Some of the answers to questions at last week’s General Synod included detailed statistical information which was not printed in the questions and answers booklet. It was instead placed on the members’ notice board. Usually such detailed information has only been published some months later in the Report of Proceedings. This time however it has been posted on the Church of England website. Here is a list of what has now been published.
Percentage of new ordinands declaring a disability for each year since 2010
Numbers and percentages of disabled candidates attending Bishops Advisory Panels etc
Numerical breakdown of ordinands by training pathway and by diocese
Membership of the Crown Nominations Commission from January 2014
2017 Endowment and Glebe Assets by Diocese and Assets per Capita
Theo Hobson The Spectator How agnostics can help save the Church of England
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Overcoming conflict. Mediation and reconciliation examined.
Opinion articles relating specifically to last week’s meeting of General Synod are in my article below.0 Comments
Updated again Thursday
We reported earlier on this: Spouses of bishops not invited to Lambeth Conference unless of opposite sex.
The Lambeth Conference website drew attention to the exclusion and linked to the earlier article from Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon. Here is how it looked:
Until last night. When the reference to this matter was removed from that page:
The blog article remains in place, so presumably there has been no change in policy.
Two other developments relating to the Lambeth Conference invitations:
Executive Council has asked The Episcopal Church’s bishops and their spouses, and the House of Bishops collectively, “to prayerfully and carefully consider her/his/their response, choices and actions” in the light of what it calls the “troubling circumstances” of the decision to exclude same-sex spouses from the 2020 Lambeth Conference of bishops.
Council unanimously approved a resolution on Feb. 25 that says it finds the decision “inconsistent” with the positions of The Episcopal Church and with multiple statements of Anglican Communion entities that have urged the church to listen to the experiences LGBTQ persons.
“Exclusion of spouses at Lambeth Conference: When does all mean all?” calls the decision “particularly misguided and inconsistent with the stated purposes of the conference,” in part because the conference planning group decided to run a joint program for bishops and their spouses, rather than the traditional parallel programs. The FAQs section of the Lambeth2020 website says that the joint conference “is in recognition of the vital role spouses play across the Anglican Communion and a desire to support them.
The Bishop of Liverpool has said he will attend an international summit of Anglican leaders without his wife next year, in protest at a bar on the partners of gay clergy.
Rt Rev Paul Bayes described the decision to prevent same-sex partners of clergy from attending the 2020 Lambeth Conference as an “act of exclusion”.
In a message posted on Twitter, he said: “I deeply regret that, in the fractious complexities of our life as a worldwide people, this act of exclusion has taken its place.
“It is a grief to me and to my wife, and to many others. Despite this, I aim to attend the Conference, alone, in the hope of a common future.”
GAFCON has this view: Lambeth 2020 Descends into Confusion.95 Comments
WATCH (Women and the Church) has published A Report on the Developments in Women’s Ministry in 2018. There are tables giving
The tables are preceded by this introduction:
In 2019 it will be:
Last updated 2 March 2019
Videos of all sessions of last week’s General Synod are available here on YouTube.
Rachel Mann looks back at the sessions: ‘In Company’ – A Few Remarkable Days at Synod
[I’ll add articles below as more are published.]
Ivan Ball The Guardian Letters Church of England bureaucracy needs an update
Zachary Guiliano The Living Church ‘The Synod for Evangelism’
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Mission & Evangelism: ecclesiology and liturgy. Reflecting on General Synod
Tim Hind Open Synod Group Overview of the Group of Sessions
William Nye The Guardian Letters Update on Church of England rules for parishes
a response to Ivan Ball’s letter by the secretary general of the Archbishops’ Council.
Meg Munn Chair of the National Safeguarding Panel My First Synod
Church Times has published its usual detailed reports on the Synod. Non-subscribers can only read a limited number of these reports.8 Comments
Updated 6 March
We reported on the suspension of Martyn Percy, the Dean of Christ Church Oxford, here.
Harriet Sherwood writes for The Observer this weekend that ‘Gossip and secrecy’ fuel Oxford row over suspended dean. Her article starts:
Prominent clergy linked to Oxford’s Christ Church cathedral are in revolt over a complaint against its dean which they say is “surrounded by secrecy and fuelled by gossip”.
In a row that has convulsed one of the university’s most venerable institutions, the Very Rev Martyn Percy, head of Christ Church – the college founded by Thomas Wolsey in 1546 – as well as dean of the cathedral, has been accused of “immoral, scandalous and disgraceful behaviour”. He has been suspended by the college’s governing body pending a tribunal led by a retired High Court judge later this year.
