Monday, 14 February 2005

Synod day one

entry revised Tuesday evening
The General Synod February sessions began on Monday evening.

The Church Times reports are now in the subscription-only part of that website.

Official record of business on day one are posted as an RTF file here. To understand that summary you also need to read Order Paper I which contains the wording of the amendment. The relevant texts are reproduced below the fold.

Press coverage of this evening’s synod session:
Press Association 6.40 pm Church of England Rejects Call for Royal Wedding Debate
BBC ‘No church debate’ over wedding
Sky News Church Rejects Debate On Charles’ Wedding
Guardian Stephen Bates Synod is refused a royal debate
Telegraph Jonathan Petre Synod rejects royal engagement debate
Yorkshire Post Archbishop leads prayers for couple - Synod will not debate Royal marriage issue
Associated Press Royal Wedding Highlights Divorceee Roles

Press coverage of the earlier House of Laity meeting:
The Times Ruth Gledhill Church aims to put clergy in the dock with modern heresy trials
Telegraph Jonathan Petre Clergy who deny doctrine may face trial for heresy

Earlier press coverage today:
Reuters Anglicans debate women bishops
Press Association Women Bishops on Synod Agenda
BBC A suitable job for a woman
Telegraph General Synod refuses to discuss royal wedding
The Times Royal wedding plans spark Church row
Guardian Tough talks on synod agenda

Earlier BBC reports were linked from here.


CANON B 44 (GS Misc 764A and B)

The Revd Canon Alan Hargrave to move on behalf of the Ely Diocesan Synod:
806. ‘That this Synod request that legislation be introduced to rescind paragraph 5 of Canon B 44 Of local ecumenical projects.’

The Ven Robert Reiss (Archdeacon of Surrey) to move as an amendment:
811. ‘Leave out the word “rescind” and insert the words “delete from” and at the end insert the words “all words from “and in particular” to the end”.’

Note: Paragraph 5 of Canon B44 reads as follows:

‘Before exercising his powers under paragraph 4 above in relation to any local ecumenical project the bishop shall consult the authorities of the other participating Churches, and he shall so exercise those powers as to ensure that public worship according to the rites of the Church of England is maintained with reasonable frequency in a parish which is in, or part of which is in, the area of the project and in particular that a service of Holy Communion according to the rites of the Church of England and presided over by a priest of the Church of England or by an episcopally ordained priest in a Church whose Orders are recognised and accepted by the Church of England shall be celebrated at least on Christmas Day, Ash Wednesday, Easter Day, Ascension Day and Pentecost.’


CANON B 44 (GS Misc. 763A, GS Misc. 763B)

806 The motion ‘That this Synod request that legislation be introduced to rescind paragraph 5 of Canon B 44 Of local ecumenical projects.’ was moved.

811 The amendment (Item 811 Order Paper I) was carried.

806 The motion (as amended by Item 811)
‘That this Synod request that legislation be introduced to delete from paragraph 5 of Canon B 44 Of local ecumenical projects all the words from “and in particular” to the end.’ was carried after a division by Houses. The voting was as follows:

Bishops 14 13
Clergy 90 72
Laity 109 80

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 14 February 2005 at 10:05pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: General Synod

A first glance at these press reports makes disturbing reading. The Scotsman and the Guardian (the first couple of reports I looked at) are respected broadsheet newspapers, and the author of the Guardian piece at least is its specialist religious affairs reporter.

The Scotsman manages a couple of egregious solecisms - referring to clerical members of General Synod as "the Reverend Surname" and at least one uses "the reverend" as a noun. This doesn't inspire confidence. Assuming that the Scotsman accurately cites David Houlding - and the report contains enough detail to indicate that it does - Stephen Bates' gloss on his speechin the Guardian seems to indicate a level of enthusiasm for the forthcoming nuptials which would be rather out of line with Prebendary Houlding's conservative Catholicism.

After the recent debacle in which the Telegraph attributed disbelief in God to +Rowan Cantuar:, it really seems that bishops and other clerics speaking on controversial issues need to weigh every syllable.

Oh, and for what it's worth, I do think that this "blessing but no marriage" line is farcical. Apparently Chazza and Camilla are adulterers, since Col. Parker-Bowles is still alive, and therefore can't be married, but their adultery can subsequently be blessed. Daft or what?

Posted by: Alan Harrison on Tuesday, 15 February 2005 at 11:50am GMT

With so many big items on the Synod's agenda it would be easy to miss the significance of the House of Laity's vote in favour of heresy trials.

This was thrown out (albeit on a small majority) once in this Synod already - to be brought back so soon hints at bureaucratic manipulation to keep the issue alive.

If heresy trials are made easier, and even more so if a trial is held, it will mark a significant narrowing of the CofE. It will be a victory for those who see belief in terms of lists of porpositional statements to be ticked off, and will mark a real and symbolic step forward for an anti-intellectual, anti-exploratory ethos in the church.

Thinking Anglicans who want to be able to express their views with integrity and in public should not only oppose this measure - but also propose alternative ways through which doctrine (and orthodoxy) can be celebrated and embedded as a vital part of the engagement of the Church with society.

Posted by: Paul Bagshaw on Thursday, 17 February 2005 at 8:07pm GMT
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