Report of the 133rd Synod (2003) of
The Church in Jamaica and The Cayman Islands
in the Province of The West Indies

Table of Contents

Business Session
Lord Bishop's Charge, Part II
Proposed Budget & 2002 Performance
Committee Reports
Stewardship
Resolutions
Night Sessions
Nuttall Hospital

The 133rd Annual Synod of the Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands in the Province of the West Indies was held over the period Tuesday April 22 to Friday April 25 2003 under the theme: -

"We are the body of Christ, An Instrument of God's Spirit Herald of God's Reign"

The Synod commenced at 4:30 p.m. in the Trelawny Parish Church, Falmouth with the service of Evensong at which the Lord Bishop the Rt. Reverend Hon Dr. Alfred Reid delivered the first part of his charge.

In delivering his charge the Lord Bishop selected his text from I Corinthians 12:12 & 27

"As the Body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body being many are one body, so also is Christ…for in one spirit we are all baptised into one body"

He pointed out that as our country and indeed the world slips deeper and deeper into crisis and chaos many people ask the question "What is the church doing to help?" Some he said have "even" stated that the church has failed, and that an easy answer would be to say it is not the church that has failed but that individuals, societies, institutions and nations have ignored or rejected the church's message.

The Lord Bishop pointed out that it is not that Christianity has been tried and found wanting but that it has been found to go against the values and wishes of the world, and not tried.

The success he said, consists in never giving up on ourselves, our country, our church and keeping our eyes on the prize however long the march may be.

In closing the Lord Bishop challenged the members of the church to renew themselves in the faith, worship and fellowship that have been given to us in Christ. Our own morality he pointed out must be unquestionable. We need to clarify what we really believe and to whom we are committed. (Copy of full text available on request)


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Business Session of Synod

The second part of Synod which dealt with the business of the Diocese was conducted at the Starfish Trelawny Hotel presided over by the Lord Bishop.
The Agenda included:
  • Daily Worship - Morning Prayer, celebration of the Eucharist and Evensong.
  • The Lord Bishop's Charge Part II
  • Tabling of Reports - Boards, Committees, Organisations
  • Reports on resolutions 2002
  • Taking of Amendments to Canons
  • Estimates of Receipts and Expenditure 2003
  • The Jamaica Church Missionary Society's Report
  • The Department of Education and Youth
  • Election to Diocesan Boards and Committees
  • Closing Remarks Courtesies and Blessing

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Lord Bishop's Charge Part II

The Lord Bishop in the second part of his charge highlighted:

Casino Gambling
Noted facts and figures on Casino Gambling from many cities showing earnings from taxes to be far less than social gains, hence failure to bring economic development.

The War in Iraq
Statements from Heads of Churches - The Archbishop of Canterbury, Head of the Roman Catholic Church in England, The Jamaica Council of Churches all together showing remarkable unanimity among mainline churches against the war in Iraq.

Election and Enthronement of the Rt. Rev. Rowan Williams Archbishop of Canterbury
The ceremony attended by himself, the Chancellor of the Diocese Hon. Lensley Wolfe and Canon Robert Thompson who is a member of the Anglican Consultative Committee. In passing he noted that Canon Robert has now been appointed a member of the Anglican Trust Fund (in the wider Anglican community)

Provincial Matters

  • The Lord Bishop noted the establishment of the Provincial Head Office in Barbados thus centralising the administration of the Province.
  • Tabled a communiqué on the War in Iraq issued by the House of Bishops at its recent meeting in Barbados (Copy available at the Church Office on request)
  • The Caribbean Council of Churches now having its headquarters in Trinidad
  • The Jamaica Council of Churches holding consultation on discipline in schools-being presided over by Bishop Howard Gregory

Diocesan Matters
The Lord Bishop welcomed new members of the Synod including the Rt. Rev. Dr. Howard Gregory attending his first synod as Bishop of the region. Named nine newly ordained Deacons and three priests all of whom were introduced to Synod.

