Thinking Anglicans

General Synod – 5-9 July 2024

This post will be updated as the meeting proceeds.

The Church of England’s General Synod is meeting this weekend. 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 X/Twitter account.

Chairs of debates

Official July 2024 list of members

Order papers

Business done

Official press releases

Press reports and comment

Church Times

Independent

The Guardian

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

89 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Susannah Clark
18 days ago

Listening to the Archbishop’s Presidential Address, and his reflections on how certain books (especially The Bible) etch a mark on our lives. As he said: “Books we have read and re-read carve out a narrative and a pathway in our consciousness that guides and influences us in everything else. Supremely for us, this is, of course, the whole narrative arc of scripture” I am curious to know what books in the lives of thinking Anglicans have had real impact on how we think or feel, and left a mark on our consciences, our devoted lives, our values, or our service.… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Susannah Clark
18 days ago

Tolstoy: ‘War and Peace’ and ‘Anna Karenina’ Dostoevsky: ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ Chaim Potok: ‘The Chosen’, ‘The Promise’, ‘The Book of Lights’ and ‘Davita’s Harp’ John Howard Yoder: ‘The Politics of Jesus’ (yes, I know of his many sins) Lots of things by CS Lewis, Philip Yancey, Eugene Peterson, J.R.R. Tolkien, George MacDonald, Ellen Davis, John Goldingay Alan Kreider: ‘The Patient Ferment of the Early Church’ Ronald J. Sider: ‘Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger’ Dante: ‘The Divine Comedy’ Karen R. Keen: ‘Scripture, Ethics, and the Possibility of Same-Sex Relationships’ and ‘The Word of a Humble God’ N.T. Wright: ‘Jesus… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Reply to  Susannah Clark
18 days ago

I returned to the Christian faith from a time of teenage wandering in Buddhism through the influence of Teilhard de Chardin and Meister Eckhart, and the Gospels (in a tiny KJV NT I had retained from an elementary school visit from the Gideons (this was before the court cases that would later forbid such a thing). This was cemented by reading C S Lewis — at first his fiction, including Narnia, then his apologetics. These have all stayed with me for decades. More recently, Julian’s Shewings and Harvey Falk’s Jesus the Pharisee inform my spirituality and approach to the New… Read more »

Charles Read
Reply to  Susannah Clark
17 days ago

Pretty much anything by Moltmann but especially Theology of Hope, The Crucified God and the Trinity and the Kingdom of God – though the Church in the power of the Spirit is too often neglected in my view . (In more ways than one.)

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Susannah Clark
16 days ago

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Nothing else comes close

Vivienne
Vivienne
Reply to  Pat ONeill
16 days ago

‘Cry the Beloved County’ by Alan Paton

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Vivienne
15 days ago

I meant nothing else comes close *for me^

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  Vivienne
15 days ago

‘Naught for Your Comfort’ by Trevor Huddleston.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Susannah Clark
16 days ago

‘In the beginning’, The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson. (We all have to start somewhere) Scouting for Boys (Yes, seriously!) – Lord Robert Baden Powell Keeping in Step with the Spirit – Jim Packer The Love Affair – Michael Harper Reflected Glory, The Forgotten Father and The Giving Gift – Tom Smail. Most books by Philip Yancey. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Graham The Dancing Floor and Sick Heart River – John Buchan. Personally, two of his very best – tons better than 39 Steps; both profoundly spiritual stories of genuine Christian adventure with some deep… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Susannah Clark
15 days ago

I am loving hearing about other people’s books that have etched marks on you, along your journeys. Thank you so much to those who responded! To Tim: I never made it very far into Anna Karenina though it was strongly recommended to me by a Russian friend. Dostoevsky – Notes from the Underground certainly left a mark. Tolkein didn’t work for me, but the Narnia stories were huge for me one summer when I was 9. They were a magical experience. To Tobias, the idea of de Chardin’s ‘ordered complexification’ really spoke to me in my late teens. Still does… Read more »

Martin Sewell
Martin Sewell
Reply to  Susannah Clark
15 days ago

A “light” contribution.

