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Social justice comes under scrutiny

Synod votes not to receive the Social Justice Commission report.

Peter Carrell  |  11 May 2010

The Anglican Social Justice Commissioner , Rev Dr Anthony Dancer, told Synod that the Commission’s essential task was to support the Commissioner in relation to poverty, social disintegration, and the creation of more just structures in society and church.

Key tasks for the Commissioner were "public advocacy" and ‘"theological education", he noted.

Commission members, including Archbishop David Moxon, then spoke to the report and underlined access to the Commissioner’s work via enews and a regularly updated Commission website.

Later, the Social Justice Commission report came under closer scrutiny. Speakers pointed out that the Commission’s role was to support the Commissioner, not to actually do social justice work.

This raised questions about whether there were other ways for the church to be involved in social justice. In the end Synod, perhaps wanting change, voted not to receive the Commission’s report.

A motion by Bishops Richard Ellena (Nelson) and Tom Brown (Wellington) also asked Standing Committee to review the canon on the Social Justice Commission.

Debate on this motion reiterated the importance of reviewing the existing Commission’s work. A twofold review was important, Synod heard. The motion was passed.

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