Thinking Anglicans

Director of Central Secretariat

Press release from the Church of England

Simon Gallagher appointed Director of Central Secretariat for the Archbishops’ Council and Clerk to the Synod

Simon Gallagher, Director of Planning at the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities, has been appointed Director of the Archbishops’ Council Central Secretariat and Clerk to the Synod.

Simon has been in his current role since June 2016, responsible for advising ministers on planning policy and practice. He has been a civil servant since 1993 in a range of economic and financial policy roles in a number of departments, most recently as Deputy Director for Welfare Spending and Reform at HM Treasury and as Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Berlin.

In his new role, Simon will lead a team of nine. The Central Secretariat oversees policy work on how the Church organises and governs itself and provides governance support and event management to the Archbishops’ Council and other Church governance bodies including the General Synod and the House of Bishops. As Clerk to the Synod, Simon will be the senior administrator of the Synod’s business under the Secretary General.

Simon will also work closely with Stephanie Harrison, Director of the Governance Project, the secretariat of the Church Commissioners, and other parts of the NCIs to support the implementation of the outcomes of the review into how the national Church institutions are governed.

Simon takes over from Becky Clark, Director of Churches and Cathedrals who has been Acting Director of the Archbishops’ Council Central Secretariat since Jacqui Philips’ departure earlier this year. Becky leaves the NCIs later this month to start a new role with the Falkland Islands Government.

Commenting on his appointment, Simon Gallagher said:

“I am excited to be joining the NCIs at this time as Director of Central Secretariat and Clerk to the Synod. The mission of the church in this country is critical and I look forward to supporting it professionally.”

William Nye, Secretary General for the Archbishops’ Council, said:

“I am delighted to welcome someone of Simon’s experience of policy and mission to the NCIs. We have an exciting agenda ahead of us, supporting the Church’s ambitious Vision and Strategy for the 2020s and work on proposals for reforming the governance of the national Church institutions. In addition, Simon will play a vital role in delivering the work essential to the smooth running of governing bodies such as that we saw at General Synod in York.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank Dr Jacqui Philips for her splendid service as Director of the Central Secretariat, and Becky Clark for graciously taking on the role recently in parallel to her job as Director of Churches and Cathedrals, and Jenny Jacobs who has been Acting Clerk to the Synod. We wish Jacqui and Becky well for all their future endeavours.”

Simon starts his new role in the autumn.


House of Bishops – Thursday 14 July 2022

Press release from the Church of England

House of Bishops – Thursday 14 July 2022

The House of Bishops met for its July meeting by Zoom.

The meeting began with an update from the Bishop of Bristol in her capacity as Deputy Lead Bishop on Safeguarding. An overview was given on current work being done on the culture of the Church and suggested ways to embed and support safeguarding throughout the Church.

The House was then introduced to a draft reflection resource for the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) process , designed to prompt reflection during the upcoming discernment process of LLF. The House was invited to share comments and feedback on the reflection over the coming weeks.

The House was then given an update on racial justice including progress made on the recommendations of The Archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce report From Lament to Action as well as the recently published first biennial report of the Archbishops Commission for Racial Justice.

The House then reviewed how the Vision and Strategy and Ministry Developments teams are working together with diocesan teams to ensure the new national Church spending plans, recently welcomed by the General Synod, works most effectively. The House was asked to contribute to the discussion, shaping the design of the new investment programme, prior to decisions being taken by the Archbishops Council later in the year.

The House was then given a brief update and discussion on the Transforming Effectiveness work being done in Eastern and West Midlands regions with a view to future collaboration and opportunities . There was also an oral update on Bishops finances and zero based forecasting on finances as well as on See Houses.

The Bishop of Stepney then addressed the House on the Seal of the Confessional. She informed the House of the decision to commission further work regarding best practice in the hearing of oral confession, within the Sacramental Ministry of Confession and Absolution, ahead of the final report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). The House was invited to comment on the working group and its draft terms of reference.

The meeting ended in prayer.


Crown Nominations Commission central members 2022-2027

The election of the central members of the Crown Nominations Commission for 2022-2027 took place at General Synod on Sunday and the results were announced yesterday. Following recent changes to standing orders these members are now elected in pairs of clergy or laity. Although all Synod members (other than bishops) vote for all six pairs, there is a constraint that there must be three clergy pairs and three laity pairs. For any particular episcopal vacancy only one member of each pair may serve on the CNC; in general the two members of the pair will decide between themselves which one it will be. Details are in standing orders 136-141A.

