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General Synod – Voice of the Church in Public Life

The last item of business this afternoon was a debate on a diocesan synod motion about the voice of the church in public life.

The Revd Canon David Felix (Chester) moved on behalf of the Chester Diocesan Synod:

That this Synod, mindful of the questions raised in public debate about the role of the Church in civic society, invite the Divisions of the Archbishops’ Council to report to the General Synod, before the end of the quinquennium, on their work:
(a) to foster clearer understanding of the Christian faith among the institutions and organisations of society; and
(b) to reinforce the claims of the Church to take its place in public life in Britain.

The Revd Canon Pete Spiers (Liverpool) moved as an amendment:

Leave out everything after “civic society” and insert:
“and believing that the most effective way to communicate the role of Christian faith in public life is through the witness and service of Christian men and women in their daily lives:
(a) affirm the work of the House of Bishops and the divisions of the Archbishops’ Council in fostering the understanding of the Christian faith among institutions and organisations in society;
(b) request the Business Committee to consider how the issues raised in Moral, But No Compass might best be debated; and
(c) urge the members of this Synod actively to promote public engagement in their dioceses and parishes to reinforce the values of the Christian faith.”.

This amendment was carried on a show of hands.

The substantive motion therefore became:

That this Synod, mindful of the questions raised in public debate about the role of the Church in civic society and believing that the most effective way to communicate the role of Christian faith in public life is through the witness and service of Christian men and women in their daily lives:
(a) affirm the work of the House of Bishops and the divisions of the Archbishops’ Council in fostering the understanding of the Christian faith among institutions and organisations in society;
(b) request the Business Committee to consider how the issues raised in Moral, But No Compass might best be debated; and
(c) urge the members of this Synod actively to promote public engagement in their dioceses and parishes to reinforce the values of the Christian faith.

The motion was carried overwhelmingly on a show of hands.

Canon Felix (left) and Canon Spiers (right) speaking during the debate

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