Nic Tall is Election Campaign Coordinator for the IC and partners’ 2020 Synod Campaign. Inclusive Church has published this article by him: 2020 Synod Elections: Shaping the future of the Church of England.
Should same sex couples be able to marry in church? How can the church respond to the climate emergency? How do we equip the church for the challenges of mission and ministry in the 21st Century? Do you ever find yourself asking these questions? And do you ever wonder who in the church has the job of answering them?
In the Church of England the big questions of the day are debated by the General Synod. It can seem like a remote body, with little effect at parish level and no place for ordinary clergy and churchgoers, but that is a common misperception. Many significant changes in how local churches operate come from decisions in General Synod, and the policies of the national church are shaped and decided in Synod. Next year will see full elections for the next five year term of the General Synod, and whoever is elected will have a voice in how the church grapples with the big issues and shape its future.
Could you serve on General Synod? Maybe you know someone you could encourage to stand for election. The Church needs a diverse range of people on Synod, different ages, backgrounds and experience to represent the full breadth of the Church. Inclusive Church is leading a campaign to organise for the 2020 elections, working in partnership with other inclusive organisations across the life of the church. We have just launched our main campaign leaflet, saying what will be happening and how you can be involved. Please download it here, and share it far and wide among people you know in the church who have inclusive values…
The campaign leaflet, Planning for the 2020 Elections to the General Synod, contains more detailed information:
Who is organising the Inclusive Synod Campaign?
This campaign is being organised by a coalition of key organisations from across the full breadth of traditions in the Church of England – evangelical, catholic, liberal. We represent the broad mainstream of the Church, those who want our national Church to be for everyone, regardless of gender, age, disability, tradition, race, socio-economic background or sexuality. Members include Inclusive Church, WATCH, One Body One Faith, Ozanne Foundation, Affirming Catholicism, Accepting Evangelicals, Modern Church, the Society of Catholic Priests, the Campaign for Equal Marriage in the C of E, the Progressive Christianity Network and Thinking Anglicans. We are the only campaign for Synod organising across the whole of the Church…
Members of the Church of England General Synod have been sent the following email inviting questions for answer next month. As noted written answers will be given (and published); ie no supplementary questions will be possible.
Dear Synod members,
Mindful of the exceptionally high number of questions in February and July, the Business Committee has decided to use its powers under Standing Order 117(1) to give members the opportunity to submit questions for written answer between groups of sessions. This is a process last used in 2008.
The deadline is 12.00 on Friday, 8 November. Please send the questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Answers will be published on www.churchofengland.org no later than Monday, 25 November.
Please also note that under SO 112(2), members can ask up to two questions, which should be addressed to one of the bodies accountable to the General Synod listed in SO 112(1).
Thank you very much.
Synod Support1 Comment
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…0 Comments
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 2144.34 Comments
Press releases from the Church of England about items from today’s business
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.1 Comment
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
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
Madeleine Davies, Tim Wyatt and Adam Becket Church Times Division over Anglican-Methodist plan prompts Synod to decelerate process
Synod members’ blogs
Andrew Nunn Cautious steps
Stephen Lynas bathwellschap Together we can make it happen; wait and see6 Comments
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.
There are two press releases from the Church of England about items from this morning’s business.
Madeleine Davies Church Times Our Church is too addicted to sound-bites, Archbishop of York tells Synod
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
Synod members’ blogs
Stephen Lynas bathwellschap Take good care of yourself
Andrew Nunn And / Or14 Comments
Stephen Lynas bathwellschap I know there’s an answer
a summary of the day’s business
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 centuries0 Comments
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.11 Comments
…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:
- 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);
- whether the change in ecclesial life of the Methodist Church proposed in MMiCconstitutes a recognisable form of the historic episcopate (section B);
- 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…
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…
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
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.
General Synod meets in York next month and the Church of England issued its usual pre-Synod press release this morning, and this is copied below the fold. It concentrates on one item (youth violence and knife crime).
Madeleine Davies in Church Times has a fuller preview of the Synod agenda: Synod to focus on youth violence and knife crime.
There are two other Church Times articles.
