Thinking Anglicans

House of Bishops Meeting – 24 June 2021

The Church of England House of Bishops met yesterday; here is the press release.

House of Bishops Meeting – 24th June 2021
24/06/2021

The House of Bishops met on the afternoon of Thursday 24th June remotely via Zoom.

The meeting began with the House wishing goodbye to the Bishop of Rochester, giving thanks for his ministry while welcoming Bishop Emma Ineson as the new Bishop to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. The House also noted this was the last House of Bishops meeting for Jonathan Neil Smith, who has worked for the NCIS for 40 years including many years serving the House of Bishops.

The Secretary General of the Church of England addressed the House in relation to proposals for the election of UK Minority Ethnic (UKME) observers to the House and its subcommittee. The House agreed the proposals and it is anticipated that the House will be asked to approve changes to its Standing Orders at its next meeting in July.

The House was then addressed by the Director of Libraries and Archives regarding the handling of Clergy Personal Files and approved an updated version of the House of Bishops 2018 policy. The updated June 2021 edition supports the earlier recommendation of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) recommendations on data sharing between the Church of England and the Church in Wales and clarifies the lawful basis on which clergy personal data is processed.

A short update was then given by the Social and Public Affairs Adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury regarding the Anti- Racism Task Force Report.

The Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich then introduced a series of proposals for delivering new ways of working and cost savings for the National Church institutions (NCIs). The House broke into regional groups and provided comment on the proposals.

The House was then addressed by the Deputy Director of Finance for the NCIs who gave an analysis of dioceses’ financial situation in the wake of the pandemic. The House was asked to take note of the analysis provided, with the Bishops considering what action individual dioceses could take to help improve the financial situation of parishes and further action to be taken to improve diocesan financial strength and sustainability.

The Bishop of Hereford then gave a short briefing on the Review of Clergy Remuneration which has been circulated with Synod papers and which will be discussed at a separate meting by the House of Clergy in July.

The meeting closed with a blessing given by the Archbishop of York.

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T Pott
T Pott
1 month ago

The House wished goodbye to the Bishop of Rochester. In the case of Mr Neil-Smith they merely noted it was his last meeting. What, I wonder, is the signirficance of noting someone’s last meeting, while stopping short of wishing him goodbye.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  T Pott
1 month ago

And “40 years including many years serving the House of Bishops”.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  T Pott
1 month ago

I have worked closely with Jonathan Neil-Smith at various times, while serving on the General Synod. His contribution to the NCIs, not just as Secretary to the House of Bishops, over 40 years has been immense. I hope the General Synod meeting virtually in July will recognise his service appropriately, rather more significant than the average diocesan bishop in my view! May he go well in retirement!

Dominic Barrington
Dominic Barrington
Reply to  T Pott
1 month ago

The formal language makes it sound very ungracious – but the difference, surely, pertains to someone who is a member of the House and someone who attends it. One hopes the legalese does not indicate a genuine sense of difference of regard for the two individuals concerned.

Dave
Dave
1 month ago

It seems to me most if not all of these topics and the discussion and opinions around them could be made fully public.

Why not, bishops, set an example in transparency and accountability – publish full minutes, whilst, if necessary only keeping confidential certain names or very sensitive material.

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
Reply to  Dave
1 month ago

I like the idea Dave, but c’mon I think we know why. Do we see the minutes of the Cabinet, or Politburo? I agree that what we do see is so anodyne as to be worthless and a good representation of the mushroom method of management and manifestation of institutional corruption. All power corrupts … I understand it to be a feature of narcissism to keep matters secret. In passing, will the Bishop to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York be at or attending or a member of General Synod in addition to or instead of the former Bishop at… Read more »

Dan BD
Reply to  God 'elp us all
1 month ago

The Bishop at Lambeth is not yet former, he retires in September. It’s the Bishop to the Forces, not the Bishop at Lambeth, who sits in the House of Bishops, and it’s been announced Ineson won’t be Forces. So if her membership of the House is desired, then a change of statutes would be required.

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
1 month ago

Sadly, the ‘revelations’ (much of them gleaned from trawling TA & the Church Times) about Winchester in the Daily Mail appeared too late to make it on to the HofB agenda. Not that we would be told if they did. But, the Mail has told us more than the Diocese is telling its own people, namely that Dame Mullally is conducting an informal investigation (as if she doesn’t have enough on her plate already).

The six weeks is up next Thursday.

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Bill Broadhead
1 month ago

See new article on TA to appear shortly, for details of today’s Daily Mail and other new material.

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