Leadership in a synodal church

A recently released book by ACU honorary professors Charles Burford and Anne Benjamin focuses on issues being addressed at the Australian Plenary Council this week and in the Synod on Synodality convened by Pope Francis for 2022.

Leadership in a Synodal Church, published in March, was the topic of the authors’ presentation this week at ‘Spirituality on the Sofa’, a lockdown version of the Paddington (NSW) ‘Spirituality in the Pub’ group.

In responding to Pope Francis’s inspirational and hopeful call for a conversion of Church culture towards humility and synodality, Honourary Professor Burford and Honourary Professor Benjamin recognised the critical role of leadership in any such cultural renewal. If the culture of the Church is to change, they argue, a focus on leadership in the Church is an imperative, not an option.

With about 100 years of combined experience in the field of leadership, honourary professors Burford and Benjamin set out to offer to the Church the best of leadership theory and practice, mindful that this is just a small element in the task of renewal. They acknowledge existing good practice in synodal leadership in ministries in the Australian Church.

Since the book was published, the authors have addressed national gatherings of educational leaders, lay pastoral workers, the Association of Ministerial Public Juridic Persons, and the national mission conference.

Leadership in a Synodal Church is available from Garrett Publishing.

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