Thinking Anglicans

July General Synod – electronic voting results

The electronic voting results from this month’s General Synod are now available online and are linked below, with links to the order papers containing the relevant texts.

Electronic voting results

Inquiry into Allegations of Abuse within the Soul Survivor Network (Order Paper IV)

Living in Loving and Faith (Order Paper VII)


Opinion – 20 July 2024

Morwenna Ludlow ViaMedia.News Celibacy and Conscience

Stephen Andrews The Living Church Wycliffe College and the Character of Anglicanism

Gavin Drake Church Abuse A look at Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell’s public “correction of the record”


Dean of Southwell to retire

The Very Reverend Nicola Sullivan, Dean of Southwell, has announced her plans to retire later this year. Her last day at the Cathedral will be Sunday 29 September. Full details are on the Southwell Minster website.


Lords Spiritual (Women) Act 2015 (Extension) Bill

Following today’s King’s Speech the Government released King’s Speech 2024: background briefing notes. Included in this is the Lords Spiritual (Women) Act 2015 (Extension) Bill. I have copied the relevant section of the briefing notes below the fold. The text of the 2015 Act is here.



Opinion – 17 July 2024

Peter Carrell Anglican Down Under On Bible translations

Augustine Tanner-Ihm ViaMedia.News Where is the Colour? The CEEC Commissioning of Overseers: A Theological and Ecclesiological Critique

Joanne Woolway Grenfell Civil Society Safeguarding: How the Church of England is learning from past events
[This article is behind a paywall, but has been reproduced in full in a Church of England press release.]

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The desolation of the Church of England


Meeting of the House of Bishops – July 2024

Press release from the Church of England

Meeting of the House of Bishops – July 2024

The House of Bishops convened online on 15 July.

The House discussed the next steps for the LLF process following the motion passed by the General Synod earlier in the month, including plans for bishops to join the existing LLF Working Groups, form a new group to work on a bishops’ statement, and to explore the possibility of a residential meeting later in 2024.

They also considered how the Church can support and engage with the new Government, discussing the current strategic political challenges both in the UK and globally, and reviewing the #PrayYourPart election campaign.

The bishops passed votes to progress the implementation of a regional model for safeguarding and to review the Bishops’ regulations for Reader ministry, last updated 24 years ago. They also noted the annual report of the Standing Commission on the Five Guiding Principles.


Ely CNC fails to nominate

Updated to add two links below the Archbishop’s statement

The Ely CNC failed to nominate a bishop at its meeting last week. Details are in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s statement copied below. Readers may recall that the Carlisle CNC similarly failed to nominate a new bishop when it met last December.

Statement on Crown Nominations Commission process for next Bishop of Ely


Very sadly, at the conclusion of a lengthy process of discernment, culminating in two days of interviews on 11 and 12 July, the Crown Nominations Commission considering the nomination of the next Bishop of Ely has not been able reach the level of consensus required to nominate a new Diocesan Bishop.

Over the course of the next months, the Crown Nominations Commission will need to reflect, and make a decision about which stage it wishes to re-commence the discernment process. This is not likely to be before the Spring of 2025. Together with the Archbishop of York and others, there will also need to be a period of reflection on the implications of this decision on the Church of England more generally.

I will be speaking with Bishop Dagmar Winter, the Bishop of Huntingdon, in order to understand from her the best way of supporting the Diocese of Ely and her episcopal ministry in the coming months.

Please continue to hold the Diocese of Ely and the discernment of the Crown Nominations Commission in your prayers.

Background information

A Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) considers vacancies in Diocesan Bishoprics in the Provinces of Canterbury and York, and candidates for appointments to them.

Under the Standing Orders of the General Synod, a nomination cannot be made to the Crown to fill a vacant see unless it has received the support of at least two-thirds of the total number of the voting members of the Commission (10 out of 14) in a secret ballot.

The voting members of the Crown Nominations Commission for a vacant see are the two Archbishops (or a Diocesan Bishop acting on their behalf), 6 members elected from the Vacancy in See Committee of the Diocese and 6 ‘Central Members’ elected from the General Synod. The Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments and the Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary are non-voting members of the Commission.

