The first weekend of October, a group of delegates from Holy Trinity Utrecht went to the Archdeaconry Synod. It was held at a place that used to be an Abbey, with a chapel, a church and some beautiful gardens. While the weather was beautiful, we were inside thinking about the different Anglican churches in the Benelux area.
The meeting on the first day was about the Luweero twinning project. The idea here was to find a way to create a stronger connection between our churches and those in Luweero, in central Uganda. There was a lot of discussion and in the end we concluded that a committee should be set up to look at the recommendations regarding this twinning project and come up with new ideas for the synod meetings next year. The evening was rounded off with Compline.
The next morning, after Morning prayer and breakfast, the first order of business was to elect a member of laity and a member of clergy to represent us in the General synod. Following this the Netherlands representatives elected a laity member for the Archdeaconry Standing Committee.
Bishop Robert Innes talked about his ideas of Mission in Europe, adding his own experiences of late, letting us know what he has been doing in the previous months, which was a lot of course! After tea and coffee different Chaplaincies from around the Benelux were able to tell the synod what changes had been taking place in their church. In general there was growth, an increase in activities and a long story on a statue of a Welsh dragon. After lunch we discussed the Mission Working Group, and we focused on the different ways that Anglican theological education could in the short term become part of the North West European landscape. We were also treated to reports from the Diocesan secretary, Adrian Mumford, about what was going on in England with regards to the Anglican church; changes in policy and so forth.
That evening we had drinks and a formal dinner, which was a wonderful moment to get to know other representatives and discuss the challenges each is facing, but also to relax a little after a long day of meetings. Did you know that there is a Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe necktie? Later that evening we were treated to a traditional synodic bar-quiz. Which we did not win, but we did enjoy ourselves.
The following morning, we continued to the best part of the Archdeaconry Synod: the business meeting. The business report for the previous year was approved and the budget for the coming year idem ditto. This meeting went surprisingly quickly and it even left room for the AGM of the Anglican Church for the Netherlands to take place. Both of these were done before lunch, after which we were off on our way back to Utrecht, with a little detour to visit the Ghent Altarpiece (Lam Gods) by the van Eyck brothers.