In their meeting in July 2017, the Cymru Synod Policy Committee asked the members of the Synod Executive Committee to come back to them in their next meeting in November with a proposal for a way forward in response to the process of Reviewing the Life of the Cymru Synod and Circuit. This was because of the insufficient response to the decision of the Synod meeting in April 2017 to create six small groups to work on the themes that arose from the consultation process as part of the review, and because of the failure of the Policy Committee to form a response itself to the situation in its meeting in July.
The Executive Committee prepared a proposal with two options, and sent this proposal to the members of the Policy Committee in October with the papers for the meeting. The members of the Policy Committee were asked to share the proposal with people in the Areas and to seek their opinion. The text of the proposal was as follows:
Option 1: In light of the response that came out of the review of the life of the Cymru Synod and Circuit, the Synod Cymru Policy Committee proposes that we give serious consideration to bringing the Synod to an end, and that we discuss with the Wales Synod the possibility of creating one Synod, the Synod of the Methodist Church in Wales, making arrangements for the Cymru Circuit to continue as a Welsh-language Circuit within the Synod.
If this proposal is not acceptable to the Policy Committee, the Executive Committee proposes a second option, namely:
Option 2: Accepting the importance of the six themes that came out of the process of reviewing the life of the Cymru Synod/Circuit, and regretting the insufficiency of volunteers for the groups that were to be formed to work on the themes following the Synod of 2017, the Synod Cymru Policy Committee agrees:
(i) to extend the opportunity for people to volunteer for the groups until the end of the calendar year 2017;
(ii) to commit as members of the Policy Committee to encourage members of the chapels and Areas to volunteer, and to volunteer ourselves;
(iii) to support and to encourage the small groups in their task of preparing recommendations for the Synod meeting in 2018 for how to develop the life of the Synod and the Circuit under the six themes;
(iv) to accept that if there are not at least 3-4 volunteers for the six groups by 31 December 2017, the review process will have come to an end.
A vote was held on the proposal in the Policy Committee meeting in Ruthin on 16 November 2017. 18 people were present, with 16 voting. 9 voted in favour of Option 1 and 7 against. Recognising the closeness of the vote, it is important to understand the initial nature of the decision: the intention at present is to contact the officers of the Wales Synod and to ask for conversations to consider the possibilities, and nothing more. The Executive Committee will report back to the Policy Committee in its meeting in February 2018, and then to the Synod in April, whatever the outcome. In the meantime, the Synod Executive will be happy to receive comments and questions from members of Synod Cymru to feed into the conversation with representatives of the Wales Synod.