Thinking Anglicans

General Synod Papers – 8-12 July 2022

Papers for next month’s meeting of the Church of England General Synod are now available online. There is a list (with links and a note of the day scheduled for their debate) in numerical order below the fold.

Outline of Business

GS 2256 Agenda July 2022

Review of Qualifications for PCC Membership and Entry on the Church Electoral Roll (GS 2254A and 2254B) [Monday]

GS 2255 Diocesan Stipends Funds (Amendment) Measure [Monday]
GS 2255XX Explanatory Note
GS 2255P Policy Note

GS 2257 Report by the Business Committee [Friday]

GS 2258 Routemap to Net Zero Carbon by 2030 [Friday]

GS 2259 War in Ukraine [Friday]

GS 2260 See of Canterbury Crown Nominations Commission [Saturday]

GS 2261 Review of Strategic Development Funding and Lowest Income Communities Funding [Saturday]

GS 2262 Spending Plans of the Church Commissioners and Archbishops’ Council [Saturday]

GS 2263 Safeguarding and Independence: Update and Next Steps [Saturday]

GS 2264 Church of England Pensions (Application of Capital Funds) Measure [Saturday]
GS 2264X Explanatory Note
GS 2264P Policy Note

GS 2265A and GS 2265B Insurance Premium Tax [Saturday]

GS2266A and GS 2266B Assisted Suicide [Sunday]

GS 2267 Archbishops’ Council Annual Report [Monday]

GS 2268 Archbishops’ Council Budget 2023 and Proposals for Apportionment 2023 [Monday]

GS 2269 Amending Canon No.42 [Monday]
GS 2269X1 Explanation Note

GS 2270 Affirming and Including Disabled People in the Whole Life of the Church [Monday]

GS 2271 Resourcing Ministerial Formation [Monday]

GS 2272 Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure [Monday]
GS 2272X1 Explanatory Note

GS 2273 Amending Canon No. 43 [Monday]
GS 2273X1 Explanatory Note

GS 2274A and GS 2274B Age Verification for Pornography Websites [Monday]

GS 2276 Amendments to the Standing Orders for Canterbury Crown Nominations Commission [Tuesday]

GS 2277 Report by the Clergy Conduct Measure Implementation Group [Tuesday]

Deemed and Contingency Business

GS 2275 59th Standing Orders Report

GS 2278 Legal Officers (Annual Fees) Order 2022
GS 2279 Ecclesiastical Judges, Legal Officers and Other (Fees) Order 2022
GS 2278X and GS 2279X Explanatory Note Fees Orders 2022

GS 2280 Pension Rules (Amendment) Scheme
GS 2280X Explanatory Note

GS 2281 Code of Practise Under CDM
GS 2281X Explanatory Note

GS 2282A Reducing Wedding Fees and
GS 2282B Sec Gen Reduce Parochial Fees for Marriages

GS Misc papers

GS Misc 1315 LLF Group Work
GS Misc 1316 Vision and Strategy Group Work
GS Misc 1317 Archbishops’ Council Audit Committee Report
GS Misc 1318 CDC Annual Report
GS Misc 1319 Governance Review
GS Misc 1320 NST Update
GS Misc 1321 House of Bishops Update
GS Misc 1322 Report on the Archbishops’ Council Activities
GS Misc 1323 Review of the Mission and Pastoral Measure
GS Misc 1324 Appointments Committee Report
GS Misc 1325 Recent Appointments by the Appointments Committee
GS Misc 1326 Outcomes of the Culture Recovery Fund
GS Misc 1327 SIB Annual Report
GS Misc 1328 Discussion document on Synod Business July 2022

Other papers

NP1 Standing Orders 59th Report
NP2 Standing Orders 60th Report
NP3 Deadlines July 2022
NP6 York Security SM 2022

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David Keen
10 days ago

GS2268 is marked ‘commercially confidential’, whatever that means. It doesn’t seem to mean not having it available online for anyone to read!

