Thinking Anglicans

General Synod – 6 to 9 February 2023

See separate post for the result of the Living in Love and Faith debate

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.

Monday afternoon – live from 1.45 pm
Tuesday morning – live from 10.15 am
Tuesday afternoon – live from 2.00 pm
Wednesday morning – live from 9.15 am
Wednesday afternoon – live from 2.00 pm
Thursday morning – live from 9.15 am
Thursday afternoon – live from 1.45 pm

There is an official Twitter account.

Order Papers

OP I – Monday afternoon
OP II – Tuesday morning
OP III – Tuesday afternoon
OP IV  – Wednesday morning
OP V – Wednesday afternoon
OP VI – Thursday morning
OP VII – Thursday afternoon

Business done

Monday 6 February
Tuesday 7 February AM
Tuesday 7 February PM
Wednesday 8 February AM
Wednesday 8 February PM
Thursday 9 February AM
Thursday 9 February PM

Official press releases

Archbishop of Canterbury’s presidential address
Bishop of London’s Living in Love and Faith Presentation [a pdf version is available here]
Archbishop delivers Loyal Address to The King
Synod: Archbishop delivers Loyal Address to The King
Archbishop of Canterbury’s speech in Living in Love and Faith debate
Safeguarding presentation to General Synod

Press reports and comment

Church Times
ISB remains off the Synod’s agenda despite members’ concerns
Synod, trust parishes to discount funeral and wedding fees when needed – this refers to this financial statement
Use language that unites not divides, Archbishop Welby asks, as the General Synod begins
Sexuality discussions opened our eyes to the harm we have done, says Bishop of London
Archbishop Welby praise’s King’s interfaith work in Loyal Address
Reforms to ordinands’ funding are welcomed by Synod, though costs are queried
General Synod: same-sex debate goes into overtime

Episcopal News Service
Church of England’s General Synod gets underway, with questions about same-sex marriage looming

The Guardian
Church of England to consider greener alternatives to burial
Church of England to consider use of gender-neutral terms for God
MPs should not influence church on same-sex marriage, says Justin Welby

Evening Standard
Too many LGBT people have heard ‘the words of rejection’ from Church of England

The Telegraph
Church of England looks at ‘human composting’
Archbishop of Canterbury: MPs won’t tell me what to do on gay marriage

Synod members’ blogs

Helen King
Forty years of foreplay: before the February 2023 General Synod
February 2023 General Synod: sex, sin and separation

Andrew Nunn
The final lap
Picking up speed
It could have been worse
Into extra time
A better story

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

139 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Peter Misiaszek
Peter Misiaszek
1 year ago

Here’s the real tragedy… the C of E is 15 years behind Canada/US/ et. al. on equal marriage and they can least afford that amount of time. Everything that is on the table to minister and grow the church may be impacted by the failure to deal with this. If my 19 year-old bi-sexual daughter is any indication, she won’t give any church a second thought if they are not fully inclusive on the matter of marriage and sexuality. Her experience is a microcosm and warning. Nothing else will matter if the church is not relevant to a younger demographic.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Misiaszek
Barrie
Barrie
Reply to  Peter Misiaszek
1 year ago

I never really buy the idea that people who tell the Church it needs to agree with them before they’ll consider attending ever would actually attend even if it did. However, you can guarantee plenty of serious Christians will leave or never join the CofE if it continues to abandon core doctrines of the Christian faith.

Kieran
Kieran
Reply to  Peter Misiaszek
1 year ago

The tragedy is how the Church of England remains 20 years behind the marriage law of England, surely?

Jane Charman
Jane Charman
1 year ago

Although some are suggesting that the Church of England has reached break point and cannot possibly continue to discuss same sex marriage any longer, the unfortunate reality is that it hasn’t, it can, and it probably will. Helen King’s ‘forty years of foreplay’ (good one, Helen!) is actually a comparatively short period of time to bring about substantial doctrinal change. By the time women were ordained to the episcopate the Church of England had been discussing women’s ordained ministry for over a century. I have every sympathy with those who are looking for a short cut, such as a parliamentary… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Jane Charman
1 year ago

Phonecall: “Hello, my house is on fire!” Fire Officer: “Sorry, but half my crew don’t want to go out to your sort. We’ll get back in touch in 2028… oh, but I hope you have a really nice day.” * * * * * Black Customer: “Waiter, please could I order a steak like those people over there?” Manager: “I’m sorry madam, but we can’t serve you… oh, but we can do you a takeaway if you eat it outside.” * * * * * Basically Jane, the ban on gay and lesbian marriage is so disrespectful, and it’s a… Read more »

Jane Charman
Jane Charman
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

I completely agree, Susannah, that this is now a pastoral emergency, especially for those who are directly affected. I have no doubt that the damage will be huge and I’m deeply sad about that. Unfortunately, it’s not the case that General Synod (or the bishops) ‘could if they would’. They have no mechanism, or mandate, to do other than what they are probably about to do. How should any of us respond? Each as we may, of course, but here’s how I thought about the failed vote on women in the episcopate in 2012. For me it turned on an… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Jane Charman
1 year ago

Thanks Jane, and I appreciate your detailed reply. The trouble as I se it is this: if we are to believe Christopher Cocksworth and what he wrote in his ‘Ad Clerum’, the majority of the House of Bishops believe that Holy Matrimony should only be for one man and one woman. In that context, and in the context of the major accentuation of difference increasingly being made between ‘civil marriage’ outside church and ‘Holy Matrimony’ inside church, there appears no ‘intent’ for doctrinal change. There’s been none for years. There is none now. There is none in the next 5… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Jane Charman
1 year ago

There is a difference though. The ordination of women was a largely stand alone issue. For same sex marriage, the Church of England is being wildly inconsistent and that makes the fence the bishops are trying to defend indefensible.

If marriage is lifelong, why are divorcees remarried?

If marriage is about procreation, why aren’t same sex couples who use contraceptives ostracised?

