Thinking Anglicans

IICSA Anglican Church hearing days 7 and 8

Updated 26 July (video recordings added)

Transcript for day 7 (Tuesday) See below for further links

Transcript for day 8 (Wednesday)

Video recordings;

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

Updated 26 July (video recordings added)

Transcript of hearing for Monday of week 2.

Video recordings:

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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 26 July (video recordings added)

The transcript of Friday’s hearing is now published.

Video recordings:

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 26 July (video recordings added)

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:

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 26 July (video recordings added)

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

Video recordings:

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 26 July (video recordings added)

Transcript of second day of hearings published here.

Video recordings:

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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Archbishops will refuse debate on Blackburn letter

The Church Times carried a report recently: Synod should welcome bishops’ safeguarding letter.

A LETTER from the bishops of the diocese of Blackburn, which warned that the Church’s mission was “fatally undermined” by the abuse crisis (News, 21 June), should be formally welcomed by the General Synod, two lay members have suggested.

A motion commending its “victim-centred approach” as a “suitable model for developing reconciliation with those who have been wronged by our sins of commission and omission” has been proposed by Martin Sewell, of the diocese of Rochester, and David Lamming, of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich.

They are seeking the permission of the Archbishops to introduce this motion at the meeting in York next month, when the Business Committee submits report on the first day.

This week, they noted that the letter from Blackburn had been welcomed by a number of survivors, including Jo Kind, who addressed the Synod last year (News, 7 July 2018).

“In recent times, we have sought a general debate on a safeguarding theme. Presentations and questions are not the same thing,” they said.

Their suggested motion offered “an opportunity to enable the Church to embrace the important themes of repentance, listening with humility, and pastoral care”.

The archbishops have today rejected this proposal. Below you will find the text of the proposed motion and the text of the reply sent by the Bishop at Lambeth. Note that the proposal was not to debate the IICSA report at all but only the four page pastoral letter from the Blackburn senior clergy.

“This Synod welcome the terms of the Diocese of Blackburn ‘Ad Clerum’ letter dated  17th June 2019, reflecting
on the IICSA report, dated May 2019, on Chichester Diocese and Peter Ball, and commend its victim-centred approach to all in authority within the Church as a suitable model for developing reconciliation with those who have been wronged by our sins of commission and omission.”

From: Tim Thornton
Date: 2 July 2019
To: Martin Sewell, David Lamming
Cc:
Subject: Proposal to ask permission to introduce a motion

Dear Martin and David

Thank you for the e mail you have sent to both the Presidents letting them know about your intention to ask permission to introduce a motion at the Synod in York.

I am writing to let you know that both the Presidents have considered your idea carefully and both feel it is not appropriate at this time and so will refuse you the permission you seek.

Of course your motion is an important one and the matters you raise are crucial for our life as a Church.  However as you both know the IICSA hearing is taking place at the same time as the York session and many of the key people in the NST and others (including the Bishop of Bath and Wells) are focussed on responding to the inquiry and listening carefully to the survivors and all who are giving evidence over this fortnight.

It is also the case that the Interim Report has only recently been published and the NSSG has even more recently sent in its response to the recommendations.  The Presidents do think it is right to allow some more time for people to read those reports and consider their views and reactions to the important and difficult material contained in the report. It is also important to allow the present hearing to take its course before we have a debate on these matters on the floor of Synod.

There are of course questions and space being given to Safeguarding on the Sunday of this session so there will be opportunity for voices to be heard.

I understand this will not be the answer you would like but I hope you can understand the Presidents have given your question thought and do not think that this particular session is the right time to allow for the proper preparation and the availability for all who would and should be there to take part in any such debate.

Yours

Tim

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IICSA Anglican Church Hearing Day 1

Updated 26 July (video recordings added)

The transcript of the first day of this hearing, which covers both the Church of England and the Church in Wales, is available here.

Video recordings of today:

List of documents adduced today.

Witness statement of Bishop Sarah Mullally

The Church Times has published two reports of the hearing:

The Daily Mail has this: Almost 400 people in ‘positions of trust’ with the Church of England have been convicted of child sex offences, inquiry hears.

The timetable.for the remainder of the first week is here. The hearings are scheduled to last two weeks.

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Bishop of Burnley calls for Mandatory Reporting

See our earlier article Senior Blackburn clergy reflect on IICSA reports on Chichester Diocese and Peter Ball.

