Thinking Anglicans

General Synod – electronic voting lists

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.

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Pastoral Advisory Group presentation to General Synod

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.

It needs to be read in conjunction with the Pastoral Principles documentation  available over here, and the background paper for the presentation GS Misc 1200 also online here.

OneBodyOneFaith has published this press release: OneBodyOneFaith welcomes new Pastoral Principles from CofE.

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Detailed statistics from the Members’ Notice Board at General Synod

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.

Question 3 Mr Samuel Margrave

Percentage of new ordinands declaring a disability for each year since 2010

Question 4 Mr Andrew Williams

Numbers and percentages of disabled candidates attending Bishops Advisory Panels etc

Question 7 Mr James Lee

Numerical breakdown of ordinands by training pathway and by diocese

Questions 19-20 Miss Debbie Buggs

Membership of the Crown Nominations Commission from January 2014

Question 43 Ven Simon Heathfield

2017 Endowment and Glebe Assets by Diocese and Assets per Capita

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Post Synod roundup

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.

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General Synod – Saturday

Order papers listing the day’s business
OP6 – Order Paper VI (morning)
OP7 – Order Paper VII (afternoon)

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

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

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General Synod – Friday

Order papers listing the day’s business
OP4 – Order Paper IV (morning)
OP5 – Order Paper V (afternoon)

Stephen Lynas bathwellschap Listen, do you want to know a secret?
a summary of the day’s business

David Pocklington Law & Religion UK Broad Synod support for DSM environment motion

Madeleine Davies Church Times ‘Prioritise evangelism’ motion is amended to reflect Anglican breadth

Church of England press releases
Church of England steps up Environment Programme
General Synod backs plans to mobilise one million worshippers
General Synod commends resources to help families pray at home
General Synod backs drive to create new churches on estates

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General Synod – Thursday

Order papers listing the day’s business
OP2 – Order Paper II (morning)
OP3 – Order Paper III (afternoon)

Stephen Lynas bathwellschap How many years can some people exist?
a summary of the day’s business

Tim Wyatt Church Times General Synod rebels attempt to quash wedding and funeral fees

David Pocklington Law & Religion UK Church of England Parochial Fees – Changes for 2020 to 2024

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Church of England makes Sunday services non-compulsory
“Synod approves change to ease burden on rural priests, who may have up to 20 churches”

Izzy Lyons The Telegraph Churches no longer legally required to hold service every Sunday, as Synod scraps 17th century law

BBC News Churches no longer have to hold Sunday services

Adam Becket Church Times Synod calls for C of E battle plan on homelessness

Zachary Guiliano The Living Church Synod Takes Up Poverty

Church of England press releases
General Synod approves greater service flexibility for benefices
New code of practice on ecumenical cooperation approved by General Synod
General Synod backs call for homelessness task force
Church of England launches Pastoral Principles for welcoming LGBTI+ people
The Pastoral Principles are here.

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Faith and Sexuality Survey results published

The Ozanne Foundation has published the results of the 2018 National Faith & Sexuality Survey. There is this Press Release  which summarises the results:

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS REPORTS OF SIGNIFICANT HARM EXPERIENCED BY LGBQ+ CHILDREN OF FAITH WHO ARE SUBJECT TO “CONVERSION THERAPY”

The 2018 National Faith & Sexuality Survey has revealed the high level of mental health issues reported amongst people who have attempted changing their sexual orientation, with many sharing they have attempted suicide or had suicidal thoughts. Over half said they first attempted to change whilst they were 18 or under with many stating they were influenced by their religious leader. 22 people said they had been forced to undergo sexual activity with someone of the opposite gender. These attempts were reported as being overwhelmingly unsuccessful, with the primary motivations given for attempting to change relating to either religious beliefs or internationalised homophobia.

The survey, the first of its kind in the UK, was designed to understand the impact of religious belief on people’s understanding and acceptance of their sexual orientation. It ran during December 2018 and attracted over 4600 responses, of which a tenth (458) stated they had personal experience of attempting to change their sexual orientation. Over half of these said they had experienced mental health issues, of whom nearly a third (91 people) said they had attempted suicide while over two-thirds (193 people) said they had had suicidal thoughts. Two in five of those who reported mental health issues indicated they had self- harmed and a quarter said they had suffered from eating disorders. Few said they had sought advice from the medical profession but instead nearly half said they had sought advice from their religious leader, who was identified as being significantly more likely than parents to be the person to advise or force attempts at sexual orientation change…

…The report is being presented at a lunchtime fringe meeting at the General Synod on February 21st 2019 ahead of the Church of England’s own presentation of its proposed “Pastoral Principles” for pastoral ministry among LGBTI+ people in the Church.