The truth is that the Church of England has proved very flexible for heterosexual couples.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

This is similar to thoughts of my own, Kate. First ‘I wanna tell you a story’……. To avoid potential trouble from a fanatical ‘Christian’ ex husband, who wouldn’t accept he was legally divorced and pressures from an increasingly rigid evangelical church who wanted to know all the sordid details of why her marriage failed, my wife and I had a civil wedding, to later be blessed in a house church. The lady registrar sensed we meant what we would be saying, and went to great lengths to make the ceremony special for us. Somebody at my church said to me… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Jane Charman
1 year ago

I think Parliamentary intervention is unlikely, much as I would like it, although the temperature in the House of Commons on the subject is raging. The likes of Sir Peter Bottomley and Ben Bradshaw, and the former MP and Second Church Estates Commissioner Sir Tony Baldry, are serious and respected figures. Andrew Selous, the current Second Churches Estates Commissioner, was forced onto the back foot in the Urgent Question debate last week, and all he could say was that he would convey the concerns of the House to the General Synod.  But for most of the MPs, the Church of England… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Anthony Archer
Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Anthony Archer
1 year ago

“The most super radical idea would be to disestablish the Church. It would be tortuous, make Brexit look like a tea party, and no Government would give it time“. I really don’t think this is the case, and I am afraid it is the defensive argument customarily wheeled out when the Church wants to excuse its present status or fob off the advocates of change (relying on their ignorance). Yet the Church has already been disestablished in two parts of the UK, with legislation being passed in 1869 and 1914 (the latter under the Parliament Act 1914). Prior to the… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Froghole
1 year ago

Well I think you have answered it. The church is now so marginal in national life. Why would Parliament (more so Government – who would need to find the time) bother with disestablishment? And there would be wrangling in the House of Lords. Removing the privileges and tackling the inequalities is perhaps a more likely line of attack.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Anthony Archer
1 year ago

The issue with disestablishment is and will always be the money. When the Church of Wales was disestablished, endowments were transferred to local councils and to the University of Wales. Who will be the lucky recipients of the endowments of the Church of England?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Anthony Archer
1 year ago

Or those who seek change could sit down and agree a settlement with conservatives such that they (those who seek change) are then entirely free to do as they choose.

It is baffling how little response there is to this opportunity from those seeking change.

What you want is right in front of you. All you have to do is reach out and take it.

The only cost to you is that you agree a sensible set of practical arrangements that meet the needs of conservatives.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter
T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Anthony Archer
1 year ago

Anthony, Are you saying that Parliamentary legislation to introduce same sex marriage services in parish churches, would require repeal of the Enabling Act? As far as I knew, Parliament in delegating powers always retains the right to act itself. Couldn’t they just pass a law relating to a particular matter which, as far as it goes, would override the Enabling Act, but without removing the Act altogether?

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  T Pott
1 year ago

They could and I am not a parliamentary draughtsman! But I think they would do it by clear reference to the Enabling Act as that is the act delegating powers to the General Synod and they would be taking back some of those powers (not all) from the church to legislate re marriage. Otherwise (in theory only) the Church could later pass a contrary measure (not that it would pass the ECofP!). But as you imply, Parliament is of course sovereign.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  T Pott
1 year ago

I am grateful to Mr Archer for his response, only I would suggest that it is precisely because of the Church’s negligible hold on English life *and* its prominent role in certain national rites that would make it vulnerable to attack by the politicians. In other words, disestablishment and disendowment would be cheap and easy wins for a future government. Attacking the Church would offend very few people and it would demonstrate that there is no room in the UK’s ‘constitutional’ arrangements for residual privileges for any one sect. Nor do I think that the Lords will make much of… Read more »

Susannah (with an h!)
1 year ago

“Ensuring that individual conscience is protected.” In her address on LLF today, the Bishop of London said this: “In proposing our way forward as bishops, what we have done is chart a path that navigates the realities of the disagreements among us, in a way that enables us to walk together, acknowledging its discomfort, ensuring that individual conscience is protected.” The House of Bishops has signally failed to protect the consciences of gay and lesbian couples who seek marriage in church afforded to everyone else; and priests and church communities who believe in conscience that banning such couples from that… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Susannah (with an h!)
1 year ago

Well said, Susannah (with an H!).
Efforts are made over and over again to satisfy the conservatives by telling GLBT people and couples “Not just yet.”
In the words of other civil rights movement, “If not now, when?!”
The only conscience the leadership seems worried of offending is the conservative one.

Last edited 1 year ago by peterpi - Peter Gross
James Byron
James Byron
Reply to  Susannah (with an h!)
1 year ago

Could +London explain why walking together is even wanted if the price is such “discomfort”?

Andrew Lightbown
Andrew Lightbown
1 year ago

What a lovely reflection from Andrew Nunn. He will be sorely missed in the C of E and beyond. It’s so sad that whatever the prayers commended by the bishops there has been no real resolution during his years of service.

Father Ron Smith
1 year ago

I’ve just looked on the Opening Address of ++Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury, to the Church of England General Synod, from 6 to 9 September. I discern much wisdom being propagated in these paragraphs: – “We constantly face this temptation – to make something of ourselves, or to seek to impose our own unity through rules, hierarchies and structures which become a way of controlling others. The Church throughout history and in our day has so often given into this temptation to become turned in on itself, narcissistic, imposing unity through force, and losing sight of its divinely ordained call to… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
1 year ago

Interestingly, the oddly-named ‘Anglican Orthodox‘ Group in the U.K. has entered the fray, (with an article hosted by equally oddly-named ‘Anglican Mainstream‘) having suddenly found common ground with Muslim conservatives in the U.K. on the matter of Same-Sex Marriage. (I Once walked out of a session of a pre-Lambeth talk being given by an English conservative Bishop of the Anglican Church of Pakistan at a Charismatic Conference held beforehand in the same venue at the University of Sussex; who called all Muslims ‘demonic’.) One wonder if both of these pseudo-Anglican organisations – which both claim tentative allegiance to the Church… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Father Ron Smith
Kate
Kate
1 year ago

I think it is a stretch for+London to determine that “God is calling us to live with our disagreements”. We know from history that people are often very poor at listening to God and his prophets and that is therefore the most likely situation now too. To enlist God to support inaction seems wrong to me.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kate
Peter
Peter
1 year ago

The speech given by Sarah Mullally last night at Synod was poignant and under any other circumstances would have been profoundly moving.

The truth is that liberals and conservatives are incarcerated in a marriage that has died.

It is truly awful, but it has happened. We have to move beyond bereavement and denial. We must face the pain and labour of rebuilding new life apart.

James Byron
James Byron
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

Indeed, and the sooner the parties stop trying to paper over the irretrievable breakdown, the better. The break’s already happened. What’s necessary now is finding a way to acknowledge it and put structures in place that allow the parties to remain on speaking terms.

