As ever, in the interests of transparency, I record it here.
Dear Dr Philips,
I’d be very grateful if this email could be shared with the Business Committee of the General Synod.
I’m sure that the Committee will get lots of correspondence following the Shared Conversations at the July group of session, but would like to add to the pile anyway.
I found the experience very helpful, and the role of the facilitators in that was crucial. The feeling in my small group, which I share, was that all small group work at Synod, and not just that on controversial issues, would benefit from facilitation. I’m sure that the facilitators used in July were a significant expense, worth every penny, but not something that Synod can afford for every meeting.
My suggestion is that Synod develops a panel of facilitators, comparable to the panel of chairs. I am sure that there are many, in all three houses, who have existing skills in facilitation. They could be used to facilitate the small groups at Synod. It would be important that they all work in a similar fashion, and so investing in a days training in how General Synod groups are to be facilitated would be important. This should be enough to ensure consistency between groups. It would be a cost, but a relatively low cost.
I hope that this is a helpful suggestion that would contribute to the working of Synod. I would be grateful if the Committee would consider the suggestion.
With all best wishes,