Thinking Anglicans

House of Bishops Meeting – Monday 19 October 2020

Update The Church Times has written about the bishops’ meeting and a subsequent interview with the lead safeguarding bishop, Dr Jonathan Gibbs: Gibbs: independent body will supervise Church’s safeguarding.

Church of England press release

House of Bishops Meeting – Monday 19 October 2020
19/10/2020

A meeting of the House of Bishops took place today, Monday 19 October via Zoom.

From October, the House is now meeting once a month, a schedule which is likely to continue until Easter 2021.

The focus of the meeting was an opportunity for reflection and learning on the overarching IICSA report for the Anglican Church in England and Wales which was published on 6 October and had six recommendations for the Church of England.

The House discussed the two most significant themes from the report; proper redress for victims and survivors and greater independence in safeguarding decision making. The House was addressed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the lead safeguarding bishop and the National Director of Safeguarding. All spoke in favour of the motions put before the House (see below) and strongly urged the House to vote in their favour.

During the course of two plenary sessions and breakout groups the House reviewed the recommendations of the report, affirming that any response by the Church needs to be sensitive to, and mindful of, the views of victims and survivors.

The House unanimously endorsed a motion fully accepting the IICSA report, unreservedly apologising to victims and survivors for the harm done by the Church and committing itself to urgently implementing the recommendations.

The House also unanimously agreed with the proposal that the Church should move towards establishing an independent safeguarding structure, with a new trustee body responsible for safeguarding to take over responsibility for the Archbishops’ Council. The House also agreed that an interim arrangement be put in place for additional independent oversight of safeguarding, prior to the establishment of the new trustee body.

The House then underlined the importance of a full response to the IICSA report being released in the coming weeks.

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 given, followed by a brief report from the Chair of the Recovery Group, the Bishop of London regarding ongoing changes and updates to the guidance for worship, following the introduction of the tier system across the nation.

The Archbishop of York updated the House on the work of the Vision and Strategy Group and received the House’s endorsement for his work on developing a shared vision for the Church. Further updates were also given by the Governance Group and the Transforming Effectiveness Group.

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Shamus
Shamus
1 month ago

Can anyone help me to understand what “Transforming Effectiveness” is all about? Let me guess…it has something to do with “flourishing”.

Helen King
Helen King
1 month ago
Reply to  Shamus

The Transforming Effectiveness group is all about “Realigning the operating model of the national church”. Simples?

Stanley Monkhouse
1 month ago
Reply to  Helen King

“Pseud’s Corner” for this stuff? Such a hoot.

Pete Broadbent
Pete Broadbent
1 month ago

Try “subsidiarity” – which has a theological pedigree in social teaching. Don’t do at national level what could better be done at diocesan, Area, or parish level. Get rid of unjustifiable bureaucracy. Reduce duplication. Simplify.

Stanley Monkhouse
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete Broadbent

Tell them to use plain English.

David Lamming
David Lamming
1 month ago

This is, indeed, good news. At last the bishops as a whole are ‘getting it.’ There is fuller report of the meeting by Hattie Williams on the Church Times website, with comments made after the meeting by the Bishop of Huddersfield, Dr Jonathan Gibbs: https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2020/23-october/news/uk/gibbs-independent-body-will-supervise-church-s-safeguarding. One matter regrettably missing from the above press release, though, is any reference to the issue of the use of individual cups for the distribution of the consecrated wine during Holy Communion, in particular at a time when, for hygiene reasons, use of the common cup has been banned, with the result that the laity… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lamming

The public worship of the C of E is now more diverse than any time in my life (b 1949). We have everything from the roman rite done in a modern catholic way and a tridentine way theough a myriad of styles to services resembling modern freechurch or pentecostal worship. Common Prayer seems to have disappeared paradoxically with the advent of Common Worship. Of course some people think this diversity is wonderful. Not me.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
1 month ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

I could not agree more, Perry. And why only 6 barristers when 7 would be more biblical?

David Exham
David Exham
1 month ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

Lawyers don’t get much praise in the Gospels, however many there are!