The full set of results can be downloaded here.

The survey questionnaire can be downloaded here.

The full Executive Report can be downloaded here.

Media coverage is being collated over here.

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General Synod – Wednesday

Updated late Thursday

News and comment from the opening day of the Church of England’s General Synod

OP1 – Order Paper I – lists the day’s business

Questions (and answers)

Stephen Lynas bathwellschap But when the weekend comes, she knows where we will be…
a summary of the day’s business

Archbishop of Canterbury‘s presidential address

Christian Today Archbishop of Canterbury pleads with Church factions to give up ‘cynicism’ as Synod gets underway

Archdruid Eileen Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley Turn to Your Neighbour and Scream

You can watch Watch General Synod live here.

Update

Zachary Guiliano The Living Church Synod Discusses Transgender Guidance

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Living in Love and Faith and the Pastoral Advisory Group present to synod

GS Misc 1200 is the document prepared for the synod session on Thursday afternoon, for which the Agenda item reads:

Not later than 5.30 p.m
LIVING IN LOVE AND FAITH AND PASTORAL ADVISORY GROUP (GS MISC 1200)
Presentation under SO 107.
Note: The Business Committee has determined under SO 107(3) that this presentation should include an opportunity for questions.

GS Misc 1200 starts thus:

This paper summarises developments regarding the Living in Love and Faith project and the work of the Pastoral Advisory Group. It includes an account of some of the key activities that the work has involved, the emerging shape of the groups’ next steps and how these relate to finding a way forward for the Church in matters relating to human identity, sexuality and marriage.

The paper introduces two key pieces of work, namely the ‘Living in Love and Faith Learning Outcomes’ and ‘Held Together in the Love of Christ: Pastoral Principles for Living Well Together’ produced by the Pastoral Advisory group. A series of fringe sessions are introduced that offer informal engagement with individuals who are members of LLF or PAG as well as members of General Synod…

The text of the Pastoral Principles start on page 8 of the document. A separate copy of them is available over here. TA readers are invited to read and comment on them.

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Pre-Synod News and Opinion

The Church of England’s General Synod meets in London this week from Wednesday to Saturday.

Stephen Lynas bathwellschap Ch – ch – ch – ch – ch – changes
Stephen’s usual excellent introduction to this week’s business

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Hey ho, hey ho & it’s off to synod we go

Steven Croft Bishop of Oxford Rethinking Evangelism
an (unauthorised) background paper for the General Synod.

David Pocklington Law & Religion UK Measuring the Footprint, Delivering the ambition?
“The continued debate on the London/Truro Diocesan Synod Motion”

Church Times leader Mission creeps

There are  links to the Synod agenda and papers here.

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Church abuse survivors update General Synod booklet

Updated Wednesday morning

Press Release
Monday 18th February 2019 1000
GENERAL SYNOD FORCED TO FACE CHURCH ABUSE CRISIS
Victims of abuse address the church through hard-hitting booklet

The General Synod of the Church of England, meeting this week in Westminster, has once again been forced to face up to the crisis of abuse by clergy and other church officers. In spite of featuring prominently in the ongoing Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), the church had decided not to formally discuss the crisis during its four-day meeting. But victims and survivors of church abuse have forced the issue back onto the church’s agenda through a hard-hitting pamphlet. The booklet We Asked for Bread but you gave us Stones updates a previous booklet, which shocked many synod members twelve months ago. Victims of abuse, whose comments about the church caused widespread dismay this time last year, were asked to describe how the church has treated them since then.

The message of the booklet is that for all the talk, the Church of England is no further forward in addressing the needs of victims. “I have been more of less abandoned'” says one. Another complains that “Nobody has taken charge. We remain adrift.” The Archbishop of Canterbury has described the church’s treatment of complainants as “a deeply evil act.” And yet Andrew Graystone, who collated the new booklet, says that the church has persisted in its “lawyer-led, money-driven approach to survivors of abuse.” He pleads for the church to treat its victims as “wounded friends” and to “start by asking what you might do to help them rebuild their lives.”

All members of the General Synod will receive a copy of the new booklet when they arrive for the meeting on Wednesday.

A copy of the new edition of We Asked for Bread but you gave us Stones is available for download here: Stones not Bread Revisited.

Update 

All Synod members will today receive as well a copy of this Credit card sized reminder of what they personally can do to prevent abuse.