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  David Keen
10 days ago

I can’t see that marking in my copy.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
10 days ago

It’s at the top of every page from page 2 onwards.

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
10 days ago

So it is, on the copy which has been uploaded to the CofE website for public view.
But it is not present in the copy which I received by email at 8.30 am prior to the press conference.

Gilo
Gilo
9 days ago

Anyone else struggling to make sense of the second sentence in this paragraph from the ISB section of GS 2263 (Updates on safeguarding and future governance).

The syntax is torturous and the meaning confused.

Screenshot_20220623-191414_Word.jpg
Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Gilo
8 days ago

Even by the standards of the C of E, that’s a high class of bullsh*t.

Ann Reddecliffe
Ann Reddecliffe
9 days ago

I have just been reading the LLF paper GS Misc 1315. It feels like I am drowning in platitudes. Are we really at the level of who is curating the art displays and how many email responses they received? More reports, more discussions, more bishops talking. What is completely missing is any hint that the bishops are intending to actually do anything. After almost six years LLF has been set up as something that is too big to fail, but it seems to be doing just that. We need proposals for radical change and it doesn’t look like we are… Read more »

Nic Tall
Nic Tall
Reply to  Ann Reddecliffe
6 days ago

February 2023 has been billed as the conclusion of the LLF project, any proposals from the Bishops will be brought then. There will be documents published on 1st September – one summarising the consultation responses to LLF, the other looking at the scope and limits of disagreement within the church. Then the College of Bishops (not just the House) are meeting for three residentials through the autumn, with any proposals to come to Synod becoming known in December or January. The College only usually has one residential a year, so three in three months is significant. So July 2022 is… Read more »

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Nic Tall
4 days ago

This gay man has no confidence that anything will change for LGBTQ people in the CofE at any of the forthcoming synod meetings. LLF has been an expensive exercise in kicking a battered old can further down the road. The bishops want to make the church younger, but I don’t know any young people who would support the CofE’s equivocal position on LGBTQ issues.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
9 days ago

Interesting that those reviewing clergy discipline think that approximately 100 complaints a year is a small number. Presumably the overwhelming majority of complaints are made about clergy who are active in ministry rather than against the retired clergy with or without a PtO. The incidence of complaints ought to be a grave concern; either the clergy are very naughty or the sense of grievance among putative complainants is high. Either scenario ought to be of concern to General Synod as it considers this report.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Fr Dean
9 days ago

There are about 20,000 priests in ordained ministry in the Church of England. So that’s 5 complaints per thousand per year. By contrast, there are about 300,000 doctors and 7,500 complaints to GMC a year (2017). That’s about 25 complaints per thousand per year.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
9 days ago

How many of the 20,000 are active in ministry UN?

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Fr Dean
8 days ago

That is the number of ordained ministers described as “active” at the end of 2019 by the CofE at https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-06/Ministry%20Statistics%202019%20report%20FINAL.pdf

The breakdown includes 7,700 stipendiary (91% full time), 2,870 self-supporting, 1,020 chaplains and 7,370 with current Permission to Officiate.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
8 days ago

Thank you that’s very informative; but don’t you think you’re comparing apples with pears. Medicine is very much a hands on profession and there’s a lot to go wrong and a greater potential for expectations not to be met. As to the clergy I would imagine that most of the complaints are about stipendiary clergy; that was certainly my experience over many years as a union rep. Although chaplains are still subject to the CDM they will also be subject to their employer’s disciplinary arrangements where I expect most matters will be dealt with. I don’t suppose that clerics operating… Read more »

Dave
Dave
7 days ago

The response on marriage fees misses the fundamental point, I think. This is whether it is moral to charge at all for the wedding, and if so surely we must have a heart for the vulnerable.. The response just goes on and on about money and the church but fails to recognise that for many charging at all is an awful thing to do. (I do not include organists or professionals involved in this). Lo and behold the old argument – well its not much compared to the total cost of a wedding – is wheeled out. But for some… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Dave
6 days ago

