Thinking Anglicans

General Synod Agenda for July

The Business Committee of General Synod has today published the agenda for the July Group of Sessions in York.

The published information can be read here and is copied in full below the fold.

GENERAL SYNOD: JULY 2018 TIMETABLE

Friday 6 July 2.30 pm – 7.00 pm

2.30 pm Opening worship
Introduction and welcomes

2.45 pm Address from the Ecumenical Guests

3.15pm Address from the Anglican Communion Guests

3.45 pm Report by the Business Committee

Legislative Business – Special Agenda I

*4.15 pm Ecumenical Relations Measure, Amending Canon No. 38 and C of E (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure – Final Drafting (Article 7 business)

Church Property Measure and Church of England Pensions Measure – Final Approval

Amending Canon No.40 – First Consideration

*5.45 pm Questions

7.00 pm Close of business

7.00 – 7.15 pm Worship

Saturday 7 July

7.00 am Holy Communion in the Berrick Saul Theatre

8.00 am Meeting of the House of Bishops for the purposes of the Article 7 business.

9.00 am – 12.30 pm

9.00 am Morning worship

9.15 am Presidential Address from the Archbishop of York

9.45 am Presentation on Safeguarding with questions

10.30 am Debate on a motion on Safeguarding from the House of Bishops

*12.00 pm An introduction to Saturday afternoon seminars led by the Chair of the Business Committee

12.40 pm – 2.30 pm Lunch

2.30 pm – 7.00 pm

2.30 – 7.00 pm Seminars and workshops will be held on a number of topics. Details of the content and logistics of these will be available on the Agenda and corresponding GS Misc paper.
A prayerful space will be open throughout.

8.00 pm Meeting of the House of Clergy

Sunday 8 July

10.00 am Holy Communion in York Minster

2.30 pm – 7.00 pm

2.30 pm Presentation on the 2015 Synod resolution on Climate Change and Investment from the National Investing Bodies and the Diocese of Oxford

3.00 pm Debate on a motion from the National Investing Bodies

4.30 pm Truro/London Environment DSM

*5.45 pm Debate on a motion from the Ministry and Public Affairs Council on the Ethics of Nuclear Weapons

7.00 pm Close of business

7.00 – 7.15 pm Worship

Monday 9 July

7.00 am Holy Communion in the Berrick Saul Theatre

Either

If a reference is claimed on any of the items of Article 7 business:

– meetings of the Convocations and the House of Laity will be held between 9.00 and 9.45 am to consider the reference (with morning worship included); and

– the Synod will meet from 10.00 am to 12.30 pm in the Central Hall with the business
as scheduled below, other than Morning worship and the Presentation on the Archbishops’ Council’s Annual Report.

Or

If a reference is not claimed on any of the items of Article 7 business, the Synod will meet from 9.00 am to 12.30 pm in the Central Hall with the business as scheduled below.

9.00 am Morning worship

9.15 am Presentation on Archbishops’ Council’s Annual Report with questions

*10.00 am Archbishops’ Council Budget 2019

Legislative Business – Special Agenda I

*11.00 am Ecumenical Relations Measure, Amending Canon No. 38 and C of E (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure – Final Approval (subject to the outcome of the Article 7 references)

Church Representation and Ministers Measure and Amending Canon No. 39 – Revision Stage
[Further] C of E (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure and Amending Canon No. 41 – First Consideration

Deemed business if a debate is required: Pensions (Preconsolidation) Order 2018; usual Fees Orders; and Code of Practice in relation to Bishops’ Mission Orders

12.30 pm – 2.30 pm Lunch

2.30 pm – 7.00 pm

2.30 pm Legislative Business – Special Agenda I (continued)

Items scheduled for the morning of Monday 9 July that have not been completed or reached will be taken here.

4.30 pm Carlisle DSM on the long term sustainability of the NHS

5.30 pm Presentation on the Church Commissioners’ Annual Report with questions

*6.00 pm Debate on the final Report of the Archbishops’ Evangelism Task Group

7.00 pm Close of business7.00 – 7.15 pm Worship

Tuesday 10 July

7.00 am Holy Communion in the Berrick Saul Theatre

9.00 am – 1.00 pm

9.00 am Morning worship

9.15 am Re-appointment of the Chair of the Pensions Board

9.45 am Re-appointment of the Chair of the Archbishops’ Council Finance Committee

10.15 am Presentation on the Cathedrals Working Group Report with questions

10.45 am Debate on a motion on the Cathedrals Working Group Report

12.00 pm Amendments from the Standing Orders Committee (I)

*12.30 pm Farewells

*1.00 pm Prorogation

Contingency Business

Private Members Motion on Homeless Task Force – 121 signatures (Andrew Gray, Norwich)

