About the only lecture delivered at this year s synod was The Efficacy of Anglican Diocese Synod by the Diocesan Bishop of Ilesha, Rt. Rev. Dr. Olubayo Sowale, a.k.a Teacher of Teachers (T.T.).
The lecture dwelt extensively on the formation, administration and maintenance of a diocese vis-à-vis the power and responsibilities of the three Houses that constitute a synod of any diocese, namely The House of Bishop, The House of Clergy and The House of Laity. The Synod, he explained, is the annual general meeting of the elected representatives of each congregation in a diocese, which meets annually to discuss and decide on questions of policy, government and teaching in the Church. The synod comprises representatives of people from all parishes and congregations. Legal Officers, Special Members of Synod, Bishop s Nominees and Advisers. Because no parish or congregation is an entity on its own, decisions taken at synod are binding on them.
Bishop Sowale further explained that in the belief of the Anglican Communion, Jesus Christ is the owner of the church and the Bishop is His representative, hence he administers the diocese of behalf of Jesus Christ. The Bishop also represents the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and the Anglican World. Hence, the Bishop is the accounting officer of his diocese. So, the priests, synod delegates and other workers are there to assist the Bishop in the day-to-day administration of parishes in the manner of a team ministry. The Bishop is more or less the personification of the three houses that comprise the synod in matter of administration; so, when he says “we”, he is acting for the three houses – the House of Bishop, House of Clergy and the House of Laity.
In sum, the Synod directs, regulates and approves policies and actions of a particular diocese and the Bishop ensures that all the directives of the Synod are carried out. The effectiveness of Anglican Synod is therefore not much a function of the structure of the diocese, as it is a function of the spirit with which the three Houses work together under the authority and guidance of Jesus Christ.