Thinking Anglicans

General Synod meets at York next month with debates from Ukraine war to online safety

There is a Press release from the Church of England today about the agenda for next month’s meeting of General Synod; it is copied below. There is a second press release about one particular item on the agenda: Synod to consider plans for net zero carbon Church by 2030.

General Synod meets at York next month with debates from Ukraine war to online safety

The war in Ukraine, climate change, online safety and the Church of England’s plans to increase its spending on mission and ministry are among a series of issues to be debated by the General Synod next month.
The stage at General Synod in York.

Members of the General Synod will meet at York University in July to debate a range of topics from Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, to protection of children and young people from online pornography.

Other subjects on the agenda include plans by the Church Commissioners to distribute £3.6 billion to the frontline work of the Church of England between 2023 and 2031, announced earlier this year by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

Further debates will include the route map for churches, dioceses and Cathedrals to achieving net zero carbon by 2030 (see separate press release) and a call for the Church of England to commit to working towards the removal of all remaining barriers to full participation for people with disabilities in the life and ministry of the church.

A Guildford Diocesan Synod motion will urge the Government to pass legislation requiring pornographic websites to have age verification systems preventing access by people under the age of 18.

Members will also debate a Private Member’s Motion opposing assisted suicide and calling for more funding for palliative care.

Other debates include a report outlining a proposed overhaul of legislation governing clergy discipline. There will also be a presentation on safeguarding, and discussion on its future oversight followed by a separate debate.

The General Synod will meet at York University from Friday July 8 to Tuesday July 12. This is the first time the Synod has met in York in person since the pandemic.

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General Synod Papers – 8-12 July 2022

Papers for next month’s meeting of the Church of England General Synod are now available online. There is a list (with links and a note of the day scheduled for their debate) in numerical order below the fold.

Outline of Business

GS 2256 Agenda July 2022 (more…)


Opinion – 22 June 2022

Jonathan Chaplin Fulcrum ‘Staying in the room where it happens’? A response to Lucy Winkett’s defence of establishment
This is in response to this article from a few weeks ago.
Lucy Winkett Church Times Platinum Jubilee: The privilege of establishment must be seized

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church How three Revolutionary Events changed the CofE for ever

Capel Lofft The Critic The closing of the Episcopal mind
“The Church of England’s leaders don’t reflect its political diversity”

Alex Frost ViaMedia.News Clearing the Slate: The Realities of a Declining Church

Helen King sharedconversations Clouds without rain: trying to explore fear


Opinion – 18 June 2022

Giles Fraser UnHerd Will bishops stop the Rwanda plan?

Sharon Jagger ViaMedia.News Time for the Church to Take Transparency Seriously

Rosie Harper ViaMedia.News Bishops Speaking Out: So Very Right and So Very Wrong


Opinion – 15 June 2022

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Allegations of Bullying and Financial Mismanagement in Scotland

Fergus Butler-Gallie The Spectator In defence of meddlesome priests

Ephraim Radner The Living Church Is there a Rationale for the Anclican Communion?


Bishop Anthony Poggo to be the next Secretary General of the Anglican Communion

The Anglican Communion Office has announced today that the Right Revd Anthony Poggo is to be the next Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.

Former child refugee named as next Secretary General of the Anglican Communion

A South Sudanese bishop who was forced with his family into exile before he was one year old, the Right Revd Anthony Poggo, has been named as the next Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. Bishop Anthony Poggo, the former Bishop of Kajo-Keji in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, is currently the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Adviser on Anglican Communion Affairs.

Bishop Anthony was selected for his new role by a sub-committee of the Anglican Communion’s Standing Committee following a competitive recruitment process led by external consultants.

He will take up his new role in September, succeeding the Most Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, who steps down after next month’s Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops, which is being held in Canterbury, Kent, from 26 July to 8 August…


Opinion – 11 June 2022

Annika Mathews ViaMedia.News Young Adults – The Missing Generation?

Pete White Church Times Youth ministry needs long-term investment
“The C of E’s plans to ‘grow younger’ will falter without funding to train specialists”


Opinion – 8 June 2022

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Three Questions for Christ Church and the Diocese of Oxford

Sophie Grace Chappell ViaMedia.News Arguing with a Madman? Cranks, Trolls, Consistency, and ‘Come off it’

Jonathan Chaplin Law & Religion UK Should the Church of England be disestablished?

Nineveh Safeguarding in Nineveh
A Critique of the proposals of the Independent Safeguarding Board


House of Bishops’ Meeting – 6th June 2022

Press release from the Church of England

House of Bishops’ Meeting – 6th June 2022

The House of Bishops met on 6 June by Zoom.

Bishop Jill Duff was congratulated on her election as an elected suffragan to the House and Arun Arora was also congratulated on his appointment as Bishop of Kirkstall.

