Thinking Anglicans

Bishop of Sherwood to retire

The diocese of Southwell and Nottingham has announced that the suffragan Bishop of Sherwood, the Rt Revd Tony Porter, will retire on 22nd March 2020. More details here.

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Olivia Graham to be next Bishop of Reading

Press release from Number 10

Queen has approved the nomination to the Suffragan See of Reading: 15 July 2019

Queen approves nomination of the Venerable Olivia Josephine Graham to the Suffragan See of Reading.

Published 15 July 2019
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Olivia Josephine Graham, BA, Archdeacon of Berkshire, in the Diocese of Oxford, to the Suffragan See of Reading, in the Diocese of Oxford, in succession to the Right Reverend Andrew John Proud, BD, AKC, MA, who resigned on 1st May 2019.

The Oxford diocesan website has more details. The new bishop will be consecrated on 19 November 2019.

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Bishop of Truro’s report on FCO support for persecuted Christians

The Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen, prepared a report for the Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on the subject of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s support for persecuted Christians.

This has now been published: Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO support for Persecuted Christians.

There is an excellent summary of it at Law & Religion UKIndependent Review of FCO support for persecuted Christians.

The government press release is here.

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IICSA Anglican Church hearing day 10

Updated Monday lunchtime

Today, the final Friday,  was originally intended to be used only for closing statements from the lawyers representing the various parties. However, it was announced at the end of Thursday that an additional witness would be called first on Friday morning. This turned out to be David Bonehill, Claims Director of EIG and and John Titchener, Group Compliance Director of EIO.

The Church Times has a report of what happened: IICSA reprimands Ecclesiastical over earlier advice to C of E and evidence to Inquiry

Transcript of day 10 hearing.

List of documents adduced on day 10  seven of which have now been published, links here.

Witness statement of John Titchener

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IICSA Anglican Church Hearing Day 9

Transcript of day 9 (Thursday)

List of documents adduced on day 9

Witness statements:

Media reports:

Telegraph The Archbishop of Canterbury banned abuse victim from cathedral grounds after treating his case with “casual indifference”, IICSA hears

Independent Bishops involved in sexual abuse do not get ‘an easy ride’, Archbishop of Canterbury claims

Guardian Archbishop of Canterbury calls for mandatory reporting of sexual abuse

Church Times IICSA: I am ashamed and horrified, says Welby

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IICSA Anglican Church hearing days 7 and 8

Updated again Friday morning

Transcript for day 7 (Tuesday) See below

Transcript for day 8 (Wednesday)

Day 8 list of documents adduced

Day 8 witness statements

At the time of writing no further documents for day 8 have been published by IICSA, but there is extensive media coverage:.

Press Association via Daily Mail Vicar tells abuse inquiry archbishops ‘not fit for office’. (this report also appears in numerous other newspapers)

Church Times Absolute power will corrupt bishops, says Sentamu

Guardian Archbishop: church ‘shabby and shambolic’ in abuse case

York Press Archbishop of York denies mishandling clerical abuse allegations

Doncaster Free Press Former South Yorkshire vicar claims sex abuse reports were ‘ignored’ by clerics

ITV Vicar tells abuse inquiry archbishops ‘not fit for office’ (includes video report)

Telegraph Archbishop of York: Parishes are ‘enabling abuse’ by refusing to punish paedophiles whom they deem ‘lovely people’

And this analysis at Surviving ChurchThe Matt Ineson IICSA testimony. A crisis of leadership in the Church of England?

Documents adduced on day 7 include the following witness statements:

And there is this media report:

Church Times Bishops not qualified to adjudicate on safeguarding cases, says Munn

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General Synod – day 5 – Tuesday 9 July 2019

Order Paper 6 – Tuesday 9 July morning – details of the final day’s business

Synod members’ blogs

Andrew Nunn Heading home

Stephen Lynas bathwellschap I’m going home…

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Crown Nominations Commission – changes to the rules

The Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) is responsible for providing the prime minister with the names of candidates to be diocesan bishops in the Church of England. The current rules are that the CNC must provide two names and place them in order of preference. Recent prime ministers have agreed to always submit the first name to the Queen. The second name is then only required if for some reason the first choice becomes unavailable.

But each of the two names must be supported by two-thirds of the CNC members. So if the CNC is able to agree on a first name, but not on a second it has to reconvene and start again, even though the second name is rarely required.

General Synod was therefore asked to amend its standing orders so that the Crown Nominations Commission

i) Submit one name to the Prime Minister, subject to the support of two thirds of the voting members of the Commission in a secret ballot; and

ii) May agree on a second name if they so wish, also subject to the support of two thirds of the voting members of the Commission in a secret ballot as a reserve candidate.

The submission of one name will not therefore be dependent in any way on the agreement of a second name.

Synod agreed to these changes yesterday afternoon and they will come into effect on 10 July 2019.