When about 13 I read “ The Little World of Don Camillo “ and loved both the simplicity of the stories but also the relationship between the fallible Priest and Jesus. Jesus knows Don Camillo’s weakness, but also his faith and commitment.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Martin Sewell
15 days ago

That sounds so sweet and appealing.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Martin Sewell
15 days ago

And the not very carefully concealed friendship between Don Camillo and Peppone. “Sometimes you get more from your enemies than you do your friends.”

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Martin Sewell
14 days ago

I loved Don Camillo too!

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Susannah Clark
15 days ago

Glad the exercise provided us all with some gentle light relief during these trying days, Susannah. I read LotR twice, simply forgetting that most of the characters aren’t human. Tolkien lived not far from here as a child. Nine o’ Clock, The Holy Spirit and You; yes, again, though I’ve not heard of Mel Tari. And, my personal rating of Yancey’s best are ‘Disappointment with God’ and ‘Where is God When it Hurts?’ – the reality expressed in those is so, so true to my own life – and I think, a great many other people’s. And, in another way,… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  John Davies
14 days ago

Happy you shared your books, John. Yes, it was light relief, but honestly I am just interested in people. We exchange comments for years on this forum, and in a way that’s quite abstract, but I’m curious about the contributors as people.

Susannah Clark
18 days ago

Once again, General Synod ran out of time to allow the further interrogation and clarification of answers to a large number of questions which had been legitimately raised. It seems deeply disappointing that this included many safeguarding questions posed to the House of Bishops (including the Jay report and response group, the Makin Review, the failure to carry out an independent review of the Christ Church Oxford events) and questions on the closure of the ISB posed to the Archbishops’ Council, along with a question about terms of reference of the Jay Review. I find that very troubling and suggest… Read more »

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
Reply to  Susannah Clark
18 days ago

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappe. The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand. Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi and if you are a Christian it’s very hard to avoid thinking about Zionism and the Country that currently rules over the Holy Land. For me these two books are not just about the Middle East, they shine an uncomfortable spotlight on the true nature of British Culture and British Faith. For me the two books brought about a radical reassessment of the country I thought I lived in and the Church I thought I was a member… Read more »

Helen King
Helen King
Reply to  Susannah Clark
18 days ago

I find it troubling too. The order of Questions varies in terms of just where each Church body has its Questions – at the start, or wherever. One of the problems here and at other recent Synods has been the proliferation of repetitive LLF questions which take ages to get through as members use the opportunity to ask supplementaries as a chance to make a speech on something that will be coming up anyway later in the agenda. Together on GS (formerly Gender & Sexuality Group) made a deliberate decision not to submit any LLF questions, partly because this is… Read more »

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
Reply to  Helen King
17 days ago

So despite a bold attempt to break out of the LLF narrative, back we are again. It seems that this issue will dominate and define the C of E for years, may be centuries to come. It is set to become one of the defining moments in church history, for better or for worse. What became apparent yesterday is that the Synod is being asked to fully commit to blessing same sex couples without having any idea what this means theologically, other than it definitely does not mean Holy Matrimony, for legal reasons. The message seems to me to be… Read more »

William
William
Reply to  Adrian Clarke
16 days ago

I suspect that the whole thing will be taken out of the Synod’s hands with this new Labour government. The economy will be difficult to get back on track but they have a cultural agenda which they will force through ruthlessly.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  William
16 days ago

Really? Is not the Government’s in-tray full enough? If political parties ‘campaign in poetry but govern in prose’, will this issue even be a footnote?

William
William
Reply to  Allan Sheath
16 days ago

Governments like to appear to be getting things done. The C of E is an easy target so forcing through gay marriage would be a way of doing this, particularly as I say if other things are less easy to fix.

