Thinking Anglicans

House of Bishops Meeting – 29 September 2020

Press release from the Church of England

House of Bishops Meeting – 29 September 2020
29/09/2020

A meeting of the House of Bishops took place today Tuesday 29 September 2020 via Zoom.

The focus of the meeting was a reflective practice consideration of the Church’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic to date, lessons learnt over the recent months and priorities for the future. The House agreed that its priorities for the future will include working closely with the local civic authorities to deal appropriately with the next phase of the pandemic across the regions.

The House also received updates from the various works streams operating under the auspices of the Emerging Church Groups. An overview by the Chair of the Co-ordinating Group, the Bishop of Manchester was followed by brief reports from the Chair of the Recovery Group, the Vision and Strategy Group, the Governance Group and the Transforming Effectiveness Group.

The House was then updated by the Director of Safeguarding on a range of safeguarding matters.

The House welcomed last week’s announcement by the Archbishops regarding the proposed interim pilot support scheme for survivors which will offer immediate support for those who have come forward. A permanent survivor redress scheme will be established with the final sum involved, to ensure full funding of the redress scheme, not yet finalised.

The House expressed support for the Archbishops’ Council’s statement last week giving a commitment to pursue the principle of independent safeguarding and agreed with the Council’s recognition of the need for greater independence and transparency of safeguarding.

In its reflective practice session in the second half of the meeting, the House reflected on the Church’s response to Covid-19 and the lessons learnt since the pandemic began. As well as underlining the importance of worship in church buildings for the health and soul of the nation, the House reviewed how the Church could go on learning from the many positive developments of recent months, such as the growth of online worshipping communities, the huge success of Church’s digital engagement and the Church’s enhanced outreach via digital media to younger people and BAME communities. The reflection began with an introduction by the Archbishop of Canterbury, followed by plenary discussion introduced by the Bishop of London. The refection concluded with a discussion and feedback led by the Archbishop of York.

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Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
26 days ago

“The House expressed support for the Archbishops’ Council’s statement last week giving a commitment to pursue the principle of independent safeguarding and agreed with the Council’s recognition of the need for greater independence and transparency of safeguarding”

“a commitment to pursue the principle of independent safeguarding…” ?!

This reminds of a wonderful “Yes, Minister” [or was it “Yes, Prime Minister”?] episode, in which the all-male Cabinet agreed “a commitment to pursue” greater equality for women at the top of Government..

Last edited 26 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
26 days ago

Just as a light relief, here is the “Yes Minister” episode – ‘Equal Opportunities” – and the all-male Cabinet meeting kicks in after 19 minutes:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=yes+minister+equal+opportunities+subtitles&docid=608011114204236937&mid=F8B52A12A2E01FB3C3E1F8B52A12A2E01FB3C3E1&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

Sam Jones
Sam Jones
26 days ago

Another bland and utterly meaningless press release. The C of E is close to collapse and this statement says absolutely nothing about it. I hope the bishops know what they are doing even if they won’t tell us!

Michael
Michael
25 days ago
Reply to  Sam Jones

When I saw the phrase ‘lessons learnt’ I knew that it would be utterly meaningless. Nothing about churches which are still locked, nothing about churches which have opened only for an hour or two on Sunday, nothing about sudden severe financial stress of churches caused by inept hierarchy, nothing to say to clergy trying to hold things together, nothing to say to laity (like me) who have been locked out of church life since March. Avid tweeters like the bishop of Liverpool should spend less time posting misogynistic insults at those who dare to disagree with them and give some… Read more »

Paul
Paul
26 days ago

I don’t know who writes these press releases, but whoever it is is brilliant at writing at length, and at the same time saying nothing of any consequence.

Marise Hargreaves
Marise Hargreaves
25 days ago
Reply to  Paul

Maybe whoever wrote it gave an accurate reflection of what went on in the meeting – went on at length but said nothing of any consequence……. just a thought.

Kate
Kate
25 days ago

Very possible. Large meetings in any context are not renowned for getting much done

Kate
Kate
26 days ago

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Lot’s of preoccupation with the Church of England in this press release; not a single mention of God.

D John
D John
25 days ago

“..As well as underlining the importance of worship in church buildings for the health and soul of the nation..”
Is this the nearest we are going to get to an apology and acknowledgement that the decision to close churches earlier in the year was wrong?

David Lamming
David Lamming
25 days ago

So, no mention at this meeting of the request by Mary Durlacher that the HoB consider authorising the distribution of consecrated wine in individual communion cups as a pro tem measure during the current pandemic (so that the laity may receive communion ‘in both kinds’), nor of whether the bishops accept the detailed Opinion of the six barristers (three of whom are members of General Synod) that such distribution would be lawful and not contrary to Canon Law. Contrast this from the press statement after the last meeting of the House of Bishops on 17 September 2020: “The current position… Read more »

Last edited 25 days ago by David Lamming
Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
25 days ago
Reply to  David Lamming

“a commitment to pursue the principle of independent safeguarding and…recognition of the need for greater independence and transparency of safeguarding”

That all-too-familiar nonsense is all we are going to get from the Church hierarchs.

Roll on midday next Tuesday [Oct 6], when the IICSA report is made public.

Last edited 25 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
Michael
Michael
24 days ago
Reply to  David Lamming

It doesn’t affect them. Every time they celebrate communion, they receive in both kinds. I do not know what is the extent of their powers but if they continue to defer making any decision, and communion in one kind for the laity becomes permanent, what then? The same problem manifests itself where clergy continue to celebrate communion alone, either at home or in church behind locked doors. As Froghole noted elsewhere, parishioners are becoming unchurched because there is no local church and they do not tend to travel further afield. That is happening to lifelong Anglicans like me. No church… Read more »

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
24 days ago

The significant material is what they don’t tell us in these utterly meaningless statements. As I said in a previous thread (after hearing grumbling and murminging on the edges of the recent York consecrations) bishops of a certain age are being (or have been) written to enquiring about their proposed retirement date. This is to enable the pieces of the jigsaw to be lined up so that sees can remain vacant, thus saving a few quid. Whether these are diocesan or suffragan sees, I know not. Presumably, every diocese needs a bishop. What it doesn’t need is multiple suffragans. In… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
23 days ago

As ‘Froghole’ says over at ‘Surviving Church’: “Frankly, if the Church had made these announcements at least several months ago it would look less like the Church is engaging in a form of plea bargaining with IICSA or getting its PR management in before the recommendations are published. The Church could easily have issued and implemented substantial proposals some time ago: after all, the IICSA hearings on Chichester started as long ago as March 2018, and the Church can be surprisingly fleet of foot when it wants to be” And as the sophistry of the House of Bishops/Archbishops’ Council has… Read more »

Last edited 23 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
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