Sunday, 19 September 2010

I'm standing for General Synod

Yes I've decided to stand and so I thought I would share my election address with you and this is it:

I’m writing to let you know that I am standing for General Synod and why I think that I have something to offer in this role.

I was ordained in the diocese in 1988 and served a curacy in North Manchester before moving to Salford where I have been ever since.  I have been Priest in Charge, Team Vicar and Team Rector in Pendleton. Over 6 years ago, I moved to my current parishes of St Philip’s and Sacred Trinity, Salford, where I am again a Priest in Charge. I am currently Area Dean of Salford. I served for 10 years as a councillor for Langworthy Ward in the City of Salford. In my time on the City Council I was vice-chair of the Environment, Housing & Planning Scrutiny committee and I chaired Scrutiny Commisisions and a variety of meetings. I still chair the City’s Cycle Forum and my local Regeneration Forum. Since 2009 I have been Chair of the House of Clergy in the Diocese. I don’t entirely sit within any church tradition, but I have been most influenced and shaped by the Open Evangelical and Liberal Catholic traditions and hope I draw from a wide range of tradition in trying to serve God faithfully in my context. I am very much an Anglican but draw a lot of spiritual nourishment from places like the Iona Community, Taizé and Greenbelt.

I offer myself to be one of your representatives on General Synod because I believe I have much to offer and some priorities I would like to promote.

I am very experienced in Urban Ministry and have a passion for helping the church to relate the Gospel to a variety of circumstances. My experience is not just within the church, but also on the City Council and a variety of other bodies. I have gained a lot of experience in regeneration and handling change. Through being Chair of the House of Clergy, I have been getting to know people’s situations around the diocese and so I have a broad knowledge of the Manchester church. I have been in a Team of several churches and currently have two churches under my care. I think it’s important that those who are looking after more than one church are supported and that structures work for us.

I am passionately committed to the church being inclusive. On the issue of women bishops, I am firmly in favour. When the mind of the church is clear on this issue I think it would be counter-productive to drag this out. I don’t want people to leave the church but it’s important to move forward. The media and people “out there” will give us a hard time over this but it won’t get any easier by dragging it out. Inclusivity is not just about women bishops; it’s about developing a culture where all are valued. Some Sundays, in one of my churches, more than half the congregation were born outside the UK. We have to find ways to include people in all their variety.

I passionately want to be part of a church that encourages creativity. Our Tradition is important but so is our ongoing journey with God. For the Church of England to thrive in the 21st century we will need to be creative with our liturgy, our structures, our ways of working.

I’ve been ordained a long time and I’ve been involved in church politics for a long time but I still passionately believe we need to keep Jesus at the centre of our church life. There are times when it’s easy to feel frustrated with the church but at these times we need to go back to the roots of our faith.

I’ve been a parish priest for over 20 years and I care passionately about the way the Gospel is brought alive for people in their local church. I want the resources of the church to be supporting effective local engagement through priests and people in their local churches. If you would like to ask me any questions please do contact me.

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