Tobias Stanislas Haller
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

The awfulness of admitting to the death of a marriage may be as awful as trying to keep up appearances. Much depends upon the reason for maintaining the appearance: is it for the sake of the public, or of the children? This might be a helpful way to look at the current woe in the Church of England. The real “communion” of the church, both internally and in its wider connections — in the terms one uses for determining communion between differing church traditions: mutual recognition of ministers — was severed over the ordination of women (particularly to the episcopate)… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Tobias Stanislas Haller
1 year ago

I wonder if it is just too raw and real for us to know when the life of the marriage ended. No doubt historians of the future will see more clearly than we do today.

For now I wish we could all agree – liberals and conservatives alike – that the time for rancour is past.

However impossible it might seem, we need to find the generosity of spirit and wisdom needed to part and then live as good neighbours.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter
Kate
Kate
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

I beg to differ on +Sarah’s speech. For me it felt like an attempt to please everyone with her words, but without backing it up with actions.

You are correct, however, that separation is the only plausible way forwards.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

I agree with you, Kate.

I guess I was just acknowledging her humanity. She surely knows it will not work and I am certain it grieves her deeply.

Father David
Father David
1 year ago

No wonder the General Synod is often referred to as the Church’s Parliament as the current answers being given by the Bishop of London bear no relationship to the questions being asked. Perhaps, maybe as one speaker has just asked the Chair, to remind Synod to keep the questions “less agressive”

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Father David
1 year ago

… and am I alone in being flabbergasted by David Walker’s evasions over statistics, and his dismissal of the question concerning falling numbers of clergy compared to rising numbers of apparatchiks? Or did I not hear correctly?

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
1 year ago

No. You are very far from alone.

Last edited 1 year ago by T Pott
Dave
Dave
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
1 year ago

Could you tell us what he said. I missed it. – Or signpost to where it is the proceedings. Many thanks.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave
Fr Sam
Fr Sam
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
1 year ago

Far from it. Reliable clergy I know who minister in the Diocese of Manchester identify such things as typical of how searching questions and comments are greeted and handled during ‘conversations’ and ‘consultations’ over major strategic changes there. Morale is at an all time low. Why should it be different in national roles? Pity as by all accounts he’s a highly intelligent man capable of better.

Susannah Clark
1 year ago

I find it really disappointing that (as predicted and obvious in advance) 40 minutes was not sufficient to cover the last 24 LLF questions and supplementaries because of the ‘time out’. It particularly grates that this meant the 2 questions on trans issues did not get opened for supplementaries. Throughout LLF, the ‘T’ of LGBT has been overshadowed by the focus on the needs of ‘LGB’ people. It was announced that a new working group would be set up to address trans issues further, but it got postponed, and no such group was appointed. Nearly all attention is given to… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

I actually am happy that trans issues weren’t really covered in LLF. It stops it being weaponised against us. We are also a much more varied community than the lesbian, gay and bisexual community and I am not sure LLF would have surfaced that diversity successfully. For example, when I was born the original hospital birth card for me (paper in those days) had female, which was crossed out and replaced with male. Although others may consider me trans, I personally see myself as intersex. I don’t believe I changed sex, but instead reverted to my original sex. It’s why… Read more »

James Byron
James Byron
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

Thanks for raising that, Susannah, especially as the CoE appears to be backsliding here. It’d help enormously if senior evangelicals in the church would vocally reaffirm such progress as the church has previously appeared to make.

Susannah Clark
1 year ago

The rather excellent Mae Christie (originally from Louisiana) raised an interesting supplementary to Q.157. What would be the Church’s (and the bishops’) position if gay or lesbian Church of England clergy entered into Holy Matrimony north of the border in a Scottish Episcopal church? Does Holy Matrimony suddenly become NOT Holy Matrimony when the happy couple return south of the border? And what about issues of celibacy? We don’t know, because on all the fine detail Bishop Sarah just says, we’ll let you know later (maybe in July) in the ‘Pastoral Guidance’. It would better if the Bishop’s motion was… Read more »

Susannah Clark
1 year ago

Church Times Headline…
“Sexuality discussions opened our eyes to the harm we have done,” says Bishop of London.
I’ll put that right for you…

“Sexuality discussions opened our eyes to the harm we have decided to keep on doing.”

Nigel Aston
Nigel Aston
1 year ago

I am very struck by the outright Erastianism of so many comments on this contentious matter which seem to pay little regard to the spiritual character of the Church of England as part of the Church universal. It is not a department of the state that should be subject to parliamentary intimidation. Scrutiny, yes, insistence on obedience, no. Peter’s point about our coming to accept that we may have reached the parting of the ways has much to be said given the difficulty of finding middle ground. Be honest liberal Anglicans…do you really want, really want, to co-exist in meaningful… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Nigel Aston
1 year ago

No.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

There’s something unexplained about the attitude of those liberals who declare, with admirable frankness, that they are unwilling to share the church with conservatives. And that is, why are they still in it? In all seriousness, why do they not just go round the corner to the Methodists? And on the other hand, if their objective is to drive the conservatives out of the church, why then complain that conservatives are threatening to leave?

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
1 year ago

Conservatives have taken over the leadership of the Church of England and changed a tolerant denomination into something ugly and unrecognisable. I’m not complaining about the conservatives’ threat to leave. It would assist greatly the mental health of LGBTQ people if so-called bible-believers left and ploughed their own intolerant furrow elsewhere.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

Nobody is threatening to leave and there is no reason at all why conservatives should leave. We are going to walk apart. We will continue to be Anglicans.

We want to do so in an orderly way that mitigates harm and waste where that is possible.

We want to offer generosity of spirit in regard to practical matters and also in the the general tone of the negotiations.

We seek the same from those who want to travel a different road.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter
FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

If you leave the Anglican Church you will cease to be Anglican. Simple.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

The Church of England is not the whole of the Anglican Church (or Communion, as I suppose you mean).

Peter
Peter
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

Conservatives have no intention of leaving the Anglican Church. Nor is there a mechanism for them to be forced to do so.

Of course, we may all face years of acrimony and litigation. However you are engaging in pure fantasy if you think conservatives are going to conveniently “leave”.

Please be sensible. Support engagement in a mediated settlement.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter
FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

They left and joined Gafcon and ACNA. So many have already gone .

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

The question, though was, why do liberals stay in a church which, we are told, they find ugly and unrecognisable?

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
1 year ago

Perhaps because they remember when that was not so and seek to return the church to its earlier tolerant, liberal attitudes? Perhaps because they believe *that* to be the true Christian path, and do not want to see the church of their forebears and their youth taken over by a decidedly un-Christlike group of people?

