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General Synod – Monday's business

The Church of England General Synod opened this afternoon. I will update this page with reports of the Synod’s business during the day. The full agenda is here.

There is a live audio link from Synod here.

The Church of England’s own summary of the day’s business is here.

Monday’s Business

Order Paper 1

The Archbishop of Canterbury moved a Loyal Address to the Queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee; Synod members were all in favour.

Synod debated the report of the Business Committee. This is largely an opportunity for members to complain about items that are not on the agenda, eg same-sex marriage, and how the debate on the Manchester and Southward motions on women bishops has been arranged.

The dates of Synod sessions in 2014-2015 were agreed. I have posted these dates here.

The Archbishops’ nomination of Rebecca Swinson for a five-year term on the Archbishops’ Council was accepted. Andrew Britton’s membership of the Council was extended for twelve months to 30 September 2012.

Independent Commission on Assisted Dying

Mrs Sarah Finch (London) moved her private member’s motion:

That this Synod express its concern that the Independent Commission on Assisted Dying is insufficiently independent to be able to develop proposals which will properly protect the interests of vulnerable and disabled people.

Mr Philip Fletcher (Archbishops’ Council) proposed this amendment, which was carried.

After the words “That this Synod” insert “(a)”.
After the words “Assisted Dying” leave out “is” and insert “was”.
And
After the words “disabled people” insert
“;
(b) endorse the responses to the Commission on Assisted Dying referred to in paragraphs 7 and 8 of GS 1851B;
(c) affirm the intrinsic value of every human life and express its support for the current law on assisted suicide as a means of contributing to a just and compassionate society in which vulnerable people are protected; and
(d) celebrating the considerable improvement in the quality of care of the dying brought about by the hospice and palliative care movements and by the input of clinicians, clergy and others, encourage the Church’s continued involvement in the wider agenda of the care of those approaching the end of their lives and the support of those caring form them.”.

The amended motion then read:

That this Synod
(a) express its concern that the Independent Commission on Assisted Dying was insufficiently independent to be able to develop proposals which will properly protect the interests of vulnerable and disabled people;
(b) endorse the responses to the Commission on Assisted Dying referred to in paragraphs 7 and 8 of GS 1851B;
(c) affirm the intrinsic value of every human life and express its support for the current law on assisted suicide as a means of contributing to a just and compassionate society in which vulnerable people are protected; and
(d) celebrating the considerable improvement in the quality of care of the dying brought about by the hospice and palliative care movements and by the input of clinicians, clergy and others, encourage the Church’s continued involvement in the wider agenda of the care of those approaching the end of their lives and the support of those caring form them.

The amended motion was carried with 284 votes in favour and none against. There were 4 recorded abstentions.

The Archbishop of Canterbury spoke in this debate and has published this summary of his speech.

Background papers for this debate: GS 1851A and GS 1851B

Synod then moved onto the final business of the day: Questions.

Some live blogs from Synod

General Synod blog
Jeremy Fletcher
Riazat Butt

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