Deemed Items

Amendments from the Standing Orders Committee (II)

Take note debate on the Archbishops’ Council’s Annual Report

  • not later than

Please note that all timings are indicative unless marked with an asterisk

Questions Deadline: 12 noon 26 June 2018

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David Lamming
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David Lamming

The timetable for the General Synod group of sessions includes, on the Saturday morning, 7th July, a “Presentation on Safeguarding with questions” at 9.45 am, followed, at 10.30 am, by “Debate on a motion on Safeguarding from the House of Bishops.” 1½ hours have been allocated for this debate, but the terms of the motion have not yet been made public. It would be of interest to know now the terms of the motion and who is to propose it. Given the criticism in February that then there was only a presentation (with Q&A) and no debate, it seems likely… Read more »

Charles Read
Guest
Charles Read

Not more workshops! We will have to wait and see what they are about, but we are there to debate and legislate. More time could be given to debating safeguarding…

Father David
Guest
Father David

“fresh information” by the time the 7th July comes around this information will be far from fresh but rather stale after a period of over six months delay when no one is any the wiser as to the nature of this mysterious information concerning Bishop George Bell.

Jayne Ozanne
Guest
Jayne Ozanne

This Synod agenda shows a total failure of leadership in my opinion, and a desire to “overly manage” Synod with regards to sexuality issues. Indeed there is not one mention of the word ‘sexuality’ despite all the calls there have been for debates. I am sure we will be fobbed off with some form of group work – but that is not what any of the synod members have been asking for, from either side. One day, the House of Bishops (who are ultimately the power behind the throne in all this) will realise they need to treat their fellow… Read more »

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

‘Sexuality’ covers a wide range of issues, including safeguarding. Sexual abuse is more about power than it is about sex, but nevertheless sex is involved – as it is in cases of sexual harassment and indecent assault. But it does seem odd, given the furore over the Nye letter, that there is to be no debate or presentation on the issues around same-sex attraction and marriage. The powers that be seem to labour under the erroneous impression that if a contentious issue isn’t officially given space for an airing, it will evaporate. They’re wrong. The Persians have a traditional saying,… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds

One day, the House of Bishops (and Archbishops) will realise they don’t always know best.

But in the precious meantime…

Graeme Buttery
Guest
Graeme Buttery

As a member of the business committee, but of course speaking purely privately, I would just like to say a couple of things. Firstly, Charles I agree with you about us being a legislative body. the trouble is that we are lousy at being legislative and there is often little stomach for it. Look at how often the chamber empties when we come to legislation! As for workshops, group work etc, we had to call what will happen on Saturday something, but please hold comment until you try it. And thirdly, the business committee has no control over the content… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

The Nye letter isn’t so much about sexuality and marriage. The deeper questions it threw up are about governance and authority within the CoE and how this is exercised.
I hope there are people working to get this on the agenda too.

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds

David Lamming’s ‘Bishop Bell’ Motion has not reached the required 100 signatures to be considered at General Synod in July.

The highly questionable ‘2nd Allegation’ against the wartime Bishop of Chichester has been a major factor in not reaching the 100 signature at Synod in July.

Simon
Guest
Simon

The absence of Hereford on the Synod agenda is a decision of the Business Committee, not the House of Bishops. In fact only one bishop sits on the BC. So, rather than the bishops being behind the throne, the absence of Hereford is the decision of an elected body who serve the whole Synod. Sometimes you win an argument at BC, sometimes you don’t, but you have to respect the decision made by elected bodies even when it disappoints. What will have weighed on plenty of minds is whether a vote on a Hereford motion now is the right time… Read more »

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

Excuse my ignorance, but what’s the Hereford motion? And what’s the significance of its not being on the agenda?

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

This is the second Group of Sessions of the General Synod in succession at which no Private Member’s Motion has been scheduled for debate, despite a number being eligible on the basis of support (there is a PMM scheduled as contingency business). I declare an interest in that my motion on Same Sex Relations after the Shared Conversations, which has topped the list, has been sidelined again. Indeed there is nothing on the agenda on this or any related issue. I do not know the thinking of the Business Committee on this, not having been consulted or informed. The House… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Janet and others, the Hereford motion is explained here http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/007693.html

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds

I would urge people to consider the Bishop Bell Motion as important for urgent General Synod debate as the Hereford Motion.

There is much at stake here. As things stand at present, any of us can be accused of sexual abuse, and we will be presumed guilty by the Church – not innocent. Presumption of Innocence – one of the foundation stones of British justice – is seriously under threat. If anyone reading this thinks that is over-dramatising the issue, you do not understand the Bishop Bell Motion.