The BBC Radio 4 Sunday programme carried an interview by Donna Birrell with the Bishop of Burnley, Philip North (starts at 32 minutes, 45 seconds).

BBC Radio Cornwall has a longer version of this interview, listen over here.

A transcript of this (longer) interview is copied below the fold. (more…)

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Two cases of abuse involving evangelical Anglicans

Updated

The Daily Telegraph published a news article on 21 June: Minister ‘spiritually abused’ the vulnerable. This is behind a paywall, but the substance of it was subsequently reported elsewhere:

The original report prompted two statements, one from the Diocese of Southwark and another from Emmanuel Church Wimbledon.

In addition, Emmanuel Church has established a separate website to deal specifically with this, which is located here. It has links to several further documents, including the following:

Two notices dated April and May 2019 signed by the Bishop of Maidstone and 3 others.

Statements and a video recording from an event on 27 June, at which Vaughan Roberts, Sarah Hall (Emmanuel’s Safeguarding Officer) and Andrew Wales QC describe in some detail what the abuse consisted of, and what actions have been taken by Emmanuel Church and by others, in response to the disclosures received. The transcript is worth reading in full.

In a separate but related development, two statements were recently issued by the Anglican Mission in England:

To date, two articles have been published which comment on all of this:

Update

Church Times now has a further story  Fletcher faces allegations of naked beatings which includes the full text of a statement from Jonathan Fletcher:

“As part of a long-standing prayer group, I have in the past been involved in a system of mutual encouragement whereby we set ourselves targets in healthy and holy living and then imposed what I thought of as light-hearted forfeits if we failed.

“These included going without chocolate, cold baths and school-type gym shoe punishments. Although at the time we definitely did not think we were doing anything wrong, I’ve seen since that it could have caused much harm both to individuals and to the reputation of conservative evangelicalism for which I am profoundly sorry. Needless to say, this activity has now stopped.

“In addition, a number of people are reporting that I have had naked massages with them. I enjoy massage and benefit from it. To that end I regularly have it professionally administered. However, if I can avoid the cost by finding a male friend to administer, and in return receive, massage, I do.

“These sessions categorically do not have erotic or sexual overtones and I have never coerced or intended to coerce anyone into an arrangement. If any have felt pressurised by me to do this, I apologise.

“Again, I realise that in the position I have held in the past as an incumbent, it was unwise of me to involve anyone to whom I was also ministering and I apologise for doing so.

“I confirm that I no longer engage in public ministry.”

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Rose Hudson-Wilkin to be next Bishop of Dover

Press release from Number 10

Suffragan Bishop of Dover: 28 June 2019
Queen approves appointment of the Reverend Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin to the Suffragan See of Dover.

Published 28 June 2019
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the appointment of the Reverend Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin, BPhil Ed, Hon LLD, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons and Priest in Charge of St Mary-at-Hill, in the Diocese of London to the Suffragan See of Dover, in the Diocese of Canterbury, in succession to the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, MA, who resigned on 31st May 2019.

Rose was born and raised in Jamaica. She was educated at Montego Bay High School for Girls and later at Birmingham University. She trained with the Church Army and was commissioned in 1982 as an Evangelist; she later trained for ordination at Queens Theological College on their part-time course, ordained deacon in 1991 and ordained priest in 1994 serving her title at St Matthew’s Church, Willenhall Road in the Diocese of Lichfield.

For sixteen and a half years she served as a priest in Hackney (Holy Trinity with St Philip, Dalston and All Saints, Haggerston). In 2007 she was appointed as a Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen and in 2010, she became the first woman appointed to the position of the 79th Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons. In November 2014, she took on the additional responsibility as Priest in Charge of city Church, St Mary-at-Hill near Monument. She is an Honorary Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral and a Priest Vicar of Westminster Abbey.

She has previously served as a member of the General Synod of the Church of England and also as one of the Panel of Chairs of the Synod. She has twice represented the Church of England at the World Council of Churches (in Zimbabwe & Brazil); she served as its priest representative on the Anglican Consultative Council for 9 years. She also served as a Selection Secretary for the Church of England, helping to select men and women seeking to test their vocation to the ministry. She does numerous preaching and speaking engagements nationally (and occasionally overseas). She was a member of the Broadcasting Standards Commission and has wide experience of media engagement including some religious broadcasting.

She is married to The Reverend Kenneth Wilkin, a Prison Chaplain and they have three adult children.

The Canterbury diocesan website states that her consecration will be on 19 November 2019.

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