South Croydon’s Waddell elected to church’s General Synod

At least one Labour member in Croydon has proven that they can win an election, after Paul Waddell, a former councillor candidate from South Croydon, was this week announced as one of the successful candidates for the Church of England’s ruling body, the General Synod.

Paul Waddell: church leader

The Church Times somewhat tweely described this year’s elections, for a five-year term, as “a new departure for the new quinquennium”, which attracted record numbers of candidates across the country, many of whom posted video statements to support their case for election, while others, including Waddell, published statements about their outlook for the church.

“This was the first time in the Synod’s 50-year history that the elections had been advertised nationally,” The Church Times reported, seemingly a little shocked by the very notion, while William Nye, the Synod’s secretary-general, said of the attempt to modernise the organisation through the elections, “We are praying that the leadership of the Church of England, including bodies like General Synod, may become more representative of the people of England — and that means younger and more diverse.”

Waddell, an NHS specialist and father, certainly fits the “younger” requirement.

The General Synod is the legislative body of the Church of England. Together with the Westminster Parliament, it is the only body in the land which is entitled to make national law for England.

Legislative measures passed by the Church of England are signed off by the Queen as Head of State. In addition to legislation, the General Synod also agrees the national budget for the Church of England and debates a wide range of public and social issues from the perspective of a faith organisation.

Seat of power: the General Synod can pass laws across the whole of England

Waddell was one of 51 candidates – 24 clergy and 27 laity – who put themselves forward in the Diocese of Southwark, of which seven have been elected in each of the House of Laity and House of Clergy.

The Bishop of Southwark, The Rt Rev Christopher Chessun, said, “I am delighted that there has been such strong support for the General Synod from across the Diocese.

“This has been reflected in the many people who put themselves forward for election and I am grateful to everyone who did, including those who were not successful on this occasion.

“The Diocese of Southwark has a long history of supporting General Synod in this way and I am confident in those who will be representing the Diocese over the next five years. The Church faces many challenges and there is much to do, which is why I am confident in those from the Diocese who have been elected. They bring a wealth of experience, passion and commitment. My prayers and support go with them.”

On hearing of his election this week, Waddell said, “Surprised and delighted to have been elected to represent the Diocese of Southwark at the Synod. Thank you to all who voted.

“I can only presume that focusing on children and young people, climate change action and inclusivity struck a chord.

“Looking forward to five years of championing those issues.”

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1 Response to South Croydon’s Waddell elected to church’s General Synod

  1. Ian Kierans says:

    Well Done and do well.

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