  • He referred to the consecration of the Bishop of Montego Bay being the high point of the year's activities.
  • Offered thanks to Archdeacon Lynch for administering the region prior to Bishop Howard assuming office.
  • Noted the retirement of Sister Norma Thompson as head of the Church Army, now succeeded by Sister Phyllis Thomas

Announcements
The under mentioned appointments came into effect during the year:

  • Rev. Louis Hurst - Priest-in-Charge, Mavis Bank/Woodford Cure
  • Rev. Sydney Moore - Curate, Christ Church Vineyard Town
  • Rev. Richard Tucker - Curate, St. Luke's Church, Cross Roads
  • Rev. Andrew Reid - Assistant Curate, The Cathedral Spanish Town
  • Rev. Marion Sutton - Priest-in-Charge, Fellowship/Moore Town Cure
  • Rev. Kenute Francis - Rector of the newly established Cure of St. John's Ocho Rios
  • Rev. Leroy Johnson, Rector Church of Reconciliation Bridgeport
  • Rev. Everton Cunningham, Curate in Charge, St. Andrew Parish Church
  • Rev. Witson Williams, Rector St. Matthews Church, Allman Town succeeding Canon Weevil Gordon who retired
  • Canon Ewart Gordon - retired and reassigned as Hospital Chaplain to Kingston Public Hospital succeeding Rev. Maj. Egbert Schloss
  • Rev. Dr. Edmund Davis - appointed Dean of Kingston succeeding Rev. Canon Weevil Gordon on retirement

Congratulatory remarks and Commendation
The Lord Bishop commended the organisations of the church for their work and contribution naming the Women's Auxiliary for their support in particular to the Pastoral Aid; the Mothers Union, the Brotherhood of St. Andrew and the Anglican Youth Fellowship for their faithfulness in ministry.

  • Noted that all students at the United Theological College had been successful in their final examination
  • The Awards of Honour received by several members of the church community
  • The Rev. Sirrano Kitson was successful in a Doctoral Degree from the University of the West Indies
  • The arrival of a daughter to Dr. and Mrs. Nigel Elliott and a son to Rev. and Mrs. Kenute Francis

Obituaries

Condolences were expressed to members of the church family who lost loved ones during the year. Synod observed one minute of silence in their memory.


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Proposed Budget 2003 and Review of Performance 2002

Mr. Michael Fennell, Chairman of the Diocesan Financial Board presented the 2003 Diocesan Budget as well as a review of the performance of the 2002 budget.

The review of the performance for 2002 indicated actual expenditure of $61,948,648 against a budget of $64,664,521 while the budgeted expenditure for 2003 indicated $77,963,992.

The 2003 budget represents a 25.9% increase over 2002 actual expenditure (15.5% prior year) the major causes of which are a full year's salary for the Bishop of Montego Bay and his Secretary, filling of vacancies for clerical and lay workers, significant increases in the costs of health insurance and utilities.

Summary of Major Items of 2003 Budget

i Employment of five new rectors, one new assistant priest, three new deacons and two new Chaplains

ii Filling of vacancies for one Divisional Director of Youth, one Diocesan Inspector of Buildings as well as one Senior Accounting Clerk

The Budget is predicated on the following assumptions:

  • 7 ½% inflation rate
  • 10% increase in stipends and salaries of Clergy and Church workers
  • 7.5% increase in salaries of administrative and ancillary staff
  • Average foreign exchange rates of US$1 = J$55, Can$1 = J$34.925 and £1=J$83.325

Assessments
The amount to be raised by assessments to fund the budget is $58,068,643. This represents an increase of 8.5% over 2002 (14.3% prior year)

Capital Budget
A proposed Capital Expenditure of $10.8 million will focus on refurbishment of upstairs offices and lunchroom at Church House, as well as on the continued improvement in computerisation and communication with congregations thereby enhancing reporting efficiencies. Landscaping of the grounds of Church House and other general improvements to walkways and fencing will also be attended to. Other Capital expenditure will provide improvement to Hill Crest Retreat Centre and Bishop Swaby Camp in Negril. It is of note that Churches and Missions are not being called upon to make any contribution to these costs either by assessment or otherwise as the costs will be met from interest already earned.

