Thursday, 9 February 2012

General Synod - Thursday's business

This page will be updated during the day.

Order Paper for the day

The final day’s business of this group of sessions started with worship led by the Deaf Anglicans Together representatives.

Synod then moved onto Additional Eucharistic Prayers. These are prayers intended for use when many children are present, and were being returned to Synod from the revision committee. Synod accepted the committee’s report and did not ask for any further revision.

These prayers will not be authorised for liturgical use unless and until they receive final approval at a later meeting of Synod.

Papers for Additional Eucharistic prayers
GS 1822A Additional Eucharistic Prayers
GS 1822Y Report by the Revision Committee

Synod then moved onto the final drafting of the draft legislation to allow women to become bishops. The only proposed amendments were Drafting Amendments (amendments where only the wording of the Measure is altered and not its substance) which are supposed to be non-controversial.

There was a vote by houses and the final drafting was passed by all three houses.

 ForAgainstAbstentions
Bishops28 0 2
Clergy149 14 8
Laity132 37 10

It is likely that those who voted against were voting against the general principle of the legislation rather than against the final drafting.

Papers for final drafting
GS 1708B Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure
GS 1709B Draft Amending Canon
GS 1708-9Z Report by the Steering Committee

The morning’s business ended with a presentation on Higher Education Funding Changes

Background paper for this item

GS Misc 1008 Higher Education Funding Changes

Here is the official summary of the morning’s business.
Summary of business conducted on Thursday 9th February 2012 AM

The afternoon session opened with a debate on Reform of the House of Lords.

The debate was on this motion moved by Professor Anthony Berry (Chester)

That this Synod request that the Archbishops’ Council establish a working group with members from each House of the General Synod to prepare the Church of England’s official response to the Government’s consultation on the reform of the House of Lords and that any such Church of England response should be tabled at General Synod in February 2012 for debate and approval.

Mrs April Alexander (Southwark) moved an amendment, which was accepted by Synod and which reworded the motion to read:

That this Synod, welcoming both the Archbishops’ submission to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the draft Bill on House of Lords Reform and the extension of the Episcopal group on Lords Reform to include members of the other two Houses of Synod:

(a) invite the extended group to bring to the February 2013 group of sessions
(i) an assessment of the implications for the Church and nation of any Bill to be brought forward by the Government, and
(ii) recommendations for changes in custom and practice to accommodate any new requirements placed on the Church; and

(b) recognising the unpredictable nature of the passage of any such Bill through parliament, request that the extended group allow Synod members to contribute to published statements by alerting them in advance, by email where necessary, and inviting comments.

Synod voted on parts (a) and (b) separately. Part (a) (and the preamble) was passed, but part (b) was not. So the motion, as passed, was:

That this Synod, welcoming both the Archbishops’ submission to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the draft Bill on House of Lords Reform and the extension of the Episcopal group on Lords Reform to include members of the other two Houses of Synod invite the extended group to bring to the February 2013 group of sessions
(i) an assessment of the implications for the Church and nation of any Bill to be brought forward by the Government, and
(ii) recommendations for changes in custom and practice to accommodate any new requirements placed on the Church.

Papers for this item
GS 1856A and GS 1856B

Synod then moved onto a debate on Health Care and the Church’s Mission. The motion before Synod was:

That this Synod, mindful of Our Lord’s ministry of healing and his charge to his disciples to heal the sick in his name:

(a) affirm the ministry of all who promote health and wholeness in body, mind and spirit, and call upon Her Majesty’s Government to ensure that chaplaincy provision remains part of the core structure of a National Health Service committed to physical, mental and spiritual health;

(b) call upon Her Majesty’s Government to apply as the test to any proposed changes to the NHS whether they are best calculated to secure the provision throughout the country of effective and efficient healthcare services provided free at the point of delivery and according to clinical need;

(c) commend the work of mission agencies and the networks of the Anglican Communion in embodying the churches’ contribution to health and wholeness and promoting fairer sharing of health resources worldwide.

One amendment to the motion was carried (to add some words to paragraph(a)) so that the motion became:

That this Synod, mindful of Our Lord’s ministry of healing and his charge to his disciples to heal the sick in his name:

(a) affirm the ministry of all who promote health and wholeness in body, mind and spirit, and, recognising in particular the role of chaplains in the NHS as an expression of the Church of England’s commitment to minister to all in the community, whether as patients or healthcare
workers, call upon Her Majesty’s Government to ensure that chaplaincy provision remains part of the core structure of a National Health Service committed to physical, mental and spiritual health;

(b) call upon Her Majesty’s Government to apply as the test to any proposed changes to the NHS whether they are best calculated to secure the provision throughout the country of effective and efficient healthcare services provided free at the point of delivery and according to clinical need;

(c) commend the work of mission agencies and the networks of the Anglican Communion in embodying the churches’ contribution to health and wholeness and promoting fairer sharing of health resources worldwide.

The motion (as amended) was carried by 208 votes in favour with none against and one recorded abstention.

Background paper for this item
GS 1857 Health Care and the Church’s Mission: Report from the Mission and Public Affairs Council

The Archbishop of Canterbury then paid tribute to John Hind, the Bishop of Chichester, who will be retiring before the next meeting of General Synod.

Here is the official summary of the afternoon’s business.
Summary of business conducted on Thursday 9th February 2012 PM

That completed the business of this group of sessions. General Synod next meets from 6 to 10 July 2012 in York.

Posted by Peter Owen on Thursday, 9 February 2012 at 11:09am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod
Comments

Best speech of the day for me was Hannah Page from the Youth Council - calling us back to core values and spending less time on internal matters.

Posted by: Peter on Thursday, 9 February 2012 at 11:50am GMT

When reading the provisions of the Draft Measure they feel wrong. Plain wrong.

They are impervious to being copied and pasted here, but reading about 'male bishops' deciding and doing this and that - basically refusing to ordain women ministers, or entertain women as bishop, I think it is a step too far and unacceptable.

Whether to have women ministers or don't but not this! How can it be right qualify women's ministry with these caveats?

It feels demeaning, not only to women but to us all.

Those against the ordination of women, seem neither to want the provisions or appreciate them.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Sunday, 12 February 2012 at 10:46pm GMT
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