Women within the Anglican Church could soon be eligible for some of the higher offices within the Diocese.
Barbados TODAY understands that there is currently a draft proposal before the Diocese to allow women to serve as bishops within the denomination.
The draft, it is also understood, came out of the recent Annual General Meeting of the Synod held at the Christ Church Parish Church.
The proposal pointed out the “longstanding and invaluable” contribution of women within “the Province of the West Indies”, noting that “the 38th Session of the Provincial Synod 2012 saw no theological objection to the ordination of women as bishops”.
It concluded that the General Synod of the Diocese of Barbados was in agreement with the Provincial Synod 2012 and therefore saw no theological objection to the ordination of women as bishops.
The draft therefore resolved that, “the General Synod of the Diocese of Barbados agrees to the ordination of females to the office of bishop in the Diocese of Barbados subject to the authorization of the Provincial Synod”.
It was one of the major recommendations coming out of the highest annual meeting of the local Diocese, though other issues, it was shared, ranged from matters pertaining to education, buildings, property development, use of technology, HIV/AIDS, among other areas.
Speaking to the issue of the use of modern technology, the church noted its continued efforts to reduce paper, thereby saving trees and protecting the planet. It was also noted that in at least one parish, electronic devices were slowly replacing books, a matter that is being discussed at a higher level.
Similarly, while clergy circulars were said to be now electronically sent, it was suggested that efforts be made to do the same with the Synod journal, thereby reducing the number of paper copies as well as cost.
The church was also continuing its drive to battle and educate about HIV/AIDS and other health issues.
On the former, the Synod stated that it was continuing with the HIV/AIDS ministry, which was launched in late 2012, and that courses in counselling and education were also ongoing.
To date, it noted that 167 persons had graduated from the course and the Diocese would continue to make resources available to those who wanted to do so.
The Diocese was also committed to combating non-communicable diseases, and a resolution committing the body to a response to this challenge was passed.
“We have formed a committee headed by Dr. Henrick Ellis to carry out the mandate of the resolution.
“The committee held a seminar on diabetes in March dealing with the theory of the disease. On June 29 there will be another seminar on practical responses to diabetes, e.g. diet, exercise, etc. In October there will be a seminar on hypertension.”
The Trustees Strategic Plan was said to be addressing the matter of a property development officer, while a committee had been formed to work towards the restart and completion of Mandeville building which was originally planned as the Youth Centre.
“The plan is to have the Diocesan Office housed in this building. The plan/proposal for the new building will be presented to Synod,” stated a document out of the meeting. (LB)