General Synod meets in York next month and the Church of England issued its usual pre-Synod press release this morning, and this is copied below the fold. It concentrates on one item (youth violence and knife crime).
Madeleine Davies in Church Times has a fuller preview of the Synod agenda: Synod to focus on youth violence and knife crime.
There are two other Church Times articles.
Invest in refugees, Synod motion proposes
Synod will be asked whether it ‘gladly bears’ eucharistic presidency by Methodist presbyters as ‘temporary anomaly’
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Church of England urged to offer haven from knife crime
Izzy Lyons and Laura FitzPatrick The Telegraph Churches should become knife crime sanctuaries with weapon amnesty bins, General Synod to discuss
Church of England Press release
Call for churches to act as safe havens in hot spots for serious youth violence
Churches will be encouraged to offer a place of sanctuary for young people as part of efforts to combat knife crime and serious youth violence, in a key debate to be held at the General Synod next month.
The Revd Canon Dr Rosemarie Mallett, a priest in Angell Town, south London, will urge parishes to consider opening their doors after school hours as safe havens for young people in hot spot areas for serious violence.
Dr Mallett, a prominent campaigner in combating knife crime, will lead a debate at the General Synod in York calling for church leaders to be trained to support families and communities affected.
She will call for churches to take a range of practical measures – from providing knife amnesty bins to training for clergy and other leaders to protect young people potentially vulnerable to ‘county lines’ exploitation.
But Dr Mallett will also highlight the unique spiritual dimension churches can bring through prayer and pastoral support for communities affected.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Dr Mallett said: “We must work with other organisations to find the best way to support young people in our parishes and our schools, and to be part of the solution to the challenges – not only of serious youth violence but the whole issue of young people who fall through the system.
“One way that churches can help is to provide safe havens for young people.
“This isn’t necessarily about running youth clubs, in many cases this may simply be providing a place where they can go, relax and feel safe, especially during the period immediately after school hours when flashpoints can occur.”
Serious youth violence will be one of the major issues discussed at the General Synod, the national assembly of the Church of England, when it meets at York University between Friday July 5 and Tuesday July 9.
Members will also hear details of plans to provide extra money to help the Church of England dioceses fund an increase in the number of people coming forward to train for the priesthood. The move follows a 23% rise in the number of people starting training for ordained ministry in the last two years, a key step forward in the Church of England’s programme of Renewal and Reform.
Other debates include a motion encouraging dioceses to help in enabling refugee doctors, teachers and other professionals to put their skills to work in the UK. Synod will be asked to adopt a Covenant on clergy care and well-being and to back moves towards a new relationship of communion between the Church of England and the Methodist Church in Great Britain.
Synod will also discuss the rise of new forms of church gatherings known as Fresh Expressions and the Setting God’s People Free programme, aimed at helping lay people to be confident in living out their faith in homes, schools, communities and places of work.
Members will hear a presidential address from the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu and a presentation by the Mothers’ Union worldwide president, Sheran Harper.