Thinking Anglicans

General Synod dates and update on Living in Love and Faith implementation groups

The Church of England has issued the press release below about future General Synod dates, an outline of the business for July, and an update on Living in Love and Faith implementation groups. The text of the Outline of Business for July is copied below the fold.

General Synod dates and update on Living in Love and Faith implementation groups

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, as Presidents of the General Synod of the Church of England, have agreed to proceed with a November meeting of Synod this year.

The group of sessions will be held in London from Monday November 13 to Wednesday November 15, the Synod Business Committee has confirmed.

The committee has also published the Outline of Business for the next meeting of Synod, which will take place in York from Friday July 7 to Tuesday July 11.

The July meeting will include a substantial item on the proposals, which emerged from the Living in Love and Faith process, to enable same-sex couples who have marked a significant stage of their relationship such as a civil marriage or civil partnership to come to church to give thanks, offer prayers of dedication to God and to receive God’s blessing.

Following a landmark debate at Synod in February, a series of implementation groups have been set up to take the proposals forward including refining a set of draft texts known as Prayers of Love and Faith; working on new pastoral guidance for the Church of England and examining what pastoral reassurance will be required to ensure freedom of conscience for clergy and laity.

It is anticipated that the November group of sessions could provide an opportunity for Synod to consider any aspects of that work not completed by July.

The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, and the Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen, the co-chairs of the steering group overseeing the implementation groups, said: “The working groups set up by the College of Bishops to take forward the decision of General Synod on a way forward for the Church of England on identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage have been working at pace and are making good progress.

“We hope that work to refine the texts of Prayers of Love and Faith, together with aspects of the work of the Pastoral Guidance and Pastoral Reassurance groups, will be in place before the meeting of Synod in York in July.

“We will be bringing a report to Synod updating in more detail on the progress that has been made.

“Recognising the complexity of the matters being considered, we anticipate that time could be made available at the November meeting of Synod for any further work required.”

Notes to editors

  • Synod meets in February and July each year and in November at least once in every five years, usually.
  • The most recent November group of sessions was in 2021, the inaugural meeting of the current Synod.
  • Potential dates for November meetings of Synod are agreed by the Business Committee in advance with the other Synod dates and the presidents then determine each year whether or not to proceed with a November meeting that year.
  • The Business Committee has also advised members that next year’s first group of sessions will be between Friday 23 February 2024 and Tuesday 27 February 2024.


Full details of each item will be on the agenda

Friday 7 July
2.00 pm – 7.00 pm

Opening Worship
Presidential Address
Address by Anglican Communion/Ecumenical Guest
Business Committee Report
Special Agenda III: Private Members Motions
–  Church of England Youth Synod (The Revd Tim Norwood)
Special Agenda I: Legislative Business
– Legal Officers (Annual Fees) Order 2023 – for approval
Special Agenda I: Legislative Business
– Church of England Pensions (Application of Funds) Measure – final approval
Special Agenda I: Legislative Business
– Electronic Register Book of Services Form and Conditions 2023 – for approval

Saturday 8 July
9.00 am – 12.45 pm

Opening Worship
Special Agenda I: Legislative Business
– Miscellaneous Provisions Measure
– Amending Canon No 43 – final drafting/final approval
Special Agenda I: Legislative Business
– Amending Canon No 42 – for enactment
National Investing Bodies: Report on July 2018 Synod motion on Climate Change

2.15 pm – 7.00 pm
Special Agenda IV: Diocesan Synod Motions
– The Contribution of Faith to Prisoner Rehabilitation (Worcester)
Living in Love and Faith

Sunday 9 July
2.30 pm – 6.00 pm

Safeguarding (to include presentation from the Independent Safeguarding Board)
Special Agenda IV: Diocesan Synod Motions
– Responding to the Climate Emergency (Oxford)

8.20 pm – 10.00 pm
National Church Governance

Monday 10 July
9.00 am – 12.30 pm

Opening Worship
Archbishops’ Council Annual Report
Archbishops’ Council Annual Budget and Apportionment 2024
Standing Orders Committee Report
Appointment of member of the Archbishops’ Council

2.00 pm – 6.00 pm
Special Agenda I: Legislative Business
– Clergy Conduct Measure – first consideration
Report from the Elections Review Group
Special Agenda I: Legislative Business
– Church Representation Rules (Amendment) Resolution – for approval
Revitalising the parish for mission

8.20pm – 10.00 pm
Revision of the Mission and Pastoral Measure

Tuesday 11 July
9.00 am – 1.15 pm

Opening Worship
Special Agenda I: Legislative Business
– Faculty Jurisdiction Rules – for approval
Special Agenda I: Legislative Business
– If required any deemed business will be taken at this point
Special Agenda IV: Diocesan Synod Motions
– Reduce Parochial Fees for Marriage (Blackburn)
Synod Complaints Process
*1.15pm Prorogation

Deemed business
Ecclesiastical Judges, Legal Officers and Others (Fees) Order 2023
Churches Conservation Trust Order 2023
Safeguarding Code of Practice
Appointment of the Clerk to the Synod

* not later than

Deadline for receipt of questions: 1200 hrs Tuesday 27 June

Contingency business:
Land and Nature Debate
Future of Work: DSM from Oxford

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Father David
Father David
1 year ago

Two images come to mind having read the above with regard to an extra General Synod in November – they are “long grass” and “kicking the can down the road”. A final decision on this contentious issue will have to be made sometime and the sooner the better so that everyone knows exactly where they stand. We have been in Limbo for far too long with regard to LLF and anyway, didn’t Pope Benedict XVI abolish Limbo?

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Father David
1 year ago

I am not sure that I agree. Do we want a rushed decision, or do we want a high quality and lasting decision that helps the church heal its wounds and move forward?

Bearing in mind that the LLF consultation lasted a number of years, and the bishops have had about 18 months to do their thinking and deciding, surely to ask Synod to come to a good and lasting decision in such a short timescale is unwise.

Perhaps we should put off the LLF debate for further reflection, and dedicate the time released to a safeguarding discussion instead.

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  Father David
1 year ago

Part of the reason for November is that there is a whole lot of other business which isn’t getting done and which is important for a whole host of reasons. For example, the Clergy Conduct Measure has fallen behind the timetable General Synod asked for, and needs to be progressed because the current arrangements are dangerously broken.

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  Mark Bennet
1 year ago

Mark, I seriously doubt (assuming that the motion for first consideration of the draft Measure is passed in July) that the Revision Committee for the Clergy Conduct Measure could complete its work between July and October (effectively, in September and October) on what is perhaps the most important piece of legislation for Synod to consider this quinquennium, so as to enable the Measure to be considered on revision by the whole Synod in November. It seems to me that the provision for a November Synod is in recognition of what many were saying after the February group of sessions, namely… Read more »

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
1 year ago

It will be good if the Archbishop of Canterbury is able to ‘Get LLF done’ before his retirement.

1 year ago

Given that the three working parties have only just started meeting, I doubt very much if anything could be finalised at the July Synod.

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