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Pat ONeill
1 year ago

Exactly right.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Pat ONeill
1 year ago

But that’s not what happened, surely? There never was a time when the CofE married same-sex couples, for example. The attitude of the Church, collectively and institutionally, has been slowly moving in the liberal direction for half a century: just not fast and far enough for some people (and too far for others, of course).

But nonetheless, I can well believe that for a lot of people, on both sides, it’s about winning and holding power within the church, rather than about protecting the interests of the members.

Last edited 1 year ago by Unreliable Narrator
NJW
NJW
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
1 year ago

However, for the whole time from 1754 (and before) until 2016 the Church of England could (acknowledging the period of reception before divorcees could have their marriages blessed and then be married in church) join any English couple in celebrating their marriage in Church. Since 2016 many parish priests who wish to have been unable to rejoice with couples who became able to celebrate becoming married within same-sex relationships. Thus, since 2016 many parish priests (such as myself) have found themselves unable to walk alongside many couples they would otherwise have been able to rejoice with, with these couples forced… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by NJW
Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  NJW
1 year ago

This historical background seems wrong. From 1754 to 2014 only opposite-sex marriages were legal in England. I don;t know what you’re referring to here.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
1 year ago

Now we reach the crux of the issue–is true Christianity socially liberal? That is, does it support individuality or repression? Is Christ’s call to follow him a call to give up all self identity and become mindlessly obedient to the rules of the church? Or, as the three-legged stool of Anglicanism has always maintained, is individual reason just as important as Scripture and tradition? If not, we might just as well return to the days when individual reading and interpretation of Scripture were forbidden, and all understanding was handed down from the hierarchy.

Mark
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
1 year ago

I think that you are putting things the wrong way round. The C of E has always been a tolerant, liberal church by the standards of the day, and measured against other denominations. It has always contained a large number of people who are bookish, intellectual and broad-minded. It has never been the home of those seeking biblical literalist answers to every question: it has not been a bastion of bibliolatry or Calvinist harshness. Other denominations have catered for that. So the question is rather why people of that turn of mind have been taking over the C of E… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Mark
1 year ago

I suspect those people see the CoE as the place to have power not just religiously, but politically. After all, it must be admitted that all appointments in the CoE, from the lowliest parish priest to the Archbishoprics, are, at base, political appointments.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Nigel Aston
1 year ago

I do, Nigel. I have all along. I have always wanted a settlement where the consciences and integrity of both groups were accepted. I profoundly disagree with the conservative view on marriage, but I recognised it’s grounded on a reading of the Bible that can be argued, and desire to obey God. Likewise, the liberal view seems right to me, based on a different view of how we respond to the Bible. Both groups are Christians. Both seek grace. What I think has been wrong, and continues to be wrong, is the idea that one group can dominate and impose… Read more »

James Byron
James Byron
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

Like you, I also wish to remain in communion with evangelicals of all kinds (and frequently praise evangelicalism on here, saying we’ve much to learn from it).

I appeal to all evangelicals to let it be known which structural provision (if any) they’d find acceptable, and take the lead in its creation. As shown by its networks and conferences, evangelicalism thrives at organisation. Let it thrive here, so too may we all.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  James Byron
1 year ago

our offer – for I am a conservative – must be grounded in a generosity of spirit and an eagerness to be good stewards and neighbours. We should share services (I mean property and facilities services, payroll bureaus etc) where that makes sense.

We need the separation to be evident, and we need our own episcopal oversight – there is no point in pretending we need less than we do.

However, we long for it to end the rancour and we will work tirelessly with those who agree on that aim.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

Why do you “need” your own episcopal oversight? It’s hard to see how that is not mere Donatism. That your bishop may have a different understanding of the faith or the Bible has been an accepted part of the Church of England for a long time. I grew up in Bath & Wells first under +George Carey and then under +Jim Thompson. Doubtless there were some who found the ministry of the former more to the taste than the latter, and vice versa, and you could probably argue they had very different understandings of how scripture is to be read… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Jo B
1 year ago

Jo, there is no point in going over the same arguments again and again. We will never agree as to what each other “need” or should not “need”.

The point is the time has come to walk apart. It can happen with acrimony and rancour – which will be terrible for us all.

Or we can grieve and accept what has happened and allow each other what we believe we need.

Liberals and conservatives cannot decide what the other party does or does not “need”. That is just to continue the struggle.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter
Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

Ok, well I need it to be possible for a same-sex couple to be married in their parish church on the same basis as an opposite-sex couple. I need to be able to say to LGBT people that they will be welcomed at their parish church rather than rejected because their partner happens to be the same gender as them. So we have conflicting “needs”.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Jo B
1 year ago

With respect whatever our struggles might be, people have carved settlements out of far deeper and more traumatic levels of adversity than we face.

If people are willing to find a settlement it could be achieved

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

I was a member of an episcopal church that joined the ACNA. You either left or were ostracized. I left. The rector was a transplant English evangelical. If I wanted to what that parish turned into I could easily have gone to one of many places that had the same mindset. Most of the people at my former church no longer would even acknowledge me, even in public. Personally, they showed me who they were. Good luck with the money grab.

Mary Hancock
Mary Hancock
Reply to  Nigel Aston
1 year ago

Likewise. ‘Be honest Evangelicals…do you really want, really want, to co-exist in meaningful communion with fellow C of E Anglicans who will never see things the way you do?’ But to answer your question, yes, I think we need to find a way to coexist, and live, work and worship together, respecting and using our differences. Because not to impoverises us all and changes the nature of the Church of England.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Nigel Aston
1 year ago

My personal red line is that those who put teenagers and vulnerable adults at risk of mental harm (or worse) by guilting then into trying to suppress their sexual orientation or gender identity don’t belong in the Church of England.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Nigel Aston
1 year ago

Nigel,

I wonder if you are being too generous in referencing a Swiss reformationist in relation to “church and state” I would not myself have enjoyed Calvin’s Geneva, but it was not ruled by secular totalitarians

A secular state ruling the church has much, much darker precedents.

That it what we face if MPs decide they will determine the conduct of the church.

James Byron
James Byron
Reply to  Nigel Aston
1 year ago

As it happens I’m a secularist. But so long as church is joined to state, it’s the state’s duty to ensure its good governance.

Since the ‘70s (maybe even since 1919), the CoE’s enjoyed the best of both worlds, being disestablished in all but name, but losing no prestige. That cosy arrangement can only endure so long as church and state remain broadly in-step.

