Thinking Anglicans

General Synod – 13-15 November 2023

This post will be updated as the meeting proceeds.

The Church of England’s General Synod is meeting this week. The timetable is here, the agenda is here and the papers are here.

Live video etc

All sessions are streamed live on YouTube and remain available to view afterwards. Links have been provided in advance.

There is an official Twitter account.

Order papers

  • LLF motion as amended
  • This motion was carried in a vote by houses:
    Bishops 23 in favour, 10 against;
    Clergy 100 in favour, 93 against;
    Laity 104 in favour, 100 against.
    There were 4 recorded abstentions by bishops, 1 by clergy and none by laity.

Business done

Official press releases

Press reports and comment

Church Times

The Guardian

BBC News

The Washington Times

The Independent

The Living Church

Members’ blogs

Helen King

Miranda Threlfall-Holmes

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Susannah Clark
6 months ago

My understanding from Monday’s General Synod session was that yes, there’s a possibility of an amendment to allow ‘experimental’ standalone services for same-sex couples for a two year period, but at the end of the two year period, yes they would require a two-thirds vote in support, failing which they would be abandoned. Can anyone tell me if I’ve got that right? And if I have, sorry, but I don’t see 67% of Synod members voting in favour of making it permanent. I’m open to developments happening in the next 2 days at Synod, but I found today’s session a… Read more »

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
Reply to  Susannah Clark
6 months ago

I’m totally on the same page as you Susannah. But maybe an act of resistance would be for all couples to move north and enjoy an Anglican wedding in Scotland ?

Last edited 6 months ago by David Hawkins
peter kettle
peter kettle
Reply to  David Hawkins
6 months ago

Nice idea, and see the history of Gretna Green. But there’s an interesting parallel with contributions further down this thread where retirement housing of clergy is concerned, the common factor being the need, for different reasons, to be uprooted from one’s community. And if a blessing or marriage is not available in the spiritual focus of the community, which is what the C of E claims to be (everyone lives in a parish and has certain rights therein) then the C of E ceases to be able to make that claim. I came across it often enough during my years… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  peter kettle
6 months ago

As did the late Stanley Monkhouse, in his case baptising infants from an adjacent parish in a different diocese (literally the other side of the River Trent from his own three Burton churches) where the incumbents withheld infant baptism if the parent(s) did not ‘qualify’.

For those who remember and knew Stanley, this is a report of the memorial service in Dublin last week. In accordance with his wishes, Ireland is the resting place for Stanley’s ashes.

https://ramblingrector.me/2023/11/14/notes-from-a-memorial/

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
6 months ago

Thanks so much for this link.

WYH
WYH
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
6 months ago

Rowland, thank you for the reference re Stanley’s memorial service. Greatly appreciated. Best wishes.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
6 months ago

Little pace at Question Time. Although there was some good air cover for the Bishop of London (and later ++Ebor), in other supplementaries she had to resort to giving unnecessary expressions of opinion, which she did with immense good grace. ConEvos (with their tender consciences) using question time to make speeches and reinforce their well-rehearsed arguments, especially Scowen and Buggs of London. Liberals played the same game, but in fewer numbers. Utterly surreal.

FearandTremolo
FearandTremolo
6 months ago

I’m glad that ++Canterbury is calling for a ceasefire. It’s the right thing to do. It would be a genuine delight if any front-bench politicians could do the same.

I.T.
I.T.
Reply to  FearandTremolo
6 months ago

You mean in Gaza, or in Synod?

