Thinking Anglicans

General Synod – news and comment

Following last week’s release of the papers for next month’s meeting of the Church of England General Synod there have been a number of press reports and online comments.

Church Times
General Synod to focus on race, trafficking, and persecution
Archbishops’ Council reckons up progress made/not made on racial equality
Angry response to parish reorganisation gives Commissioners pause
Faculty-system reform blows cold air on old-style boilers

Law & Religion UK Their latest round-up includes a summary of the proposed changes to the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules – scroll down to “Net zero” and the faculty jurisdiction.

Daily Mail Church of England will encourage priests to install more carpets and cushions to help buildings retain heat in bid to reach ‘net-zero’ carbon emissions
The Telegraph Church of England set to take ‘softly, softly’ approach by relaxing rules on cushions

Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer Is the Church of England about to ban prophets from Synod?

These items are not explicitly on the agenda, but may well come up in Questions.

Ian Paul Psephizo On the appointment of senior leaders in the Church
Church Times – letters from Rebecca Chapman and John Brydon (scroll down)

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Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
4 months ago

I agree with Martin Sewell. What we desperately need is a leadership that holds itself open to account – that is part of the culture change we need, and the resistance to accountability is the old culture fighting back. We have been promised a change of culture (so has IICSA), but does the leadership have the will to effect the change we need?

Lizzie Taylor
Lizzie Taylor
Reply to  Mark Bennet
4 months ago

I agree Mark. I hope so, and what happened in Winchester may be a sign of a change in the wider church.

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
Reply to  Mark Bennet
4 months ago

Hoping to encourage General Synod members, esp newbies, to SUBMIT QUESTIONS- deadline this Thursday!! Ok it won’t guarantee a helpful answer but it will ‘put down a marker’ and the response for good or ill will be a matter of record, to which reference may be made in the future. Culture change may take time but even the judge ‘gave in’ to the persistent bothersome widow 😉 Ask, seek, knock.
I sense that ‘the authorities’ may be hoping to press forward with contentious matters while the new Synod takes time to find its feet. Hoping to be wrong on that.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Mark Bennet
4 months ago

Perhaps, but the episcopate is a quasi-monarchical institution. It functions on a command and control basis, accentuated by the disappearance of the freehold. Monarchs tend to cede power to legislatures only when they are in need of funds or need to stave off the risk of a revolution. However, the episcopate have – whether by intention or happenstance – secured funds over which they exercise a qualified degree of control. I mean of course, the assets of DBFs. They also exercise a significant degree of suasion over the Commissioners: of the 33 commissioners 6 are ‘sleeping’, 9 are bishops or… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

The Church of England has rules about cushions? Good grief! Talk about micro-management!

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

Tim,

You couldn’t make it up:

https://lawandreligionuk.com/2016/08/11/pews-perceptions-and-practicalities/

Comfort in church?- perish the thought!

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
4 months ago

In his disgraceful homophobic attack on the appointment of Mr Stephen Knott, David Baker says “ it is hard to see him being instrumental in appointing, for example, any conservative evangelicals as diocesan and suffragan bishops”. If this is one of the results of Mr Knott’s marriage, then it would be a cause for great rejoicing. Unfortunately I fear Mr Knott may prove to be less of an insufferable bigot as both David Baker and Ian Paul.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  FrDavid H
4 months ago

The conservative evangelical constituency is right to be concerned about episcopal appointments, but as you note that should not be founded on the identity of the appointments secretaries. If by conservative evangelical is meant inter alia a priest who will not ordain women, then it is simple to see why either the Crown Nominations Commission (in respect of diocesan sees) or the nominating bishop (in respect of suffragan sees) will not normally discern that such a person is suitable for appointment, although it remains open for them to be considered, nor has either done so in recent memory. The constituency… Read more »

RChapman
RChapman
Reply to  Anthony Archer
4 months ago

Sadly the bar of qualification and experience for this particular role, senior civil servant or facilitator however one wishes to view it, seems to have been significantly lowered for this particular appointment. There are a few words from Mr Knott himself about his previous role at Lambeth Palace at https://www.churchofengland.org/about/careers/meet-some-us highlighting that his role there was primarily oversight of the operational functions (Finance, Records, Facilities and so on) which is substantively different to the decade or more of recruitment and specialist HR experience that previous individuals in the Appointments Secretary role have had. His previous role was as a researcher… Read more »

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
Reply to  Anthony Archer
4 months ago

 If by conservative evangelical is meant inter alia a priest who will not ordain women, then it is simple to see why either the Crown Nominations Commission (in respect of diocesan sees) or the nominating bishop (in respect of suffragan sees) will not normally discern that such a person is suitable for appointment, although it remains open for them to be considered, nor has either done so in recent memory.

Clearly one person’s recent memory is another’s far distant past spoken of only in myth and legend, but I seem to recall a little contretemps in Sheffield recently.

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Interested Observer
4 months ago

The Sheffield debacle is exactly why the CNC will be reluctant to appoint a non – ordainer in future. Expecting clergy to take an oath of canonical obedience to someone who does not think they are really priests/ authorised by God to teach and lead a congregation is a tall order.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Interested Observer
4 months ago

Yes, hardly the CNC performing at its best. It is partly because of Sheffield that I doubt any future CNC would risk such a nomination again. CNCs have learned a key lesson, which is that how a nomination will land is a key question for judgement and discussion. As Sir Philip Mawer noted: “The other key finding I wish to underline was the failure of all concerned to anticipate the extent and nature of the reaction to Bishop North’s nomination and to prepare plans in advance for handling it.”

Father David
Father David
4 months ago

As the soon to be retiring Bishop of Winchester appointed the current Bishop of Basingstoke, would not that suggest that the former might have regarded that the latter, a fellow Evangelical, and originally surmised that he shared his particular vision for the diocese of Winchester?

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