If the CoE prefers to strike out on its own, so be it. But it’s a choice that should be debated and made openly.

Ronnie Smith
Reply to  Nigel Aston
1 year ago

In countries like Aotearoa/New Zealand, the die has already been cast. Protesters against ANZACP’s decision to Bless Civil Same Sex Married partners have already caused local Gafcon-associated Anglicans to form their own quasi-‘Confessing Anglican Church’ – aided and abetted by the Gafcon-associated diocese of Sydney, whose former Archbishop Davies has become leader of a breakaway ‘Diocese of the Southern Cross’, which is Australia’s connection to the Gafcon Primates. The intentional secessionists have made the decision for themselves! (They were not forced out!). Gafcon already exists in the U.K. Perhaps what is needed in your situation is for the current session… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Ronnie Smith
Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Nigel Aston
1 year ago

I don’t think it’s in any real sense Erastianism. Since the State changed the legal definition of marriage in 2013, people who want same-sex marriage in the Church like to use it as an argument that the Church should follow suit. But it’s not a general principle, merely an argument ad hoc. My guess is that almost nobody arguing that the Church should follow the State on same-sex marriage will also argue that the Church should follow the State on the treatment of refugees, for example.

Sean Thurlough
Sean Thurlough
1 year ago

I do not understand how it is that the uk state religion can have a different legal definition of marriage from the one in uk civil law, which allows it to systematically discriminate against gay people, when the uk state otherwise does not, thus meaning that the uk state nevertheless continues with systematic discrimination against gay people via its state religion. Could anyone enlighten me on this? Maybe things would be better if the uk state religion relinquished all its current legal, constitutional, etc, privileges and became a private club only for those who believe its doctrine, with no privileged… Read more »

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Sean Thurlough
1 year ago

I think you’re confusing English law (which provides for civil marriage in England) with UK law. The CofE is only established in England; in Scotland the National Church is not Anglican, and both it and the Anglican expression in Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church, permit same-sex couples to marry in church and priests/ministers in such marriages to serve congregations (with conscience protections for those who object). This is an issue specific to the CofE and its large evangelical faction.

Sean Thurlough
Sean Thurlough
Reply to  Jo B
1 year ago

My (short) comment, which was aiming to rapidly push beyond mere issues of sexuality, was written in fact in awareness of the complexities that you raise, awareness of which I took as read in my (presumably anglican) audience and as read by my audience in me if I was choosing to address an anglican audience. I’m also aware of, say, the wonderful additional baroque detail that some areas in Wales do in fact remain in the coe and not in the ciw (one has to know one’s enemy well . . .). However, the main point stands.There are specific intertwinings… Read more »

NJW
NJW
Reply to  Sean Thurlough
1 year ago

Taking your points in turn: The Church of England is only the established Church in England (and the slightly anomalous parishes on the Welsh border). Within Scotland the (presbyterian) Church of Scotland is the constitutional national church, whilst Wales and Northern Ireland have no specific institutional church-state relationships. The Privy Council (having its origin in the a combination of the English and Scottish Privy Councils) draws its membership from a range of contituencies – many of which have a role associated with a particular component of the United Kingdom rather than a UK-wide role. The membership of certain bishops/archbishops is… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  NJW
1 year ago

A small point in your paragraph 4, possibly, but representing the royal presence, it is actually the Dean of HM’s Chapels Royal who presides at the short service at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday. The Bishop of London is Dean ex officio. Accordingly the singers are from the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace. As you say, the Chapel Royal in Scotland is the corresponding Scottish body.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Sean Thurlough
1 year ago

Many thanks for both of your comments. I think that you are right to refer to the Church of England as the ‘UK state religion’, even if it is only established in one of the four constituent countries of the UK. It is because that country – England – is so much larger than the others, and it is because the various national rites and formularies of the British state are, in effect, English rites. For example, the coronation will be, in substance, an English and Anglican rite, with only comparative lip service being paid to the traditions of the… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Froghole
Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Sean Thurlough
1 year ago

The monarch is also a member (though no more than that) of the Church of Scotland, however, in addition to being Supreme Governor of the Church of England. It is not required that the monarch be by conviction an Anglican, only that they are a Protestant and in communion with the CofE. The Hanoverians, of course, were Lutherans (at least when in Hanover). British monarchs have exhibited an unusual property in that national borders are able to affect their religious affiliation. It is not clear to me what happens when they are in Wales or NI.

Sean Thurlough
Sean Thurlough
Reply to  Jo B
1 year ago

To both Jo B and NJW (later I address Froghole): NJW’s points are in general matters of petty-fogging detail to do with the internal organisation of those branches of the anglican communion that operate within the British Isles, which are therefore not relevant to my main point (as will become clear), but I will address them to some extent. (1) The coe has automatic institutional connections to institutions of the uk state; whether other bits of the anglican communion operating on uk state territory do or not is neither here nor there – the coe does and therefore functions in… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Sean Thurlough
1 year ago

“Therefore there is organisational/institutional fusion between the coe and the uk state. Therefore activity of the coe is simultaneously activity of the uk state. Therefore if the coe discriminates against a group, so does also the uk state.” Many thanks. I am in complete agreement with all your points: the lords spiritual have indeed voted occasionally on ‘ethical’ matters outside their ostensible English ‘competence’. I would add the rider that the Church, with its property entitlements, is a spiritual offshoot of the bourgeoisie, and it now scarcely pretends (except in rare cases, and perhaps partly to salve its own conscience)… Read more »

Sean Thurlough
Sean Thurlough
Reply to  Froghole
1 year ago

I’m with you on almost everything, except I think that you are a little optimistic about the ease of the abolition of the monarchy or the disestablishment of the coe, as also the utility of doing it while leaving other things unaltered. As someone somewhere in these comments has said of the latter: ‘It would make brexit look like a tea party.’ – I think (though I doubt that they would put it in quite these terms) the implication being the sheer complexity of the constitutional unpicking that would be necessary while maintaining a constitutional order that would still defend… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Sean Thurlough
1 year ago

Many thanks indeed. Having examined the mechanics of disestablishment in some detail, I concluded that the complexities are very much over-rated, and this is chiefly because those who have a personal stake in the preservation of the current system wish to stress the (largely fictitious) complexities in order to stave off change. Your remarks have put me in mind of one of Gramsci’s well known aphorisms from the ‘Prison Notebook’: “At a certain point in their historical lives, social classes become detached from their traditional parties. In other words, the traditional parties in that particular organisational form, with the particular… Read more »

Sean Thurlough
Sean Thurlough
Reply to  Froghole
1 year ago

You may be right: this is a matter of nuanced judgement. It is in the nature of bourgeois politics that all the most important decisions are taken in secret, which is why outcomes are not that predictable. I am utterly with you on the incorporation of identity politics by capital against the left, which is now for example internally divided over trans-orthodoxy versus the terfs. The next time I get an email about putting pronouns at the end of my work email signature from senior management I shall scream. This is mere bureaucratic imposition not open debate, much like the… Read more »

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Sean Thurlough
1 year ago

I think it’s rather quaint at this late date to see someone calling for the revival of Communism. After Lenin’s Holodomor, Stalin’s gulags, Mao’s Great Leap Forward, Pol Pot’s Year Zero, the Kim dynasty’s famines, … with a death toll around 100 million in the 20th century, some people might view it as discredited.

