Thinking Anglicans

July General Synod to take place online

Next month’s meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod will now be held remotely via Zoom. This has necessitated some changes to the timetable; the amended version is online and is copied below the fold.

The following press release explains the change.

July Synod to take place online
17/06/2021

The annual July meeting of the Church of England General Synod, due to take place in London, will now be held online following the Government decision to delay the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions for a month.

Synod’s Business Committee examined alternatives including a hybrid meeting or reduced attendance to comply with restrictions but has reluctantly concluded that the only viable option is to hold the group of sessions from July 9 to 12 remotely.

As a result, the timetable for the event has been slimmed down slightly, with some items better suited to a face-to-face meeting postponed and some extra screen breaks introduced.

In a letter to Synod members, the Clerk to the Synod Dr Jacqui Philips, said: “The Committee gave careful consideration to all options, including an in-person meeting, a hybrid meeting and a remote meeting.

“The Committee took legal advice regarding the ongoing restrictions and considered the health and safety options for a physical, socially-distanced meeting in Church House Westminster.

“Having done so, the Committee very reluctantly concluded that the only safe and deliverable option for next month is for Synod to meet on a remote basis.”

  • Papers for Synod will be published on Thursday June 24 on the Synod section of the Church of England website.
  • The revised timetable is now available.

GENERAL SYNOD: JULY 2021 TIMETABLE: REMOTE MEETING

Friday 9 July

12.30 pm – 7.15 pm
Opening worship
Introduction and welcomes
Presidential Address
Business Committee Report
Racial Justice presentation
2.00 pm – 2.15 pm SCREEN BREAK
Implementing the Recommendations of “Responsible Representation” GS 2202
4.35 pm – 4.50 pm SCREEN BREAK
The National Investing Bodies’ approach to Climate Change: Update
Joint Covenant Advocacy and Monitoring Group
*6.00 pm Question Time
7.15 pm Close of Business

Saturday 10 July

9.00 am – 12.45 pm
Opening worship
Joint Presentation by the Archbishops’ Council and the Church Commissioners on their Annual Reports (presentation with questions)
2022 Budget and Apportionment
11.10 am – 11.30 am SCREEN BREAK
Revised allocation of Seats for General Synod Elections
Safeguarding (presentation with questions)

2.00 pm – 7.00 pm
57th Standing Orders Report
3.30 pm – 3.45 pm SCREEN BREAK
Living in Love and Faith: Passing the baton (presentation)
Special Agenda I: Draft Legislative Reform (Church Commissioners) Order
5.30 pm – 5.45 pm SCREEN BREAK
Responding to the Housing Crisis: What is the role of the Church?

Sunday 11 July

2.15 pm – 7.00 pm
Opening worship
Special Agenda I: Church Representation Rules (Amendment) Resolution
Special Agenda I: Draft Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) (Amendment) Regulations 2021
4.10 pm – 4.30 pm SCREEN BREAK
The Nature of Ordained Public Ministry
Clergy Discipline Measure (take note debate)
Appointments:
• Chair of AC Finance Committee
• Auditors

Monday 12 July

9.00 am – 12.40 pm
Opening worship
Mission in Revision: A review of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011
10.25 am – 10.40 am SCREEN BREAK
Vision and Strategy Debate (presentation & debate)
Transforming Effectiveness (presentation with questions)

1.45 pm – 7.00 pm
Report from the Implementation and Dialogue Group (take note debate)
PMM: Five Guiding Principles
3.45 pm – 4.00 pm SCREEN BREAK
Amendments to CNC Standing Orders
Special Agenda I: Vacancy in See Regulations 2021
5.30 pm – 5.45 pm SCREEN BREAK
Farewells
*6.30 pm Announcement of Dissolution
Service of the Word
*7.00 pm Prorogation and Dissolution

Deemed Business:
Church of England Funded Pension Scheme Rules 2021,
Legal Officers (Annual Fees) Order 2021,
Ecclesiastical Judges, Legal Officers and Others (Fees) Order 2021,
and some amendments to the Standing Orders

* not later than

Please note that all timings are indicative unless marked with an asterisk
Deadline for receipt of questions: 1200 hrs Tuesday 29 June

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Michael H.
Michael H.
4 months ago

If I could predict months ago that General Synod would still be on Zoom in July, and I am an outsider, did anyone on the inside make the same prediction? The House of Bishops have skillfully used nearly 18 months of lockdown to push the Church of England off the cliff. My other long term prediction, made in July 2020 – House of Bishops will continue in their anti Gospel refusal to restore the common cup to the laity until at least 2024. I never cease to be amazed that a tiny number of people can do so much damage… Read more »

FrDavidH
FrDavidH
Reply to  Michael H.
4 months ago

When millions of people have been unable to attend cinemas, theatres, nightclubs etc. and have been unable to holiday abroad, I think it is grossly unfair to single out the closure of the CofE for special criticism. A horrible virus from Wuhan closed businesses and Churches. Surely it is Covid-19 that is “anti-gospel”.