Invest in refugees, Synod motion proposes
Synod will be asked whether it ‘gladly bears’ eucharistic presidency by Methodist presbyters as ‘temporary anomaly’
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Church of England urged to offer haven from knife crime
Izzy Lyons and Laura FitzPatrick The Telegraph Churches should become knife crime sanctuaries with weapon amnesty bins, General Synod to discuss17 Comments
Update 1: Synod members reading this might like to note that the deadline for the submission of questions is a week earlier than normal; it is 12 noon on Wednesday 19 June 2019.
Update 2 [18 June]: More online papers linked
Update 3 [21 June]: More online papers linked
Update 4 [3 July]: Link to Questions notice paper added.
Update 5 [5 July]: Links to more notice papers added
Update 6 [7 July]: links to more notice papers added
Update 7 [8 July]: links to more notice papers added
Update 8 [8 July]: link to The Archbishops’ Council Annual Report added
Update 9 [9 July]: link to second mailing zip file and final order paper added
The first batch of papers for next month’s meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod are now available online. The remaining papers will be issued on 21 June and I will add links when these become available.
Papers with a note of the day scheduled for their consideration are listed below the fold. Synod meets from Friday 5 to Tuesday 9 July in York.13 Comments
Update: An updated version of this timetable was issued on 14 June 2019.
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.0 Comments
The electronic voting lists from last month’s Church of England General Synod are now available. Readers may be most interested in the list for item 35. This item was the proposed, but defeated, amendment to Standing Orders to remove the requirement for secret ballots at meetings of the Crown Nominations Commission.
Also available is the official summary of Business Done.4 Comments
At the synod session on Thursday evening last week, members of the Pastoral Advisory Group (PAG) read out a Living Letter. The text of this is now available online from OneBodyOneFaith. More background on the PAG is here.
OneBodyOneFaith has published this press release: OneBodyOneFaith welcomes new Pastoral Principles from CofE.0 Comments
Some of the answers to questions at last week’s General Synod included detailed statistical information which was not printed in the questions and answers booklet. It was instead placed on the members’ notice board. Usually such detailed information has only been published some months later in the Report of Proceedings. This time however it has been posted on the Church of England website. Here is a list of what has now been published.
Percentage of new ordinands declaring a disability for each year since 2010
Numbers and percentages of disabled candidates attending Bishops Advisory Panels etc
Numerical breakdown of ordinands by training pathway and by diocese
Membership of the Crown Nominations Commission from January 2014
2017 Endowment and Glebe Assets by Diocese and Assets per Capita
Last updated 2 March 2019
Videos of all sessions of last week’s General Synod are available here on YouTube.
Rachel Mann looks back at the sessions: ‘In Company’ – A Few Remarkable Days at Synod
[I’ll add articles below as more are published.]
Ivan Ball The Guardian Letters Church of England bureaucracy needs an update
Zachary Guiliano The Living Church ‘The Synod for Evangelism’
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Mission & Evangelism: ecclesiology and liturgy. Reflecting on General Synod
Tim Hind Open Synod Group Overview of the Group of Sessions
William Nye The Guardian Letters Update on Church of England rules for parishes
a response to Ivan Ball’s letter by the secretary general of the Archbishops’ Council.
Meg Munn Chair of the National Safeguarding Panel My First Synod
Church Times has published its usual detailed reports on the Synod. Non-subscribers can only read a limited number of these reports.8 Comments
Stephen Lynas bathwellschap Love of the common people
a summary of the final day’s business
Hattie Williams and Adam Becket Church Times Synod seeks land and fair treatment for gypsies, travellers and Roma
Izzy Lyons The Telegraph Church of England should make land available for gypsies and travellers, General Synod votes
Izzy Lyons The Telegraph Thirty six per cent of Anglican congregations have no parishioners under 16-years-old
Adam Becket and Abigail Frymann Rouch Church Times Labour and Tory parties’ internal divisions are stifling any ‘viable vision for the common good’ says General Synod
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Church of England urges five days of prayer for poor as Brexit looms
Archbishop of Canterbury‘s speech opening the General Synod ‘State of the Nation’ debate
Church of England press releases
General Synod speaks out against racism directed against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities
Church of England commits to next generation evangelism
Church of England calls for Government action on problem gambling
State of the Nation Debate