Thinking Anglicans

General Synod – Friday

Order papers listing the day’s business
OP4 – Order Paper IV (morning)
OP5 – Order Paper V (afternoon)

Stephen Lynas bathwellschap Listen, do you want to know a secret?
a summary of the day’s business

David Pocklington Law & Religion UK Broad Synod support for DSM environment motion

Madeleine Davies Church Times ‘Prioritise evangelism’ motion is amended to reflect Anglican breadth

Church of England press releases
Church of England steps up Environment Programme
General Synod backs plans to mobilise one million worshippers
General Synod commends resources to help families pray at home
General Synod backs drive to create new churches on estates

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Neil Patterson
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Neil Patterson

TA regulars should note especially the defeat of the proposal to abolish the secret ballot on the Crown Nominations Commission, for which I spoke in vain. As you will read in Stephen Lynas’s commentary, it was defeated in the House of Laity. I expect the voting lists will confirm that it was pretty much a party vote, with conservatives loyally following John Dunnett’s skilful leadership.

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

Why should it be a “party”vote I wonder? Defeated by “conservatives”? Is the inplication that somehow or other it was not acceptable to evangelicals? Iā€™m puzzled?

Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

Shocking piece of business for which I take some of the blame. There should have been a more dispassionate analysis and review, not being one solely handled by the CNC central member insiders. Poorly presented, and shockingly chaired in Synod. I was not called to speak in favour of the removal of the secret ballot, despite a CNC colleague who was called to speak against. The Bishop of London stood to speak as many times as I did, but was not called. Secrecy allows prejudice to go unchallenged. It also makes it more difficult for the CNC to work as… Read more »

John Swanson
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John Swanson

Anthony: “secrecy allows prejudice to go unchallenged” is of course a strong and valid argument. But so is the “groupthink” concern, especially when the biggest concern raised about appointments of bishops currently is the uniformity reflecting the mould of the AbC’s preferences. I’m sure you have a counter to these concerns and it would be interesting to hear it.

Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

When I pushed for what became the Perry Report on making diocesan bishops, Working with the Spirit, and later following my own PMM on Senior Church Appointments, which led to the report Talent and Calling, the mantra was always that the CNC and related processes created a bland bench of bishops, or to adopt your phrase, uniformity. But the evidence has never supported this. The first bishop nominated following the Callaghan Convention and the creation of the CAC in 1975 was Hugh Montefiore of Birmingham! And who could ever call Harries, Hope, Sykes RIP, Selby, NT Wright or now Sentamu… Read more »

David Lamming
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David Lamming

The statement that the item was ‘shockingly chaired’ is unfair to Pete Spiers and is a comment with which I cannot agree. Part of the problem was that this was one of several items of business in this group of sessions for which inadequate time was allocated, especially in this case when there were amendments tabled to another Standing Order (SO 113) that the Business Committee intended/hoped to go through ‘on the nod’. One third of the questions were not reached in the ‘Questions’ session on Wednesday evening, and the ‘Homelessness’ debate (contingency business at York in 2018 but not… Read more »

Peter K
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Peter K

David, I quite agree with you about the chairing, and you’ve made some good points about the length of Synod. From memory we had Andrew Nunn & ++Sentamu speaking in favour, (plus Neil Patterson) so we heard current & recent CNC voices in what was quite a short debate. We’d also heard other recent members in the ‘sister’ debate about threshold – I don’t think the ‘pro’ side were terribly short-changed. If I were a ‘pro’ person my chief disappointment would probably be that ++Sentamu was not more positive and persuasive – but perhaps his hands were tied by the… Read more »

Peter K
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Peter K

I want to add, for balance, that I agree with Anthony about the CNC making imaginative appointments – London & Truro recent examples. Very much to be celebrated.

Peter K
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Peter K

Hi Neil, you’re probably right about party lines (or should that be ‘groupthink’!! šŸ˜‰ ) but the person sitting next to me was far from conservative and concerned how clergy on CNC panels could feel they were scuppering their careers by voting the ‘wrong’ way. My only experience of a senior appointment was of a headteacher, and I didn’t make myself popular by holding out against a particular candidate – I felt a lot of pressure. If the other governors had been my seniors at work, with the threat of ‘career consequences’ it could have been intolerable. [Just to add… Read more »

David Lamming
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David Lamming

I think it ought to be noted that although, on a vote by houses, the proposal in item 35 (the deletion of the words “in a secret ballot” from SO 141(6)) was defeated in the House of Laity, it would also have been defeated on a count of the whole house, even counting recorded abstentions as votes against. The figures were: Bishops: 19 for; 14 against; 1 abstention Clergy: 76 for; 66 against; 4 abstentions Laity: 63 for; 99 against; 5 abstentions Totals: 158 for; 179 against;10 abstentions. Perhaps the other figure to note is the 100+ Synod members who… Read more »

Neil Patterson
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Neil Patterson

Thank you Peter, and fair points, all. However, I understand from Sue Booys that the Oxford DSM has been withdrawn, the diocese feeling that the proposed changes would have adequately responded to their concerns.

Kate
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Kate

Believing that the composition of working of the CNC affects outcomes is essentially a belief that the outcome isn’t driven entirely by discernment. That should be the concern since the whole process is supposedly based on discernment – yet when it comes to be discussed most people seem to behave as though they don’t believe that.

Kate
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Kate

Is the Church wanting more evangelism because it loves – as individuals – those to whom it will reach out or because it is worried about attendance statistics?

Tim Chesterton
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‘The Church’ is an ‘it’, so it can’t ‘love’ or ‘want’ anything. Only people in the church can do that. And I’d guess that their motives are all over the map. We’d all like to think we’re doing it out of obedience to Jesus, but I suspect that few of us could claim to have completely pure motives. For myself, I can say that I’ve been evangelizing for years, but few of my evangelizing conversations have had any impact on my attendance statistics! Some of them have been with inquirers who have already begun attending our church and are looking… Read more »