More than 30 honorary canons headed by Sue Booys, the chair of Oxford diocese house of clergy, wrote last week to Sir Andrew Smith, the former judge, to register concern about the handling of the complaint.
Their letter extolled the “dean’s personal integrity”, and criticised a “sad and cruel delay” before the college’s governing body publicly acknowledged that the unspecified charges against Percy did not relate to safeguarding issues. “The issues relating to this charge seem to be surrounded by secrecy and fuelled by gossip,” it said.
The article also states:
The college’s governing body wrote last month to alumni to say the dispute did not concern safeguarding, gender bias, access issues or the pay of academic staff: “We are not able to discuss the detailed basis of the complaint except to say that it relates to issues surrounding the dean’s own pay and how it is set.”
Camilla Turner The Telegraph Oxford dean accused of trying to remove tutors from salary committee after pay rise request was refused18 Comments
Stephen Lynas bathwellschap Love of the common people
a summary of the final day’s business
Hattie Williams and Adam Becket Church Times Synod seeks land and fair treatment for gypsies, travellers and Roma
Izzy Lyons The Telegraph Church of England should make land available for gypsies and travellers, General Synod votes
Izzy Lyons The Telegraph Thirty six per cent of Anglican congregations have no parishioners under 16-years-old
Adam Becket and Abigail Frymann Rouch Church Times Labour and Tory parties’ internal divisions are stifling any ‘viable vision for the common good’ says General Synod
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Church of England urges five days of prayer for poor as Brexit looms
Archbishop of Canterbury‘s speech opening the General Synod ‘State of the Nation’ debate
Church of England press releases
General Synod speaks out against racism directed against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities
Church of England commits to next generation evangelism
Church of England calls for Government action on problem gambling
State of the Nation Debate
Stephen Lynas bathwellschap Listen, do you want to know a secret?
a summary of the day’s business
David Pocklington Law & Religion UK Broad Synod support for DSM environment motion
Madeleine Davies Church Times ‘Prioritise evangelism’ motion is amended to reflect Anglican breadth
Church of England press releases
Church of England steps up Environment Programme
General Synod backs plans to mobilise one million worshippers
General Synod commends resources to help families pray at home
General Synod backs drive to create new churches on estates
Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer ‘General Synod has no confidence in the Church of England’s capacity to regulate its own safeguarding culture’
Sara Gillingham Church Times My intersex story
“Sara Gillingham is fed up with being treated as ‘disordered'”
John Appleby Church Times Created by god male and female?
“Exposure to different experiences has led John Appleby to rethink binary gender models”
Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News Can It be Right That…?4 Comments
Stephen Lynas bathwellschap How many years can some people exist?
a summary of the day’s business
Tim Wyatt Church Times General Synod rebels attempt to quash wedding and funeral fees
David Pocklington Law & Religion UK Church of England Parochial Fees – Changes for 2020 to 2024
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Church of England makes Sunday services non-compulsory
“Synod approves change to ease burden on rural priests, who may have up to 20 churches”
Izzy Lyons The Telegraph Churches no longer legally required to hold service every Sunday, as Synod scraps 17th century law
Adam Becket Church Times Synod calls for C of E battle plan on homelessness
Zachary Guiliano The Living Church Synod Takes Up Poverty
Church of England press releases
General Synod approves greater service flexibility for benefices
New code of practice on ecumenical cooperation approved by General Synod
General Synod backs call for homelessness task force
Church of England launches Pastoral Principles for welcoming LGBTI+ people
The Pastoral Principles are here.
The Ozanne Foundation has published the results of the 2018 National Faith & Sexuality Survey. There is this Press Release which summarises the results:
SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS REPORTS OF SIGNIFICANT HARM EXPERIENCED BY LGBQ+ CHILDREN OF FAITH WHO ARE SUBJECT TO “CONVERSION THERAPY”
The 2018 National Faith & Sexuality Survey has revealed the high level of mental health issues reported amongst people who have attempted changing their sexual orientation, with many sharing they have attempted suicide or had suicidal thoughts. Over half said they first attempted to change whilst they were 18 or under with many stating they were influenced by their religious leader. 22 people said they had been forced to undergo sexual activity with someone of the opposite gender. These attempts were reported as being overwhelmingly unsuccessful, with the primary motivations given for attempting to change relating to either religious beliefs or internationalised homophobia.