Church Times Questions asked after Crown Nominations Commission fails to agree next Bishop of Ely

Diocese of Ely An update on the next Bishop of Ely


Opinion – 13 July 2024

Theo Hobson The Spectator The C of E needs to talk about sex

Helen King sharedconversations Milestone Day or Groundhog Day?

Nic Tall ViaMedia.News Cooking with Love and Faith

Hatty Calbus Surviving Church The Revitalise Trust and Safeguarding

Anon ViaMedia.News Persona non grata: an Unwelcoming Encounter at All Souls, Langham Place


CEEC commissions Overseers

Updated Monday and again Tuesday

CEEC commissions first set of overseers

The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) has commissioned its first set of overseers, in a service today at All Souls Langham Place, in London.

The introduction of the Ephesian Fund and Alternative Spiritual Oversight (ASO), followed the General Synod decision in November 2023 to approve the bishops’ proposals to change the position and practice of the Church of England with regards to sexual ethics and marriage, by blessing same sex couples as part of normal services. At a subsequent Synod meeting earlier this week, standalone services of blessing for same sex couples received General Synod support and a timetable to work towards clergy same sex marriages was endorsed. As a result of these decisions, many clergy and PCCs have lost confidence in those bishops supporting change.

At the service, the first 20 overseers were commissioned (with more to be commissioned in due course). The overseers comprise a group of Honorary Assistant Bishops, alongside other clergy from across the evangelical constituency (spanning charismatics and conservatives, egalitarians and complementarians). They will provide informal oversight to clergy and PCCs who feel a loss of confidence in the spiritual leadership of their bishop(s). This informal and temporary oversight, facilitated by CEEC, does not in any way undermine or replace the legal and safeguarding responsibilities of clergy and PCCs to their bishops and/or diocese.

The Ephesian Fund and ASO are designed to help those who hold to the existing teaching and doctrine of marriage and sexual ethics to remain in the Church of England while a permanent structural reorganisation is pursued within the Church of England…

The order of service is here.
The list of names is below the fold.



Opinion – 10 July 2024

Sean Doherty ViaMedia.News Trust and Training

Phil Groves ViaMedia.News The Alliance and the Bishop of Oxford

Lorraine Cavanagh On Forgiving The Church


Responses to General Synod debate on LLF

Updated Thursday

Together has issued this Statement following LLF debate at July 2024 General Synod.

The Church of England Evangelical Council has published this: CEEC expresses deep disappointment on ‘milestone day’ as Synod approves bishops’ Living in Love and Faith proposals.

Update 11 July

The Alliance has published this Statement from the Alliance after July 2024 General Synod

Other statements will be linked when they are published.


General Synod – 5-9 July 2024

This post will be updated as the meeting proceeds.

The Church of England’s General Synod is meeting this weekend. The timetable is here, the agenda is here and the papers are here.

Live video etc

All sessions are streamed live on YouTube and remain available to view afterwards. Links have been provided in advance.

There is an official X/Twitter account.

Chairs of debates

Official July 2024 list of members

Order papers

Business done

Official press releases

Press reports and comment

Church Times


The Guardian


Together responds to LLF

together for the Church of England has published this letter to Martyn Snow.
The full text is copied here (the signatures list is below the fold).

Dear Bishop Martyn


We are writing to thank you for your work over recent months in guiding the LLF project forwards and for the publication of the latest proposals before General Synod. It is clear that you and the LLF staff team have taken great pains to ensure that different perspectives were able to contribute, and we see this reflected in the papers before Synod. We would also wish to extend our thanks to the College and House of Bishops for their continuing engagement with LLF, and hope that there will be support for the measures being proposed.

We welcome the proposal to remove restrictions on the use of the Prayers of Love and Faith in standalone services. Many of us have already seen the pastoral and missional potential of the PLF material within existing services, which will be enhanced by making them available for use in standalone services. That this opportunity occurs on a voluntary opt-in basis helps to respect conscience all round and is something that we support. While it is not the gold standard of equal marriage that many of us seek, we recognise that this is a proportionate compromise that can be offered while the Church continues to explore these areas.

