General Synod Election


Three candidates have submitted nominations for the General Synod Election.  The candidates (in alphabetical order) are:

Susan Elizabeth Gjerde  (Bergen Congregation)

Sandra Patricia Sue  (Utrecht Chaplaincy)

Mary Gertrude Talbot  (Geneva Chaplaincy)

Election addresses provided by the candidates are below with the texts received from each candidate under their names:

Susan Elizabeth Gjerde  (Bergen Congregation)

Susan Elizabeth Gjerde (Nee Dagg)

I was born 12 July 1946 in Edinburgh Scotland, the youngest daughter of Arthur and Eleanor Dagg.  My father was warden and sidesman at the Church of rhe Holy Saviour, Tynemouth. My mother a member of the Mothers Union.  My two elder sisters were 12 and 14 years older than I.

I grew up in Tynemouth, Northumberland and attended Convent de La Sagesse highschool in Jesmond nr Newcastle.  My first vist to Norway was a school skiing trip and I got the Norway *Bug*  When I finnished school I returned to Norway as an Au Pair. Not altogether a success.  I returned to Oslo as a nanny and stayed for two and half years and became a member of St Edmunds Church.

I met and married my husband whilst working as a hotel guide on the west coast of Norway.  When my husband returned to sea we decided that I should return to live in England with our two daughters.  After 12 years we all moved back to Norway to live on an island where our daughters had to learn to row to get to the nearest bus stop for school.  Eventually we settled in Bergen.  By this time I was working as a tour guide/manager during the summer and a waitress during the winter.  My husband and I divorced, my two daughters became mothers and I joined St Jørgens Anglican Church.  Now 30 years on I'm a pensioner and a proud great grandmother.

The Bergen Anglicans are now in Maria Kirken  (the oldest stone building in Bergen) and we are growing slowly but surley under our very competent vicar Kirk Weisz.

Thank you for reading my story.

Yours faithfully

Susan Elizabeth Gjerde


Sandra Patricia Sue  (Utrecht Chaplaincy)

My name is Sandra Sue and I live in Holland. I was born and grew up on Aruba, a small island in the Caribbean, but came to Holland to study and stayed.

At the moment I am an archdeaconry rep for Holy Trinity Church in Utrecht. I have been attending services there since moving to Holland. I have been a council member, council secretary and treasurer in the past. Currently I am the secretary for the Archdeaconry of North West Europe and the lay representative on Standing Committee there and I am the treasurer for the Dutch deanery.

I have been an Anglican since I was baptized when I was three months old in Holy Cross Anglican Church on Aruba. I have always remained an Anglican and not just a Christian. This is not out of inertia or because there were no other options. I believe it is not enough to be a Christian to be an Anglican. You need to believe and to live the things which the Anglican church stands for.

One of the reasons I have remained an Anglican is the open character of the church. Accepting people from different denominations and trying to give them a place within the Anglican continuum. This can also be seen in the variety of services available for Anglo-catholics to Evangelists. Which means, that while I might not be always happy with all the types of services, I am happy that those services are there to fit other people.

Another reason for me to remain an Anglican is the fact that whatever our differences, as a church, we try to find a way to keep talking to each other in a respectful manner. We might not agree with the other person, but we try to find a way so that we can all be part of one church.

The third reason I have remained an Anglican, is the fact that the church is structured in such a way, that there is a form of democracy for the laity through synodical representation. Major things do not just get decided on and passed down from the top. People get to speak about it and form an opinion before they vote on it. You get to know the arguments for and against of an issue. It might not change your opinion, but it does make you understand the other side better. Which is why I would like to be on General Synod.

Mary Gertrude Talbot  (Geneva Chaplaincy)

It has ceased to be a cliche that the world is going through troubled times, unprecedented in my experience since the Cuba missile crisis in 1962. Both literally, and metaphorically, the ground is shifting beneath our feet.  Divisions we didn't know existed are manifesting themselves daily in our world and in our church.

God calls us individually and corporately to discern where he is moving and what he is calling us to do.

There are many people in the diocese with greater skills than I, but in standing for election to the General Synod, I offer what I have.

I believe passionately in the role of children and young people in the life of the church and I am coming to understand increasingly the importance of inter-generational activity; I am greatly encouraged by the recognition that lay people are critical to missional work both within and beyond the boundaries of the church; I am confused but increasingly aware of the issues surrounding human sexuality; I am ashamed that children need to march to show us how profligate and distructive we are of Creation.

Born, as the election form so helpfully states (!) in 1942, I have lived and worked in Europe for almost 30 years and in Geneva for 23 years. My professional career was in HR for an international company. I have been treasurer and now warden for my own church and lay chair for the Archdeaconry Synod. Actively involved since being elected to the Diocesan Synod, I was a member of the finance committee; I was invited with two others by +Robert to carry out a project related to the appointments function for which the recommendations were adopted; I am part of a small group seeking to raise the profile of young people's ministry at diocesan level; and equally importantly to provide a service for the chaplaincies; I act as a pastoral mentor to candidates on the CEMES (Ministry Experience Scheme) and unofficial fund-raiser. I had the privilege to be included on the diocesan training programme, in addition to training elsewhere, and accompany people as a spiritual director. Somehow I have ended up as the diocesan minute taker!

Mary Talbot  April 2019