Thinking Anglicans

General Synod Questions

The Church of England’s General Synod will hold its Questions session on Wednesday this week, starting not later than 17:45. The questions (and their answers) have been published this morning. These questions and answers will not be read out on Wednesday, and the session will be devoted to supplementary questions and answers.

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Perry ButlerCharles ReadRobin WardRichard W. SymondsEdward Prebble Recent comment authors
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Father David
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Father David

The answer to question 93 about Bishop George Bell is grossly inadequate. To resort to good disagreement over this issue is a travesty of justice when every court in the land would find the good and holy bishop to be absolutely innocent of any such alleged offence.

peterpi -- Peter Gross
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peterpi -- Peter Gross

On the contrary, when there is a decades-old allegation against a deceased individual, when possibly the only two witnesses to the event were the accuser and the deceased, I think the Bishop to the Armed Forces answered as best as he could. “The legitimate quest for certainty in connection with allegations made against the late Bishop George Bell has been defeated by the nature of the case and the passage of time. Bishop Bell cannot be proven guilty, nor can it be safely claimed that the original complainant, ‘Carol’, has been discredited. There is an uncertainty which cannot be resolved.”… Read more »

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Question 93 on Bishop Bell. Proclaiming him innocent of these unsubstantiated charges does not undermine the claims of ‘Carol’. That something happened is almost certainly true. However the abject failure of the original ‘core group’ investigating the allegations, the report of Lord Carlile and the recent report on the further allegations together indicate the complete shambles this issue has become. It’s very significant the Carlile was precluded from investigating the initial allegations and limited to a review of process, thus excusing the original core group from further scrutiny of their responsibility. Here the response to the question yet again suggests… Read more »

Edward Prebble
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Edward Prebble

This comment may belong better in the thread a couple below, but if attention has moved here, then so shall I. There is a piece in the puzzle about George Bell that escapes me, and I hope someone can put me right I very much hope that Bell will be exonerated and declared innocent. As one who was baptised by him in NZ in 1949 (thus giving him an alibi for one of the occasions when he was accused of molesting “Carol”) I have always held him in special regard. I understand that Carlile has found the original investigation to… Read more »

David Emmott
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David Emmott

How hard it must be for members of General Synod to keep a sense of perspective and above all an awareness of the risen Christ. I don’t doubt that the vast majority of them are faithful and devout Christians, but there is very little of the spirit of the Gospel in those questions or answers. Perhaps another question is called for: what encouragement and provision is there for Synod members to prepare for sessions by means of an annual silent retreat?

Richard W. Symonds
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Mr Emmott’s words remind me of a talk given by Bishop Bell in Edinburgh on December 2 1941 [quoted in the 1986 booklet “Power Unlimited And Exclusive – Nuclear Arms and the Vision of George Bell” by the late Peter Walker, Bishop of Ely]: “It is, I think, extraordinarily important that we should keep the conception of the Church with a mission, and the Militant Church, in the very centre of our thinking. The Church is not a sort of universal boudoir where people meet and take their ease and keep their minds away from serious things…There is an intensity… Read more »

Charles Read
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Charles Read

Question time is the one chance we get, on behalf of those who elected us, to hold the great and the good to account. Some abuse questions by asking ones that are offensive (plenty of examples this time), but generally this is an opportunity for Gospel justice.

T Pott
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T Pott

But hardly any one did elect you.

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

TPott makes an important point. The percentage of the electorate who vote is, i believe, around 50%.I simply dont understand why it is so low. When i was in full time ministry I always voted and urged my deanery reps to do so.

Charles Read
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Charles Read

Yes, it varies from diocese to diocese. There is also a problem with too few candidates in some dioceses, which results in rather unrepresentative sets of GS members being elected.

Charles Read
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Charles Read

Would you like to see the voting spreadsheet?

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

It would be interesting to see it. If you dont want to post it here send it to my e mail holmado@aol.com

Robin Ward
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Robin Ward

The Bishop to the Armed Forces manages as usual not to answer the question that comes up in these sessions as Q92. So I will have a go. One diocesan bishop – Chichester; one area bishop – Wakefield; two suffragan bishops – Burnley & Fulham; four PEVs – Ebbsfleet, Richborough, Beverley, Maidstone; no Deans; three archdeacons – London, Hastings, Chichester. In addition, one stipendiary canon – the Chancellor of Valletta; one theological college Principal, myself; one course Principal, Robert Hannaford, Director of Cumbria Christian Learning.