The forthcoming synod which will be upon us very soon, will be heralded by a flurry of difficult decisions. Conscientious Synod members will have pre-booked their rail tickets by now and hopefully thereby saved their diocese considerable sums of money as they take advantage of early booking savings. The few who are more apt to leave matters to the last minute will be submitting their claims to the church in the same way, but obviously for a good deal more money. The parable of the wise virgins comes to mind but not to worry, everyone gets into this particular celebration and no one will be left out in the wintry cold of London.
Well at least no one would except that 'the powers that be' have no idea about the cost of London accommodation and delegates are forced to find poor (cold) accommodation near to the venue for Synod or face a long journey to get there but be more assured of a good nights sleep and a reasonable breakfast before the days hard work ahead of them. Again, early booking can reap some rewards, but London is a popular place!
Oh so often this situation is bemoaned by synod members and suggestions and indeed 'nicely put complaints' are made, but to no good end. It appears that the Church of England does not value its Synod members and does not care one jot about their accommodation.
Over and over again Synod members have cried out for a block booking of a large hotel, perhaps, or some other arrangement, but not to leave them with a meagre allowance and left to ‘get on with it’. If you ring the staff at Church House they will privately sympathise with you and agree that the situation is 'not fai'r or indeed tolerable, but they cannot help you to secure adequate accommodation and you are left to surf the net with your pittance of an allowance gripped tightly in your hand; or more like, a promise to pay it,....eventually.
Of course this really only applies to the delegates who don’t actually live in London or who don’t have friends or colleagues in London, people in the north! Archbishop Rowan and Mr Sentimoo will have no accommodation difficulties; they will be snuggling into deep pillows and spacious beds at night, and will be able to walk about in their accommodation. They will not be offering to share their place (palace) to the hard pressed delegates attending their circus this February, nor will the Officers of Church House!
I wonder why it is not a priority.