Tuesday 15 November
There will be a service of Holy Communion in Westminster Abbey at 10.30 am, at which Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will be present. Following the service, at about 12.15 pm, Her Majesty will address the Synod at a brief ceremony in the Assembly Hall of Church House, Westminster. After the Inauguration ceremony, the Synod will adjourn for lunch.
The first Business Session starts at 2.30 pm and runs until 7.00 pm. Here is the Agenda:
2. PROGRESS OF MEASURES AND STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS
3. REPORT BY THE BUSINESS COMMITTEE (GS 1592)
The Chairman of the Business Committee (the Revd Dr Richard Turnbull (Winchester)) to move: “That the Synod do take note of this Report.”
“This will provide the customary opportunity for members to raise points about content and shape of the Agenda for this Group of Sessions, or about the Synod’s business generally.”
The following item will start not later than 3.15 p.m.
4. FACING THE CHALLENGE OF TERRORISM (GS 1595)
The Bishop of Southwark to move:
That this Synod
a) condemn the 7 July terrorist atrocities, express its sympathy to the victims and families of all who suffered as a result of those and subsequent events, record its appreciation for the work of the emergency services and acknowledge the daunting responsibility of the Government, police and security services for safeguarding the lives of all our people in these times;
b) nevertheless affirm that a successful counter-terrorism policy must, without excusing violence, understand and address its underlying causes;
c) urge all political parties, in considering draft legislation to heed the clear warnings from history about the progressive erosion of fundamental rights in relation to habeas corpus, free speech and religious liberty; and
d) call upon members of the Church of England to set an example in the promotion of greater understanding, reconciliation and respect within their local communities, especially where there are significant numbers from other faith traditions.
5 EPISCOPACY IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
Presentation under Standing Order 97. Extract from the Business Committee report:
In his contribution to the July Synod debate on women in the episcopate, the Archbishop of Canterbury suggested that the General Synod agenda might include a theological seminar on the episcopate. This would enable Synod members to reflect further on some of the wider theological issues in preparation for later debates on the specific question of women bishops. The Archbishop’s remarks were made in the light of earlier exchanges at the July Synod, during debates on the Ordinal, on the meaning of episcopacy in the Church.
The Business Committee has agreed (in the light of discussion at the House of Bishops) that there will accordingly be a seminar at this Group of Sessions, in the form of a presentation, under Standing Order 97. The Bishop of Rochester will open the seminar; his contribution will focus on theological issues concerning the episcopate and will be based on Chapter 2 of the Rochester Report, which will accordingly be circulated to Synod members to help resource the session (GS 1568). The Bishop’s contribution will be followed by other theological contributions. This first phase (lasting no more than 45 minutes) will then be followed by an hour for questions and comments, with a panel consisting of the initial contributors responding at intervals, prior to some closing comments from each of the initial speakers. There will be neither a debate nor any vote at the end of the session.
Wednesday’s agenda will be posted tomorrow.