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
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
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
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.
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.12 Comments
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
Archdruid Eileen Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley Turn to Your Neighbour and Scream
You can watch Watch General Synod live here.
Zachary Guiliano The Living Church Synod Discusses Transgender Guidance8 Comments
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.