In the debate at Derby Diocesan Synod the Bishop voted against the proposed ‘Anglican Covenant’ and I note from ‘Thinking Anglicans’ link that the rest of the synod, more or less, followed his lead. The figures show that the majority of people voted the same way as the Bishop in the Derby synod.
I wonder how far voting is influenced by the way the Bishop votes, and how is information communicated beforehand to help people decide?
I would not wish to conclude that people are disproportionately influenced by Bishops just from the Derby result, in any case the AC has been defeated in most other diocese, so far even though the Bishops have voted for the AC.
If we can argue that voting is skewed by Bishops, then this makes the votes against the AC and the majority of Bishops all the more spectacular!
For me though, it does raise a thought, an inkling. By what process do the elected members of these Synod’s get their information on which to base any considered vote and are there questions to be asked about that process?
Some of you out there have been, and will be involved in voting on this, and of course many other matters. I ask you, how did you go about being informed?
In my experience, it is not too difficult to avoid information by dodging the post (binning it) and using the delete button on emails from the diocese and other sources. If this describes you then on what basis do you make decisions as to what information you are going to read, if any?
The message is everything in Synod, but whose message are we listening to? I think that this is so interesting, because that is exactly how it is over differences between denominations and religions, at varying levels. Who you listen to influences what you understand and that , in turn, influences what you believe. It may seem obvious, but it has some fundamental implications for Church. It has been said that we learn our faith at our mothers knee. Your Communications Officer may be your mother!
I was asked to produce a background video for those opposed to the AC, and the reason was that the campaigners against the AC wanted to get their message out to as many people as possible and in as many ways as possible. Getting the message out to people is big business, it is part of the advertising world and money can determine success or failure. Using a volunteer animated cat as part of your campaign does not guarantee success, but success may be coming our way.
Whilst I may seem to be rambling a little, I am wondering about how we communicate ideas, and I wonder who controls that process, and who bothers to listen anyhow. If the AC is defeated then good, we win. Yet that may not mean that the process was in any way balanced. Like the voting figures in Derby Synod.
I cannot get the picture of Mr Sentimoo berating General Synod, waving his finger and shouting, saying that they had no business voting against the will of the Archbishops who knew what they were doing, and demanding that Synod vote a motion to promote the progress of the AC. did the new members, many of whom had no idea what was going on to my certain knowledge, listen to his message and vote accordingly.
- The Proposed Anglican Covenant: a review, November 2011 (mrcatolick.wordpress.com)