The survey, the first of its kind in the UK, was designed to understand the impact of religious belief on people’s understanding and acceptance of their sexual orientation. It ran during December 2018 and attracted over 4600 responses, of which a tenth (458) stated they had personal experience of attempting to change their sexual orientation. Over half of these said they had experienced mental health issues, of whom nearly a third (91 people) said they had attempted suicide while over two-thirds (193 people) said they had had suicidal thoughts. Two in five of those who reported mental health issues indicated they had self- harmed and a quarter said they had suffered from eating disorders. Few said they had sought advice from the medical profession but instead nearly half said they had sought advice from their religious leader, who was identified as being significantly more likely than parents to be the person to advise or force attempts at sexual orientation change…
…The report is being presented at a lunchtime fringe meeting at the General Synod on February 21st 2019 ahead of the Church of England’s own presentation of its proposed “Pastoral Principles” for pastoral ministry among LGBTI+ people in the Church.
The full set of results can be downloaded here.
The survey questionnaire can be downloaded here.
The full Executive Report can be downloaded here.
Media coverage is being collated over here.12 Comments
Updated late Thursday
News and comment from the opening day of the Church of England’s General Synod
OP1 – Order Paper I – lists the day’s business
Questions (and answers)
Stephen Lynas bathwellschap But when the weekend comes, she knows where we will be…
a summary of the day’s business
Archbishop of Canterbury‘s presidential address
Archdruid Eileen Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley Turn to Your Neighbour and Scream
You can watch Watch General Synod live here.
Zachary Guiliano The Living Church Synod Discusses Transgender Guidance8 Comments
Lynne Cullens Some notes on class, relevance and the Church
Giles Goddard ViaMedia.News Lessons My Mother Taught Me…Like When Best to Say Nothing At All
Kelvin Holdsworth What’s in Kelvin’s Head How would you teach me to pray?
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Volunteers and Church Life
Jonathan Draper Afterthoughts Evangelism and the Five Marks of Mission1 Comment
GS Misc 1200 is the document prepared for the synod session on Thursday afternoon, for which the Agenda item reads:
Not later than 5.30 p.m
LIVING IN LOVE AND FAITH AND PASTORAL ADVISORY GROUP (GS MISC 1200)
Presentation under SO 107.
Note: The Business Committee has determined under SO 107(3) that this presentation should include an opportunity for questions.
GS Misc 1200 starts thus:
This paper summarises developments regarding the Living in Love and Faith project and the work of the Pastoral Advisory Group. It includes an account of some of the key activities that the work has involved, the emerging shape of the groups’ next steps and how these relate to finding a way forward for the Church in matters relating to human identity, sexuality and marriage.
The paper introduces two key pieces of work, namely the ‘Living in Love and Faith Learning Outcomes’ and ‘Held Together in the Love of Christ: Pastoral Principles for Living Well Together’ produced by the Pastoral Advisory group. A series of fringe sessions are introduced that offer informal engagement with individuals who are members of LLF or PAG as well as members of General Synod…
The text of the Pastoral Principles start on page 8 of the document. A separate copy of them is available over here. TA readers are invited to read and comment on them.
The Church of England’s General Synod meets in London this week from Wednesday to Saturday.
Stephen Lynas bathwellschap Ch – ch – ch – ch – ch – changes
Stephen’s usual excellent introduction to this week’s business
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Hey ho, hey ho & it’s off to synod we go
Steven Croft Bishop of Oxford Rethinking Evangelism
an (unauthorised) background paper for the General Synod.
David Pocklington Law & Religion UK Measuring the Footprint, Delivering the ambition?
“The continued debate on the London/Truro Diocesan Synod Motion”
Church Times leader Mission creeps
There are links to the Synod agenda and papers here.23 Comments
ACNS has published this article by Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon: The global excitement about Lambeth Conference. To date most of the excitement about this article has related to the following paragraph (emphasis added):
I need to clarify a misunderstanding that has arisen. Invitations have been sent to every active bishop. That is how it should be – we are recognising that all those consecrated into the office of bishop should be able to attend. But the invitation process has also needed to take account of the Anglican Communion’s position on marriage which is that it is the lifelong union of a man and a woman. That is the position as set out in Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference. Given this, it would be inappropriate for same-sex spouses to be invited to the conference. The Archbishop of Canterbury has had a series of private conversations by phone or by exchanges of letter with the few individuals to whom this applies.
The Sunday Times reported this first (£): Married gay bishops told: don’t bring your spouse to Anglican conference.
