Monday, 10 July 2017

General Synod - Monday's business

Updated Tuesday morning and afternoon

order paper for the day

Cost of Applying for Citizenship

The final day’s business started with a debate on this diocesan synod motion from Birmingham.

That this Synod:
(a) request the Archbishops’ Council’s Mission and Public Affairs Council to investigate the issues around the cost of applying for citizenship and to make recommendations to HM Government;
(b) encourage the Lords Spiritual actively to seek opportunities to address the level of citizenship fees in debate;
(c) urge parishes to raise the issue with their MP; and
(d) encourage parishes to continue to support those known to them who are struggling with the cost of citizenship fees without incurring debt and to signpost responsible lenders or local credit unions for advice.

The motion was carried by 310 votes to nil, with no recorded abstentions.

Official press release: Synod debates cost of applying for citizenship

Final approval of Amending Canon No 36
(Of the vesture of ordained and authorized ministers during the time of divine service)

This amending canon basically permits clergy to dispense with traditional vestments. It was given final approval. For this a two-thirds majority in each house was required.

bishops: 18 for, 3 against, 0 recorded abstentions
clergy: 104 for, 5 against, 4 recorded abstentions
laity: 116 for, 8 against, 7 recorded abstentions

The canon now requires the royal assent before it can come into effect.

Draft Amending Canon No 37
(Of the burial of the dead)

This amending canon allows clergy to use the standard funeral service for those who have taken their own life. It was given final approval. For this a two-thirds majority in each house was required.

bishops: 21 for, 0 against; 0 recorded abstentions
clergy: 125 for, 0 against, 1 recorded abstentions
laity: 132 for, 1 againts, 0 recorded abstentions

The canon now requires the royal assent before it can come into effect.

In the afternoon there was a presentation on the annual report of the Archbishops’ Council (GS 2058). This was followed by the Council’s budget and proposals for apportionment for 2018 (GS 2076), which were approved.

And finally Synod said farewell to the Bishop of Bristol and the Bishop at Lambeth, who are both retiring later in the year.

Press reports etc

Madeleine Davies and Hattie Williams Church Times Synod voices dismay at high cost of citizenship

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Clergy to ditch their robes in further sign of dress-down Britain

Olivia Rudgard The Telegraph Clergy can dress down after church votes to let them ditch vestments

Stephen Lynas files his last report from Synod: bathwellschap Good times, better times
This ends with an overview of the whole four days.

Posted by Peter Owen on Monday, 10 July 2017 at 9:37am BST | TrackBack
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Comments

Re - clergy dress. A liturgically coloured hoodie would be just as appropriate in many circumstances. You get the proper nod to the tradition of the church with the colour and a more relevant style of dress for the younger generation. You could always keep the hood up for the monastic reference.

Posted by: Lavinia Nelder on Monday, 10 July 2017 at 8:39pm BST

Lavinia's hoodies, I'm almost ashamed to say, appeal to me. There could be slogans and images of saints on back and front. But in truth, this development signifies another manifestation of the look at me, look at me, look at me culture which grows like cancer in the church. Master manipulator Peter Ball wore a hoodie.

Posted by: Stanley Monkhouse on Tuesday, 11 July 2017 at 6:04am BST

I hope that when Her Majesty finally passes to glory the hoodied Archbishop of Canterbury 'crowns' Prince Charles with a baseball cap to match his trainers. This will extend the Monarch's appeal to young people who laugh at crowns and mitres.

Posted by: FrDavidH on Tuesday, 11 July 2017 at 7:44am BST

Now that Synod is over - what happened to the promised appearance of the Bishop of Edinburgh and the threatened walk-out?

Posted by: peter kettle on Tuesday, 11 July 2017 at 8:20am BST

The Bishop of Edinburgh was welcomed to Synod on Friday and stayed to the end. There was no sign of a walkout and some of those who threatened this spoke in debates.

Posted by: Peter Owen on Tuesday, 11 July 2017 at 10:09am BST

The Bishop of Edinburgh was there among the Anglican and Ecumenical guests as planned. There were a number of references to his presence, including one from me. As far as I'm aware, no one walked out.

Posted by: Jane Charman on Tuesday, 11 July 2017 at 10:58am BST

"this development signifies another manifestation of the look at me, look at me, look at me culture"

Well said Stanley Monkhouse!

The whole point of vestments, (black) clerical shirts etc. is that they are a uniform and not (in theory) an expression of the 'individuality' of the person wearing them. Unlike clerical hoodies, or whatever will be your choice from our wardrobe that morning.

What was Synod thinking? Repeal Amending Canon 36 I say!

Posted by: Fr Andrew on Tuesday, 11 July 2017 at 4:04pm BST

I'm glad to see move flexibility on vestments. There is nothing to stop those who want to wear them from wearing them (and I'm sure that the majority will still do so, as they do in Canada where we have no national canon on clergy robes), but freedom and flexibility will also be helpful.

As for those who say that robes emphasize the office where 'civvies' emphasize individualism and 'me, me, me' - well, that can work both ways. I'm sure for some robes do provide a level of humility, but for others it seems to me (but what do I know?) that there's an element of self-importance coming into play. Likewise with civvies. I think we'd be wise not to speculate on what's going on in people's hearts. For myself I feel very keenly the temptation that Jesus highlights in Luke 20:45-47, which is why I avoid anything more than the very simplest of robes.

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Tuesday, 11 July 2017 at 4:40pm BST

If you water the cofe down anymore it will be pointless.
when I first started to attend it was eastward face changed to nave altar people left didnt like it, was 1928 changed to modern people left didnt like it, un robed chalice administrators people left didnt like it, etc etc etc.. point is the faithful few who bore bravely are getting sick

Posted by: Malcolm Gray on Wednesday, 12 July 2017 at 8:52am BST

Of course there are occasions when " dressing down" is appropriate and my preference liturgically is for simple Catholic worship.But I wonder what is in the mind of some of my former ordinands officiating at weddings in suit and tie when the groom is in top hat and tails.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Wednesday, 12 July 2017 at 9:21am BST

'If you water the cofe down anymore it will be pointless.'

I think if people come to faith in Christ, grow as disciples of Jesus and worship God together, it can't possibly be pointless, whether robes are worn or not. If the absence of robes is really the straw that breaks the camel's back, I guess we'd have to conclude that the early church was pointless too.

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Wednesday, 12 July 2017 at 3:19pm BST

“I'm glad to see more flexibility on vestments. There is nothing to stop those who want to wear them from wearing them…”—Tim Chesterton

I may be a High Churchman, Tim, but I have no problem with such flexibility, either. In fact the American Episcopal Church has never had an “Ornaments Rubric” mandating vesture. This Rubric was one of the directives that was dropped (along with others, such as the so-called “Black Rubric”) when we became independent of the CofE in the eighteenth century.

No, what upsets me—and others, I think—are these old folktales spread by some Anglo Catholics as well as by some Evangelicals like Dr. Paul (e.g., post-Reformation Anglican bishops never wore miters until little more than 100 years ago; the surplice was “rarely used” by Anglican clergy in America during the Colonial and Early National periods; incense began to be used by some Anglicans only after the beginning of the Oxford Movement/ Ritualism; religious statues and paintings were never set up in Anglican/Episcopal churches until the Gothic Revival period, etc., etc., etc. It’s statements like these—which are provably false—which irritate folks, not flexibility in vesture.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Posted by: Kurt Hill on Thursday, 13 July 2017 at 9:27pm BST
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