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  FearandTremolo
6 months ago

Just out of curiosity, what is the basis of belief that Hamas wants a ceasefire, or that one could secure one from them? They follow no Geneva convention rules for war. They can omit uniforms, use civilians to shield them, build tunnels under hospitals, and relish flouting what westerners call ‘proper rules of engagement.’ None of this is in doubt.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Anglican Priest
6 months ago

Actually the “build tunnels under hospitals” is currently just Israeli assertion. MSF, working at the hospitals, say they’ve seen no indication it’s true. And why pick on Hamas as not wanting a ceasefire, when the Israeli government has refused outright? Israel’s engaged in collective punishment (a war crime) and arguably genocide, but you single out Hamas as not following the “rules”. The first step towards a ceasefire is accepting the need for one rather than cheering on the slaughter. Claiming Hamas doesn’t want one is disingenuous and putting the cart before the horse.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Jo B
6 months ago

You rebuke Anglican Priest on the grounds – “You single out Hamas as not following the rules”

Are you claiming he is being unfair to Hamas ?

Seriously ?

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
6 months ago

No, I’m curious about the selectiveness of his concern about the rules, given the far greater suffering inflicted by Israel’s disregard for them.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Jo B
6 months ago

The assertion that there are no tunnels — as well as command and control — is your own. Nothing else in my note have you found fault with, because you can’t. Military fighters without uniform, forbidding the exit of Palestinians, civilians as shields, bloodthirsty butchery that lit this fuse, continual bombardments, 200+ hostages — and a call for ceasefire that no one could assure Hamas would follow. And why would they? For them, this is western warfare talk. Not the way Hamas conducts business. How about a call for hostage release? Moms with babies? Elderly without medicine? Those who have… Read more »

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Anglican Priest
6 months ago

Don’t put words in my mouth. I’ve not said there are no tunnels, I’ve only repeated what independent observers on the ground have said – that they’ve seen no evidence of them. Absolutely hostages should be released, as should Palestinians locked up without trial by Israel. Slaughtering Palestinian children does not achieve that, any more than slaughtering Israeli children does. Treating 7th October as day 0 in this is an absurdity, as is treating Hamas as an entirely evil monolith incapable of being negotiated with. It’s also troubling that you apparently value Israeli lives so much more than Palestinians that… Read more »

FearandTremolo
FearandTremolo
Reply to  Anglican Priest
6 months ago

I mean I’ve no idea what Hamas are after, other than the abolishing of the open-air prison in which they’re all trapped. Certainly, launching indiscriminate rockets doesn’t make anyone the goodie.

But then, they’re not the British ally who has rolled tanks into a city. And also launched indiscriminate rockets.

Simon W
Simon W
6 months ago

Is anyone blogging GS these days? A few members used to, but at least two of those have now retired.

Helen King
Helen King
Reply to  Simon W
6 months ago

Too tired to do anything while I’m at Synod but I hope to share an account when I get back

Peter
Peter
6 months ago

There is an absolutely fundamental distinction between re-marriage after divorce and same sex marriage.

The claim is that same sex marriage is a new work of the Spirit and that to obstruct same sex marriage amounts to quenching the Spirit or worse.

Re marriage after divorce is and always has been a pastoral accommodation. Nobody, anywhere, has ever claimed that divorce and remarriage is a new work of the Spirit.

They are just not the same.

Helen King
Helen King
Reply to  Peter
6 months ago

You may have noticed I was not claiming they are the same. My point is that this isn’t the first time something around marriage has gone through many, many reports, with debates invoking B30, claims about something which will look like a ‘proper marriage’ but which isn’t, assorted ways to move when dioceses or Synod are split (the service of blessing after a civil marriage went through B4/B5 routes), alleged fears about clergy not doing the services as ‘exposed’ to legal challenge, and opponents claiming we need yet another document before we can decide. And the sky never fell in,… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Helen King
Peter
Peter
Reply to  Helen King
6 months ago

You are clearly right that the process features have something in common. That is hardly surprising. Organisational processes are by their nature repetitive in the features.

It is the substantive issue that matters. The claim is that a new work of the Spirit is taking place.

The pastoral accommodation claim is simply a specious attempt by the bishops to have their cake and eat it at the same time. They want to do what they are being asked to do, whilst also claiming doctrine has not been changed.