Sean Thurlough
Sean Thurlough
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
1 year ago

At what point did I say that I was a supporter of Stalinism? Why the Russian Revolution and the nearly contemporary revolutions in Western Europe were defeated by some time in the middish 1920’s, say, at the latest, is a complex question. But whatever the detail, it is clear that the regimes of the USSR and its satellites and imitators were a product of the defeat of Socialsm, Communism, the Marx-Engels project, whatever you want to call it, not its victory – its defeat by the dominant capitalist states world-wide. For a summary of what I actually advocate please see… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Sean Thurlough
1 year ago

You may (or may not) be reassured to note that at a book launch hosted by the Resolution Foundation on Tuesday this week, even Martin Wolf of the FT, the doyen of financial journalists, declared “You can’t be an intelligent social scientist unless you’re a Marxist” (that is, apparently, a direct quote).

Then again, Wolf was a pupil of Andrew Glyn: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/capitalism-unleashed-9780199226795?cc=gb&lang=en

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/554951/the-crisis-of-democratic-capitalism-by-martin-wolf/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcgIs8b8m0g (at LSE earlier this week).

Sean Thurlough
Sean Thurlough
Reply to  Froghole
1 year ago

Hear hear! My husband, who is a university lecturer working on ancient-world literary texts (i.e. a variety of social scientist), certainly partly works within the paradigm established by Raymond Williams (cultural materialism) and therefore is at the very least some sort of ‘Western Marxist,’ though his active politics are nothing like as hard as mine. A lot of people have a vague intellectual commitment to Marxism (often not openly acknowledged). Say the sort of ‘cultural commentator’ who will lament the commodification of this or that without any reference to Marx or open commitment to what would actually be necessary to… Read more »

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Froghole
1 year ago

Marxism as a branch of the social sciences is a failure. For a theory claiming to be scientific, it makes rather few testable predictions, and its major prediction, that the communist revolution would occur first in the two most advanced industrial economies, Britain and Germany, turned out to be quite far off the mark.

Sean Thurlough
Sean Thurlough
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
1 year ago

The general claim to be scientific is not the claim to make testable predictions. The claim to be scientific (outside the ‘hardest’ natural sciences) is merely the claim to operate with concepts and methods that are insightful when applied within a particular sphere, e.g. the Neogrammarian sytematisation of historical linguistics in the nineteenth century. Outside the Anglophone world this broader definition of science (e.g. scienzia, Wissenschaft) as merely method appropriate to the area under investigation is routinely accepted. On your more specific point: no sane contemporary Marxist takes the Marx-Engels oeuvre as Holy Writ in the way that you appear… Read more »

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Sean Thurlough
1 year ago

Well, I had been expecting the old argument that Communism hasn’t failed, it’s just never been tried (an argument never tolerated for, say, fascism). Nice to see a variation. But as far as its past and potential future victims are concerned, it’s rather a moot point whether tyranny and genocide are intrinsic to Communism, or merely inevitable consequences. It would be more convincing, rather than merely asserting that Communism when tried in practice failed and was replaced by Stalinism (Mao-ism, whatever) to give some reason to believe that it won’t happen next time. Also nice to see the familiar diversion… Read more »

Sean Thurlough
Sean Thurlough
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
1 year ago

Paragraph 1 entirely fails to engage with my point that Communism as attempted in the early twentieth century did not fail in the sense of inevitably so because of its inevitable internal original sin, or some such like concept, but because it was actively defeated by capitalism in order to prevent its spread and therefore the expropriation of capital’s property. It absolutely suits capital that Stalinism appears as the inevitable result of any attempt to seriously break with the tyranny of the workplace, the chaos of the market, and the current ruling class’s various ways of trying to actively manage… Read more »

Sean Thurlough
Sean Thurlough
Reply to  Jo B
1 year ago

For clarification, if we had full separation of religion and state (i.e. no state promotion or banning of any religious tradition merely because it is such-and-such a tradition, and no banning or promotion of religion generally, and the same for all ideological currents), then someone like the bishop of winchester, or any other office holder or lay person in any religious tradition, could stand for election on a religious manifesto or for a religious party – I seem to remember something like the christian people’s party standing fairly recently – to something like a National Assembly on the same basis… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Sean Thurlough
1 year ago

Setting aside your wider (and pertinent) observations around constitutional and political reform, if I may pick up on just one of your points right now.

State-funded faith schools.

How can it be right that a religious organisation that discriminates against gay and lesbian people is allowed the responsibility of oversight of our children (in 4200 schools)?

As a former teacher for 25 years and (later) school nurse… I really feel for young people trying to work out who they are, and it’s a terrible message if the organisation behind their schools discriminates against gay and lesbian people.

And it does.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
1 year ago

The late beloved Bishop David Jenkins was obviously ahead of his time in trying to promote a loving, inclusive Church of England. He blessed the gay ‘marriage’ of one of his clergy two decades ago and didn’t give two hoots about a reprimand from bible-believing Tom Wright who wasn’t known for his love of LGBT people. Would that today’s CofE had prophets like Bishop Jenkins. He must now be in heaven having a good laugh.
https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/gay-wedding-blessing-row-1604629

Susannah Clark
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

Inclusive church communities should just go ahead and bless gay people’s marriages, whether the bishops say they can or not… including wedding-style services. David Jenkins was widely misunderstood anyway, and caricatured in the media and elsewhere.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

There is an article in the Telegraph suggesting that even those using the proposed prayers may be sued by conservatives. I don’t think your suggestion is workable because there would sadly be an appetite for making some poor minister a test case.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

I assume the “risk of litigation” mentioned refers to CDM rather than secular courts. But the point remains: legally qualified members of Synod are warning that while it’s the bishops who pronounce on the legality, it’s the individual clergy who will carry the legal responsibility.