Alwyn Hall
Alwyn Hall
Reply to  William
16 days ago

I observe that (former Revd.) Sir Chris Bryant is now a Minister of State at DCMS. If, as William suggests, the Labour government has “a cultural agenda which they will force through ruthlessly”, I can imagine that Sir Chris may want to examine the CofE’s equality regarding marriage.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Alwyn Hall
16 days ago

Assuming Labour has such an agenda – and that’s speculative to say the least – imagine the furore if Government tried to force the issue. It would alienate not only conservatives, but those who wish to see same sex marriage celebrated yet believe the Church of God should have a conscience independent of Caesar.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Allan Sheath
16 days ago

“It would alienate not only conservatives, but those who wish to see same sex marriage celebrated yet believe the Church of God should have a conscience independent of Caesar.”

I would argue that those who “believe the Church of God should have a conscience independent of Caesar” should object to the entire concept of an established church whose bishops serve (by virtue of their religious position) as members of the legislature.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Pat ONeill
15 days ago

Agreed. And if losing the Lord’s Spiritual were to be the price of a church having its own conscience, then so be it. What I fear more is that ‘soft’ disestablishment in which the Church of England turns away from being a church for all. 

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Allan Sheath
16 days ago

Also perhaps significant, according to Wikipedia “In 1991, Bryant left the ordained ministry, after deciding that being gay and being a priest were incompatible”.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Allan Sheath
15 days ago

Then there are others who might argue that ever since Constantine the church has used the power of the state to force its conscience on others, especially on the issue of homosexuality. It should not complain if, for once, it is on the receiving end of enforced conscience. It would be poetic justice.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Simon Dawson
15 days ago

Poetic justice indeed!

Martin Sewell
Martin Sewell
Reply to  Allan Sheath
15 days ago

If those who wish to act in good conscience are permitted to do so with no compulsion on those of different conscience, we might find that we can learn to live together in love and faith.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Martin Sewell
15 days ago

Thank you for bringing both clarity and charity to this. It beggars belief that we as Christians are finding it so difficult.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Allan Sheath
15 days ago

Thanks Martin and Allan, I agree. Just to add one topical thought about church and state, the Prime Minister has just made this point in Parliament: Mr Speaker-elect you preside over a new parliament, the most diverse parliament by race and gender this country has ever seen. And I’m proud of the part that my party has played, proud of the part that every party has played in that. Including, in this intake, the largest cohort of LGBT+ MPs of any parliament in the world. When you look at the open LGBT representation in Parliament, and also at the number… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Simon Dawson
Susannah Clark
Reply to  Martin Sewell
15 days ago

That’s exactly it. I can’t understand why that is so difficult and why we need to quarantine from each other ‘because they are not pure enough’. Each of us should try to follow Jesus the best we can, according to our consciences, and open our hearts to the Love of God. Oh, and love one another.

José Ribeiro
José Ribeiro
Reply to  Adrian Clarke
16 days ago

“…centuries to come.” This is a joke, right? Do you really believe CofE to hold on for centuries?<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<‘

Susannah Clark
Reply to  José Ribeiro
15 days ago

They probably thought that in 1553.

Francis James
Francis James
17 days ago

Surprised that nobody here has mentioned Cottrell’s extraordinary preliminary bombshell about the scale of the ABC vote for ending the ISB: “I’d like to make a small correction to the record”. It seems that, although he was at the meeting it had to be drawn to his attention that the actual vote was 11 to 4, with 4 abstentions, rather than the unanimous vote for termination that he had claimed at last Summer’s Synod. The idea that it has taken him twelve months to pick up on his supposed misspeak is not plausible, nor is it a minor thing. Perhaps… Read more »

Graham Watts
Graham Watts
Reply to  Francis James
16 days ago

I suppose that we are not surprised that the 2nd in charge can tell untruths and that is not corrected until it (perhaps) doesn’t matter any more. Just before the following item of business ‘A WISDOM OF TRUST: BUILDING AND SUSTAINING TRUST IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND’. But they just don’t get it! Perhaps they have had coaching from POL or was it POL that was coached by the ABC? Or the outgoing government? The in jokes on the stage, sniggers, the chummery, the ‘if I am being honest’ caveats before speaking or answering questions. They are not accountable except… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Francis James
16 days ago