It would be interesting to know whether there is a correlation between the level of fees charged and the remorseless decline in the Church’s share of the wedding market, especially since the creation of ‘approved premises’ under the Marriage Act 1994 (1994 was a calamitous year for the Church, strategically, what with the Sunday Trading Act). Religious weddings accounted for 18.7% of the market in 2019, down from 21.1% in 2018. Here is the trajectory, with no end to the decline in sight: https://www.statista.com/statistics/369115/marriages-in-england-and-wales-by-type-of-ceremony/ Presumably, with many weddings now costing absurd amounts (£14.7bn in the year before the pandemic), the… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Froghole
6 days ago

I should add that it was formerly the case that incumbents had discretion to charge fees, provided that they were not onerous. The diocesan chancellor had the power to vary the fee, if it was perceived as onerous. Certainly before the war (and before dioceses started to produce tables of fees) it was customary for incumbents to charge a guinea (i.e., 21 shillings or £1.05) and for the parish clerk to receive 5s. The value of a guinea in, say, 1934-35 would equate to a bit over £50 today. In 1934-35 annual average incomes would be in the region of… Read more »

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Froghole
6 days ago

In my experience, fees are waived for funerals more often than for weddings. I think the ‘costs’ that GS sought to cover by increasing fees was the stipends bill, which parishes have been struggling to meet for years. Readers will judge for themselves whether putting up prices in a falling market was wise or not.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
6 days ago

Many thanks! Your email has prompted me to have another one of my silly ideas! In the nineteenth century the main form of insurance for the poor was funeral insurance provided by clubs like the Hearts of Oak or the Oddfellows. It was commonly said that the poor would tolerate anything, but they could not endure a pauper’s funeral. Therefore, a primary purpose of these clubs was to insure for the cost of a good show (plenty of bombazine and plumes for the horses), and a good wake. They would also provide annual dinners. These days funeral costs, like the… Read more »

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Froghole
4 days ago

From time-to-time there has been synodical discussion about how to provide funerals for those unable to pay for them. I am unaware of any progress on the matter. However, clerical discretion to waive fees is helpful when necessary.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
6 days ago

“Readers will judge for themselves whether putting up prices in a falling market was wise or not.”
 
It’s not really about whether it is ‘wise’. It is God, not the priest, who marries a couple (as in “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”) so essentially the church is charging for something that God provides free of charge. That feels very wrong.

Ian
Ian
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
5 days ago

In the mid 1990s, an archdeacon who I believe was also a church commissioner said to me ” If we lose the weddings,we can cope with that. If we lose the funerals we are ××××ed!’

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Froghole
6 days ago

“I should add that it was formerly the case that incumbents had discretion to charge fees…” By ‘formerly’ I should clarify that I meant ‘before 1962’ (i.e., the Ecclesiastical Fees Measure of that year), rather than before 2011. I believe (though am not certain) that dioceses may have produced tables of fees before 1962. There were two main categories of fee: those charged by Church officials (which would include the grant of marriage licences), and fees levied in exchange for spiritual services (surplice fees). Church officials had the right to levy fees since the statute of 1352, but these were… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Froghole
5 days ago

I might need to correct myself again. It is possible that the right of the Commissioners to create tables of fees was created by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (Powers) Measure 1938, which may have compromised the discretion of incumbents, but as the text of that Measure is not available (unless I go to a law library and dig out the applicable volume of Public General Acts and Measures) I cannot be certain one way or the other.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Froghole
6 days ago

“In effect, it helps to entrench the Anglican wedding as a purely middle class affair for a middle class denomination: at least, in that sense, these large fees are a form of brutal (if highly discreditable) honesty.”   I have thought that for some time but didn’t want to be the one to say it. It’s part of why I get so angry that the focus for some is enabling same sex weddings in church rather than ensuring universal welcome in all churches. I think it displays a middle class bias. Many same sex couples couldn’t afford a church wedding… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
6 days ago