Those elected were:

The Revd Claire Lording (Worcester) and The Revd Joanna Stobart (Bath & Wells)
The Revd Esther Prior (Guildford) and The Revd Lis Goddard (London)
The Revd Paul Benfield (Blackburn) and The Revd Canon Andrew Cornes (Chichester)

Ms Christina Baron (Bath & Wells) and Miss Venessa Pinto (Leicester)
Miss Debbie Buggs (London) and Miss Prudence Dailey (Oxford)
Mr Temitope Taiwo (London) and Mr Clive Scowen (London)

The election was carried out using the single transferable vote and there is a spreadsheet available with all the details.

The spreadsheet does not indicate whether the pairs are clergy (C) or lay (L), so I have added this to the list below of all those who stood for election.

C: Andrew Steward Dotchin, Joshua Christian Askwith
L: Venessa Pinto, Christina Baron
C: Andrew Charles Julian Cornes, Paul John Benfield
L: Prudence Dailey, Debbie Buggs
L: Nicola Jane Denyer, Mary Felicity Cooke
L: Nadine Daniel, Jane Catherine Evans
L: Benjamin John, Rebecca Hunt
C: Jonathan Stevens, Sarah Jackson
C: Robert Thompson, Anderson H M Jeremiah
C: Jo Stobart, Claire Lording
L: Nick Land, Matt Orr
C: Elisabeth Ann Goddard, Esther Tamisa Prior
C: Nick Weir, Jack Shepherd
L: Clive Richard Scowen, Temitope Stephen Taiwo

Note: The standing orders linked to above do not yet contain the changes made this week regarding the CNC membership for Canterbury.


Dean of York

Press release from the Prime Minister’s Office. There is more information on the York Minister website.

Appointment of Dean of York: 13 July 2022

The Queen has approved the nomination of The Very Reverend Dominic Matthew Jesse Barrington, Dean of St James Cathedral, Chicago, for election as Dean of York.

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 13 July 2022

The Queen has approved the nomination of The Very Reverend Dominic Matthew Jesse Barrington, Dean of St James Cathedral, Chicago, for election as Dean of York, in succession to The Right Reverend Dr Jonathan Frost following his appointment as Bishop of Portsmouth.


Dominic was educated at Hatfield College, Durham, and trained for ministry at Ripon College, Cuddesdon. He served his title in the Mortlake with East Sheen Team Ministry, in the Diocese of Southwark, and was ordained Priest in 1996.

In 1998, Dominic was appointed Chaplain of St Chad’s College, Durham. In 2003, he became Priest-in-Charge of St Peter and St Paul with St Michael, Kettering, in the Diocese of Peterborough, before being appointed Rector of the benefice in 2010.

In 2015, Dominic moved to his current role as Dean of St James Cathedral, Chicago, in The Episcopal Church in the United States.


Opinion – 9 July 2022

Claire Lording ViaMedia.News Wanting to be One: The Rural Church Today

Meg Munn Chair of the National Safeguarding Panel Clergy Conduct Measure

Sorrel Shamel-Wood ViaMedia.News An End to an Injustice: And the Start of a Campaign

Angela Tilby Church Times Dr Francis-Dehqani’s calm voice of hope for the C of E


The Dean of Southwark announces his retirement

News from the Diocese of Southwark

The Dean of Southwark, The Very Revd Andrew Nunn, has announced his intention to retire on 4 July 2023 following the 40th anniversary of his ordination as Deacon…

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General Synod – 8 to 12 July 2022

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 papers are here.

Live Video etc

All sessions are streamed live on YouTube and remain available to view afterwards.

Friday afternoon
Saturday morning and afternoon
Monday morning
Monday afternoon
Monday evening
Tuesday morning

There is an official Twitter account.

Order Papers

OP1 – Friday afternoon
OP2 – Saturday morning
OP3 – Saturday afternoon
OP4 – Sunday afternoon
OP5 – Monday morning
OP6 – Monday afternoon
OP7 – Monday evening
OP8 – Tuesday morning

Business done

Friday 8 July 2022 PM
Saturday 9 July 2022 AM
Saturday 9 July 2022 PM
Sunday 10 July 2022 PM
Monday 11 July 2022 AM
Monday 11 July 2022 PM
Monday 11 July 2022 EVE
Tuesday 12 July 2022 AM

Official press releases

Archbishop of York’s Presidential Address
Synod endorses plan to reach net zero carbon by 2030
Archbishop of Canterbury’s speech in Synod debate on the war in Ukraine
General Synod welcomes £3.6bn investment in mission and ministry
General Synod safeguarding session
Synod debates review of Strategic Development and Lowest Income Communities Funding
More funding needed for palliative care, General Synod hears, in debate on Assisted Suicide
Synod hears of suffering of Ukrainian citizens as it votes to condemn Russian invasion
Synod backs motion affirming disabled people in the life and ministry of the Church
General Synod calls for stronger age verification for pornography websites
Global Anglican Communion given greater voice in choice of future Archbishops of Canterbury
Synod welcomes new report setting out proposals for Clergy Conduct Measure
Archbishop of Canterbury pays tribute to Her Majesty The Queen at General Synod

