Diocese hosts General Synod

Logo for the Anglican Church of Canada.
 on May 1, 2016

Staff, volunteers prepare for national gathering

In early July, about 300 people from across Canada and farther afield will be descending on a hotel in Richmond Hill for the 41st gathering of General Synod, the national decision-making body that meets every three years.

Working behind the scenes to help make it all run smoothly is a small but dedicated group of staff and volunteers from the Diocese of Toronto, the official host. They’re looking after everything from greeting people at the airport to hosting the opening reception and closing dinner.

“It’s a big job,” says Laura Walton, chair of the Local Arrangements Committee and a member of Christ Church, Batteau.

Ms. Walton estimates the diocese will need about 50 volunteers to accomplish all of the tasks. Jobs include staffing the information desk at General Synod, putting up signage at the event, meeting delegates at the airport and train station and helping out with registration.

There might even be a need for volunteers who are tech-savvy, as General Synod plans to hand out electronic tablets to each delegate.

Cynthia Majewski of St. Clement, Eglinton, is serving as the coordinator of volunteers. She has already started looking for helpers by contacting the churches nearest the hotel.

General Synod will be held July 7-12 at the Sheraton Parkway North Toronto Hotel and Suites, located near the intersection of highways 404 and 407. The hotel was the site of the diocese’s Synod last year.

Ms. Majewski says volunteers are needed. Anyone interested in helping out should read and complete an application form on the diocese’s website. (Visit and search for “General Synod volunteers.”) The deadline for applications is April 30.

In addition to providing volunteers, the diocese will play a key role in General Synod’s opening and closing ceremonies. On the first night, the diocese will host a reception to welcome the delegates and visitors. The reception will highlight the diocese’s diversity and missional activities. Archbishop Colin Johnson will address the gathering, and then a video called “Reimagining Our Church in the Public Square” will be shown.

After the video, guests will be invited out into the foyer to literally taste the diocese’s diversity. They will be greeted with food from the various communities that make up the diocese – the Caribbean, Latin America, south and east Asia, to name a few. Accompanying the food will be posters that list the menu items and the parishes they represent.

Food will also feature prominently in the closing banquet. The diocese is hoping to offer a 100- kilometre menu, meaning that all the food and beverage will come from within a 100 km radius of the hotel. The banquet will begin with a jazz vespers band from St. Philip, Etobicoke. The evening will include closing comments from Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate, and Archbishop Johnson. It will conclude with a hymn.


Keep on reading

Skip to content