The Bishop of Fulham introduced a paper outlining the importance of Ecumenical texts and the proposal for a new and formalised process for their reception by the Church of England, with a particular emphasis on the role of Bishops as Guardians of the Faith. This follows recommendations by the Anglican Communion ecumenical body, IASCUFO, and the Anglican Consultative Council. The House agreed the approach set out in the paper.

The House then discussed the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) resource tentatively named The Gift of the Church and how the House will be offered opportunities to shape it once a draft version of the resource is shared in the coming weeks. The Gift of the Church is envisaged as an accessible, publicly available learning resource that supplements the LLF Book, and will be an additional resource for the bishops’ discernment process in autumn 2022.

The meeting concluded in prayer.


Opinion – 4 June 2022

Giles Fraser UnHerd The injustice of the Jubilee

Janet Fife Surviving Church Preaching Hell and Damnation

Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News Pageants, Progress & People – The End of an Era?

The Archbishop of York Sermon at St Paul’s Cathedral celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee


Opinion – 1 June 2022

Judith Maltby ViaMedia.News Hanging in Love and Faith

Anonymous Save The Parish A Forced Change to HTB

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Unknowing God

Ian Paul Psephizo The Church of England, money, people, and mission


Opinion – 28 May 2022

Augustine Tanner-Ihm ViaMedia.News Sharing in Privilege: Black and Collared

Philip Goff Church Times Platinum Jubilee: The way we wore

Robert Thompson ViaMedia.News ‘Resource Churches’: When Planting Becomes Colonialism


Bishops of Kirkstall and Penrith

The appointments of two suffragan bishops have been announced today. More details are on the Leeds and Carlisle diocesan websites.

Appointment of Bishop of Kirkstall: 27 May 2022

The Queen has approved the nomination of The Reverend Canon Arun Arora, Vicar of St Nicholas Church, Durham, and Honorary Canon of Durham Cathedral, to the Suffragan See of Kirkstall, in the Diocese of Leeds.

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 27 May 2022

The Queen has approved the nomination of The Reverend Canon Arun Arora, Vicar of St Nicholas Church, Durham, and Honorary Canon of Durham Cathedral, to the Suffragan See of Kirkstall, in the Diocese of Leeds, in succession to The Right Reverend Paul Slater following his retirement.


Arun studied Law and Politics at Birmingham University and worked as a solicitor after graduation. He was appointed Bishop’s Press Officer and Diocesan Communications Officer in the Diocese of Birmingham in 2000, and began training for ordained ministry at Cranmer Hall, Durham in 2004. He served his title at St Mark’s, Harrogate, in the former Diocese of Ripon and Leeds, alongside serving as the Director of Communications for the Office of the Archbishop of York. He was ordained Priest in 2008.

In 2010, Arun was appointed Team Leader of Pioneer Ministries, Wolverhampton, in the Diocese of Lichfield. In 2012, he became the Director of Communications for the National Church Institutions. Arun took up his current role as Vicar of St Nicholas Church, Durham, in 2017, and was additionally appointed Honorary Canon of Durham Cathedral in 2021.

Appointment of Bishop of Penrith: 27 May 2022

The Queen has approved the nomination of The Reverend Canon Robert Saner-Haigh, to the Suffragan See of Penrith, in the Diocese of Carlisle.

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 27 May 2022

The Queen has approved the nomination of The Reverend Canon Robert Saner-Haigh, Residentiary Canon of Newcastle Cathedral and Director of Mission and Ministry for the Diocese of Newcastle, to the Suffragan See of Penrith, in the Diocese of Carlisle, in succession to The Right Reverend Dr Emma Ineson following her resignation.


Rob was educated at Birmingham University and trained for ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He served his title at St Lawrence, Appleby, in the Diocese of Carlisle, and was ordained Priest in 2006.

Rob was appointed Bishop’s Chaplain and Assistant Priest at St Michael’s, Dalston, with Cumdivock, Raughton Head and Wreay in 2007. Alongside these roles, he also served as Director of Ordinands and Diocesan Initial Ministerial Education Officer. In 2010, Rob was appointed Priest-in-Charge of Holy Trinity, Kendal.

Rob took up his current roles as Residentiary Canon of Newcastle Cathedral and Director of Mission and Ministry for the Diocese of Newcastle in 2020.


Opinion – 25 May 2022

Meg Munn Chair of the National Safeguarding Panel Interim Support Scheme

Archbishop Cranmer
The Sue Gray Report is about as independent as a Church of England independent inquiry
Christ Church ‘victim’ Alannah Jeune inadvertently corroborates that Martyn Percy is the real victim of a gross injustice

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church
Reflections on Leadership in the Church of England
Independent/ Third-Party Investigations of Safeguarding in England and America


Opinion – 21 May 2022

Kat Campion-Spall ViaMedia.News When is a Week not a Week?

