Dr Roy Fidge, Diocesan Secretary writes…

The temptation to dwell on troubles afflicting Christianity can distract us from spreading the Good News of the Gospel, delegates to the 15th synod of the Diocese of the United Kingdom were told.

“The concerns we have about the trends we see around us in the modern Church are still with us,” the Very Revd Damien Mead, Vicar General of the DUK, said in his Charge to Synod. “The liberalizing of sexual morality, divorce, the ordination of women, heterodox theology and liturgy, and just when we think it can’t get worse we hear of another innovation or development.

“The United Kingdom has a great need for God,” he went on. “In our small part of the mission field, I am increasingly aware that there are people who are watching us in the ACC. They are evaluating the possibility of making their home with us.” But, he added, schisms and rows in the ACC during the first decade of the diocese’s existence likely prevented our numbers–and the ACC in the British Isles–from being larger.

“But despite these setbacks, the ACC had remained and overcome problems,” Father Mead said. “We have moved forward. … Throughout we have maintained our integrity.”We have a Gospel to proclaim. However, we must be certain what we are proclaiming: put simply, the faith once delivered to the saints; historic, orthodox Catholicism, nothing more, nothing . … People in general are yearning to know Jesus. You and I know what God has done for us in Christ. He has given us life in abundance. We have an obligation to him to share this knowledge with others.”

The synod met April 22 in the Methodist Central Hall, London, located directly opposite Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. “You can’t get much more central than that,” noted Dr Roy Fidge, Diocesan Secretary. The DUK continues to see slow but steady growth, Father Mead noted in his Vicar General’s report. He cited receptions into the Church, numerous inquiries (including one from a Church of England priest and another from a former Roman Catholic Franciscan) and the establishment of new missions in East Retford, Canterbury and Margate.

Father Mead added that the diocese has tried to raise its profile with more advertising and quality “corporate” information material, as well as equipping missions with better advertising material “to put the ACC on the map in their localities.”

In other action, synod:

* Adopted a budget of £2,400 for 2006. In his report, Treasurer Richard Mann noted a number of milestones during 2005, including a diocese-wide appeal to assist victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the United States, which raised £297.99.

* Consented to the appointment of Diocesan Officers and the Council of Advice (as listed above).

* Sent greetings and congratulations to the Metropolitan, the Most Rev. Mark Haverland, and to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her 80th birthday.

* Agreed on April 14, 2007 as the date for the 16th diocesan synod, to take place in London.