Inaugural session of the new General Synod

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Following their election in October, representatives of the Diocese of Chester attended the inaugural meeting of the new General Synod in November

The 14 elected members will sit with other representatives from around the country for a five-year term during which time they are expected to consider important changes affecting the whole of the Church of England.

One elected member who was elected to the House of Laity is Sam Wilson, and, at 23 years old, is thought to be one of Synod's youngest individuals. He said the inaugural session at times left him feeling overwhelmed: "As one of the youngest members at 23, it was easy to feel overwhelmed. Not only had some representatives sat on Synod longer than I’d been alive, but as the papers fell into my inbox, I realised that there was almost an entirely different language to learn, and that was before I discovered that how debate in the chamber progressed - this was no PCC!"

He described how, following an introduction to some of the many groups and national institutions that will feature over the course of the five-year-Synod, he was struck by the range of views he heard from laity, clergy, and bishops: "Each layperson, vicar, or bishop I spoke to brought something different to the debate, with experiences of chaplaincy, rural ministry, children’s work or even the dreaded world of finance (dreaded for me at least!) to name just a few."

Sam explained that he stood for General Synod as he felt the Church could do more to minister to young people: "One of the reasons I stood for General Synod is that I feel the Church could do more to minister to our nation’s young people and so I was glad to find that schoolchildren from across the country had joined us in London to talk to us about the vision and strategy of our Church over the next ten years."


Sam, third from left, joined other reps from Chester on a visit to Westminster Abbey on the Tuesday.

Reflecting on his inaugural session, Sam said he feels optimistic for the challenges Synod faces over the next five years. He said: "There was always someone sat next to me who, although we might vote differently on whatever item was up for debate, would happily introduce themselves and talk about their perspective. I have hope that, although there are some huge decisions to be made over the next five years, this Synod will do its best to work together, prayerfully and calmly, as our Church faces some of its biggest challenges yet. It will be hard, and sometimes painful, but all things, even those we least expect, are possible with Him."

You can find all the relevant information, documents, and papers for the November 2021 group of sessions on the Church of England website here


All 14 elected members representing the Diocese of Chester at General Synod 


Page last updated: 1st December 2021 12:32 PM