Diocesan Properties
Major remodelling and refurbishing of the Bishop of Jamaica's residence has been substantially completed with security alarm systems and furnishings to be addressed this year. Major repairs are also to be effected to the residence at University Crescent and for the new Church Army officer/Hospital Chaplain in Montego Bay.

Synod unanimously approved the Budget 2003 and after commendation to the Chairman Mr. Michael Fennell for a great performance in his short tenure of office was unanimously elected for the ensuing year.

Audited Financial Statements Year Ended 31st December 2002
The Audited Financial Statements for year ended December 31, 2002 by Paul Goldson and Co. Chartered Accountants were presented and approved. It was noted that an inventory of Freehold Land and Buildings was not available for audit, however Synod was informed that a fair amount of work had already been done and is continuing. Paul Goldson and Co. was elected auditors for the year 2003.


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Reports

Many Reports on the status of various committees were tabled for discussion among which were:

The Jamaica Church Missionary Society
The report on the Society was presented by its Chairman the Rt. Rev. Dr. Harold Daniel. The report recorded its appreciation to the many congregations that supported the Society in 2002 with an increase in contribution of eight percent over 2001. Special mention was made of those, which were consistently generous including St. Andrew Parish Church, which contributed $164,380. Increasingly, the Society is being asked to assist Missions to build new facilities or to do necessary restoration work or to support the church's mission work in general. Additionally the Society continues to supplement the operational expenses of varied outreach programmes including our own St. Andrew Settlement and provides grants to Development projects such as Greater Portmore Mission, Diocesan Retreat Centre, Browns Town, and Bishop Swaby Camp among others.

Bishop Daniel and his team received commendation for a laudable report. A suggestion by our Youth Rep. Nomali Lumsden that a representative be commissioned in each congregation to promote the work of the missionary society was well received.

Education and Youth Department
The report highlighted the work of the Departments' respective divisions, i.e. Christian Education, Schools and Youth.

A number of additional responsibilities were assigned to the office of the Executive Director as per the revised job description. These were

  • organizing and facilitating the production of all department publications
  • facilitating the development of the Department's resource facility
  • organizing the Annual Teaching Conference
  • revising the out of print handbook for Anglicans (being vigorously pursued)

Accordingly the Department has since acquired a number of resource equipment such as overhead projector, video, camcorder, books, videotapes and television set.

The prayer book for children has been accomplished. A Christian Teaching Conference was held at the Runaway Bay Hotel preceded by a one-day seminar both highlighting the theme "Helping Our People Endure/Emerge in a Time of Crisis"


Division of Christian Education


Sunday School
The year 2002 was declared The Year of the Sunday School Teacher. Accordingly six residential storytelling Workshops, six Bible Literary Seminars and two Regional Courses for Superintendents were accomplished. The formulation of a new curriculum for Sunday Schools is in progress.

Adult Christian Education
A programme to prepare Christian Education Facilitators within their respective Deaneries is being promoted.

The Alpha Programme, which utilises the method of small group encounters as a tool of evangelism, is currently being promoted in the Deaneries of St. Andrew and St. Thomas.

Christian Education in Schools
Regular meetings are now being held with Principals of Anglican Schools and Anglican Principals of Government Owned Schools with a view to broadening the Chaplaincy programme in our Schools. There have also been meetings with teachers of Religious Education.

The objectives of the Adult Education programme for 2003 were highlighted as follows:-

  • Formulation of a new curriculum for Sunday schools
  • To commence the Deanery Christian Education Programme in the Portmore area
  • To further hone the skill content and confidence of these Christian Educators by trying out the Adult Sunday School Programme
  • To continue the Alpha Programme in the Deanery of St. Andrew and begin in the parish of Clarendon

Division of Youth Ministry
Plans to continue programmes aimed at Youth membership of our congregations were made in the hope that a Divisional director would be found to spearhead the Ministry. Persons interested in being the Divisional director should contact the Church House. Several areas were outlined for action and implementation among which were:-

  • providing training in leadership for the general membership of youth Fellowships
  • organizing and facilitating the running of the diocesan Youth Camps and training of camp personnel.
  • Facilitating the promotion of Diocesan Youth Week and organizing the activities for the return of the Anglican Youth Rally

Efforts were made to strengthen the network viz the role of Deanery Coordinators. These Deanery Coordinators would work in collaboration with Rectors and Priests-in-Charge to ensure the viability of the Youth Ministry Network at all levels.