The first meeting to be affected by these changes will be next week. The CNC will be having its second meeting (the one at which the names are chosen) for the forthcoming vacancy at Hereford on 15/16 July 2019.

There is a paper explaining these changes in more detail: GS 2144.

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General Synod – day 4 – Monday 8 July 2019

Order Paper 4 – Monday 8 July morning
Order Paper 5 – Monday 8 July afternoon
Order Paper 5b – Monday 8 July afternoon

Press releases from the Church of England about items from today’s business

General Synod backs expansion in new forms of church gatherings

News reports

Laura FitzPatrick The Telegraph Monks and nuns to be recognised by the Church of England for first time since Reformation

Synod members’ blogs

Andrew Nunn Cathedral-shaped church

Stephen Lynas bathwellschap I went down to the sacred store

Stephen notes that the Archbishops’ Council Annual Report is not available on the Church of England’s website. But the Council is a charity and its annual report is available here on the website of the Charity Commission.

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IICSA Anglican Church hearing day 6

Transcript of hearing for Monday of week 2.

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General Synod – day 3 – Sunday 7 July 2019

Updated Monday morning

General Synod members attended the 10 am Sung Eucharist at York Minster, where the Archbishop of Canterbury preached this sermon.

Order Paper 3 – Sunday 7 July afternoon – details of the day’s business

Press releases from the Church of England about items from today’s business

Presentation from lead safeguarding bishop, Peter Hancock

Synod backs further steps towards communion with the Methodist Church

News reports

Laura FitzPatrick The Telegraph Contactless collection plates used in York Minster for the first time

John Blow Yorkshire Post Archbishop of York attends his last General Synod in the city

Madeleine Davies, Tim Wyatt and Adam Becket Church Times Bishop Hancock challenges the Synod on safeguarding

Christian Today Church of England has a ‘long way still to travel’ on safeguarding

Madeleine Davies, Tim Wyatt and Adam Becket Church Times Division over Anglican-Methodist plan prompts Synod to decelerate process

Christian Today Church of England moves towards communion with the Methodist Church

Synod members’ blogs

Andrew Nunn Cautious steps

Stephen Lynas bathwellschap Together we can make it happen; wait and see

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General Synod – day 2 – Saturday 6 July 2019

Updated Sunday morning and evening

Order Paper 2 – Saturday 6 July morning – details of the day’s business

Archbishop of York’s presidential address

Synod passed this motion on responding to serious youth violence.

That this Synod, recognizing that Serious Youth Violence affects the whole community;
a) call upon the National Church Institutions to recognize the opportunity the Church of England has to contribute to understanding of Serious Youth Violence and strategies to prevent it and to make available resources for those affected;
b) call upon Diocesan Boards of Education to recognize how the use of Exclusions impacts on serious youth violence and encourage alternative provision;
c) call upon dioceses to resource:
i) information about locally based resource and support networks, and training for church leaders in best practice for supporting those affected by Serious Youth Violence, including gun and knife crime,
ii) partnership work with statutory organizations and wider civil society to provide pastoral care for people affected by serious youth violence.

There were 315 votes in favour, none against and no recorded abstentions. None of the three amendments in the order paper were passed.

Synod is not sitting on Saturday afternoon. Instead members are invited to attend a series of seminars on The Living in Love and Faith Project and the Pastoral Advisory Group.

Update

There are two press releases from the Church of England about items from this morning’s business.

Synod unanimously backs call to act on serious youth violence

Synod votes to adopt Covenant on Clergy Care and Well-Being

Press reports

Madeleine Davies Church Times Our Church is too addicted to sound-bites, Archbishop of York tells Synod

Christian Today Church of England has become an ‘echo-chamber instead of interpreter’ on issues of human sexuality – John Sentamu

Madeleine Davies, Tim Wyatt and Adam Becket Church Times Synod votes for collaborative efforts to stem youth violence

Press Association (via the Belfast Telegraph) Church vows to play proactive role in tackling violent crime

Laura FitzPatrick The Telegraph Church of England schools urged not to expel pupils amid rise in youth violence

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Bishop calls for Church of England schools to minimise exclusions

Christian Today Church of England clergy to be offered mentoring and coaching to support improved wellbeing

Christian Today Church of England commits to doing more to stop serious youth violence

Synod members’ blogs

Stephen Lynas bathwellschap Take good care of yourself

Andrew Nunn And / Or

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General Synod – day 1 – Friday 5 July 2019

Order Paper 1 – Friday 5 July – details of the day’s business
Questions and Answers

Stephen Lynas bathwellschap I know there’s an answer
a summary of the day’s business

Christian Today Church of England schools must safeguard different views on gender and sexuality, says bishop

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IICSA Anglican Church Hearing Day 5

Updated

The transcript of Friday’s hearing is now published.

Video recordings of today are now available here.

List of documents adduced.

Witness statements:

Church Times Church in Wales falls under IICSA’s scrutiny as Archbishop and Provincial Secretary are questioned.