Philip Jones Ecclesiastical Law A Decade of the Faculty Jurisdiction

Fergus Butler-Gallie Church Times My worship alongside a sexified fox
“Churches are toying with virtual-reality worship. Fergus Butler-Gallie tries it”

Ruth Harley ViaMedia.News Clericalist Individualism? Power, Abuse and Transformation


Opinion – 18 May 2022

Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones ViaMedia.News Being a Gay Christian and an Ordinand in the Church in Wales

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The dangerous theology of Ian Paul

LGBTQ Faith UK Party like it’s 1753. (The Power of Love)

Daniel French Save The Parish Let Bishops be Bishops

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Listening to Sermons. A critical perspective


General Synod – July 2022

Updated 6 June – this is now available online.

The General Synod of the Church of England will meet in York on 8-12 July 2022. The outline timetable has been circulated to Synod members and is copied below.

Full details of each item will be on the agenda

Friday 8 July

2.00 pm – 7.00 pm
– Opening worship and introductions
– Welcome from the Anglican Communion guests
– Presidential Address
– Business Committee Report
– Routemap to Net Zero Carbon
– War in Ukraine
Not later than 5.45pm
– Questions

Saturday 9 July

9.00 am – 12.30 pm
– Opening worship
– See of Canterbury Membership of the Crown Nominations Commission
– Independent Review of Lowest Income Communities Funding and Strategic Development Funding
– Spending plans of the Church Commissioners and Archbishops’ Council

2.00 pm – 7.00 pm
– Safeguarding and Independence
– Diocesan Stipend Fund (Amendment) Measure – first consideration
Diocesan Synod Motion: Lincoln Diocese
– Insurance Premium Tax
– Church of England Pensions (Application of Capital Funds) Measure – first consideration
Not later than 5.55pm
– Questions

Evening: CNC candidates market place

Sunday 10 July

2.30 pm – 6.45 pm
– Introduction to group work – Living in Love and Faith and Vision & Strategy
– Group work
Private Members’ Motion: Dr Simon Eyre (Chichester)
– Assisted Suicide

8.30 pm – 9.30 pm
– Extended Act of Worship during which voting for CNC central members will take place

Monday 11 July

9.00 am – 12.30 pm
– Opening worship
– Presentation on Archbishops’ Council Annual Report
– Archbishops’ Council 2023
– Annual Budget Amending Canon 42 – first consideration

2.00 pm – 6.30 pm
– Affirming and Including Disabled People in the Whole Life of the Church
– Church Funds Investment Measure – first consideration
– Resourcing Ministerial Formation
– Miscellaneous Provisions Measure and Amending Canon No 43 – first consideration

8.00 pm – 10.00 pm
Diocesan Synod Motion: Canterbury Diocese
– Review of qualifications for PCC membership and entry on the church electoral roll
Diocesan Synod Motion: Guildford Diocese
– Age verification on pornography websites

Followed by compline

Tuesday 12 July

9.00 am – 12.30 pm
– Opening worship
– Loyal Address
– Amendments to the Standing Orders for the membership of the Canterbury Crown Nominations Commission
– Clergy Conduct Measure Implementation Group
– Announcement of election of Central CNC members
– Farewells
Not later than 12.30pm
– Prorogation

Deemed business:
– Legal Officers (Annual Fees) Order 2022,
– Ecclesiastical Judges, Legal Officers and Others (Fees) Order 2022,
– Code of Practice under the Clergy Discipline Measure,
– Pensions Rules (Amendment) Scheme

Contingency business:
Diocesan Synod Motion: Blackburn Diocese
– Reduce parochial fees for marriages

Deadline for receipt of questions: 1200 hrs Tuesday 28 June


Opinion – 14 May 2022

April Alexander ViaMedia.News Women Bishops: The Legacy of Baroness Howe of Idlicote (8 February 1932-22 March 2022)

Giles Fraser UnHerd How the Church attacks its own
“Bishops are presiding over a climate of fear”

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Surviving Church and the World of Ecclesiastical Politics

Helen King sharedconversations Me and Christ Church: beauty and truth

Jeremy Morris Ad fontes On not leaving the Church of England


House of Bishops – 9-11 May 2022

Update There was an earlier press release More clergy from UK Minority Ethnic backgrounds join House of Bishops.

Press release from the Church of England

House of Bishops – 9-11 May 2022 inclusive

The House of Bishops held its first residential meeting in 2022, in York over three days. Joining the meeting for the first time were four participant observers of UK Minority Ethnic/ Global Majority Heritage (UKME/GMH) background who were formally welcomed by the House.

