Synod Goes Digital

Pre-Synod Conferences March 23, 25 & 27

In the face of the spike in local COVID-19 cases and related protocols regarding mass gatherings, the 150th Synod of the Diocese of Jamaica & The Cayman Islands will be held on the ZOOM virtual platform from Tuesday, April 6 to Friday, April 9 under the theme “God’s Church for God’s World”.  

Physical presence at the Opening Service, usually attended by hundreds of clergy and laity from across the Diocese, as well as representatives of the State, civil society and the ecumenical fraternity, will be restricted in keeping with the requirements of the Disaster Risk Management Act. The Service at 4.00 pm on April 6 will, therefore, be streamed live. A highlight will be the traditional Charge to the Church and the nation by The Most Rev. Howard Gregory, Archbishop of the West Indies and Diocesan Bishop.

Business sessions will be convened between Wednesday, April 7 and Friday, April 9 to address the finances of the Diocese for the current year, reports from organisations and resolutions for debate. A major agenda item on the first business day will be the Elective Assembly at which delegates will vote for a new Suffragan Bishop of Kingston to replace the Rt. Rev. Robert Thompson, who retired on September 1, 2020.

Three Regional Pre-Synod Conferences are scheduled for Tuesday, March 23, Thursday, March 25 and Saturday, March 27 for the Kingston, Mandeville and Montego Bay Regions, respectively. Lay Representatives, Deanery Youth Representatives and a Representative from each Mission are expected to participate in the online deliberations which will each be preceded by Morning Devotions.

The annual Synod is the highest decision-making body in the Church, and it dates back to 1870 following the passage of legislation for Disestablishment of the Church of England in Jamaica. This legislation paved the way for self-government and placed administrative responsibility in the hands of the Bishop and Synod. The milestone anniversary Synod was cancelled in 2020 as a result of the uncertain environment created by the COVID-19 virus, the first case of which was diagnosed in Jamaica just weeks before the scheduled Conference.