Thinking Anglicans

General Synod Questions

The Questions (and answers) for next week’s meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod were issued today. They can be found online here: QUESTIONS Notice Paper November 2023 FINAL.

Questions will be taken in two groups; on Monday from 2.50pm to 4.30pm, any questions relating to Living in Love and Faith matters will be taken first, followed by other questions rotating through the boards and councils as is customary. Questions will resume at 11.45am on Tuesday 14 November until 12.45pm.

Update

Q56 and Q64 have been provided with the wrong answers in the Questions Notice Paper. The correct answers are in Notice Paper 8.

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Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
5 months ago

There seems to be an assumption that if there is more money about, we will be able to fill more parish vacancies. But we are now in a position where ordained clergy are a scarce resource and more money will have near zero impact on the immediate availability of clergy. We are not recruiting new clergy at the necessary replacement rate to maintain numbers as is evident from the figures in answer to those questions. So we are in danger of missing the point – focussing on money will not provide the whole solution.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Mark Bennet
5 months ago

My sense is that clergy are recruited nowadays to be more of a district manager than as parish priests. That ought to be no surprise given the significant number of bishops who have no experience of parish ministry themselves, save for a short curacy.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
5 months ago

It won’t go unnoticed that it seems the vast majority of LLF questions are from ConEvos. Plug them into a socket and only a power cut can silence them. Are they on the back foot or something? It was bad in my day; it now seems worse.

Nic Tall
Nic Tall
Reply to  Anthony Archer
5 months ago

The inclusive lot put some questions together in July. The conservatives asked three times as many questions. It’s like it’s all they think about.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Nic Tall
5 months ago

C. S. Lewis said the sins he was most bothered about in others were the sins he had a tendency to himself.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Anthony Archer
5 months ago

Luke 15:1-2 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” These days Jesus would be eating with gay couples, immigrants, trans and queer people – and probably women who have had abortions. I’m guessing that the people gathered for the Sermon on the Mount wouldn’t be much dissimilar to a Pride march. Con Evos would be very uncomfortable. Jesus, the shepherd, came to gather in the strays. I don’t understand why the “orthodox” crowd are so fixated… Read more »

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Kate Keates
5 months ago

Kate, I don’t think that the ConEvos see Jesus and his life and work in the same way as you and I do. It seems inescapable to me that he was a working class bloke who became an itinerant preacher for the last few years of his earthly life and who spent almost all of his time with the dregs of his society. I find all that compelling but I suspect that the ConEvos see that as largely incidental.

David Rowett
David Rowett
Reply to  Fr Dean
5 months ago

I read a hypothesis once that, within some Christian groups, and perhaps in the unconscious thinking of many Christians, Chalcedon has never really been taken on board, and that the humanity of Jesus is in some measure subordinate to his divinity. It might then be a beguiling path to interpret Jesus’ words and actions through the lens of a particular understanding of the divine, and if that view of the divine is shaped by doctrines like the penal substitutionary theory of the atonement, say, Jesus’ interactions with ‘the dregs’ might be interpreted differently. I feel I’ve put that very badly,… Read more »

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  David Rowett
5 months ago

I think that you’re very astute.

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Anthony Archer
5 months ago

The question and answer session gives the bishops an opportunity to be pastoral to show humility over an issue and a process they have mishandled. But the answers show neither.

PatrickT
PatrickT
5 months ago

Others may be used to this stuff, I just find it depressing almost beyond measure. It is so sad to see power being used to face down (and frankly, laugh in the face of) people asking questions of those making decisions. Not a scrap of accountability or concern in most of the responses. The bishops must know how this looks, and that the answers are largely arid, uncaring, and hopeless. Those individuals who drafted these answers need to take a long hard look in the mirror and ask themselves whether they are really working for the benefit of the church.… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  PatrickT
5 months ago

I have some sympathy with the House of Bishops not sharing legal advice, for the reasons the answers to the relevant questions state. The Hofmeyr, Dunnett CEEC crew are desperate to know the legal basis that is being adopted, as they want their own lawyers to support the derailing of the process at as many places on the way as possible, including possible litigation (not that a court, even an ecclesiastical one, is likely to play game). But where I have considerable difficulty is with the House of Bishops hiding behind the ‘episcopally led, synodically governed’ stuff and basically saying… Read more »

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