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Integrity Canada
At General Synod 2001

Integrity team at General Synod 2001!
in behind: Steve Schuh (Vancouver), Bob Webster (Winnipeg), Peter Tovell (Calgary), and John Gartshore (Toronto); in the middle: Ron Chaplin (Ottawa), Bill Wood (Vancouver), BK Hipsher (Niagara Falls), Patti Brace (Sudbury), and Bonnie Crawford-Bewley (Toronto); in front:Chris Ambidge (Toronto), Penelope Holeton (Toronto).

Every three years members from the Anglican Church of Canada meet together in a General Synod to consider matters affecting the whole of the church. This year General Synod 2001 is being held in Waterloo Ontario from 4 to 11 July 2001. As has been our practise for many years, Integrity has had a display area at General Synod with members from the various Canadian chapters present to make our presence in the church seen by all and to offer information and assistance to any member of Synod that requests it.

GS2001 had two major considerations:

GS2001 discussed many other matters during its week long session. Two items of particular interest to Integrity members were on the agenda for Friday, 6 July:

Presentation on Sexuality

Now that our church is becoming more accepting of GLBT members (that have always been in their midst) and the Synod of New Westminster (Vancouver) approved for a second time the blessing of committed same-sex couples, traditionalist within the church are being heard to say "but what about us?" An evening session of GS2001 was therefore held on Friday, 6 July 2001, to discuss the pastoral care of all members as we face this discussion and change across our church.

The session consisted on four short presentations followed by small table discussions. The four presenters, in order, were:

Some of us were fortunate to be able to watch a live webcast of the presentations on Friday night. The text of Chris Ambidge's presentation during this session is attached for your convenience [and posterity as it is an important statement in our continued struggle for full acceptance] as is the full text of Bishop Michael Ingham's presentation. The presentations were video taped and Integrity/Toronto hopes to acquire a copy for our members to view. The points raised during the table discussions are being typed up for Synod members and we hope to have a copy available as well for our members.

The Integrity members present at GS2001, issued a formal letter of thanks to Bishop Michael Ingham in response to the apology issued at General Synod to gays and lesbians. The letter was read into the proceedings of Synod by Bishop Barry Hollowell, Bishop of Calgary. A portion of this letter of thanks was contained in Daily Report #7, issued on 11 July 2001. We now have the full text of Bishop Hollowell's statement and Integrity's Letter of Thanks on our website.

A Call to Human Dignity

As was expected, this reportand its matching resolution had a difficult time at GS2001. We have argued almost continually for the past 20 years over the wording of a human rights policy covering the whole church. In the end "A Call to Human Dignity" was approved by a vote in each of the three 'orders' (lay, clergy and bishops) and when that didn't stop it, a vote was called "by diocese" (something that has never happened in the memory of most members!) where it again passed by a vote of 24 diocese for, 5 opposed and one evenly split. The intemperate language of one of its opponents is reported to have visibly disgusted many Synod members. The official news release has some of the details of the actual proceedings. The Daily Report #7 for 11 July, an "unofficial digest" of the proceedings of GS2001, carries a listing of the vote by diocese.

More Photos from GS2001

Chris Ambidge has placed 83 photos that he took at GS2001 up on his own web site:


There are several photos of GS2001 on the Anglican Communion website taken by Jim Rosenthal:
Look for a spectacular profile and head-on photo of Chris Ambidge as he made his presentation during the sexuality session on 6 July!

Please note: It has been necessary to remove the links to the national church website as they no longer store the records of GS2001 online. This may make some of the text a bit disjointed for which we apologise.


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This Page last Updated: 31 August 2004