Nobody is buying this ridiculous idea

Last edited 6 months ago by Peter
Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
6 months ago

Don’t sola scriptura folk believe that all marriage, per St Paul, is a pastoral accommodation for those who cannot cope with celibacy?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Jo B
6 months ago

Paul never anywhere suggests marriage is a bad thing.

The old and new testaments could not be clearer in establishing that divorce is a bad thing

Not the same

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
6 months ago

Paul certainly implies that marriage is a second best, a concession to human imperfection, while he calls on us to be perfect.

But then conservative readings of scripture can become remarkably flexible when their own teachings are under question.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Jo B
6 months ago

It is a stretch to say Paul implies that marriage is a concession to human imperfection – to put is mildly

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter
6 months ago

It’s right there in 1 Corinthians 7, Peter. The meaning is way clearer than the clobber verses! ‘8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain unmarried as I am. 9 But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.’ 36 If anyone thinks that he is behaving indecently toward his fiancée, if his passions are strong and so it has to be, let him marry as he wishes; it is no sin. Let them marry. 37 But if someone stands firm in… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
6 months ago

Hardly Tim !!

Verse 36 to marry is no sin.

It could not be clearer

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Peter
6 months ago

Hardly Peter – that is a very selective reading. It is no sin to marry, says Paul. Agreed. But why are we even discussing marriage as a sin at at all here? And is hardly a positive commendation of the institution of marriage to learn it is for men (women are not even discussed here) who cannot control themselves.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  David Runcorn
6 months ago

Hi David, Fair point. I am not going to contribute to Thinking Anglicans in the future. I have attempted to represent a traditionalism that is moderate in tone because I have long believed that an organised settlement between the two “sides” was the least worst way forward and needed some kind of dialogue between the sides. That was only ever conceivable if the Bishops respected the Synodical conventions which require a super majority for change of the kind that is being pursued. They have clearly set that convention aside. There is not the remotest possibility they will allow the position… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  Peter
6 months ago

Thank you for your more moderate approach Peter.
I think there will be no organised settlement because the amendments in that direction clearly did not gain enough support in General Synod and I’m certain they would not do so in the dioceses.
The changes Synod have agreed are rather small steps towards pastoral recognition of same sex attracted couples. We have not yet seen the end of the oppressive and damaging ‘Issues in human sexuality’ but let’s hope that will not be too far away. Though I’m afraid I am not holding my breath.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Andrew Godsall
6 months ago

Andrew,

Thank you.

We obviously differ on the fundamentals, but I have been helped by our conversations and have been grateful for the seriousness with which you have treated my contributions.

I wish you well

Peter

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Peter
6 months ago

Peter, firstly I think it’s a loss to all if you have decided not to post here anymore. I’ve found it helpful to hear a moderate ‘conservative’ viewpoint here, and thank you for your forthrightness. Secondly, you write: “There is not the remotest possibility they will allow the position they have taken this week to be reversed by the other two Houses in 2025.” I’m not sure that is the case. The Bishop of London has already said that the temporary trialling of the standalone services will be for only 2 years, after which they will need a two-thirds majority… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Susannah Clark
6 months ago

Susannah, Thank you for your kind words. I do not share you confidence in the assurances given by the Bishop of London, not least because she will no longer be leading the process after the end of this year. Law is always, in the end, the servant of Politics. The majority of the Bishops want Same Sex Rites and are determined to act to achieve that end. It is simply inconceivable, Susannah, that after two or more years of such Rites that the Bishops would prohibit them. There will be no organised settlement. The “direction of travel” is set and… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Peter
Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Peter
6 months ago

Peter, you have been a model of reasoned discourse. The time eventually came in TEC when it was obvious that, at the diocesan level, the very few Bishops of the traditionalist stripe would be marginalized and most probably timed out. A long struggle, on a very different denominational terrain inside of which the small TEC lives, has finally produced the TEC we now have, a church very different to the one I was ordained in over 40 years ago, and in which three generations of my family served as priests. It is hard to see what the fate of the… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Anglican Priest
6 months ago

