© St Ninians Episcopal Church, Glasgow which is a charity registered under no.SC010966
Rector writes  Last Saturday in Kilmarnock was the first meeting of the Electoral Synod convened to commence the process which, ultimately, will produce a successor to Bishop Gregor. I think it might be helpful if I set out how the process unfurls. The meeting on Saturday past was to perform two tasks – elect two clerical and two lay members who would form the Preparatory Committee, and oversee the production of a large document entitled the “Diocesan Description” which sets out the history of the diocese and its structures together with a description of each charge composed at local level. The clerical members elected are Rev Canon Sandy Montgomerie from the North Ayrshire Team and Rev Andrea Hagenbuch from St Andrew’s, Milngavie. The two lay members are Kennedy Fraser from St James-the-less, Bishopbriggs, and Nicolette Wise from St Margaret’s, Castle Douglas. The Preparatory Committee is composed of the Primus as chair together with representatives from the Province and the four folk just mentioned. The Primus will issue a formal Mandate on 12th October which allows the whole process to proceed under the terms of Canon 4. The critical task of the Preparatory Committee is to prepare an advert to describe the diocese and what, in broad terms, we seek. There will be a meeting in Paisley on 3rd November to finalise the advert and confirm that the Diocesan Description book is as it should be. It is hoped that the formal advert will go out by the end of November with nominations to be received by January 2019. The Preparatory Committee then have the task of taking the applications and deciding who ought to be interviewed. Canon Law dictates that this winnowing process should produce no less than three candidates and no more than 5. This short-leeting should be completed by the end of January. An Electoral Synod is then to convene at the Cathedral, provisionally on 9th March, with a second meeting for the final decision on 16th March. Assuming all that I have described proceeds smoothly then a Consecration can be expected at the end of June 2019. It is important to note that all the work of the Preparatory Committee and all meetings thereafter of the Episcopal Synod are strictly confidential and in due course I will not be able to share with you any details until the successful candidate has emerged. It goes without saying that everything described is all about processes and legalities. However, the task of the Electoral Synod is set within a deeply spiritual and sacred task. Each member of the Synod needs to contemplate all these issues within the context of prayer and study. Equally I ask your prayers for me and for Tom Baylis, our Lay Rep, as we progress through the various stages. Also, I ask that all of us pray that out of this process there shall emerge a person who can be a worthy Bishop for this diocese; above all, that we all discern the wisdom and prompting of God in this sacred process. At the opening Eucharist in Kilmarnock last week at the Offertory we sang the hymn “I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity….” The penultimate verse says it all –   I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead, his eye to watch, his might to stay, his ear to harken to my need. The wisdom of my God to teach, his hand to guide, his shield to ward; the word of God to give me speech, his heavenly host to be my guard. The Rector
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