Thinking Anglicans

House of Bishops meeting: 29 November

Press release from the Church of England

House of Bishops meeting: 29 November
29/11/2023

The House of Bishops met online on the morning of 29 November 2023.

The House considered the November Group of Sessions of General Synod, including next steps required following the vote on Prayers of Love and Faith.

It was agreed that a motion for the commendation of the “Prayers of Love and Faith: resource section” would take place at a further meeting before the end of the year. This aligns with the timescale indicated at Synod.

There was also consideration of the House of Bishops’ processes, with The House agreeing to begin a review with a focus on increasing transparency. The House voted in favour of immediate steps to publish summaries of meetings, and to set up a task-and-finish group to make recommendations to the House on potential improvements. A fuller summary of the meeting will be published in the coming days, in accordance with this.

The meeting ended in prayer.

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Kate Keates
Kate Keates
3 months ago

It’s baby steps but it suggests that at least some bishops recognise the trust deficit which has developed.

Adrian
Adrian
3 months ago

Although I am repeating myself, the Nolan Committee produced a report in 1995 which set out standards for public life: The principles were Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty and Leadership.Is there any reason why in 2023 we are still waiting for these to be accepted as guiding principles for the Church of England? I would have expected anyone in ministry in 1995 to have noted them and internalised them into their reflective practice. I don’t recall them being in the Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of the Clergy, though trust certainly is there. Is my memory wrong?

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Adrian
3 months ago

Likely for the same reason that, after two thousand years, we still struggle with applying 1 Corinthians 13 to our community life!

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
3 months ago

“a task-and-finish group”
Is this a fast food outlet or a Church ?
But no worries!
Archbishop Welby rounds off the season of “peace on earth” with a Jan 1 talk from RAF Brize Norton. No doubt reflecting on how civilians blown up by RAF armaments are finally at peace.

Shamus
Shamus
Reply to  David Hawkins
3 months ago

Yes, I’m so behind the curve on these terrible jargon filled church press releases, I had to look up “task-and-finish group”. I got the impression it isn’t normally hyphenated, but I guess it looks more hip and groovy (reveals his age with that phrase) that way.

David Exham
David Exham
Reply to  David Hawkins
3 months ago

Please don’t be rude to the RAF.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  David Exham
3 months ago

Or to the Archbishop ….

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  David Runcorn
2 months ago

Like many survivors of church abuse, and survivor advocates, I find it very difficult not to be rude about the Archbishop. He has let us down so many times.

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Janet Fife
2 months ago

You are not being rude. You are being truthful.

Graham Holmes
Graham Holmes
Reply to  David Hawkins
3 months ago

David, you are right to point out the jargon. My take on that phrase was that they were trying to highlight that the default position of kicking the issue into the long grass was not being applied here.
However, my thought process about Brize Norton is the repatriation of our military dead. That leads itself to some serious reflection on our faith.
(Disclosure : Our son-in-law of 17 years retired in October, so this will be one of very few Christmas seasons he will spend with our grandsons, and we will not be wondering if he will come home safely.)

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
Reply to  David Hawkins
3 months ago

The British Isles have not been directly threatened since 1945 so if you give a talk from a RAF station you are really giving the Church’s endorsement to bombing places like Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. If you really want to value “service” why not give your talk from a lifeboat station where volunteers aim to save lives not end them ?
As usual.
Archbishop speaks with forked tongue.