The great value of GS2264 is that it opens up the possibility (in an admittedly timorous fashion) of risk pooling between dioceses. It links to GS2234, which includes a fascinating list of DSF capital (inclusive of glebe) per diocese (https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2021-10/GS%202234%20Generosity%20and%20Diocesan%20Finances.pdf). Thus, we learn that Lincoln (which has a deficit of £4m, and which is being put under great pressure to effect reforms which will result in the closure of many churches) has £100m in DSF assets, whilst Canterbury (which once had some of the fattest rectories and glebe in England) has a mere £2.6m. Together, the dioceses appear to have… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Froghole
5 days ago

As someone who lives in the diocese of Canterbury I wonder if anyone has asked where the money has gone?

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Perry Butler
5 days ago

I too am in Canterbury diocese (St Margaret’s Bay in St Margaret’s at Cliffe), although I completed my tour of the diocese (when living near Westerham) a decade ago. There were some parishes which were so wealthy that they had sinecure rectors, in addition to well-remunerated vicars: Eynsford (in the archiepiscopal peculiar of Shoreham) and Hollingbourne were instances of this. Some livings were such plums that they were often allocated to the ‘scarves’ (i.e., archiepiscopal chaplains), and instances of this were Chartham, Great Chart or Great Mongeham (and the sinecure living of Little Mongeham). Much of the ecclesiastical wealth in… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Froghole
4 days ago

I think we need an economic history of the C of E since the mid 19c. I don’t know of any work in this area. Yet in evaluating the decline of the C of E esp as a national Establishment, the economics of it all seems crucial. What the situation in 20 years looks increasingly bleak. Not the Church with national coverage which has been our raison d’etre.

Kate
Kate
6 days ago

Were I a member of Synod I would have a problem with GS2264, one of the pension measures. In particular, I don’t think that Synod should rely on advice from the employer / church authorities – there ought to be a separate, independent professional adviser to make a recommendation to Synod on measures like this.

Simon Kershaw
Admin
5 days ago

Interesting that GS 2260 See of Canterbury Crown Nominations Commission proposals are pretty much what was aired earlier and attracted so much criticism at the time. I hope that it is not too late to challenge the idea that there should be so much influence from outside England in the appointment of an English diocesan (arch)bishop.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
3 days ago

Given the established status of the C of E and the position the ABC plays in the constitution, what actually are the constraints the Canterbury CNC will have to work within? Answers please.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
3 days ago

I strongly suspect that this train has left the station. GS2260 stresses that the diocese itself has ‘volunteered’ to marginalise itself. What I think this really means is that the diocesan nomenklatura have decided to tow the line in response to what I suspect may have been hints of greater or lesser subtlety made by the authorities that the AC be given more of a say (of course, it’s possible that this initiative has emanated solely from the diocese). There are several explanations for this pliability: The diocese are flattered by the need for the AC to have a greater… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Froghole
3 days ago

I think there might be two different things going on. The good people of the diocese of Canterbury can see that they get less of their diocesan bishop’s time than do most dioceses, and that instead they get the Bishop of Dover; they therefore not unreasonably want to have as much of a say in the nomination to Dover as other dioceses have in their respective nominations. So they were willing to trade some of their input to their diocesan nomination in return for getting a CNC-style process for Dover. And coming from the other end are those who want… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
3 days ago

Many thanks indeed for that. I am pretty confident that your explanations are much the more plausible. Presumably the second party to which you refer is rather more influential than the first. Another tendency I have noted is for the archbishop of Canterbury to devote more and more time to Anglican Communion affairs, and for the last two archbishops of York to function more and more as proxies for the archbishop of Canterbury as de facto leader or deputy of the Church of England. This is in marked contrast to some previous archbishops of York (if I think of Donald… Read more »

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