Updated Thursday to add the voting figures on one amendment.
This afternoon General Synod debated a private member’s motion about membership of organisations which contradict the duty to promote race equality. It was proposed by Ms Vasantha Gnanadoss of the diocese of Southwark. This is her motion:
That this Synod, noting that in 2004 the Association of Chief Police Officers adopted a policy whereby
“no member of the Police Service, whether police officer or police staff, may be a member of an organization whose constitution, aims, objectives or pronouncements contradict the general duty to promote race equality” and “this specifically includes the British National Party”,
request the House of Bishops to formulate and implement a comparable policy for the Church of England, to apply to clergy, ordinands, and such employed lay persons as have duties that require them to represent or speak on behalf of the Church.
The motion was carried by 322 votes to 13 with 20 recorded abstentions.
Ms Gnanadoss addressing the Synod
During the debate three amendments were moved but all were defeated.
Mr Justin Brett (Oxford) moved:
Leave out all the words after “That this Synod” and insert “affirm that membership of any organisation whose constitution, aims, objectives or pronouncements contradict the promotion of race equality is incompatible with the Apostolic Christian faith.”.
The Ven Norman Russell (Archdeacon of Berkshire) moved:
For the words “noting that in 2004” to “British National Party” substitute “recognising that every human being is made in the image of God”.
Leave out “comparable”; and
At the end insert “, which makes clear that racism has no place in the life of the Church.”.
Mr Tim Hind (Bath & Wells) moved:
Leave out “clergy, ordinands, and such employed lay persons as have duties that” and insert “persons whose duties”.
The voting on Tim Hind’s amendment was 166 in favour, 177 against and 11 recorded abstentions. The other two amendments were each defeated on a show of hands.