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

Thanks Simon. That really shouldn’t be controversial. (Sigh)

Cassandra
Guest
Cassandra

Anthony, you had me worried there. I thought you were referring to sisters, mothers and aunts. But your wording was ‘relationships’, I see on https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2017-12/np4-amendments-and-motions.pdf
More seriously, surely the point is that the Teaching Document has successfully kicked everything else in this subject into the very long grass of the C of E.

Simon Butler
Guest
Simon Butler

The Bell issue is clearly important but the motion tabled is the worst, most verbose, one in my 15 years on Synod. Simply too many paragraphs dilute the effect. A simple motion would have garnered much more support. There are plenty who would welcome debate but who won’t sign up to what is a dogs dinner of a motion. Too many paragraphs mean too many reasons to object.

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds

The Bishop Bell Motion is not a “dog’s dinner” – see excerpts below – it is clear and concise. There are other reasons why this Motion has not gained enough support – some of those reasons are obvious…some are not pretty. That this Synod, (a) express its appreciation to Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE QC for his thorough review of the way the Church of England dealt with a complaint of sexual abuse made by a woman known as ‘Carol’ against the late Bishop George Bell… (g) regret that the Archbishop of Canterbury, in his public statement on 15 December… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

“More seriously, surely the point is that the Teaching Document has successfully kicked everything else in this subject into the very long grass of the C of E.”

I don’t believe that has ever been accepted by Synod and, if put to a vote, I don’t think Synod would vote for it as the way forwards.

Cassandra
Guest
Cassandra

Kate, I’d be very interested to see what would happen – indeed, what would the motion be? Anthony seems to be asking for the promised Teaching Document to be debated at Synod before Lambeth. But is there anything in the plans for this Document which suggests that it will go through the synodical process rather than being delivered straight from the Bishops?

This raises the question: what’s up to Synod and what’s up to the Bishops? Going a little further back, for example, did Synod get to approve the 5 Guiding Principles?

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds

Re: 2nd Allegation against Bishop Bell (already thrown out by Sussex Police) and the critical need for the Archbishop to retract his injudicious “significant cloud” comment before July’s General Synod The Church hierarchy – and General Synod – would do well to heed the words of Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood (Archbishop Interview – May 18 2018): “Lord Carlile, who last year carried out an independent review of the church’s handling of the claims, concluded that Bell had been “hung out to dry” and the church had “rushed to judgment”. Welby refused to back down, however, saying a “significant cloud” was left… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds

Just to add…

Freedom of Information [FoI] requests both to Sussex Police and the Church, regarding the 2nd Allegation against Bishop Bell sent by the Church to the Police, have been turned down.

The Police have judged release of the ‘evidence’ as not in the public interest, and the Church appears to be somehow exempt from the FoI Act.

There seems to be a ‘Billingsgate aroma’ surrounding this issue.

The source of that ‘aroma’ needs to be dealt with quickly, especially before July’s General Synod.

peter kettle
Guest
peter kettle

What is a ‘billingsgate aroma’?

Simon Butler
Guest
Simon Butler

Richard, I note you have pasted only paragraphs a and g of David Lamming’s PMM. With so many paragraphs and sub-clauses, it doesn’t really surprise me that Synod members have found the motion unattractive. A more concise attempt at raising the issue would have been wiser. The alternative explanation- that those who have made so much of this issue do not command as much support as they might wish – should also be considered.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Anyone who is interested can read the full text of all the pending Private Members Motions (PMMs) and see the current tally of signatures here:
https://www.churchofengland.org/more/policy-and-thinking/work-general-synod/private-members-motions

The one selected as contingency business for July, from Mr Gray, has 124 signatures, 2 more than Mr Archer’s.
Others which have also crossed the 100-signature threshold are the motions from Mr Shaw and from Canon Russell.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Similarly the list of Diocesan Synod Motions can be found here.
https://www.churchofengland.org/more/policy-and-thinking/work-general-synod/diocesan-synod-motions#na

The motions selected for debate would appear, at least to me, to have waited at least as long as the Hereford motion. So I don’t think the agenda action, in this respect, is unreasonable.

PeterK+
Guest
PeterK+

Richard, as a GS member I agree with Simon Butler’s assessment of David Lamming’s PMM. I certainly have concerns about the George Bell case, as do many at GS, and would be open to support a PMM if I felt it might help bring light, suitable accountability or perhaps help a healing process…but the length and detail of David’s PMM means that any debate would inevitably get bogged down in minutiae and multiple amendments. I can’t see a debate on those lines helping anyone in this painful case.

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds

Re: Bishop Bell

This “painful case” has been made unnecessarily more painful by a lack of moral wisdom at very high levels.

The ‘Wisdom of Solomon’ is required, but that appears to be sadly lacking at every level.