Last edited 1 year ago by Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

I regret to say that in certain contexts in these debates, “inclusive” means “inclusive only of people who think like me”. When someone uses the phrase “inclusive church” but elsewhere states that it would assist greatly “if so-called bible-believers left and ploughed their own intolerant furrow elsewhere”, it is clear that not everyone is included by their notion of an “inclusive” church.

Last edited 1 year ago by Unreliable Narrator
FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
1 year ago

You can’t have an “inclusive” Church if some of its members exclude others of equal membership. That is self-contradictory. That is why the “excluders” must form a denomination consisting exclusively of themselves.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

You can’t have an “inclusive” Church if some of its members exclude others of equal membership. 

Quite so. Which is why I challenge your use of the word when it is clear that you yourself are happy to exclude some of the people who disagree with you.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
1 year ago

ACNA and GAFCON are examples of intolerant conservatives who felt the need to leave the Anglican Communion because they can’t be “inclusive”. They excluded themselves, leaving others to promote “inclusive” Christianity.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
1 year ago

The paradox of tolerance is not a novel problem.

Its solution is also well known – where your views inherently require the exclusion of others then you exclude yourself by holding them.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Jo B
1 year ago

My challenge is not to the concept of “inclusive” but to the misappropriation of the word by people on one side of the argument who are, explicitly, happy to exclude some of the people on the other. There are three possible ways forward. One side or the other may “prevail”, getting pretty well everything they want, with many or most of the people on the other side leaving for Gafcon or the Methodists; or a genuine middle way may be found that allows both sides to stay, with neither getting completely what they want. It is the last of these… Read more »

Father David
Father David
1 year ago

This afternoon’s LLF debate at the General Synod is proving to be a tortuous procedure. It’s like wading through treacle – I feel for the Chairman.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Father David
1 year ago

He’s doing pretty well but these are bus ticket amendments designed simply to guarantee the usual dreary suspects a voice. Bishop Sarah was probably advised not to say upfront that the bishops would resist all amendments, but that is what is happening …. at a snail’s pace. Even if synod vote to continue for an extra half hour they won’t finish tonight. Two minute speech limit now throughout would help.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Father David
1 year ago

Well it hasn’t been helped by the way one individual has expended about an hour’s time in the proceedings with countless amendments that failed to get accepted. Consequently not all the amendments have been covered and proceedings will resume at 9.15 tomorrow. So you’re lucky, Father David, you get a second helping of treacle.

James Byron
James Byron
Reply to  Father David
1 year ago

Tortuous is the word.

LLF’s hollow promise that a new day had dawned was promptly forgotten with a denunciation of Pride, and +Canterbury applauded after a speech declaring that young people were drawn to churches with traditional teaching, which (it was argued) we must thus maintain.

As a supporter of equal marriage I can presently see no way forward that doesn’t involve fragmentation. Much of the Communion just don’t get it and never will.

Peter
Peter
1 year ago

What we are witnessing at Synod is the immense power of bishops in an episcopal church such as the Church of England.

If they wish to, the bishops can rule the church on their own and reduce clergy and laity to the status of a focus group.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

It’s practically impossible for an amendment to pass. Anyone who dislikes it just asks for a vote by houses and the bishops will vote it down.

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

The intervention this morning (9 February) by Stephen Hofmeyr KC (a senior lawyer and a lay member representing Guildford diocese) was significant. As a point of order, just after Synod had voted by houses to reject Jayne Ozanne’s amendment (item 64) for proposals on equal marriage in church to be brought to Synod in July) he asked: “Is a vote by houses appropriate on proposals by the House of Bishops? It seem to me that it gives the House of Bishops an inbuilt power to block…(interrupted by prolonged applause) …each and every amendment. If it is appropriate, given the conflict… Read more »

James Byron
James Byron
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

On this we certainly agree.

And unlike other Anglican provinces, the English bishops haven’t even seen fit to submit themselves for election. They have no mandate, yet assume (largely thanks to their class and clubability) the right to impose their wills on their flock.

I said we’ve much to learn from evangelicals. A healthy suspicion of episcopal power is foremost amongst that.

Dr John Wallace
Dr John Wallace
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

The whole point of the Tracts written by Newman, Pusey et al. was to try and counter the influence of the state in the affairs of the Church, occasioned by the suppression of Irish Bishoprics. Although pragmatically sensible, too many dioceses, too few parishioners, this was seen as Erastianism and hence to be condemned. My non-conformist upbringing rails against the concept of an established church with all the nonsense around the monarchy and ‘State Religion’, but I do concede that there are some advantages as the C of E is the place to go at times of stress and rejoicing… Read more »

Charles Read
Charles Read
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

The way GS works is that bishops can block stuff but they can’t force something through. So no, they are not ruling gthe church in the sense which I think you are intending.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Charles Read
1 year ago

Im afraid that is simply not correct.

They have reserved powers over liturgy which they are using now.

Their proposed LLF services will happen. Synod has no power to prevent it.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

Peter It is not so long back that synod threw out what the bishops brought to it.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 year ago

David, they have easily circumvented that possibility this time !

2017 was a transparent blunder. The bishops simply mis judged how events would unfold.

The reality is Synod is making not a single impact on the conduct of post LLF policy.

Jeremy Pemberton
Jeremy Pemberton
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

I don’t agree. It is not bishops who are calling for every proposed amendment to be voted on by houses, it is a member of the clergy, supported by enough people to make it happen; and they know exactly what they are doing. As it happens, I admire their procedural gamesmanship. It is overcoming the ‘long grass’ amendments most effectively.
The truth is that the direction of travel is towards inclusion, and those opposed to it are sounding frustrated as the power to block changes appears to be slipping away.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Jeremy Pemberton
1 year ago

Exactly Jeremy!

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 year ago

Many a slip – but the truth is that on almost every amendment the “factions” in Synod knew that a vote by houses would maintain the status quo, and on the amendment that did pass (see Miranda Threlfall-Holmes’ excellent speech) it didn’t mean what people might have thought it meant. And since I was sitting behind a member who complained in public about the bishops, yet stood to support a vote by houses in every conservative case, the politics is certainly not one-sided. But God still loves us all, by some miracle of grace, and indeed sacrfice

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Jeremy Pemberton
1 year ago

I take your point, but calling for amendments that are rejected is hardly influence !