As the first substantive item, the House turned its attention to Governance reform. The House noted the update from the National Church Governance Project Board and the Board’s plan to establish the Episcopal Reference Group which will help shape how bishops and the Church of England National Services (CENS) will work together within the new governance model.

The House was then given an update on Racial Justice by the Archbishops’ Adviser on Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns with the House taking note of progress made to date.

The House was then informed of agreed spending plans on behalf the Triennium Funding Working Group which outlined details and spending plans that will be made public. Plans include a significant increase in funding for the next three years to support God’s mission and ministry across the country, supporting local parishes and growing many more new worshipping communities to serve the whole nation. The Church Commissioners for England intend to distribute £1.2 billion between 2023 and 2025, up 30% from £930 million in the current three-year period, and plan to maintain this level of funding in the subsequent six years.

The House was then given an update on the work of the Independent Safeguarding Board (ISB) by its Chair. The Chair discussed the Board’s focus as it moves from phase one to phase two of its work and looked ahead to presenting at July Synod.

The House was then addressed by the Interim National Director of Safeguarding with an update on the work of the National Safeguarding Team including work to date on the Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) which also included an update from the Chair of PCR2 Board.

The following day the House was addressed by the Bishop of London in her capacity as the Chair of the Next Steps Group of Living in Love and Faith (LLF). The House discussed the future discernment process of LLF and was joined by the Enabling Officer of LLF. In subsequent group work, the House detailed its aspirations for the discernment process as it relates to future engagement at the College of Bishops in the Autumn and July General Synod.

The Bishop of Kensington then updated the House on plans for the Centre of Cultural Witness, a new initiative launching in the Autumn to strengthen the Church’s public witness. The House took note and shared views on the development and scope of the Centre and ways in which Bishops and other prominent Christians can work towards the development of a distinctively public and Christian voice.

An update was then given on appointments to the Sees of Maidstone and Ebbsfleet which were both noted by the House.

The House was then addressed by the Vice Chair of the Clergy Conduct Measure Implementation Group who set out the final revised proposals for approval. The proposals were approved by the House, with a view that the reforms will establish a proportionate, efficient, and fairer system than the existing system

The House then turned its attention to developing the priority of a younger church, as part of the Vision and Strategy work stream. The House was addressed by the co-head of Vision and Strategy and the Head of Education , with later group and plenary work that focussed on the best ways to ensure the voices of children and young people are heard at both the national and diocesan level.

The House then looked at the future of education – particularly in the context of recent government white papers concerning a proposal that all schools have joined an academy trust by 2030. A series of proposals were approved by the House aimed at allowing dioceses and the whole church to engage in positive and proactive moves to secure the Christian character of Church of England schools and work towards full academisation.

On the final day the House was updated on recent progress towards Net Zero Carbon, including the findings of the Wayfinders Progress. The House endorsed both the Net Zero Carbon planning principles and diocesan milestones and agreed to annual reporting on carbon emissions and the Route map to Net Zero Carbon by 2030.

The House then heard how the Cathedrals Measure 2021 is being implemented by the Church Commissioners and noted the role of diocesan bishops. The House agreed to consider the proposed draft Church Commissioners guidance on cathedral visitations and provide input as part of the consultation.

As a penultimate item the Ministry team at Church House provided an update on theological education and resourcing for Ministerial Formation. The House endorsed their continuing work and the general direction of travel.

As a final item the House took note of reflections from UKME / GMH participants on the meeting, followed by general reflections from the House.

The meeting ended in prayer.


See of Ebbsfleet – consultation

Press release from the Church of England

See of Ebbsfleet – consultation


Following the resignation of the former Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Jonathan Goodall, in September last year, a consultation on the way forward for the see has received a number of calls to consider relocating the post to be rooted in an individual diocese and diocesan college of bishops.

The Bishop of Ebbsfleet – one of the Church of England’s three ‘Provincial Episcopal Visitors’, who minister to traditional catholic parishes – has been responsible primarily for churches in the western half of the Church of England’s Province of Canterbury.

Following the initial consultation, a suggestion from the Archbishop of Canterbury to revive the suffragan See of Oswestry in the Diocese of Lichfield is currently being explored.

The proposal would involve a future Bishop of Oswestry living in the diocese and ministering to traditional catholic parishes in that and other dioceses of the West Midlands and South West of England.

No decisions have been taken. Initial consultations are currently underway within the Diocese of Lichfield, with The Society and in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Any proposal would then be considered by the Dioceses Commission this summer.

Notes to Editors:

  • The Provincial Episcopal Visitors – the Bishops Beverley, Richborough and Ebbsfleet – were created as part of the arrangements in 1992 which first enabled women to be ordained as priests.
  • The See of Oswestry was one of a number of sees created in the 19th Century but never filled
  • Further information about The Society (more fully, The Society under the patronage of Saint Wilfrid and Saint Hilda).