Christopher,

Thank you for your ministry to us

Grace and peace to you

Peter

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
6 months ago

Interesting, if predictable, start to the (planned) interminable debate on LLF. The stage has been set for tomorrow. +Londin continuing to show steel, even in the face of friendly fire from fellow diocesans. Amendments coming thick and fast, so far from the usual suspects. The more interesting ones are to come, e.g. +Oxford on allowing experimental standalone services now. One theme today were the disingenuous arguments for delay. We don’t have the legal advice (see above). It wouldn’t help. I doubt even the most eminent ecclesiastical lawyers are of one mind and anyway what there is is contained in GS2328.… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Anthony Archer
GK Henwood
GK Henwood
6 months ago

Having researched ‘equal marriage’ and civil partnership (thesis pub 2019, Uni of Chester), I was hopeful the the rich married/partnered Love participants bore witness to in confidence would find a home within the national CofE through liturgy in our sacred gathering places. Now retired from parish practice (priest), as an onlooker it seems that the institution seems to be unable to hear and recognise faithful people’s loving testimonies – within the CofE. I am very sorrowful that deep hurt is being caused. Kyrie eleison

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
6 months ago

I know everyone wants to talk about safeguarding or same sex relationships but I wanted to comment on the housing provision for retiring clergy. I don’t see that provision needs to end in the way suggested. Firstly there are areas in the country where it is still possible to buy a house for under £100k and flats for less. They might not be where people would ideally want, but as a stopgap they are fine. Secondly, the assets of the scheme are sufficient that having a fair amount of residential housing in the asset mix shouldn’t be a problem. It… Read more »

Rachel Noel
Rachel Noel
Reply to  Kate Keates
6 months ago

I don’t think it’s acceptable to say to retired clergy that they have to move to the far end of the country which may be many miles away from family and friends as a ‘stopgap’. For many of the current generation of clergy retiring they had to give up assets coming in, and were assured of housing in retirement. We have to find a workable way through this that doesn’t sacrifice clergy & their families

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Kate Keates
6 months ago

Are you suggesting that retired clergy rent their homes from the pension scheme? If so, how is that better for the retired clergyperson than renting privately?

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  T Pott
6 months ago

Security of tenure would be pretty high up the list, along with (presumably) a clear set of arrangements for rent increases. Private renting in the UK is horrendously insecure, especially in England, with no-fault evictions with just two months’ notice, and the same being used to unilaterally hike rents. I would expect the clergy pension scheme to act something like a good social landlord in this regard.

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
6 months ago

How do you decide what is morally right ? One way is to define yourself in opposition to what is wrong (the other). We have seen this throughout our modern history Roman Catholics, Jews, Irish, People of Colour have all been used to define what we are not and in consequence what we are. I am very distressed to see this “othering” present in the Synod. It is not stated explicitly of course but I think it is clearly present. “I am obeying scripture because I am not being disobedient and having sex outside of heterosexual marriage.” Tellingly hardly any… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
6 months ago

And the amended motion passes.

And to all those who have been criticising the bishops for dragging their feet on this, look at these voting figures:

Bishops: 23 for, 10 against, 4 abstained
Clergy: 100 for, 93 against, 1 abstained
Laity: 104 for, 100 against, 0 abstained

It seems that the bishops are the most progressive of the three houses.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
6 months ago

Interesting Tim, I am probably comparing apples to oranges in terms of both polity and a particular aspect of the issue; but these numbers on a percentage basis seem something of the reverse of the Canadian situation re: the vote on same sex marriage. The Bishops here were more evenly divided and were the spoilers, but the clergy and laity here more substantially in favour. Alas, I can’t find our actual numbers for that occasion.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Rod Gillis
6 months ago

Rod, one difference is that here in Canada all the bishops, diocesan or suffragan, get to vote in the house of bishops at General Synod. I think in the C of E, only the diocesans and certain select suffragans get to vote in the House; even some suffragans who are acting diocesans did not get to vote. Imagine how our GS2019 would have been different if the Diocese of the Arctic had only had one vote. That’s what we’re talking about.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
6 months ago

Right-O. The details about the differences are interesting.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
6 months ago

And, I am wondering about the laity and clergy, I am not familiar with how clergy and laity are elected to the GS in the C of E. I seem to recall an earlier chat here at TA about that in reference to the LLF?

