Thinking Anglicans

House of Bishops meeting – 26 July 2021

press release

The House of Bishops met on Monday 26th of July 2021 via Zoom
26/07/2021

The House of Bishops met on Monday 26th of July as the final meeting prior to the summer break.

Following a number of procedural items, the House reflected on the July Synod and looked forward towards the next quinquennium. The Clerk to the Synod addressed the House as to whether it might be necessary for the Synod to meet more frequently in 2022 or 2023, for reasons including the substantive work arising out of the Emerging Church work.

The House then turned its attention to potential implications for Anglican – Methodist LEPs and ecumenical relations following the decision of the July Methodist Conference to permit same-sex marriages to take place in Methodist churches. The Secretary General addressed the House, as did the Enabling Officer for the LLF project and Next Steps Group. The House agreed to seek advice on the matter from the Episcopal Reference Group of the Faith and Order Commission, with the House noting the need also to engage with the Archbishops’ Council.

The Bishop of Huddersfield, in his capacity as the lead bishop for safeguarding then updated the House on the Safeguarding National Casework Management System. The House agreed additional steps to help the project become more fully embedded in dioceses, with the National Safeguarding Team available for discussions regarding any particular concerns or issues for dioceses.

The Archbishops’ Adviser on Racial Justice then addressed the House on the next stage of the Commission of Racial Justice, commissioned by both Archbishops. The House was updated and invited to note the progress outlined so far towards implementing the recommendations from the Lament to Action report. In addition, the House also noted and commented upon the draft terms of reference for the Commission on Racial Justice.

The Bishop of London, in her capacity as Chair of the Recovery Group (now concluded) then updated the House on what is now permissible since 19th of July and confirmed that she and her colleagues will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation carefully as it continues to evolve.

The Archbishop of York then briefly updated the House on the Vision and Strategy workstream of the Emerging Church work. This was followed by the Bishop of Leeds who spoke to the Governance Reviews Group’s (GRG) work and report. The House noted the progress made to date, with the full report of the GRG to be presented and discussed at the September College of Bishops.

The meeting concluded with the Archbishop of York giving a blessing.

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Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
2 months ago

Am I alone in thinking that this press release gives the impression that the House of Bishops is oblivious to the storm of angst and anger around various issues currently to be found within the C of E?

Fr. Dean
Fr. Dean
2 months ago

It sounds as though the Methodist church is not going to be much in evidence in the Archbishop of York’s Emerging Church workstream. I shudder to think what crass sanctions they’ll impose on the Methodists for having the temerity to permit gay weddings in their churches. The Bishop of Leeds will no doubt be in charge of this aspect as part of the Governance Reviews Group. Ecumenism seems to be out of fashion at the moment but we don’t need any CofE sabre rattling at our non-conformist friends.

Adrian
Adrian
2 months ago

So… what happened to the need for work on the CDM and to appoint a lead bishop to take the work forward the direction that Synod wants it to go? Heads in the sand perhaps?

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
2 months ago

Regarding the first full paragraph, I see Philip North, for whom I have a good deal of respect, has taken to the C of E Newspaper to say that the General Synod needs evangelizing. The gist being that evangelism and unity need to be the priorities. So sorry to see a bishop, who has shown a tendency to think for himself, being the first one out of the starting blocks in an attempt to pull the next Synod into line. I think we can guess what the discussion around the General Synod was – and how many bishops were expressing… Read more »

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Bill Broadhead
2 months ago

I was surprised about the work of the recovery group being completed too. I think people will be looking for guidance for a while to come.

Mary Hancock
Mary Hancock
2 months ago

It’s almost like life in another galaxy…

Dr Michael Blyth
Dr Michael Blyth
Reply to  Mary Hancock
1 month ago

Lol. The detail in the press release can be summed up as “Nothing to see here. Move on. Time for the hols”.

Marise Hargreaves
Marise Hargreaves
2 months ago

This reads like the film ‘Downfall’ – the last days of those in the Fuhrer bunker – divorced from reality and ignoring the truth at the door. Still talking to each other about issues which have failed and are collapsing and having grand plans to take back ground lost with an army that no longer exists.Good grief – how much longer does this go on before someone actually speaks the truth?

Susannah Clark
2 months ago

‘The Clerk to the Synod addressed the House’… ‘The Secretary General addressed the House’… ‘The Bishop of Huddersfield updated the House’… ‘The Archbishops’ Adviser on Racial Justice then addressed the House’… ‘The Bishop of London… then updated the House’… ‘The Archbishop of York then briefly updated the House’… ‘Followed by the Bishop of Leeds who spoke to the GRG’s work and report’… honestly… OPAQUE. Now, while I should like the whole of these meetings livestreamed so Church members could observe them… even if there are arguments for and against this where there’s risk of privacy disclosures… Surely the 7 keynote… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Susannah Clark
2 months ago

Not to mention referring to people by their personal names as well as, if not rather than, their job titles.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
1 month ago

I’m rather in favour of being referred to by title rather than by name: I dare to hope that it reminds them that they are to speak and act with the authority and responsibility connected with that role rather than in a personal capacity.

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
1 month ago

I did say “as well as”. My point was nothing to do with what the people in the meeting call each other, but with how a press release should be worded. It’s possible that some of those reading this release would know who some of the office holders mentioned were, but in general most people, even active Church of England people, have no idea who the “Clerk to the Synod” is for example, or indeed what that role entails. Similarly for who is the “Enabling Officer for the LLF project” or the “Archbishops’ Adviser on Racial Justice”.

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
1 month ago

That’ll be Mr Nye’s handy work, Simon. He learnt the importance of titles and deference during his time at Clarence House working for the gentleman known in Private Eye as ‘Brian.’

Kate
Kate
1 month ago

The Church of England really needs to review its communication output. This is another woeful job. Surely the meeting cannot have been as pitiful as the write up suggests?

Last edited 1 month ago by Kate
John Wallace
John Wallace
Reply to  Kate
1 month ago

Obviously there was not enough paint that needed to be watched as it dried in episcopal residences. As Bill Broadhead noted, deference wins as does obfuscation. As Milton in Lycidas so aptly wrote:’The hungry sheep look up and are not fed’.

Jennifer ObJN
Jennifer ObJN
Reply to  John Wallace
1 month ago

‘The sheep are fed up and are no longer looking!’ (Michael Maxwell)

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