Thinking Anglicans

2020 General Synod Elections: Inclusive Church launches campaign leaflet

Nic Tall is Election Campaign Coordinator for the IC and partners’ 2020 Synod Campaign. Inclusive Church has published this article by him: 2020 Synod Elections: Shaping the future of the Church of England.

Should same sex couples be able to marry in church?  How can the church respond to the climate emergency?  How do we equip the church for the challenges of mission and ministry in the 21st Century?  Do you ever find yourself asking these questions?  And do you ever wonder who in the church has the job of answering them?

In the Church of England the big questions of the day are debated by the General Synod.  It can seem like a remote body, with little effect at parish level and no place for ordinary clergy and churchgoers, but that is a common misperception.  Many significant changes in how local churches operate come from decisions in General Synod, and the policies of the national church are shaped and decided in Synod.  Next year will see full elections for the next five year term of the General Synod, and whoever is elected will have a voice in how the church grapples with the big issues and shape its future.

Could you serve on General Synod?  Maybe you know someone you could encourage to stand for election.  The Church needs a diverse range of people on Synod, different ages, backgrounds and experience to represent the full breadth of the Church.  Inclusive Church is leading a campaign to organise for the 2020 elections, working in partnership with other inclusive organisations across the life of the church.  We have just launched our main campaign leaflet, saying what will be happening and how you can be involved.  Please download it here, and share it far and wide among people you know in the church who have inclusive values…

The campaign leaflet, Planning for the 2020 Elections to the General Synod, contains more detailed information:

Who is organising the Inclusive Synod Campaign?
This campaign is being organised by a coalition of key organisations from across the full breadth of traditions in the Church of England – evangelical, catholic, liberal. We represent the broad mainstream of the Church, those who want our national Church to be for everyone, regardless of gender, age, disability, tradition, race, socio-economic background or sexuality. Members include Inclusive Church, WATCH, One Body One Faith, Ozanne Foundation, Affirming Catholicism, Accepting Evangelicals, Modern Church, the Society of Catholic Priests, the Campaign for Equal Marriage in the C of E, the Progressive Christianity Network and Thinking Anglicans. We are the only campaign for Synod organising across the whole of the Church…

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Opinion – 12 October 2019

Ian Blair ViaMedia.News On Brexit, Becket and Signs of the Times

Janet Fife Surviving Church The Gospel, Victims and Common Worship pt 2

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Crowd Psychology and the Church

Archdruid Eileen The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley The Mathematics and Psychology of the Peace

Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News Identity Depression & the Church’s Culpability

Felicity Cooke and Lizzie Taylor WATCH Trust and Transparency: Essentials for Mutual Flourishing

Loretta Minghella gave this talk (a 31 minute audio) at the WATCH AGM earlier this month.

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Two reports about the Christ Church Oxford dispute

Updated

Two news articles about the dispute concerning the Dean, Martyn Percy, have appeared on the same day. Each contains new information, but there is surprisingly little overlap. Do read both articles all the way through. (Warning: the FT piece is very long.)

Church Times Christ Church continues to struggle to find peace

A NEW row is brewing in Christ Church, Oxford, despite the exoneration of the Dean, the Very Revd Dr Martyn Percy (News, 30 August). The Cathedral Chapter has now sought its own legal advice about the actions of a group of senior dons who accused the Dean of “immoral, scandalous, and disgraceful behaviour” (News, 5 November 2018).

As a consequence, there are reports that members of the Chapter have, in turn, been harassed and threatened with legal action. On Wednesday, Dr Percy declined to comment.

The small group of dons used an estimated £1.6 million of college funds to pursue the Dean, who is also Head of House (i.e. Master of the college) after he raised questions about governance and pay scales, including his own. He was cleared of all charges in August, in an internal inquiry led by Sir Andrew Smith, who produced a judgment of more than 100 pages. It is this document that is at the centre of the new row…

Financial Times Scheming spires: trouble at Oxford’s Christ Church

Update: this second article, which was available freely earlier today, has now gone behind a paywall. I am sorry about the inconvenience. See comments below about possible ways around this.

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Archbishop responds to Church Times leader on Brexit

The Church Times has a news report today (which covers other episcopal Brexit responses too) This is how to honour the referendum: Welby clarifies Bishops’ statement. In it the Archbishop of Canterbury  makes a fairly lengthy response to last week’s leader column. Do read it all.

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Channel Islands Commission publishes recommendations

Press release from the Church of England

Channel Islands Commission publishes recommendations
09/10/2019

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on the relationship of the Channel Islands to the wider Church of England has published its final report, including a recommendation for Episcopal oversight of the Islands to be transferred to the Bishop of Salisbury.

(more…)

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Oxford bishops write about Brexit

The Oxford bishops write:

We may be about to exit the European Union and begin a new relationship with our European neighbours and with the world. +Steven, +Alan, +Colin and Bishop-elect Olivia have written a joint letter to every church, school and chaplaincy in the Diocese of Oxford reminding us all of the important roles that our churches and schools hold at this time. The bishops are encouraging parishioners across the diocese to read the letter too: “Don’t underestimate what we can achieve if every church, chaplaincy and school does something and if every Christian disciple takes some action, however small”.

Read the whole letter here. A Christian response to Brexit.

And there are further resources here.

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Synod Questions

Members of the Church of England General Synod have been sent the following email inviting questions for answer next month. As noted written answers will be given (and published); ie no supplementary questions will be possible.

Dear Synod members,

Mindful of the exceptionally high number of questions in February and July, the Business Committee has decided to use its powers under Standing Order 117(1) to give members the opportunity to submit questions for written answer between groups of sessions. This is a process last used in 2008.

The deadline is 12.00 on Friday, 8 November. Please send the questions to questions@churchofengland.org.

Answers will be published on www.churchofengland.org no later than Monday, 25 November.

Please also note that under SO 112(2), members can ask up to two questions, which should be addressed to one of the bodies accountable to the General Synod listed in SO 112(1).

Thank you very much.

Best regards,

Synod Support

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Opinion – 5 October 2019

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church The Jonathan Fletcher story continues

Martyn Goss Modern Church Faith, belief and climate justice

Peter Leonard ViaMedia.News Power, Men & Politics

Lambeth Conference Eamonn Mullally shares his hopes for the Lambeth Conference

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Church Times leader criticises Bishops’ Brexit statement

Today’s Church Times carries three items relating to the Church of England bishops’ intervention in the Brexit debate.

There is a news story, Bishops defend statement in which they endorse Brexit

and there is the Press column Press: Bishops back Brexit — but no one reports it.

But more significantly there is a very long leader article, which is highly critical of the statement: The Bishops’ misplaced respect. Do read the whole of this critique, which starts out:

IT WAS a very Anglican betrayal. No Gove-like rush of blood to the head, stolid Johnsonian plotting, or Momentum bullying. Just a throwaway line at the start of the College of Bishops’ statement on the tenor of political discourse. It was a clearing of the throat, a testing of the microphone. “In writing, we affirm our respect for the June 2016 Referendum, and our belief that the result should be honoured.”

All three parts of this sentence deserve a closer look…

There are also some Letters to the Editor.

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Opinion – 2 October 2019

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The 40th anniversary of a feral priest’s priesting

Janet Fife Surviving Church The Gospel, Victims and Common Worship

Sarah Mullaly, the Bishop of London, preached this sermon at the annual Judges Service in Westminster Abbey yesterday.
“Justice in the Bible has less to do with the conviction of the guilty and more to do with the care of the innocent.”

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