Graham Watts
Graham Watts
Reply to  Rod Gillis
6 months ago

Any laity on a Electoral Roll of a parish can stand for election to the General Synod. They need to be nominated and seconded by Diocesan Synod members but to be a candidate you do not have to be a member of any other church/parish/deanery or diocesan committee or synod. As a candidate you can publish a statement about yourself which gets circulated by the diocese. The electorate is the House of Laity of Diocesan Synod in each diocese and the voting system is to put the candidates in a prefered order 1, 2, 3 etc as long as you… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Peter Owen
6 months ago

Thank you both for the explanation.

Shamus
Shamus
6 months ago

If I understand rightly Synod has voted to ask the bishops to arrange for the LLF prayers to be used “experimentally”. Does anyone know when that might happen? Not holding my breath. Any chance they could approve the ASB for experimental use again while they’re at it?

David Smith
David Smith
Reply to  Shamus
6 months ago

+London said the prayers could be ‘commended’ as early as mid-Dec

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Shamus
6 months ago

Using prayers experimentally raises questions. What data will be gathered to see if the blessings are actually working. How will this be measured?

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  T Pott
6 months ago

Each parish is required to keep a record, and the bishops can include a question in the archdeacons’ annual articles of inquiry. For many parishes this will merely give them formal license to do what they have been doing under the radar for ages. It’s positive in an ecclesiological sense.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  T Pott
6 months ago

I’m chuckling at the notion of ‘blessings working.’ I’m reminded of the time when I made the sign of the cross over a friend’s car, and he leaned out of the driver’s side window and said, “Do you give a warranty for your blessings?”

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  T Pott
6 months ago

Um – I was attempting to make a joke…

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
6 months ago

I reaslise that, but someone has taken it seriously.

peter kettle
peter kettle
Reply to  Shamus
6 months ago

And exactly how would couples feel being an ‘experiment’? If the experiment is subsequently not made permanent, does that mean that the prayers used during that time are then null and void? It’s playing with people’s real spiritual needs here, and in my view totally unacceptable. There are, at least, other denominations where, to reflect T.S.Eliot ‘prayer has been made valid’. Permanently. In the name of God. I wonder how many couples will queue up for the Anglican compromise?

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  peter kettle
6 months ago

I should have thought ‘experimental’ had the sense of the more precise term ‘trial use’ often used when new liturgical forms are introduced i.e. series this or series that which eventually give way to something more long lasting? E.g. people baptized with English series II or what have you are just as baptized as those who were baptized under the latter ASB or Common Worship. But perhaps I’m reading into the scene there wrongly based on previous programmes of liturgical renewal?

Susannah Clark
6 months ago

There is an element of gamble in the amendment which was passed today by ONE vote in the House of Laity (99-98 with 2 abstentions). This supported the proposal that the Bishops allow ‘experimental’ standalone services for gay couples, blessing their relationships. I’m delighted it was passed, knowing myself (because of my courageous priest) what it felt like for my wife and I to celebrate our marriage IN church, before God, and before the church community and our relatives and friends. The warning/proviso is that these standalone services are only for 2 YEARS, after which – the experiment over –… Read more »

Graham Watts
Graham Watts
Reply to  Susannah Clark
6 months ago

Susannah, are you sure about that? In the PLF have you actually read any phrase that says that the relationship is being blessed? I think that the wording is far more careful and specifically does not say that. I expect that, even during the experimental period, once these are out in the wild the utterences of courageous clergy might drift from the published text. But I believed that the text given specifically does little more than blessing individuals: ‘By your blessing, and with you as their companion and guide,may they rejoice in hope and be sustained in love all the… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Susannah Clark
6 months ago