Provincial Youth Gathering
A Provincial Youth Gathering is Scheduled to be held in Antigua August 9 -17, 2003. The Diocese of Jamaica is expected to send 22 persons to include 18 Youth and 4 Chaperones one of whom must be a priest involved in Youth Ministry.

The Appointment of a Youth Director and a sustained programme of education outlining the benefits of a vibrant youth ministry are objectives that must be met in the year ahead.

Division of Schools
A presentation was made on the work being carried out in Anglican Schools. It highlighted training sessions and seminars targeting principals and chairpersons with special mention of a seminar on "worship in schools". Extensive repairs were done to teachers' cottages which have since been occupied by their respective teaching staff. Information is being gathered on Church-owned Basic Schools and the Division intends to work closely with the Resource personnel in the Ministry of Education in getting these schools to acceptable standards.

In concluding the report of the Education and Youth Department Rev. Grace Jervis in impassioned plea for support to the youth highlighted statistical data on criminal activity among teenage youth. She proposed the way forward to include:

  • Identification and commissioning of Youth Ministers;
  • Establishment of mentorship programmes;
  • Establishment of social integration Centres;
  • Utilization of Diocesan Communication Network.

The Education and Youth Department report concluded with the launch of a "Children's Prayer Book", received with wide acclaim which are available at the Church house at a cost of $500 each.


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Stewardship

Coordinator of the Stewardship Committee Rt. Rev. Harold Daniel tabled the report of the Stewardship Committee.

The report highlighted:

  • The Policy Document which has been revised. This will soon be made available in a printed booklet form.
  • The expanded version of the original Stewardship study guide is being revised to convert it into a user-friendly resource for congregations engaged in continuing study of Christian Stewardship.
  • Consideration is being given for the production of a video to accompany the manual.
  • Mention was made that Canon Robert Thompson, a member of the Committee, is on two years study leave with effect from January 2003.

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Resolutions

The following is the list of resolutions passed:-

RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Concern was expressed that members of our Church did not know enough about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and therefore were not able to adequately recognize and use them for the common good. It was resolved that the Bishop in Diocesan Council commission a study that would provide guidance for laity and clergy in the recognition and exercise of the gifts of the Spirit including, among others, those in the context of 1st Corinthians 12-14. Moved and Seconded by Nomali Lumsden and Yolande Whitely respectively.


RESOLUTION CONCERNING MINISTERIAL & SPIRITUAL FORMATION AT U.T.C.W.I.
There is a concern that UTCWI does not adequately address the Anglican Church's emphasis on spirituality and priestliness. This resolution authorizes the Bishop in council to appoint a committee to assess the current process and formulate a comprehensive training programme for the preparation of persons for priestly vocation which would complement the academics of UTCWI.

RESOLUTION CONCERNING EUCHARISTIC LAY-MINISTERS
It was resolved that the Bishop in Diocesan Council take steps to examine the introduction of a ministry in which licensed Lay Persons are used to take the Sacrament of Holy Communion to the sick and shut in members of our Church.

RESOLUTION CONCERNING APPRECIATION TO THE REV. CANON RALSTON SMITH
The Reverend Canon Ralston Smith, who has been faithful in his offering of inspired prayers at the opening of Synod for many years, demits office as the Warden of Anglican Students at the United Theological College of the West Indies at the end of the 2003 academic year and will no longer be available to offer his service in that capacity. Synod by way of resolution recorded its appreciation for his distinguished contribution and extended to him sincere wishes for many more years of fruitful service to the glory of God.