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General Synod Questions

The Church of England’s General Synod will hold its Questions session on Wednesday this week, starting not later than 17:45. The questions (and their answers) have been published this morning. These questions and answers will not be read out on Wednesday, and the session will be devoted to supplementary questions and answers.

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Briefing paper on the House of Bishops transgender pastoral guidance

The General Synod Human Sexuality Group has issued a briefing paper for synod members, which has been produced by Christina Beardsley & Susan Gilchrist.

Inclusive Cburch has published it here: A briefing paper on the House of Bishops’ Pastoral Guidance on using the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith with transgender people.

Another copy is available in PDF format here.

And there is an associated reading list.

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February General Synod – papers and press release

Updated Friday evening to add press report

The second batch of papers for this month’s meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod have been released. I have updated my list of these papers here. There is also a press release about some of the items on the agenda which I have copied below.

Press report

There was a press briefing on the agenda this morning. Madeleine Davies writes about it for Church TimesEvangelism and estates to occupy General Synod at February meeting.

Press release

Evangelism at heart of General Synod agenda

The need to mobilise the whole Church of England to reach out to others with the Christian message is set to dominate discussions at next month’s General Synod in London.

Papers published today set out how “small behavioural changes” by the around one million people who regularly attend Church of England churches could make a “huge difference”.

(more…)

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General Synod to debate call for reconciliation for divided nation

The agenda for next month’s meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod (released yesterday) includes an addition to the original timetable, this motion from the two archbishops:

That this Synod, knowing through the experiences of parishes across the country that social divisions feel more entrenched and intractable than for many years, and concerned at the divisions within the major political parties which are stifling the emergence of a hopeful and viable vision for the common good in our communities:
(a) call upon every diocese and parish regularly to hold in prayer their local MPs and politicians and the members of Her Majesty’s Government and civil servants, seeking God’s strength and wisdom for the responsibilities they bear;
(b) reaffirm the Christian commitment to putting the voices of the poor and marginalised at the heart of the nation’s concerns; and
(c) call upon the nation’s leaders, drawing on Christian hope and reconciliation, to work together for that common good at this time of division.

The debate will be held on the afternoon of Saturday 23 February, the closing day of the Synod meeting.

There is this official press release:

General Synod to debate call for reconciliation for divided nation
25/01/2019

The UK’s political leaders should draw on “Christian hope and reconciliation” to help steer the country through a time of seemingly “entrenched and intractable” divisions, according to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

The call comes in the text of a special motion on the state of the nation, tabled by the two archbishops, to be debated by the Church of England’s General Synod, which meets in London next month.

It speaks of divisions within the major political parties and calls for every parish and diocese to pray regularly for their local MPs, other politicians, the Government and civil servants.

The timetable for February’s meeting of Synod had been amended to make time for the special debate.

An updated timetable and full agenda are published today alongside the first set of papers.

A further batch of papers for Synod will be published next Friday (February 1, 2019).

Synod meets at Church House Westminster from Wednesday February 20 to Saturday February 23.

Press reports

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian C of E leaders rebuke politicians for ‘stifling’ Brexit reconciliation

Adam Becket Church Times Synod to debate the country’s ‘entrenched and intractable social divisions’

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February General Synod – online papers

Update (1 February) Links to the second batch of papers have been added
Update (19 February) Link to Questions notice paper added
Update (20, 24 February) more notice papers etc 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 1 February and I will add links when these become available.

Papers in numerical order with a note of the day scheduled for their consideration are listed below the fold. Synod meets from Wednesday 20 to Saturday 23 February in London.

The Agenda is here and the Report by the Business Committee (Guide to the February 2019 group of sessions) is here.

(more…)

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General Synod Timetable for February

Update An amended timetable was issued on 25 January 2019.

The Business Committee of General Synod has today published the timetable for the February 2019 Group of Sessions in London. The timetable can be downloaded here and an abbreviated version can be found below the fold.

(more…)

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General Synod February 2019

Press release from the Church of England

General Synod February 2019
12/10/2018

The Business Committee of the Church of England General Synod has agreed the outline timings for the February 2019 group of sessions.

Synod will meet from 2.30pm on Wednesday February 20 to 4pm on Saturday February 23 at Church House Westminster.

Following the workshops and seminars in York in July, there will be a update on progress with Living in Love and Faith and the plans for completing the project through a presentation as part of the main Synod agenda as well as a collection of fringe meetings.

It is anticipated that the timetable will be published in December.

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General Synod – Church Times detailed reports

The detailed Church Times reports on the recent Church of England General Synod are now online here. Unless you subscribe there is a limit on how many of these reports you will be able to read.

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