We are pleased that serious discussion is progressing on the freedom of clergy to enter a same-sex civil marriage. While we would have preferred to see more on this at the July Synod we welcome the clear timetable stating a decision will be taken by the House of Bishops in January 2025. For many clergy in faithful, stable, permanent relationships this decision cannot come soon enough. It is also a decision that many lay people already in same-sex marriages and who wish to explore a vocation to ordained ministry have been patiently waiting for. We firmly believe in marriage and the benefits it offers in regularising and honouring the love between two people. All of our clergy should be able to structure their closest and most intimate relationship in this way and we look forward to the further work from FAOC and the decision of the House of Bishops.

We look forward to hearing more about the model of specific and defined delegation of episcopal ministry to maximise inclusion under episcopal pastoral care. We support the rejection of hard structural approaches to managing differences in the life of the Church and welcome an approach focussed on pastoral relationships. As a Church we must never neglect that personal relationships contribute most strongly in building up the Church as the body of Christ, and managing difference is best achieved through good interpersonal relationships ahead of recourse to legalistic frameworks.

We remain fully committed to the unity of the Church, creating a generous space where all can thrive regardless of either sexuality or sincerely held theological conviction. We appreciate your comments in the LLF papers that what is proposed may not be ideal, but will allow us a space to discern God’s will in the longer term. Sometimes the best is the enemy of the good, and seeking perfection only delivers paralysis. We therefore welcome these proposals, acknowledging that they cannot deliver everything that all seek from the LLF process, and look forward to engaging with them further.

Please be assured of our prayers during the upcoming Synod and in the work that will follow.

Yours sincerely (more…)


General Synod Questions

The Questions (and answers) for this weekend’s meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod were issued today. They can be found online here:

Questions will be taken on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. There are 221 questions, four fewer than at the last group of sessions.


Opinion – 3 July 2024

Gilo ViaMedia.News Beyond Jay: Here’s What the Response Group and Synod Need to Do for a Safer Church

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Which God?


Barnardo’s report on Network Church Sheffield

From the Diocese of Sheffield:

With the agreement of the survivor, the Yorkshire Baptist Association and the trustees of Network Church Sheffield, in 2022 the Diocese of Sheffield commissioned Barnardo’s to conduct an independent investigation following a complaint made about an experience of conversion therapy and exorcism in 2014-15. This investigation took place in two parts, with part one looking at the individual’s complaint and part two looking at the current practice of St Thomas Philadelphia, part of Network Church Sheffield and the church in which the abuse had taken place.



Bishop of Oxford responds to The Alliance

Updated Friday

The Bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft, has replied to the letter issued by “The Alliance” on 26 June, which was linked in this article: LLF: criticisms from bishops and others.

Here is the full text of his response.


The Alliance has issued a letter in reply.

Church Society has published Responding to The Bishop of Oxford.


Update from independent reviewer Keith Makin

Update I have added a statement from the lead safeguarding bishop below the fold.

Press release from the Church of England

Update from independent reviewer Keith Makin

I can confirm that the representations process, as referenced in my last update on 14th May 2024, is progressing. Those named and criticised in the review report have been given the opportunity to comment on the extracts which are relevant to them. Once their responses have been received and considered and any amendments arising from this made, I will hand the report to the Archbishops’ Council for subsequent publication. This is unlikely to be until the end of the summer as my priority is to ensure that this final stage is carefully conducted, recognising the impact on all those affected. I confirm this will be done as soon as practically possible. At that point the date of publication will be decided by the Archbishops’ Council.


Both the reviewers and the Church recognise that giving information to this review has the potential to be re-traumatising for victims and survivors. While support has previously been offered the NST has now secured the service of a specialist advocacy service. FearFree Support provides specialist support to victims and survivors of abuse, offering trauma informed and victim led bespoke support. Its director of services has identified an experienced independent advocate for victims and survivors to deliver this service and this information has been relayed to the survivors and victims.

Contact:, mb 07442 968767/helpdesk 01225775276

There is an additional offer of therapeutic support for victims and survivors of Smyth from Yellow Door.

Yellow Door is an organisation that can offer evidence-based therapy to support victims and survivors of abuse and those that have experienced trauma.

Contact Yellow Door confidentially at

Support for victims and survivors of other Church-related cases can be accessed here.