Thinking Anglicans

General Synod – November 2021

The first group of sessions of the 2021-2026 General Synod of the Church of England will be held in London on 16-17 November 2021. There will also be an induction day on 15 November. The outline timetable is available here and is copied below. Papers for the inaugural group of sessions will be published on Thursday 28 October.

GENERAL SYNOD: NOVEMBER 2021 TIMETABLE

Tuesday 16 November

10.00 am – 1.00 pm
Inauguration, including Abbey Service

2.45 pm – 7.00 pm
Welcomes and introductions
Welcome to First Church Estates Commissioner
Presidential Address
Report by the Business Committee
Generosity and Diocesan Finances
Question Time *5.30 pm – 7.00 pm

Wednesday 17 November

09.00 am – 12.30 pm
Opening worship
Loyal Address
Special Agenda IV: Leeds DSM: Wealth Gap
2022 Budget and Apportionment
Special Agenda I: Act of Synod for Vacancy in See Amendment Regulations 2021 – For approval
Appointment of AC Member

2.00 pm – 4.30 pm
Vision and Strategy
Report by the Governance Review Group
Farewells
Prorogation

Meetings of the House of Laity 4.45pm – 6pm

* not later than
Please note that all timings are indicative unless marked with an asterisk Deadline for receipt of questions: 1200 hrs Thursday 4th November

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Dave
Dave
1 month ago

My sincere hope is that we will see far more robust and searching questions being asked by elected members about what is going on in, and much more challenge. There is so much unhappiness and so much lack of confidence in leadership around. Communication from ‘above’ is appalling, and the grassroots laity are simply not being consulted or listened to. Bishops in particular must be more accountable. This was expressed well in a letter in The Times today: “… the fears of so many (laity) is about the Church of England’s future: that, given its track record and its proposals… Read more »

James H
James H
Reply to  Dave
1 month ago

There’s a fair chance that your hope will be fulfilled. My own impression is that the balance of “clout” in the various groupings has changed somewhat, which has to be a good – even if unpredictable – thing.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  James H
1 month ago

The problem is that the President allows bishops to give non-answers. Synod ought to vote for a president to improve the impartiality of the role.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kate
Graeme Buttery
Graeme Buttery
Reply to  Kate
1 month ago

Two things. Don’t get the Presidents mixed up with chairs of debates. Also, the Presidents are written into the constitution of Synod, they are not elected by anyone: they are the two archbishops

Graeme

Charles Read
Reply to  Kate
1 month ago

I am not quite sure what you mean. The archbishops are joint presidents of GS by virtue of being the archbishops so you can’t vote them out. They do not chair GS meetings very often – there is a panel of chairs – who are generally good at what they do.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Charles Read
1 month ago

I am saying that they shouldn’t be presidents.

Whoever chairs the question session has not been doing their job. They ought to reject answers which fail to address the spirit of the question.

Charles Read
Reply to  Kate
1 month ago

They are presidents because that represents the balance of episcopal and synodical government. The archbishops never chair Questions.

QT is governed by quite strict rules of procedure so
I do not think the chair can ask the answerer to try again – but I would support them trying to get them to!

Peter in t' North
Peter in t' North
Reply to  Kate
19 days ago

Chairs ought also to desist from giving answers that fail to address the spirit of the question. This happened today (Wed Nov 17) when a member asked a question and was fobbed off by being referred to the “information desk”.

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
Reply to  Peter in t' North
19 days ago

He wasn’t fobbed off! It was a naïve question from a new member which failed to understand Synod processes. That is what good Chairmen do!

Charles Read
Reply to  Dave
1 month ago

I think there has been a lot of scrutiny in the questions in recent years but real answers have not been forthcoming. We were a bit puzzled as to how to extract proper answers as the QT format is quite restrictive when it comes to this scenario.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Charles Read
1 month ago

From my experience of asking formal questions at diocesan synod it is the question that is important and its power should not be underestimated. The answers are inevitably bland and non-committal, but the question highlights the issue and often the hypocrisy. My questions were usually about our links with Caribbean dioceses lobbying their parliaments to retain the death penalty for gay men. Successive chairs of the St Albans links committee refused to turn up and be held accountable; so it was left to some or other hapless suffragan bishop or archdeacon to defend the indefensible. Don’t be disheartened keep plugging… Read more »

Alison Menage
Alison Menage
Reply to  Dave
1 month ago

Well said Sir!!

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
1 month ago

I think when they get to the item ‘Generosity and Diocesan Finances’ on the Tuesday afternoon Greta Thunberg might well pop up and say “blah, blah, blah”.

L F B
L F B
1 month ago

Out of 15 candidates, in our diocese, 6 were selected. 2 were from large Evangelical churches, their manifestos were less ‘open’, and out of step with the others.
If the demarcation lines at General Synod are so clearly drawn, then hopes must fade of a chance to move on from the prevailing positions.
The church’s response to wider concerns, may now find it more difficult to be seen as acting in, as well as articulating, a compassionate, loving ethos.

Last edited 1 month ago by L F B
Charles Read
Reply to  L F B
1 month ago

I think it depends on the diocese- in our diocese (Norwich) there were 10 candidates for 4 seats and generally more inclusive candidates did better. House of laity results are more complex and as a cleric I wlll refrain from comment!

Kate
Kate
1 month ago

Why hold a two day Synod during the week which makes it hard for both lay members and self-supporting ministers to attend? Wouldn’t Friday and Saturday be more inclusive?

Graeme Buttery
Graeme Buttery
Reply to  Kate
1 month ago

When this has been tried, complaints came thick and fast from working people being forced to give up their only free time

Graeme

Tim Barker
Reply to  Kate
1 month ago

In recent years, the February group of sessions has concluded on Saturday. The July group of sessions in York includes a weekend. As ever, it’s a matter of finding an appropriate balance.

peter kettle
peter kettle
Reply to  Kate
1 month ago

I wonder what the proportion of weekday-working members is?

Kate
Kate
Reply to  peter kettle
1 month ago

That overlooks that those with unbreakable weekday commitments (such as teachers) may not stand in the first place.

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