Christian Today has Same-sex spouses not invited to Lambeth Conference
By far the most informative article is this one from Episcopal News Service: Same-sex spouses not invited to next year’s Lambeth Conference of bishops
The Episcopal Church currently has one actively serving bishop who has a same-sex spouse. The Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool was elected as bishop suffragan of the Diocese of Los Angeles in December 2009 and consecrated May 2010. She has been bishop assistant in the Diocese of New York since April 2016. She is married to Becki Sander, her partner of more than 30 years.
Glasspool told Episcopal News Service Feb. 18 in a telephone interview that she received a letter from Welby on Dec. 4, 2018, in which he said that he was writing to her “directly as I feel I owe you an explanation of my decision not to invite your spouse to the Lambeth Conference, a decision that I am well aware will cause you pain, which I regret deeply…”
Do read the further detail of her exchanges with the archbishop. And the article has been extended to include comments from Bishop Kevin Robertson (Toronto) and to refer to the new bishop-elect of Maine.
OneBodyOneFaith has expressed its sadness and disappointment at the decision to exclude same-sex partners from the 2020 Lambeth Conference, and offered hospitality to those partners who would still like to attend.
Tracey Byrne, Chief Executive, responded by promising to ensure that same-sex partners of bishops who wished to join them in Canterbury, would be warmly welcomed. ‘We are called to follow the example of Jesus in extending the table to those with whom we don’t necessarily agree, and we applaud the effort of the organisers to do just that – but we need to go further. Radical Christian inclusion demands no less from us. These partners may be few in number but they are hugely symbolically significant, prophetic even. We are reaching out to them over the coming weeks, and have already been contacted by members and supporters offering accommodation. We will do everything we can to ensure that they are there in Canterbury next year.’
Updated Wednesday morning
Monday 18th February 2019 1000
GENERAL SYNOD FORCED TO FACE CHURCH ABUSE CRISIS
Victims of abuse address the church through hard-hitting booklet
The General Synod of the Church of England, meeting this week in Westminster, has once again been forced to face up to the crisis of abuse by clergy and other church officers. In spite of featuring prominently in the ongoing Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), the church had decided not to formally discuss the crisis during its four-day meeting. But victims and survivors of church abuse have forced the issue back onto the church’s agenda through a hard-hitting pamphlet. The booklet We Asked for Bread but you gave us Stones updates a previous booklet, which shocked many synod members twelve months ago. Victims of abuse, whose comments about the church caused widespread dismay this time last year, were asked to describe how the church has treated them since then.
The message of the booklet is that for all the talk, the Church of England is no further forward in addressing the needs of victims. “I have been more of less abandoned'” says one. Another complains that “Nobody has taken charge. We remain adrift.” The Archbishop of Canterbury has described the church’s treatment of complainants as “a deeply evil act.” And yet Andrew Graystone, who collated the new booklet, says that the church has persisted in its “lawyer-led, money-driven approach to survivors of abuse.” He pleads for the church to treat its victims as “wounded friends” and to “start by asking what you might do to help them rebuild their lives.”
All members of the General Synod will receive a copy of the new booklet when they arrive for the meeting on Wednesday.
A copy of the new edition of We Asked for Bread but you gave us Stones is available for download here: Stones not Bread Revisited.
All Synod members will today receive as well a copy of this Credit card sized reminder of what they personally can do to prevent abuse.3 Comments
The Church of England’s General Synod will hold its Questions session on Wednesday this week, starting not later than 17:45. The questions (and their answers) have been published this morning. These questions and answers will not be read out on Wednesday, and the session will be devoted to supplementary questions and answers.14 Comments
The General Synod Human Sexuality Group has issued a briefing paper for synod members, which has been produced by Christina Beardsley & Susan Gilchrist.
Inclusive Cburch has published it here: A briefing paper on the House of Bishops’ Pastoral Guidance on using the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith with transgender people.
Another copy is available in PDF format here.
And there is an associated reading list.3 Comments
Quodcumque – Serious Christianity Guest Post: Consecrated celibacy – a personal journey
Sara Gillingham ViaMedia.News Dear Church – A Valentine Lesson in Love
“Sara Gillingham … raises awareness of issues faced by people born with intersex traits.”
Andrew Gray Church Times A joined-up approach to tackling homelessness
“A task force would enable better working between the Church and other agencies”
Church Times ‘Jesus holding my hand has been the most powerful force in my life’
“Two gay priests of different generations talk about the challenges that they have faced in their ministry”