At a meeting with survivors a few weeks after, one member of the Archbishops Council admitted “We messed up”. Was he a lone voice? We now know he was not. The nuking (without notice) of the ISB was profoundly irresponsible for the harmful effect it had – and continues to have – on survivors who had started to find trust in Steve and Jasvinder, and had undergone the retraumatisation that so often accompanies the raw sharing of horrific experiences. The deep irony – given that one of the charges was that the ISB had taken too long to deal with… Read more »

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Francis James
13 days ago

The other members of the Archbishops’ Council are even more to blame for not publishing an immediate correction. They must have noticed that the Archbishop had made an untrue statement, and they chose not to reveal the truth. If they imagined the Archbishop had made a genuine mistake, they could have pointed this out immediately, expecting thanks from the befuddled archbishop.. That they did not do so suggests they, at least, believed the Archbihop was intentionally deceptive, and they, all of them, were complicit in this. A small correction? The entire Archbishops’ Council have admitted telling a gigantic whopper. Was… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  T Pott
13 days ago

Thank you for this point. It’s a good one. Why did no member of the ABC correct that clear mistake? After all, they knew what was true. I was already aware that not all the ABC were happy with how things had gone down, because one told a survivors’ meeting on Zoom (that I attended) that the Council had “messed up” (exact words) and that it “was a mistake to appoint Meg Nunn”. Was he just trying to placate us? I don’t know. But for Stephen Cottrell to say the decisions were unanimous, and no ABC member pointing out that… Read more »

T Pott
T Pott
17 days ago

Clergy should have 36 hours a week off. Say 9pm Monday until 9am Wednesday.

Disabled children are entitled to human dignity.

That either of these should need to be said in the 21st century, is astonishing.

Whatever next? Same Sex Marriages should be affirmed? Oh well, maybe that is a step too far, but who can doubt that an organisation wich believes disabled children are human is in the forefront of morality? Is there any other organisation in the UK that would ever even dream of doubting it?

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  T Pott
16 days ago

I absolutely agree with clergy getting protected rest but I have reservations that the focus is only on clergy. For instance what about an organist who is a music teacher? They could easily be pressed into playing for a wedding on Saturday and then for services on Sunday so they have worked seven days straight.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Kate Keates
16 days ago

That should all be covered their contract/working agreement.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  David Runcorn
15 days ago

So why not have rules for those arrangements which ensure protected rest for them too?

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Kate Keates
16 days ago

I share your concern about this. Many of our lay volunteers are tired, yet we keep hearing from above that the laity should take on ever more responsibility.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  T Pott
16 days ago

I welcome this – but wonder why you suggest Monday to Wednesday? Part of the cost (and isolation) of ministry in my experience was being off duty when friends were working. Saturdays may work for family but are not altogether restful because Sunday duties loom – at least from later afternoon onwards. I used to take my day off from tea time the day before so that it included a night – like the sabbath.That made a big difference. And actually an awful lot of people are overworking in this C21.

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  David Runcorn
16 days ago

My suggestion of Monday evening to Wednesday morning was not intended to be the ideal. I struggle to see the difference between a day off on Tuesday, and including Monday night and Tuesday night as well, as if this were something extra. Doesn’t having nights off go without saying? Or, if it doesn’t, oughtn’t it to? Unless one is working nights but even then surely 12 hours out of every 24 is a minimum basic entitlement?

Rosalind R
Rosalind R
Reply to  T Pott
15 days ago

Evenings are part of the job for clergy – meetings to fit round the working hours of others; meeting wedding couples, funeral families because it is the only time they can manage (or for the latter the only “space” in a vicar’s full diary) or admin/ sermon preparation that didn’t get done in the day because of other meetings and time commitments. I think the 36 hours is an encouragement to clergy to manage their time in a way that gives them enough rest/personal time/family time to do the job properly. And yes, laity should also expect to take their… Read more »

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  David Runcorn
15 days ago

I am not going reply for T Pott but there’s a broader point here to which you allude. Rather than specify a particular day of the week better phrasing would be to say that in any period of seven days starting at noon on Sunday, 36 hours’ protected rest should be taken commencing from 6pm one day to 6am two days later. (Mutatis mutandis for 7pm, 8pm etc.)
Phrased flexibly that might make some Saturdays a possibility while recognising that’s unlikely to be possible as a norm in many parishes.