MarkBrunson
Guest
MarkBrunson

Peter Kettle,

Billingsgate is historically a fish market. So, “something fishy.”

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds

“Something fishy” Could we run with that thought for a moment… Quite rightly, I should be asked to back up my “something fishy” general statement with specific evidence. It’s simply not good enough for me to say “I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think there’s something fishy going on here”, or “This just doesn’t seem to add up, I think there’s something fishy going on”. It’s dangerous talk because it can create – among other damaging consequences – suspicion, malicious gossip, false accusations and injustice. “Significant cloud” In the same way, the Archbishop should be asked… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds

“The [Church] independent investigator of the second batch of [Bishop] Bell allegations….is Mr Ray Galloway, a Detective Superintendent who retired from the police five years ago. The church has STILL not announced his name, nor terms of reference” [after nearly 6 months of waiting] – ‘CH’

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds
Simon Butler
Guest
Simon Butler

The church doesn’t announce those who do their safeguarding investigations. There are good reasons for that.

For what it’s worth, in all this defending of Bell’s reputation, one thing can be certain: the person most likely to be unconcerned with matters of reputation would be Bishop Bell himself. Those who seek to defend him might like to ponder that before taking to his defence.

Which is not to exonerate the Church in recent times. Just to ask for some perspective

David Lamming
Guest
David Lamming

I have noted, but do not accept, the somewhat ungracious comments (above) critical of my PMM about the Carlile report and the ‘significant cloud’ statement made by the Archbishop of Canterbury following its publication in December 2017. This blog is not the place to answer those criticisms: that will be for the debate in General Synod, if and when it takes place, though I shall be very willing to discuss the issues with Synod colleagues at York. Also, I do not accept Richard Symonds’s ’14 word summary’ as an accurate summary of my PMM (comment today timed at 2.26pm): my… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds

“What does concern me is the utter silence from the NST on the investigative process into ‘Bell 2’” – David Lamming

What concerns me more is the “utter silence” of the mainstream media in reporting the facts of this ongoing injustice.

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds

“Not enough votes to support David Lamming’s motion. Whatever the reasons for its failure in the House of Laity, the House of Bishops should be actively concerned and press the matter…I can find no reason to excuse the Church’s injustice to Bishop Bell. For heaven’s sake, it is such a special case that no general condemnation of the Church for going soft on sexual abusers would have any plausibility if the church recognised the plain fact that the case against George Bell is fair rubbish. Even if there were general condemnation, which I doubt, the church should take its stand… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds

It is a pity there is no PMM at July’s GS seeking the release of the sealed Church-Police documentation on the 2nd Allegation against Bishop Bell. This would enable the problem to be resolved ‘in-house’.

In the absence of an internal PMM, might take action to force the Church to release the ‘Bell 2’ documentation.

‘Newspaper sues Church’ is not a good headline, especially in the run-up to July’s major Church event.

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds

Charles Moore – The Spectator – June 1 2018 Since its first shocking error of accusing the late George Bell, Bishop of Chichester, of child abuse without proper process nearly three years ago, the Church of England has waded deeper in. Even when the Carlile report it had itself commissioned showed how worthless its processes had been, it refused to back down. On 31 January this year, it suddenly produced ‘fresh’ allegations against Bell. It would not say what they were, but handed them to the police, who eventually admitted, under pressure, that they were not investigating, since Bishop Bell… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds

I’m not at all sure how PI Galloway is earning his money…”Given that Sussex Police were able to carry out a “proportionate investigation”, doing so “thoroughly and sensitively” and reporting to the NST [the Church’s National Safeguarding Team] on 20 March, i.e. just 7 weeks after the fresh information was referred to them by the NST” ~ David Lamming Nor am I sure the NST understands the meaning of ‘independent’ or ‘transparency’. As David Lamming also says: ‘NST’s failure to say anything about the progress of their “independent investigation” is unacceptable. It also defies an answer given in February to… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds

“The Church [primarily the NST & Archbishop Welby] has created the unseemly impression that it is [desperately] looking for evidence against Bishop Bell.

“An apt comparison is to see the Church as a man living hand-to-mouth and picking up whatever scraps he can from the pavement.

“The original appointment of the Bishop of Chichester was so crass as to be barely believable”

~ ‘G’

Richard W. Symonds
Guest
Richard W. Symonds

Archbishop Welby might be well advised to re-read Matt 7 1-5.

If he points a finger – eg at certain members of the House of Bishops (and/or Laity) at July’s General Synod – he is likely to be reminded, very strongly, of the 3 fingers pointing back at him.

Richard W. Symonds
Guest

The Church of England hierarchy is creating the unseemly impression of pursuing an unhealthy ‘witch-hunt’ against Bishop Bell – an impression it needs to correct before the General Synod early next month.