It is unusual that the Report of the Business Committee is not included in the first distribution. I always read that first to find out what is really happening!
I hope that GS 2016 on Tuesday is not welcomed with the usual enthusiastic uncritical support. There has been a serious snub to the Scottish Episcopal Church in what is essentially uninvited cross border intrusion into another province by the Church of England.
Some very serious questions need to be asked publicly about how this came about as it looks like careless trespassing by the bigger C of E province without permission from the smaller Scottish one. Commentators in these columns are rightly critical, incensed sometimes, about cross border activities by Equatorial African provinces and their notorious intrusions into other provinces, I hope that General Synod members will be aware that in this so-called 'ecumenical' agreement with another Church (the Presbyterian Church of Scotland) they have fostered a lack of communion in their own.
The only way out without too much loss of face is to preface the announcement with an apology and to get some kind of statement of retrospective agreement from the Scottish Episcopal Church. Otherwise the whole exercise will be to use a contemporary term 'tainted'.
GS 2018 remains highly problematic.
Synod should not give away its legislative power.
The draft Enabling Measure (GS 2018) is an entirely sensible and much needed piece of legislation, if the Church of England is going to transform and simplify itself. A few Synod hacks will oppose it, but then they oppose most things. But one thing is certain. Synod will not be giving away its legislative power. Legislation is brought to Synod by different routes now and that will continue to be the case. A draft Order under the new Enabling Measure (when promulged) can only become law once Synod has approved it. If it rejects it, it needs to go back through the process, or its promoters (usually the Archbishops' Council) will have to drop it. It's really no more complicated that that, although some of the usual suspects would have you believe to the contrary.
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