THINKING ANGLICANS

Clergy Discipline Measure

On Monday afternoon Synod debated a diocesan synod motion about some perceived shortcomings in the Clergy Discipline Measure.

The Revd Prebendary David Houlding moved on behalf of the London Diocesan Synod:

That this Synod whilst recognizing the need for discipline in the exercise of ordained ministry nonetheless note with grave concern and regret the pastoral implications of the new Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 and request the Archbishops’ Council at the earliest possible opportunity to review its practical outworkings and with reference in particular to the attached Code of Practice.

His Honour Judge John Bullimore (Wakefield) moved as an amendment:

Leave out all the words after “exercise of ordained ministry” and insert:
“(a) note the concerns that exist about aspects of the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 (especially as regards the perceived pastoral implications of the Code of Practice made under it);
(b) welcome the response by the Clergy Discipline Commission to its consultation on aspects of the Measure (circulated as GS 1747B); and
(c) invite the Archbishops’ Council to seek a report from the Commission before the end of the quinquennium on whether there is a case for bringing forward, early in the lifetime of the next Synod, draft legislation to amend the Measure or amendments to the Code of Practice.”.

Synod voted in favour of Judge Bullimore’s amendment.

As a result the substantive motion became:

That this Synod whilst recognizing the need for discipline in the exercise of ordained ministry
(a) note the concerns that exist about aspects of the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 (especially as regards the perceived pastoral implications of the Code of Practice made under it);
(b) welcome the response by the Clergy Discipline Commission to its consultation on aspects of the Measure (circulated as GS 1747B); and
(c) invite the Archbishops’ Council to seek a report from the Commission before the end of the quinquennium on whether there is a case for bringing forward, early in the lifetime of the next Synod, draft legislation to amend the Measure or amendments to the Code of Practice.

The amended motion was carried on a show of hands.

Background paper
A note from the Clergy Discipline Commission (GS 1747B)

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Mark Bennet
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Mark Bennet

This was a good debate, and was notable for some deep reflection on the nature of bishops and episcopal ministry, as well as some personal testimony of the real (not perceived) pastoral fall-out for those who faced proceedings of various kinds but were later exonerated.

The lay aspect was mentioned, but could do with much more attention than was given in the debate.

I was pleased that there was such a full debate after lunch on the final day.

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

Bring back the cane !