(Edited to correct punctuation.)

Last edited 15 days ago by Kate Keates
William
William
Reply to  T Pott
16 days ago

‘who can doubt that an organisation which believes disabled children are human is in the forefront of morality? Is there any other organisation in the UK that would ever even dream of doubting it?’

Sadly there are plenty who doubt it. Unborn babies can be aborted up until birth if there is any sign of disability in the womb.
 

Shamus
Shamus
16 days ago

Bring back freehold! Fat chance I know, but I don’t think Common Tenure has exactly increased clergy morale. It needs looking at again.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
16 days ago

If the clergy are office holders and can please themselves, why do they need a ‘statutory minimum rest period’? Unless of course common tenure is an employment contract by another name. A church warden once suggested that I fill in a time sheet – I explained that not having any employment rights meant that I didn’t have any employment obligations either.

TimN
TimN
Reply to  Fr Dean
15 days ago

Coming from Winchester (where the motion came from), the problem isn’t the rules, it’s the way either they (or their congregations) see them. The motion is to make it clear to congregations they need to give their clergy their rest, and to clergy that the world won’t end if they take it.

Peter
Peter
15 days ago

The bishops were at their worst with the attempt to portray some form of equivalence between The Alliance and the group who call themselves Together.

The HTB network on its own is the size of your average rural Diocese. Turnover around £10 million per year. HTB is just one part of the Alliance.

Together is a group of obviously sincere people, but the idea they stand in the same category of significance as The Alliance does not bear serious analysis.

The spurious symmetry is a disingenuous attempt by bishops to present themselves as the mediators between opposing factions.

Last edited 15 days ago by Peter
Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter
15 days ago

‘Together is a group of obviously sincere people, but the idea they stand in the same category of significance as The Alliance does not bear serious analysis.’

Ah – so a smaller group of people is insignificant? What happened to Jesus’ words about the many and the few?

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
15 days ago

Not only that, but as the CoE is supposed to be a church for the whole nation, the appropriate ratio for each group is not how many Anglicans share their views, but how many of the English population do.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
15 days ago

Tim, I did not say they were insignificant.

I was criticising the bishops.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter
14 days ago

‘but the idea they stand in the same category of significance…’

Your words, Peter.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
14 days ago

Tim. Together do not belong in the same category of significance as the Alliance. That is a not stating they are insignificant.

The bishops created a false equivalence.

My point is crystal clear Tim. I do not know why you want to make my words mean something they obviously do not mean

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter
14 days ago

‘Together do not belong in the same category of significance as the Alliance.’

And what is it that makes the Alliance more significant than Together? In your words: ‘The HTB network on its own is the size of your average rural Diocese. Turnover around £10 million per year. HTB is just one part of the Alliance.’

In other words, large and wealthy movements are more significant. Small and less-wealthy movements are less significant. I’m not willfully trying to pervert your words. I’m simply repeating them.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
13 days ago

Tim,

So if I and my two friends write a letter and the ABC references it in a major speech at General Synod – are you seriously suggesting you would not note that my letter was from three people !

Of course you would.

You are straining on a gnat with your attempt to make my meaning into a statement regarding the value of people. It was no such thing.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Peter
13 days ago

Would a compromise to this discussion be to say: “The Church of England appears to be divided down the middle on whether gay relationships should be blessed. The Alliance represents the views of many who oppose the blessing of gay relationships. Together represents the views of many who support the blessing of gay relationships.” I think that’s fair. The campaign groups are representatives of far larger numbers on either side, so the numerical size of the campaign representatives/signatories itself is not indicative of greater or lesser support or the significance of their actions. And for the Archbishop to reference both… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Susannah Clark
13 days ago

Susannah, I quite see the point you are making. However, there is, in reality, no comparison between The Alliance and the coalition of radicals outside of General Synod. I know you are an irenic and generous spirited person. I would not for a moment infer you are guilty of this. But there is no doubt that the symmetry that is being claimed is a form of “gaslighting” to borrow Pete Broadbent’s blunt but accurate language. A room full of radicals is not the same as a conference hall full of the orthodox. I readily concede the fact the room in… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Peter
13 days ago

