 12 Special Tribunal (Limitation Period) Canon 2017
Canon 16 Canon Concerning Confessions (Revision) Canon 2017
Canon 17 Canon Concerning Confessions (Vulnerable Persons) Canon 2017
Canon 18 Holy Orders (Removal from Exercise of Ministry) Canon 2017
Canon 19 Canon Concerning Services Amendment Canon 2017

If Synod Members would like a hard copy of the Canons, please contact Shelley on admin@anglicannq.org

I will issue the summons to the Synod within the month but I ask that Synod Members please note the date now.

Why call a Special Synod?
1. Our Diocesan Synod is not until next June/July and we in North Queensland need to let both the Church and the Community know that we are serious.
2. Many Dioceses will have passed these Canons either later this year or early next year as this is when their Synods are normally held.
3. In having the Special Synod in February, we use the June/July Synod as a time to address matters that Ministry Units need to follow up on.
4. As Anglicans, we know that we are twenty-three Dioceses that are independent, but the community see the Anglican Church as one body. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has stated several times that as a Church we need to see ourselves as one Church.

Policy 14: Audit of Ministry Unit Accounts:
At the Diocesan Council meeting on Wednesday evening, the Policy titled, “Audit of Ministry Unit Accounts” was passed. There are a couple of tidying up issues that are being attended to at the moment and then the policy will be placed on the Diocesan Webpage at: https://www.anglicannq.org/governance/diocesan-policies-and-regulations

Also, a hard copy of the policy will be mailed to each Ministry Unit for inclusion into the Diocesan Information Document (DID).

This policy will go after page 171 of the Appendices section and the four pages of this new policy will be pages 171a, 171b, 171c and 171d. Because of this new policy, the Index pages will be updated and a new index will be forwarded to replace the current index.

You will note that this Policy comes into effect from 31 December 2017. So, this new policy is the basis of Ministry Unit audits in 2018 for the 2017 financial year.

For your Prayers:
Those grieving and suffering as a result of the carnage in Las Vegas as well as those whom are grieving the loss of loved ones.
Mrs Sandy and The Reverend Mark Evans - we assure them of our prayers as they give thanks to God for the earthly life of Sandy’s father.
The Reverend Canon Sharon Hayston as she undergoes surgery next Friday.
The Reverend Scott Hedley, Bec and family as Scott awaits future surgery.
The Reverend Elisabeth Daniels as she continues to recover.
We give thanks that The Reverend Trevor and Mrs Sue Saggers are recovering well, but still need our prayers.
There are others who have undergone medical treatment.

The End of Year Gathering 3 November, 2017:
Each year, Robin and I host a gathering at the Lodge, to give thanks to God for your ministry. The date of the thank you gathering this year is Friday 3 November. Please mark your diaries now and rsvp to my PA at: bishoppa@anglicannq.org for catering purposes. It is a great way to catch up and celebrate all that has been achieved throughout the year!

General Synod:
Space has not permitted me to comment on some of the General Synod motions. I was going to highlight the motion on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people in regard to Domestic Violence. I certainly share the concern of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people regarding this matter, but it is a matter for concern in all sectors of our community. The Diocese of Sydney had an excellent article in “Southern Cross” a little while ago outlining that Domestic Violence is often an issue that is hidden in our Churches. The Church must reach out and care for those who suffer as well as seeking to inform our congregations of the issues surrounding this topic.

Regional Consultations:
Due to diary constraints, there will be no further Regional Consultations in 2017, however, we will be holding consultations in the first half of 2018, in between the two Synods.

Yours in Christ


The Right Reverend William (Bill) Ray
Bishop of North Queensland

Sexual Abuse contact line: 1800 242 544 or 07 3835 2266

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