Press reports etc

Church Times
Synod approves net-zero routemap after climate protest
Five overseas Anglicans will help choose the next Archbishop of Canterbury
Love knows no boundaries, Bishop Poggo tells Synod congregation
Synod rejects assisted dying by a large majority
Synod debates what justice might look like in Ukraine
Government must legislate to protect children against porn, Synod resolves
Synod strongly supports swift overhaul of clergy discipline
What happened at the General Synod in York?

David Pocklington at Law & Religion UK

Synod endorsement for “net zero” plan
Synod vote on “assisted suicide”

Synod members’ blogs

Andrew Nunn
A long weekend in York
Hot air
The Garden of England
A day of rest
From pounds to PCCs to porn
Wonderfully made

Nick Baines
General Synod: Ukraine

Jo Stobart
General Synod (8-12 July, 2022)


General Synod Questions

The Questions (and Answers) for this weekend’s meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod were published today. The Question sessions (on Friday and Saturday evenings) will be devoted to supplementary questions.

Questions Notice Paper July 2022
Questions Notice Paper Annex – Q168


The original version of the Questions Notice Paper contained a number of errors (listed in Notice Paper 11) and has been replaced (at the same URL) by a corrected version.


Suffragan Bishop of Plymouth

Press release from the Prime Minister’s Office. There are more details on the Exeter diocesan website.

Appointment of Suffragan Bishop of Plymouth: 6 July 2022

The Queen has approved the nomination of The Reverend Prebendary James Grier to the Suffragan See of Plymouth.

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 6 July 2022

The Queen has approved the nomination of The Reverend Prebendary James Grier, Prebendary of Exeter Cathedral and Diocesan Mission Enabler, in the Diocese of Exeter, to the Suffragan See of Plymouth, in the Diocese of Exeter, in succession to The Right Reverend Nicholas McKinnel following his retirement.


James was educated at St Peter’s College, Oxford, and trained for ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He served his title at St Andrew’s, Oxford, and was ordained Priest in 1999.

James served as Associate Vicar at St John the Baptist, Harborne Heath, in the Diocese of Birmingham from 2002. He was appointed Team Vicar of St Michael and All Angels, Pinhoe in the Diocese of Exeter in 2007, also serving as Diocesan Youth Advisor. As Youth Advisor, he established Unlimited Church, which became a Bishop’s Mission Order in 2012.

In 2019, James took up his current role as Diocesan Mission Enabler. He has also served as Prebendary of Exeter Cathedral since 2020.


Opinion – 6 July 2022

Simon Jenkins Ship of Fools On holiday with the Lord

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love LLF – Next Step Group bishops to hold meetings with interested groups

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Wymondham Abbey Developments. Vicar resigns


Opinion – 2 July 2022

Helen King ViaMedia.News “Sickened by our own Magnanimity?”: Good Disagreement, Bad Ecclesiology

Jo Stobart ViaMedia.News Gatecrashing God’s Party: Parish Ministry Today

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church The Testimony of Witnesses. How do we find the Truth in Safeguarding Cases?


Standing Commission on the House of Bishops’ Declaration and the Five Guiding Principles

Press release from the Church of England

Standing Commission on the House of Bishops’ Declaration and the Five Guiding Principles


The Bishop of Lichfield, Michael Ipgrave, will chair the 12-strong Standing Commission on the House of Bishops’ Declaration and the Five Guiding Principles.

Alongside him, the members will include:

  • The Bishop of Fulham, the Rt Revd Jonathan Baker (Diocese of London)
  • The Bishop of Ripon, the Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley (Diocese of Leeds)
  • Complementarian Evangelical Bishop – to be vacant upon the retirement of the Bishop of Maidstone in October 2022. During the vacancy the Revd Charlie Skrine (Diocese of London) will represent.


  • The Revd Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes (Diocese of Liverpool)
  • The Revd Canon Tim Goode, (Diocese of Southwark)
  • The Venerable Pete Spiers, (Diocese of Liverpool)
  • The Revd Canon Smitha Prasadam (Diocese in Europe)


  • Dr Ros Clarke (Diocese of Lichfield)
  • Mrs Emma Joy Gregory (Diocese of Bath and Wells)
  • Canon Dr Addy Lazz-Onyenobi (Diocese of Manchester)
  • Peter Collier QC (Diocese of York)

Establishing the Standing Commission was a key recommendation of the Implementation and Dialogue Group (IDG), a temporary body which reviewed the arrangements which were originally put in place in 2014, opening the episcopate to women as well as men while ensuring provision for those who, in theological conscience, could not accept their ministry.