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
Reply to  David Hawkins
3 months ago

No he doesn’t. He is an invidious position. He is trying to steer an organisation which has become increasingly irrelevant in 21st century society. To counter most of the anti Justin hostility on here. I just want to affirm all that he is trying to do, he is keeping grounded in local issues. When I have met him, his deep desire is to do good. He wants to make a positive difference in people’s lives. He asks the right questions, and I think grapples with an institution which is struggling to provide credible answers. Sometimes he deserves a break, and… Read more »

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Homeless Anglican
3 months ago

Completely with you HA.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Homeless Anglican
2 months ago

He has missed an awful lot of chances to do good to those the Church has abused.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  David Hawkins
2 months ago

The Archbishop has blundered his way through much of his term of office. The numbers attending worship declined dramatically even before Covid. He has failed the survivors of clerical abuse. He bungled the CofE’s response to the pandemic. He has presided over a good deal of can kicking over sexuality. He has almost no public profile outside of church circles in England – and the CofE is the established church. He hokey kokeyed over his sanctions on recalcitrant bishops in Africa. His appointments could at best be described as lacklustre. It is silly to expect us to go along with… Read more »

Susanna ( no ‘h’)
Susanna ( no ‘h’)
Reply to  Fr Dean
2 months ago

This neatly sums up how I see xx Welby’s time in office . The question I would ask Homeless Anglican is whether the Archbishop’s term has in fact added to the increasing irrelevance of the organisation?
Sadly the current position seems to be to cut the C of E off at its parochial roots and not make proper amends to those who have been harmed while hanging on grimly to all the upper echelons of privilege , and then wondering why the organisation does not thrive.

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
Reply to  Susanna ( no ‘h’)
2 months ago

I get what you are saying, but I think its too easy to blame ++Cantuar and Ebor. I think not enough questions have been asked about competency and capability at the parochial coal face, and not enough has been done to retrain, reshape and refocus clergy who are simply ineffective. Not enough theology and praxis has been done. Outside of the church, if I dont hit my targets (call them areas of focus and development, to avoid ire!) – however soft or hard they might be; then I will be out of a job or on a capability process. Sadly,… Read more »

Susanna ( no ‘h’)
Susanna ( no ‘h’)
Reply to  Homeless Anglican
2 months ago

Um…. This is where most of us work/ worked. But presumably those administrating your areas of ‘focus and development’ have theirs too- and so on up the beanstalk…?
At the pinnacle in the C of E are- Bishops, Archbishops and their Council . In your view are they powerless and/or exempt?

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Susanna ( no ‘h’)
2 months ago

He must correct me if I am wrong but I did not read Homeless Anglican making any claims that ++Justin’s tenure has been fault free. He was rightly highlighting what a complex and demanding task he has. I for one do not agree with all on Fr Dean’s lists of failings. And I think there are assumptions about just how much power an Archbishop actually has to directly change things. For what it is worth over the weekend between his awful encounter with inclusive and conservative groups and the General Synod, he fitted in a mission weekend here in Exeter… Read more »

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
Reply to  David Runcorn
2 months ago

I agree David – that is what I meant! We have developed such a culture of blame in the church as everywhere else in politics and society. There are things that ++ archbishops have got wrong, but there is an awful lot they are getting right as well. I just think there is a need for more of a shared responsibility.

Francis James
Francis James
2 months ago

With ref to Welby speaking from RAF Brize Norton, it is worth noting that this is not a base for offensive airpower, and has not been since the mid-1960s. It is purely a base for Transport aircraft (including aero-medevac) & tankers. The only time that any NATO or RAF fighter or bomber would land there is if they had an in-flight emergency & it was nearest airfield.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Francis James
2 months ago

There are those who would argue that any support for a war-making apparatus is the same as engaging in war yourself. It is why some Quakers and Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse even non-combat roles in the military, such medical corps.

Alastair (living in Scotland)
Alastair (living in Scotland)
2 months ago

Interesting to note from news release that the meeting ended with prayer. No mention it started with prayer!

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Alastair (living in Scotland)
2 months ago

My experience of prayers at diocesan and deanery events could be summarised as “we do just ask you Lord that you will be with us and ensure that everyone agrees with whatever we decided at the pre-meeting”. Earthquakes and floods elsewhere were never mentioned whatever the death toll – the Lord was to keep a ‘happy’ ship locally, never mind Johnny Foreigner.

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