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A hybrid meeting of the Synod Council of the Diocese of Ontario was held on Tuesday, May 28, 2024 at 6 pm at St. Mark's Barriefield. Highlights of the meeting include:

Archdeacon Wayne Varley led devotions, focusing on the Trinity, using words from scholar M. T. Wright. Archdeacon Varley ended with the Collect for Trinity Sunday.

The bishop welcomed The Rev. Canon Michael Read as the newly appointed member of Synod Council. He also welcomed Greg Best as the newly appointed chancellor of the diocese. Greg is a member of St Lawrence, Brockville, a choir member, and chair of the parish tree project. Greg Best recited the oath of office and was then seated as chancellor.

The Agenda was adopted. The bishop then stated that he has been at a different parish and ministry setting every week, and has continued to be busy. 

For business arising from the minutes, Synod Council and Synod passed a resolution in support of a $30,000 contribution to the Society for St John the Evangelist for renovation of the Guest House; to date nothing has been collected. Council discussed this, and worked through ideas for the fundraising, which will be reported at the next Synod Council meeting.

Archdeacon Nancy Beale spoke to lifting Diocesan Administration from St Geoge’s, Trenton, and presented nominations for wardens, synod delegates, and “members-at-large" for the parish council. Synod Council approved the slate of people for office, moved to lift Diocesan Administration from the parish, and offered thanks to the people of the parish and Archdeacon Beale for their work.

Canon Michael Read and Barb Gilbert presented on Synod 2025. The dates are 8 to 10 May, 2025, beginning Thursday evening at the Cathedral and ending Saturday afternoon at Queen’s University.  Archbishop Chris Harper will be in attendance as the official observer. The Rt. Rev. Rosemary Mallett (Anglican Church of England suffragan bishop) will be the speaker on the topic of ‘Communities of Hope: Disruptive Grace.’

The Rev. Dr. Ian Ritchie presented for the Green Group on the survey conducted in parishes over fossil fuel consumption in 2023. He noted that the cost of new energy efficient heating is often prohibitive for parishes. There were issues with missing data and lack of parish responses.

Dan Eustace, warden from St Paul’s, Sydenham, presented a renovation plan for the parish.  Currently the old rectory is on the property of the church building. The parish wants to sever the rectory from the church, repair and sell the rectory, and then use the proceeds to pay their debt to the diocese, and then renovate the church building, making it accessible and available for community use. After discussion on the feasibility of the plan and the awareness that the rectory is diocesan property and it is up to the diocese whether or not to offer proceeds from the sale to the parish. A motion was made to sever the property. The motion was passed.

There was discussion regarding the parish at Marmora and a partnership with Habitat for Humanity.  A Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the end of last year with the parish, the diocese, and Habitat for Humanity regarding use of a vacant lot for Habitat. This MOU is simply an understanding and not binding.  Discussion ensued about the plans for building, the large debt of the parish, and what action needs to be taken with the property. No action was mandated.

Archdeacon Varley spoke about the Reach and Stretch Grants and St James, Kemptville.

The Bishop spoke about the deconsecration of St. John the Evangelist in New Dublin. The parish was established in 1798. Synod Council voted to list the deconsecrated church as ‘disused property.’

CFO Alex Pierson presented the First Quarter Financial Report, which is on budget, slightly positive.

With no other business, Synod Council adjourned.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of Synod Council will be Tuesday, June 25, 2024, at 6pm.

The approval of the minutes of the May 26 meeting are pending. For questions about Synod Council, please contact the Ven. David Selzer, Diocesan Executive Officer, by email at or by phone at 613-777-0540.