 

 

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Pre-Synod News and Opinion

The Church of England’s General Synod meets in York this weekend from today until Tuesday.

Stephen Lynas bathwellschap A bridge over troubled water
Stephen’s usual excellent introduction to this week’s business

Madeleine Davies Church Times Anglican Catholic Future raises concerns about Methodist proposals
“Conference’s backing same-sex marriage is now another issue”
[See our earlier article on this topic here.]
Synod ‘lazy and incurious’ about safeguarding scandals

Gabriella Swerling The Telegraph Church of England will condone gay couples for first time – as long as they were man and wife when they took vows
Steve Doughty Mail Online Church of England will allow husbands and wives to stay married after one changes gender, giving their blessing for same-sex marriages in major departure from traditional views
[This refers to question 86 here.]

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian C of E to recognise religious communities for first time in centuries

There are links to the Synod agenda and papers here. Synod opens at 2.30 pm today and you can view the live feed here.

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IICSA Anglican Church Hearing Day 4

Updated

The timetable for Week 2 of these hearings has been published today.

The transcript of today’s (Thursday week 1) hearing is now published here.

Video recordings of today are now available here.

List of documents adduced today.

Witness statements

Discussion paper by Colin Perkins

Church Times IICSA: Canon Bursell renews plea to Parliament to render seal of confession obsolete

Law & Religion UK IICSA: Some more legal views (includes links to more of today’s documents)

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IICSA Anglican Church Hearing Day 3

Updated again 8 July

The transcript of the hearing for day 3 (Wednesday) is now available here.

Video recordings of today are now available here.

List of documents adduced today.

Witness Statements:

Media coverage has already appeared:

Church Times Bishop of Chester tells IICSA that paedophile cleric was ‘penitent’

Chester Standard
Bishop of Chester accepts he failed to pass on vicar’s ‘child abuse confession’ letter to church safeguarding adviser or police

‘Suffer the little children to come unto me’ – former Chester bishop quoted Bible before sexually abusing teenage girl, inquiry hears

Telegraph England’s longest serving bishop blocked lifetime ban for paedophile priest, government inquiry hears

Cheshire Live Bishop of Chester admits ‘misjudgment’ over handling of pervert vicar

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General Synod Questions

The booklet of Questions and Answers  to be taken at the Church of England’s General Synod this weekend is now available for download. It includes both the general questions to be taken on Friday, and those regarding safeguarding to be taken on Sunday. Since the answers are published in advance neither they nor the questions will not be read out, but members will have the opportunity to ask supplementary questions.

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IICSA Anglican Church Hearing Day 2

Updated again 8 July

Transcript of second day of hearings published here.

Video recordings of today are now available here.

Document links (28 in total for day 2, now a total of 7 for day 1) here.

List of all documents adduced today.

Witness Statements:

Extract from Elliott Report

Media coverage:

Church Times IICSA: Bishop of Buckingham criticises ‘unhealthy’ level of bishops’ power

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Catholic Anglicans critique CofE-Methodist proposals

The CofE General Synod in York will debate the latest stage of the current proposals this weekend. The most recent document under consideration is GS 2135. The earlier document is GS 2086.

Today, both Anglican Catholic Future and Forward in Faith have issued statements.

A Statement by Anglican Catholic Future on the Forthcoming Discussion in Synod of Mission and Ministry in Covenant

…This further report comes before General Synod this week (as paper GS 2135). Anglican Catholic Future is glad to see that it picks up–or seems to pick up–a range of concerns raised in 2018 including:

  1. whether a partial development such as this–with interchangeability of ministry between two churches that remain distinct–aids or hinders the goal of full visible unity (section A1);
  2.  whether the change in ecclesial life of the Methodist Church proposed in MMiCconstitutes a recognisable form of the historic episcopate (section B);
  3. the relation between Eucharistic presidency and episcopal ordination (section A3).

The working group has done important work in relation to the first of those questions, concerning the unity of the churches, which we welcome. When it comes to the other two questions that caused concern in early 2018, however, the document placed before Synod this week is far more problematic…

Forward in Faith – The Anglican-Methodist Proposals

Forward in Faith welcomes the statement by Anglican Catholic Future about the latest Anglican-Methodist report.

In our own February 2018 statement, we noted questions about whether the proposals would lead to unity, and whether the office of ‘President-bishop’ (to be held for one year only) could be recognized as a ‘local adaption’ of the historic episcopate of the catholic Church. We are grateful to note some progress with regard to the question of unity, but our question as to whether what is proposed is in fact episcopacy remains.

Our third and greatest concern was about the proposal to set aside the requirement that those who minister as priests in the Church of England should have been episcopally ordained to the office of priest. In response to this concern, which was shared by others, the General Synod asked the Faith and Order Commission to ‘explore and elucidate further the relationship between episcopal ordination and eucharistic presidency’. That the Commission has not attempted to offer such an elucidation is a deep disappointment…

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