I’ve always felt goodwill for you Peter, and I hope I always will. I’ve appreciated your support when I was being treated badly on one occasion. You sprang to my defence. I realise the predicament for people like you, and it is very distressing. That is obvious. How I wish it could be resolved in love and kindness. There are good people on both sides of this issue. Susannah

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter
12 days ago

I’m done, Peter. I grow weary of this laser-sharp focus on the sinfulness of loving, committed same-sex relationships. As we speak, in several countries in Africa people can be jailed for just speaking out in support of gays and lesbians, and LGBTQI+ can be jailed, and potentially even executed, simply for being who they are. The so-called ‘orthodox’ Anglican leaders you admire so much have spoken out in support of these draconian laws and have firmly rejected western criticisms of them (see here and here). My daughter and her wife are trying to create a loving home and raise their… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter
15 days ago

Also, ‘the group who call themselves Together’ and ‘obviously sincere people’ (‘Well, you know, I’m sure he’s very sincere, but he’s hardly knowledgeable, is he?’) are rather demeaning ways of speaking. Together is literally a coming together of a number of different groups who are progressive on the issue of LGBTQI+ inclusion; the Alliance, on the other hand, is literally threatening schism. If you object to our use of ‘Together’, I suggest you take a long hard look at your use of the word ‘orthodox’.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
14 days ago

I never said I objected to the word Together. People are entitled to describe themselves however they wish to.

I repeat my point, I am not and did not criticise the people who wrote under the name “together”

Two bishops (Leicester and ABC) invented a spurious symmetry purely for their own polemic purposes. That is my criticism

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
14 days ago

I doubt that HTB speak for all the members, and probably not even a majority of members, of the churches in their “network”. I suspect in a lot of cases they’d be appalled that their membership and their financial giving is being used as leverage in this way.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter
14 days ago

‘Two bishops (Leicester and ABC) invented a spurious symmetry purely for their own polemic purposes. That is my criticism’

Both of those bishops are on record as being opposed to same-sex marriages or blessings. How does that symmetry serve their purposes?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
13 days ago

The bishops want to play the role of mediator/parent figure.

They will not accept they are themselves part of the problem.

Susannah Clark
15 days ago

Ten thoughts after yesterday’s LLF debates: 1. The church should reflect its own reality: some agree with gay sexuality and marriage; some don’t. Allow gay marriage (and effectively remove the man and woman phrase in the doctrine) but also allow priests/ministers the right of conscience *not* to marry gay couples. 2. People need to accept a Church of England where there are diverse opinions and where both consciences on gay sexuality may co-exist (in love). Or leave and join a separate church. 3. The ‘Anglican Way Forward’ involves loving co-existence with diverse views. We have always been a broad church… Read more »

Susannah Clark
15 days ago

Ten thoughts after yesterday’s LLF debates (contd): 6. There is a prospect of some independent ‘overseers’ being unilaterally commissioned on the 12th at All Souls, Langham Place. I personally respect Charlie Skrine but I have concerns: there is a risk of borderline rebellion, if spiritual overseers morph into rebel bishops at a later stage, not appointed through the Church’s accepted protocols. That might constitute rebellion against authority. In effect, that would lead to a separate Church, or at least a rival province aligning itself to other parts of the Anglican Communion. It would be a Trojan Horse, ultimately presenting as… Read more »

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
Reply to  Susannah Clark
15 days ago

Another C of E province aligned to 75% of the Anglican communion, involving 33% of clergy in England and 50% of young people effectively came into being yesterday. I guess it will need to be formalised legally at some point once the dust has settled and some agreement is reached,

Last edited 15 days ago by Simon Sarmiento
Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Adrian Clarke
15 days ago

I think there is some significant exaggeration in every one of those figures.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Adrian Clarke
15 days ago

Adrian, brother in Christ. This is fantasy. The Church of England operates through General Synod and the Bishops, in relationship with Parliament and the King. Any province, any bishops, within the Church of England, have to be authorised through legal processes. Anything else is an invention. Anything else is schism. It is *not* the Church of England. It would be a bad mistake to go down that route. You cannot be “in” the Church of England and inventing your own provinces or bishops. There is authority. There is law. The Church of England will discern its own way through Synod… Read more »

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
15 days ago

I tuned into Synod online just then and was pleased to hear the Naval Hymn. I have from boyhood liked that hymn and was pleased to hear a particularly good rendition of it in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney once. I have wondered why it was chosen for Synod.

Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
Reply to  Clifford Jones
15 days ago

It’s a very stirring hymn…. But from a lot of the discussion that took place at Synod maybe whoever chose it thought it was spelled
‘el’ as an accompaniment to gazing?

Realist
Realist
15 days ago

Was anybody else disgusted by the language of the lay representative from Oxford Diocese, the barrister Daniel Matuvo, who, when speaking immediately after a trans woman had spoken in the debate, said ‘…Bishops taught as he she or it saw fit’? I note he has subsequently issued an apology that seems somewhat half-baked to me, as after his expression of ‘dismay’ he says his language was not meant in a transphobic way. I’m afraid that, in the context of this debate, I can’t see how using the word ‘it’ in a phrase that speaks of the gender of Bishops can… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Realist
15 days ago

It was disappointing and he made a mistake. I know I have made mistakes myself in my life – very bad ones. Last night I prayed that he would reflect on his words and he has. So as an individual (and trans woman) I forgive him for the choice of words. It was not his best self. But which of us does not wear rags before God? Pray for him to journey on, to open to love, and flourish. And give thanks for all the little unseen acts of love that others don’t see. Not criticising you, Realist, because I… Read more »

Realist
Realist
Reply to  Susannah Clark
14 days ago

Very generous of you, Susannah, and I agree there was a lot of grace in the other speeches – on both sides of the debate.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Realist
15 days ago

In the ever-shifting world of preferred pronouns, can we be sure that no-one uses ‘it/its’ by choice? And if there are, might such people feel invalidated by your comment?

Realist
Realist
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
14 days ago

So far, yes, I think we can. ‘It/its’ dehumanises people. But should I ever come across someone who does, and they feel invalidated by my comment, I would, of course, take a different view. I stand opposed to anything that dehumanises people.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Realist
14 days ago

Apparently, some do choose such pronouns:
Why do people use it/its pronouns? : r/lgbt (reddit.com)

Realist
Realist
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
14 days ago

Very interesting, Thanks for posting it.

Francis James
Francis James
15 days ago

Picking up on two threads, books to read & HTB, we have an HTB plant nearby & idly looking at their website today noted that they have bookshop with recommended reading list. No.1 on list is by J. Gumbel, which is no surprise. However, No.2 is a bit of a shocker as it is by Pilavachi & Croft. Here is an extract from the blurb written by the HTB incumbent on why to read it: “We’ve [sic] using Everyday Supernatural as a follow on and guide to our 11.15 talk series, and we think it’s a brilliant introduction into moving… Read more »

Simon Eyre
Simon Eyre
14 days ago

Thank you all for your reflections. As one who sat through and contributed to the debate on Monday and was present at both the presentation on Saturday and the fringe meeting on Sunday I came away with the deepest sense of sadness about much that had taken place. I have had discussions with so many people over meals and after meetings from both sides of this divide in the last few days. I have not found any to be lacking in good will. I personally thanked Bishop Martin for all his endeavours. I talked with one of the 2 FAOC… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Simon Eyre
14 days ago

I listened to you, Simon, and thank you for what you said. I do agree that Andrew Cornes raised serious issues of concern. While I will be delighted to see ‘Issues’ put on a back shelf as Anglican history, you were right to say that its proposed replacement is as yet unwritten. And that makes it harder to trust and vote for the overall package with too many unknowns. Should ‘Issues’ remain in place meanwhile, with its disciplinary indications and roadblock for ordinands. I don’t think so myself. But that’s because I believe the de facto reality of what we… Read more »

89
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x