David Lamming
David Lamming
1 month ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

This was a formally commissioned “Counsel’s Opinion” and so those signing it were all barristers in actual practice, with a current practising certificate. I’m not privy to how they were ‘recruited’ and whether or not more were invited to sign. All I would add is that I agree with the Opinion and would have been a signatory had I not now been retired from practice at the Bar: so there, maybe, is an explanation why there were not 7!

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
1 month ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

I haven’t a clue what the CofE is about anymore. Comprehensiveness has become incomprehensible.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
1 month ago
Reply to  FrDavid H

Comprehensiveness has become pluralism. Traditions are seen as discrete …you have your tradition, I have mine. All seem to be valid or they exist in tension and this (growing? endless?) diversity is supposedly enriching and traditions complementary. Actually it’s the polo mint church. You and I Father David grew up in a C of E where anglo-catholic/ evangelical/ liberal were emphases on a far greater shared core which, I would say, most people recognised. The traditions have now moved so far apart and are so varied within themselves it becomes harder to recognise any family resemblance at all. In a… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
1 month ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

I couldn’t agree more. Most folks today just see the hole in the polo mint church. If I had my time again, I wouldn’t join today’s vacuous, muddled conglomeration. I can’t see what the competing groups have to offer the nation.

Michael
Michael
1 month ago
Reply to  FrDavid H

I agree Fr David, it is vacuous and muddled. Yesterday in the Times, a phrase jumped out at me – covid purgatory. That neatly sums up how I feel. Lent 2 seems like an age ago but it is only 32 weeks. 24 weeks from now will be Easter Week 2021. I predict that there will still be tight restrictions in place on public worship, communion in one kind, face coverings, no singing, assuming that public worship hasn’t gone back into the deep freeze. I wouldn’t be surprised if churches will be locked again during Holy Week and Easter 2021.

Dave
Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

100% agree Perry and thank you for putting it so well.
Bishops get sniffy about individual communion cups, but not about churches which abandon the heritage and culture of the Church of England in favour of pentecostal worship.

Jill Armstead
Jill Armstead
1 month ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

Common Prayer alive and well in St Mary’s Barnham, Chichester dio.

H Stoker
H Stoker
1 month ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

Amen. Diversity has become disunity. Anglican identity undermined. Parish system under threat. Conformity thing of the past. Has the church of England finally become another protestant sect?

Dave
Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lamming

I can appreciate that some will feel the issue of individual communion cups to be important, David. However, I could understand if the Bishops were to admit it was not high on their agenda at their meeting.
What is to stop parishes using them? I understand some already are. After all sometimes law lags behind practice.

Jill Armstead
Jill Armstead
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lamming

Individual cups will not do for me – turns holy communion into a wine tasting event. What is the problem with reception in one kind?

David Lamming
David Lamming
1 month ago
Reply to  Jill Armstead

Article of Religion XXX: The Cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the Lay-people: for both the parts of the Lord’s Sacrament, by Christ’s ordinance and commandment, ought to be ministered to all Christian men alike.” (And, of course, for ‘men’ read ‘men and women’)

Kate
Kate
1 month ago

I thought clericalism and deference was another theme in the IICSA report and it is disappointing that HOB seems to be ignoring it.

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
1 month ago

I have no reason to doubt that the ABY is passionate about developing a vision for the Church. And I can see why the HOB would want to endorse his work. It looks proactive and positive. But calling something developed in this way a ‘shared vision’ is stretching it. In any case vision fatigue, of the type promoted by most dioceses, set in long ago. Not fatigue with the gospel and local opportunities. The HOB has a lot on it’s plate. Why add a national ‘shared vision’ to their agenda, when that’s not what most people in the parishes are… Read more »

Ann Reddecliffe
1 month ago

And no mention of the Living in Love and Faith project. Considering this is supposed to be published in early November and the implementation led by the bishops, it could have at least rated a few minutes discussion.

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
27 days ago

One effect of ‘Transforming Effectiveness’ is that House of Bishops’ Meetings have increased from four times a year to once a month. So how does that square with Pete Broadbent’s description of subsidiarity? Do everything locally, just so long as it’s on message and in accordance with the directives from Pyongyang?

One Bishop told me that everyone is exhausted by it and he looks forward to the next one with about as much enthusiasm as joining the M25 at rush hour.

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