- The synod without a script
As the Synod on the Family opens tomorrow, the fifth in our series looks at some of the 253 participants from around the world, and examines the gamble – perhaps a defining moment of his pontificate – Pope Francis has taken in encouraging open dialogue and debate
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The Church of England has selected the cricket team that will take on the Vatican in September in a match to raise awareness of human trafficking and fundraise for the Anglican-Roman Catholic anti-trafficking initiative, the Global Freedom Network.
Both Churches have aimed for a blend of innocence and experience on their teams, selecting mostly ordinands with a couple of older priests on each side to contribute cricketing and clerical wisdom.
Anglican newspaper The Church Times admits that the odds favour the Vatican team, which has the advantage of a wider geographical spread - the Catholic side includes a number of ordinands from the Indian subcontinent, who are currently studying in Rome. When the team visits the UK this September, they will play four practice matches together, while the Anglican side will play together only once before the match. The Church Times cautions that: “No theological or ecclesiological deductions should be made from these different approaches.”
The CofE’s opening bowler will be Revd Rob Glenny, Assistant Curate of St Nicolas’, Old Marston, Oxford. Revd Glenny, 24, told The Church Times that his best cricketing experience was “sitting down in pub with club team for a well-earned pint after a hard-fought victory, and a non-churchgoing teammate asking: 'Rob, if all Christians believe in God, why do you need so many denominations?' My worst cricketing experience was not really having a good answer."
The match will take place at Kent County Cricket Club in Cantebury on 19 September beginning at 4pm. Attendance is free, but a collection for the Global Freedom Network will be taken afterwards.