My position is we need a mediated settlement. If bishops use their power to achieve that I would support them.

We all just need to be real that a House divided is a House ruled by Bishops.

Let’s unite around the aim of walking apart as good neighbours

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

Peter On TA as much as anywhere the Bishops are more often being criticised for weak leadership and lacking initiative. Now all of a sudden they are virtual despots? I don’t think you can discuss their response to the amendments (which more often all three houses have voted down actually – not just the bishops) without looking at what each amendment was proposing and why.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 year ago

I’m not saying they are despots, David.

I’m saying a House Divided is one ruled by bishops

Kate
Kate
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 year ago

Yes, but that’s not the same thing, the way voting works blocking entirely is still possible but preventing Synod from passing amendments makes it an all or nothing. It’s how we ended up with the fudge for women bishops that’s now sat there as a ticking time bomb. It was said in session yesterday that trust is now badly eroded. Yesterday only deepened that problem. If I was ABC I would tell the bishops to drop everything next week and get themselves into session to formulate how to regain the trust of the church – if necessary submitting to periodic… Read more »

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

Then I think we need to pay much more attention to the appointment of Bishops and who gets to decide which priests are appointed bishops. Maybe they should be elected ?

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
1 year ago

Revolutionary changes rarely happen by (large, three-part) committee, but it looks like even a small evolutionary change is unacceptable. If every change is responded to by the ABC with “What will the neighbors (conservative provinces of the Anglican Communion) think?”, change will never happen. I thought each province (including the CofE) was autonomous? Certainly the conservative provinces don’t give two pennies to what the more liberal provinces think, unless it’s to attack them. So, to the The Revd Graham Kirk-Spriggs (Norwich), who asked “All I want is equal dignity to be judged with the same standards as my straight colleagues.… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
1 year ago

Wasn’t Canterbury complaining about equal marriage 9 years ago?
Didn’t he trot out the same argument then, about equal marriage in England causing rapine and pillage in Africa?
https://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/6544-2/

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Jeremy
1 year ago

Nothing is going to change in Africa if the Church of England continues to discriminate. The best way to help them is to embrace same sex marriage and set out clearly why that is the best Biblical option. It’s generally called witness – demonstrating the way of Jesus by living it.

Jeremy
Jeremy
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

Well put, Kate.
I’m just shocked that Canterbury is playing this canard again. It did not go over well last time.
It smacks of virtue-signaling on Canterbury’s part. As well as—I’m searching for the right words—rhetorical hostage-taking. “Vote my way or people in Africa will die.” 
Is that really his argument? Again–nine years on?
Is that good leadership for the Church of England?  Or is it bullying LGBTQ+ people in England by predicting Islamist terrorism elsewhere?
Why give such power over England to terrorists?

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Jeremy
1 year ago

Years ago, I attended a local TEC (USA) function in my diocese in which the diocesan bishop was in attendance. IIRC. it was part of the bishop’s visit to the local parish to oversee or to perform confirmations, be the celebrant at the Eucharist, etc. Same-sex marriage had been discussed at the most recent TEC General Convention at that time, and during the social hour after the Eucharist, I asked the diocesan bishop his opinion. He more or less repeated the ABC’s hostage-taking argument, and then said to me that people are starving in Africa, dying of preventable diseases, and… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by peterpi - Peter Gross
Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Jeremy
1 year ago

What concerns me here is who gets the chance to be heard. When archbishop Justin speaks in synod about the devastating effect of CofE LGBTQ changes in other parts of the world, I am sure he is simply repeating what he has been told by the other church leaders he meets on his travels, such as the recent trip to Sudan. But that raises two questions. Firstly, is what he is being told correct, or are such leaders speaking out of anti-gay prejudice. Has he tested their evidence by talking to a much wider range of people in Africa. And… Read more »

Father David
Father David
1 year ago

I’m fairly comatose after listening for 4 1/2 hours to the LLF Synod debate with tedious amendment after tedious amendment being voted down by voting in Houses. Surely a limit could be placed on the number of amendments that are allowed? I recall the equally tortuous long running Brexit debate in the House of Commons with its disastrous result for the nation when Speaker Bercow had the power to select which amendments could be debated and voted upon. Does the General Synod (the Church’s Parliament) need a Speaker with similar powers to decide which amendments are discussed thus avoiding time… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Father David
1 year ago

I agree I wonder if it is possible that the reason evangelicals have been ascendent has nothing to do with their theology but that they are better at promoting accomplished speakers? I don’t agree with Ian Paul’s theology for example but there is no doubting that he is a highly skilled public speaker.

Susanna (with no h!)
Susanna (with no h!)
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

You folks must have stamina to have kept watching this stuff! But here is another point of view- when the death toll in Turkey and Syria is steadily climbing and the survival of even those lucky enough to be dug out cannot be guaranteed, and large proportions of our neighbours in this country are cold and using food banks, how do the movers and shakers of the C of E choose to spend their Wednesday afternoon? Being advised to take no notice of the views of democratically elected MPs and talking endlessly about sex…. Mainly not even in relation to… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Father David
1 year ago

I agree. There should be frameworks to reduce domination (and reduction of everyone else’s time and participation) if one individual feels important enough to make countless amendments, which I think yesterday took about 50-60 minutes in total. A rule that says no member may make more than 2 amendments might help. Or a system where your second amendment has to go to the back of the queue, until everyone else has had a go. Admittedly if that was applied here at Thinking Anglicans, I should have to fall on my sword! There were a few outstanding speeches from both main… Read more »

Susannah Clark
1 year ago

One other stand-out comment was Anna de Castro (Sheffield)’s claim that “the vast majority of young people in churches accept the rules of marriage.” Which, even if right (which I doubt) ignores the reality that most young people are disgusted by the Church’s position.

So… today’s session has just begun as I type… more treacle, Father David?

Peter
Peter
1 year ago

Jayne Ozanne’s call for a commitment to equal marriage has been defeated in all three Houses. It did not reach even a simple majority in any House.

Those who want change cannot possibly go on insisting it’s just a matter of time before Synod backs their position.

Please enter negotiation with conservatives.

José Ribeiro
José Ribeiro
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

Ozanne’s motion got 45%. Compare with a (imagined) similar motion 30 years back … The writing is on the wall: generational replacement will settle things the equality way. Conservatives proposal for a just-around-the-corner settlement (ie splitting) must be understood against such a scenary.

Peter
Peter
1 year ago

The Archbishop of York has called for “some kind of settlement”. Those are his actual words

The work can finally begin.

139
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x