Could someone please help me by clarifying what these newly authorised services allow, or forbid. Susannah (above) talks about experimental services “blessing their relationships”. And the Guardian (like many other newspapers) describes this as authorising gay blessings and “it means that gay Christians will be able to invite family and friends to a special service, which could be held on Saturdays, to bless and celebrate their weddings. Music, readings, confetti and other features would mean such services could look very similar to a standard church wedding.” But if I remember correctly, a few months ago when these services were first… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Simon Dawson
6 months ago

I’ve been wondering that as well, Simon. I used the expression “blessing their relationships” to cover whatever it actually meant, because in reality that’s exactly what these services will be enacted to do. But like you, I recall some kind of limitation so it didn’t come across as a quasi-wedding service. But given that rings can be blessed I think it’s going to be pretty obvious, and honestly – who is going to challenge the exact atmosphere of these services? Everyone knows the actual reason for these services, even if the bishops keep up a front. Having had one of… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Susannah Clark
6 months ago

Thanks for the detailed response Susannah. I agree with everything you say. My concern also was because my (now) husband and I held a service 22 years ago, which was a specific covenant and blessing service, albeit not using marriage symbolism, with the full knowledge and approval of the archdeacon. If people are now obliged to follow an approved, detailed, but more limited, set of liturgical provisions will we end up with less than what we were doing informally decades ago. Only time will tell, I suppose, depending on how much people are willing to push the boundaries, and the… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Simon Dawson
6 months ago

Re-visiting GS2328, this is what I find: The standalone services will be determined by the bishops who will “regulate the form in which this material can be used.” Not sure exactly what that means. The motion offers resources for “praying with and for two people who love one another and who wish to give thanks for and mark that love in faith before God. To celebrate in God’s presence the commitment two people have made to each other is an occasion for rejoicing.” However, it continues to say that the resources do “not treat the relationship of the couple as… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Susannah Clark
6 months ago

Thanks Susannah. In a way we are not much different from before, a bit of a postcode lottery where what is possible depends almost totally on your incumbent and your bishop.

But in the past many services were held under the radar. Perhaps the publicity about this will mean that at least those services that do get held will be very much in the public domain, creating a demand and an acceptance it will be difficult to step back from in few years time.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
6 months ago

Re: The success of the motion for the trial use of blessings for same sex marriages, I thought of the line from Churchill: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Moving something into hands on trial use can really change the water on the beans in terms of moving from hypothetical consideration to tangible experience. Little wonder opponents are anxious. The C of E is going to require a path that will accommodate members who wish to update to the contemporary world. Pressure… Read more »

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Rod Gillis
6 months ago

“Moving something into hands on trial use can really change the water on the beans in terms of moving from hypothetical consideration to tangible experience.”

This is like the law of gravity. Of course the deal is done. Now its just a matter of seeing the fallout and what those who disagree will do. The course is set.

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
6 months ago

I have no wish for us “to destroy each other” and I want as big a tent as possible. But there are limits and I suspect that I am not the only member of Church of England who is deeply uncomfortable to be in the same church as people who think that the expression of sexual love for someone of the same gender is “serving Satan”. By what arrogance do we presume to know the mind of God ? We of course should pay attention to scripture but we also have to apply human reason. What kind of God of… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  David Hawkins
6 months ago

Close votes in General Synod on contentious matters always get forensic post mortem treatment. The traditionalists will be regretting some of the speeches on their side which could only have tipped the waverers to support the +Oxford amendment. An anguished speech by Benjamin John (St Albans) is an example: ‘ … these blessings are curses; bishops do you want at the end of your ministries to say I have fought the good fight, have finished the race, or will you reject it and make a shipwreck of your faith?’ Also, the tactics would also have put Synod off. Stephen Hofmeyr… Read more »

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