More detail was set out in the IDG’s report to General Synod last year.

The Commission, appointed by the House of Bishops, will support dioceses with the monitoring of the implementation of the House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests.

Published ahead of the historic vote of the General Synod on women in the episcopate in July 2014, the Declaration sets out five guiding principles under which those in favour of the ordination of women and those who, on theological grounds, cannot fully accept the ordained ministry of women, can both flourish.


Bishops of Maidstone, Ebbsfleet and Oswestry

Press release from the Church of England

Bishops of Maidstone, Ebbsfleet and Oswestry

A series of changes have been announced to the names of bishops who offer extended episcopal care to parishes that cannot accept the priestly or episcopal ministry of women.

Under these changes, now approved by the Dioceses Commission, the Bishop of Maidstone Rod Thomas’s successor will now be known as the Bishop of Ebbsfleet.

Meanwhile the role of the previous Bishop of Ebbsfleet – whose ministry was to traditional catholic parishes – will move to become that of the Bishop of Oswestry in the Diocese of Lichfield.

Bishop Rod, who will retire in October, has had a special national ministry since 2015 providing a voice in the College of Bishops and advocacy for those who cannot, on the grounds of complementarian evangelical theology, accept the priestly or episcopal ministry of women.

The future Bishop of Ebbsfleet, who will take on this responsibility when Bishop Rod retires, will live either in London or the M4 corridor for ease of travel and will minister nationally to complementarian evangelical parishes.

The combined effect of these changes means that the See of Maidstone will become vacant and could potentially revert to local use within the Diocese of Canterbury in the future.

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

Consultations on a successor to Jonathan Goodall, the previous Bishop of Ebbsfleet, strongly suggested that it would be helpful for the new postholder be rooted in a diocese.

The Dioceses Commission has therefore agreed that Lichfield provides a good location for this ministry to this part of the Province and that Bishop Jonathan’s successor should therefore be designated as the Bishop of Oswestry.

  • 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 Maidstone was appointed in 2015 in accordance with the House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests 2014 and associated guidance, to provide a voice within the College of Bishops for those within the Church of England who cannot, on the grounds of complementary theology, accept the priestly or episcopal ministry of women and to act as an advocate for those who hold that position.
  • The See of Oswestry was one of a number of sees created in the 19th Century but never filled.
  • Further information about the ministry of the current Bishop of Maidstone
  • Further information about The Society (more fully, The Society under the patronage of Saint Wilfrid and Saint Hilda).

Suffragan Bishop of Hull

Press release from the Prime Minister’s Office. There are more details on the York diocesan website.

Appointment of Suffragan Bishop of Hull: 29 June 2022

The Queen has approved the following appointment.

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 29 June 2022

The Queen has approved the nomination of The Right Reverend Dr Eleanor Sanderson, Assistant Bishop, in the Diocese of Wellington, to the Suffragan See of Hull, in the Diocese of York, in succession to The Right Reverend Alison White following her retirement.


Eleanor was educated at Bristol University; the University of Wellington, New Zealand; and Otago University, New Zealand. She trained for ordained ministry in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and was ordained Priest in 2006.

Eleanor’s ordained ministry to date has been in New Zealand. She served her title in the parish of Northland Wilton, and became Canon in Residence at Wellington Cathedral in 2007. She was appointed Vicar of the Parish of Eastbourne in 2013, whilst additionally serving as Chaplain to the Anglican Wellesley College. In 2014, she was appointed Fellow for Public Theology at the Centre for Anglican Communion Studies, Virginia Theological Seminary.

In 2017, Eleanor was appointed to her current role as Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Wellington.


General Synod agenda – news and comment

Updated 29 June

Following last week’s release of the papers for next month’s meeting of the Church of England General Synod there have been a number of press reports and online comments.

Church Times
Porn, but not Pride, on General Synod’s York agenda
New report on Clergy Discipline Measure to go to General Synod
Wedding fees should be slashed, Blackburn diocese argues

David Pocklington Law & Religion UK July Synod: plans for “net zero carbon” by 2030

Scrap ‘unjust’ wedding fees to make marriage more affordable, urge vicars
Wealthy church parishes could give to poorer neighbours under C of E plans
Porn site age verification would stop ‘distorted’ sexualisation of children, say clergy


Opinion – 25 June 2022

Andrew Nunn Church Times Living in Love and Faith is important — but the Church has to move forward

Paul Middleton ViaMedia.News Living in Love and Faith? Insights from the Church of Scotland


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