RESOLUTION CONCERNING NAME CHANGE OF THE "JAMAICA CHURCHMAN"
In an effort to increase the awareness of the identity of this Anglican publication and to make it gender inclusive a resolution was passed which allows for the name of the Jamaica Churchman to be changed. A competition may be held to come up with a name but suggestions from the floor of Synod included "The Anglican."


RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE JAMAICA CHURCH PENSION SCHEME
It was resolved that a number of amendments be made to the pension scheme which would result in among other things (1) pension being based on the "final pensionable salary" which would be the greater between the average of the three highest consecutive years of salary and the annual rate in the month of retirement or death; (2) Interest being calculated and paid where a full pension is not payable (3) triennial instead of quintennial valuations for pension schemes and contributions and (4) the membership of the scheme to specifically acknowledge male and female persons e.g. "Lady workers" changed to "Lay workers" The resolution was moved by Mr. Michael Fennell




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Night Sessions

On Wednesday night Mr. John Aarons made a very interesting presentation on the historical "treasures" that belong to our Church including statistical data, photographs, artwork and other artifacts. He gave some goods points on how to preserve such items, enlightened us on the history of some of the church buildings and stressed the need to give historical documents to the National Archives which is the safest environment for them.

On Thursday night The Rt. Reverend Hon. Dr. Alfred Reid warmed our hearts and awakened our minds when he shared with us the vision for the "Cross Roads property" being the land on which the Church House and the Deaconess House are situated. It would be a large scale multi-million dollar venture which would see the re-establishment of an Anglican College for the further training of our UTCWI students and the clergy and laity at large, as well as a home for the aged, a "Half-way" house and apartments. He shared with us the story of how the Anglican Church obtained this property and how it seemed ordained to be located where it was. The Reverend Bishop in an act which showed total reliance upon our Lord stated that we should not be discouraged by the fact that we could not readily see where the funding would come from as the Lord would provide same if it is His will.


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Nuttall Hospital

The hospital continues to struggle but a presentation was made by our Dr. Vincent Lawrence, Chairman of the Nuttall Board, during the Thursday night session which indicated that Specialist Diagnostics Limited - a group of Jamaican professionals in Florida - had approached the Hospital with the desire to establish a major diagnostic laboratory and imaging center on the compound. Due diligence has been carried out on the organization and steps are being taken to put the plans in place. This would go a long way in making the hospital financially stable.

Statistical Data
The registered assembly at Synod consisted of 312 persons comprised of Bishops and Clergy 99, Lay Representatives, Church Army Officers, Ex Officio, Youth Representatives, Diocesan Organisations and United Theological Students 213.

Attending from St Andrew Parish Church were:

  • Rev. Everton Cunningham - Curate-in-Charge
  • Mrs. Marie Isaacs - Lay Representative
  • Miss Yolande Whitely - Lay Representative
  • Miss Nomali Lumsden - Deanery Youth Representative
  • Mr. Michael Fennell - Chairman Diocesan Financial Board
  • Dr. Vincent Lawrence - Member Incorporated Lay Body


Elections to Boards and Committees
The under mentioned members of St. Andrew Parish Church were elected by Synod to serve as indicated: -

  • Mrs. Nicole Elliott - Church Army Council
  • Mrs. Elsie Aarons _ Board of Mission and Ministry
  • Ms. Yolande Whitely - Canons Committee
  • Mr. Michael Fennell - Chairman Diocesan Financial Board
  • Dr. Vincent Lawrence - Chairman Nuttall Memorial Hospital

Closing Remarks
The Lord Bishop thanked all who participated and worked hard including the staff of Church House to make the 133rd Synod a success.

A vote of thanks was moved by the Venerable Hollis Lynch Archdeacon of Montego Bay after which the Lord Bishop's Blessing and the Doxology brought Synod to a close at 1:15 p.m. on Friday April 25, 2003

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Prepared by:

  • Marie Isaacs
  • Yolande Whitely

Representatives to Synod 2003

May 21, 2003


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