Thinking Anglicans

General Synod – day 1

Update – the voting figures below were corrected on Wednesday morning; there is an explanation in this order paper.

The Church of England’s General Synod meets virtually from 1300 today until 1530 on Wednesday. The papers are available here.

Video recording of the day’s proceedings

Stephen Lynas previews the business in some detail: I only had a picture of you. So too does Andrew Nunn but only briefly: Here we go again!

Order paper 1 – details of the afternoon’s business

The Archbishops gave a joint presentation to Synod, summarised in this press release: We must change to become a ‘simpler, humbler, bolder Church’ – Archbishops tell Synod. There are links to their full remarks here and here.

There was a debate on the response to the covid-19 pandemic (GS 2192) at the end of which this motion

That this Synod, recognising the profound challenge to life and wellbeing posed by the Covid-19 pandemic:
(a) call upon the whole church to hold in prayer all those ill, bereaved, unemployed or suffering mentally as a result of the virus, to pray for Her Majesty’s Government and all who hold responsibility for navigating the intractable dilemmas that Covid-19 poses;
(b) give thanks for the continuing selfless service of NHS and social care staff, scientists, and key workers in every sector, encouraging all to follow their example by affirming the common good over sectional interests;
(c) request the church’s representatives, in conversations with Her Majesty’s Government, to press the case for reducing social inequalities, especially the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on BAME people, children living in poverty, disabled people, elderly people and those living with chronic health conditions, and to reflect concerns expressed by Synod in debate on this motion;
(d) express concern that the God given image, dignity and value of disabled and/or elderly people, including all those in residential care homes, are diminished when they are denied access to the same level of health care as the rest of the population;
(e) call on Her Majesty’s Government to preserve the United Kingdom’s foreign aid budget at 0.7% of GDP, sending a strong signal that the United Kingdom is a reliable partner for long-term economic, social, environmental and educational advancement across the globe;
(f) celebrate the role of churches in building mental and spiritual resilience to face the crisis and, affirming the role of worship and the sacraments as the source of Christian service and discipleship, call upon Her Majesty’s Government immediately to review the decision to curtail public worship during lockdown.

was passed by 349 votes to 5 with 9 recorded abstentions.

There was then the usual debate on the Report of the Business Committee (GS 2179). There was a counted vote on the motion to take note of this report with 179 votes in favour, 56 against and 24 recorded abstentions. The significant vote against might be explained by this speech from Jayne Ozanne.

The day’s business concluded with Questions.

Reports from members and the press

Stephen Lynas Can’t take my eyes off you

Andrew Nunn Crystal Maze

Church Times Synod: Archbishops defend LLF and warn of post-pandemic changes

Church Times Synod highlights injustices in pandemic response

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Charles Clapham
Charles Clapham
3 years ago

Well done Jane Ozanne! As I have noted on this forum before, the proposal for a teaching document on human sexuality was put in 2017 in GS 2055, a report from the House of Bishops following the shared conversations (the other proposals were not to change church teaching, offer a new culture of welcome for LGBT people, issue new pastoral guidance; and new guidance about questions put to ordinands and clergy). The General Synod was not happy with this report, and refused to take note of it. The bishops have subsequently implemented its proposals anyway, and at the same time… Read more »

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Clapham
FrDavid H
FrDavid H
3 years ago

No one could argue against the bishops’ and Synod’s requests to HM Government to be nice to everyone during the epidemic since it’s all Motherhood and Apple Pie. Their requirements , however, seems to point to an image of their own self-importance in their belief that the government will take a blind bit of notice of them. With declining congregations, a damning report on sex abuse, a ridiculous attitude to LBGTQT people and an illiberal evangelical ascendency, the bishops are probably whistling in the wind. I’m sure the man in the street would ask ” Who exactly do they think… Read more »

Reply to  FrDavid H
3 years ago

Exactly right. The response to the Sunday Telegraph’s report on Archbishop Welby’s five month holiday in France next year (as they reported it) has been overwhelmingly hostile, not least from clergy who have contacted him on twitter. Many of them are overdue a three month sabbatical but find the logistics difficult eg finding cover. I had a bit of a laugh this morning with a neighbour, on his solitary 90th birthday. He is a retired priest, no contact from local church or diocese since March, but we read Psalm 90 together, hence the laughter. He is so glad to be… Read more »

Fr John Harris-White
Fr John Harris-White
3 years ago

Michael, Tell your friend he is not alone. I wrote the Provost of our Cathedral, telling him my husband , and myself had heard nothing from him, ,or his clergy team since the early part of the pandemic. He wrote saying he would phone me.. Since SILENCE. We now tune in to Canterbury Cathedral. I am 86 years old. Good wishes to you both.

Fr John Emlyn

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