Thinking Anglicans

General Synod – day 2 of 2

Updated Thursday morning

Business on Wednesday 25 November

Church of England press releases
Concern for the planet is not a Christian ‘add-on’, Archbishop of York tells Synod
General Synod backs work to help vulnerable refugees [See below the fold for the text of this press release]
Synod agrees to cut red tape to secure future for vulnerable churches

Official brief summaries of the day’s business
General Synod November 2015 – Wednesday AM
General Synod November 2015 – Wednesday PM

Archbishop of York’s Climate Change Presentation at Synod

Press reports
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Justin Welby says UK military action in Syria ‘almost inevitable’
Antony Bushfield Premier Synod votes to back “military force” to create safe route for refugees
Florence Taylor Christian Today Justin Welby endorses use of force in Syria
Independent Catholic News Coptic Bishop speaks on migration crisis during CofE Synod

Ruth Gledhill Christian Today Churches launch call to prayer to reverse negative views of Jesus and Christianity

John Bingham The Telegraph Rural vicars ‘drowning’ amid battle to keep empty churches open

General Synod backs work to help vulnerable refugees
25 November 2015

The General Synod has given its overwhelming backing to work by parishes and dioceses to support the resettlement of vulnerable Syrian refugees, in a debate focusing on the humanitarian response to the migrant crisis.

Members of the General Synod approved a motion welcoming the scale of aid provided by the Government for those suffering as a result of the conflict in Syria but called for significantly more Syrian refugees to be allowed to resettle in this country than the Government’s target of 20,000 over five years.

The Synod urged parishes and dioceses to work in partnership with local authorities and other community organisations to provide practical help for the resettlement of vulnerable refugees and to pray for all those seeking both to address the causes as well as the symptoms of the crisis.

Synod members called upon the Government to work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to ensure that vulnerability to religiously motivated persecution is taken into account when determining who is received into Britain.

The motion also called upon the Government to work with international partners in Europe and elsewhere to help establish safe and legal routes to places of safety, including this country, for refugees who are vulnerable and at severe risk.

Members of the General Synod further voted to call upon the Government to take a ‘fair and proportionate’ share of refugees now within the European Union, particularly those with family already legally resident in the UK.

Moving the motion, Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, spoke of work already under way by Anglicans to help vulnerable refugees both in Britain and in Europe. He added that it was ‘hard to imagine’ a list of British values which did not include the word ‘hospitality’ – which stands ‘close to the heart of the Christian gospel’.

“Many in the churches believe that, if we put our backs into working with others to create the capacity, we can make 20,000 a number that can be comfortably exceeded,” he said.

“After all, it is not money that will do most to enable people driven from Syria to make new lives. It is practical care from a community, inviting them in, suggesting in many practical ways the possibility of hope and the promise of safety.”

To read Bishop Paul’s speech in full see here.


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8 years ago

The backing of military action is a very sad day indeed.

Father Ron Smith
8 years ago

Has the Age of Signs and Wonders not returned? And in the context of the Church of England General Synod, no less! First, a Franciscan Friar Preacher to the Papal Household, delivers a message of collaborative unity. Secondly, a Coptic Bishop irges upon us a like intention of a unified mission to refugees. And then, there is a Pope called Francis. Are we entering a new Franciscan Age; where the poor and outcast are gathered in; the powerful counselled to give heed to the poor; and healing and reconciliation is sought in all parts of the Church. What a pity… Read more »

8 years ago

Kate, now we agree on something.

Father David
8 years ago

“The backing of military action is a very sad day indeed.” Kate

I wonder what the late Bishop George Bell would have had to say about this? Were he still with us would his speech to the General Synod have echoed the speech he made in the House of Lords condemning the Blanket Bombing of German cities?

8 years ago

Fr Ron, do you actually understand the Roman Catholic church at all? If you seriously think they are embracing this new age as opposed to GAFCON, the RC are far harder on pretty much every liberal cause going worldwide and I’m afraid would have little sympathy for your endless anti GAFCON position.

James Byron
James Byron
8 years ago

For once, I agree with England’s Synod: ISIS are, to use the ancient phrase, hostis humani generis — like the pirates of old, they’re enemies of the human race, and it’s the duty of all nations of means to destroy them. Pacifism excepted, I can’t see any grounds to disagree in principle. Yes, airstrikes will accidentally kill innocent people — but inaction will lead to many more deaths, and so long as Daesh survive, life worse than death for the millions subjected to their tyranny. They’re a gang of brigands, in thrall to a genocidal doomsday cult, and beyond all… Read more »

Priscilla White
Priscilla White
8 years ago

To say synod backed military action is an overstatement. Comments around military action as the/a way of crating safe pathways for refugees were made but in the context of the whole motion I do not believe that we backed indiscriminate bombing (or even possibly discriminate bombing).

Father Ron Smith
8 years ago

Paul (on Thursday). Yes, I do have a pretty good idea of the two sides of the Roman Catholic Church – the pro-Vatican II apologists (incl. Pope Francis) and the anti-aggiornamento crowd (incl. Cardinal George Pell and other traditionalists).

Obviously, you have not absorbed the content of the two addresses given to the general Synod; the first by the Franciscan Preacher to the Papal Household, and the second, by the Coptic Bishop. Both of these ‘outsiders’ seem more disposed towards the Unity of our Churches – based on non-adiaphoraic issues – than you do.

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