Michael H.
Michael H.
Reply to  FrDavidH
4 months ago

This evening (Friday) tens of thousands of fans will be crowded in at Wembley and thousands more in bars and pubs. They will be singing their usual raucous chants. Meanwhile in barn sized churches, with few in attendance, singing of hymns remains forbidden and worshippers still have to sit metres apart, even those who have been fully vaccinated. . People can holiday abroad, by the way. They are deterred by the onerous and expensive testing and quarantine requirements. As a Welsh football fan said in Baku, Azerbaijan, I have done everything required of me, I have been locked up for… Read more »

FrDavidH
FrDavidH
Reply to  Michael H.
4 months ago

It is shocking how the new variants have ignored the trouble you have undergone to have yourself vaccinated. Perhaps you could tell it to stop transmuting again because it’s becoming tiresome, unchristian and a very unreasonable virus.

Michael H.
Michael H.
Reply to  FrDavidH
3 months ago

FrDavidH instead of telling me to talk to the virus (bizarre suggestion) perhaps you could advise me what I should say to the family of a dear friend who could take lockdown no more and took his own life on 11th June. Or two of my cousins, one with skin cancer, the other with stage 4 ovarian cancer, treatment on pause for months because NHS has focused on covid 19. Scientists are pressing for lockdown to be in place in November, the government will comply, so Synod will be meeting on Zoom in November. In March 2020, bishops were given… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  FrDavidH
4 months ago

https://www.scottishlegal.com/article/outer-house-judge-finds-closure-of-scottish-churches-disproportionate-interference-with-human-rights
 
However, religious leaders in Scotland have ensured that they, not the Government, take the decision on whether or not to open. Why couldn’t the Church of England at least try to do the same in England?

Michael H.
Michael H.
Reply to  Kate
4 months ago

Kate the situation in Scotland is different for several historical reasons. In England the Church is wealthy and complacent and has a privileged place in national life. There was never any chance of the Archbishop of Canterbury defending public worship because he said in March 2020 – public worship is not essential. He banned clergy from entering their churches. Not a single bishop spoke out against his edict. To return to the football analogy – the FA understands fans’ desperation to get back into stadiums and has worked hard to achieve this. The Church of England DOESN’T understand the desperation… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
Reply to  Michael H.
3 months ago

Football takes place outside. It’s still touch and go as to whether distancing will stop 10,000 supporters passing on the virus to some people, and the chain that follows, that still leads to hospitalisations and deaths. Especially when people have careless attitudes about the virus or think they are invincible now they have both jabs. . The longing we all have for a ‘return to 2019’ is very very understandable. But we’re not there yet. And though football is so much better with the fans (in limited numbers) in the stadium, again… football takes place outside. . So do the… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Susannah Clark
Toby Forward
Toby Forward
Reply to  Michael H.
4 months ago

My own preference would be not to restore the common cup at all. Medical evidence raised by the virus has exploded the myth of the antiseptic properties of silver and alcohol.

Michael H.
Michael H.
Reply to  Toby Forward
4 months ago

Toby – your response takes the discussion back 12 months when six barristers issued an opinion on the use of individual cups – which the House of Bishops arrogantly ignored. Communion in one kind for laity is here to stay for at least another three years (in my opinion) except in churches where clergy resume compliance with our Lord’s command.
It is astonishing that much blood was shed to ensure that laity received communion in both kinds, only for arrogant bishops to cancel that right with no consultation and now refuse to restore what they cancelled.

FrDavidH
FrDavidH
Reply to  Michael H.
4 months ago

I’ve always believed that if I wish to be advised on matters seriously affecting my health, a barrister is unlikely to be helpful.

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  FrDavidH
4 months ago

Health advice does not forbid individual cups. The bishops purport to do so, despite the barristers saying they have no power to do so. When it comes to the question of whether indicvidual cups are illegal a barrister is more qualified than a bishop to know

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
Reply to  Michael H.
3 months ago

Individual glasses can’t be common cups.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Toby Forward
3 months ago

But individual wafers can be “one bread”? Why are we tying ourselves in knots over this?

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
3 months ago

Hear hear!!!

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
3 months ago

Individual wafers are a practical solution to strewing the consecrated species everywhere. Individual glasses do the opposite and make a problem of dispersing it where none exists at present.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Toby Forward
3 months ago

And individual cups are a practical solution to not being able to share a common cup during a pandemic. The point is that both are equally a move away from one bread and one cup and from the dominical command. When we say things like “let’s have a cup of tea” or “let’s have a pint” we don’t envisage sharing the same cup or glass, and it isn’t obvious why sharing the sacrament has to always mean drinking from the same cup. (Personally I strongly support drinking from a common cup, and breaking bread from a single loaf, both of… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
3 months ago

Those who like me find individual cups un-Anglican would have a stronger argument if we had not embraced individual wafers and “the priest’s host” so uncritically. Large nun-baked hosts which break into many pieces are readily available.

dr.primrose
dr.primrose
Reply to  Allan Sheath
3 months ago

A friend of mine says that he has a much easier time believing that wafers are the real body that believing that wafers are real bread.

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Toby Forward
3 months ago

If you don’t think the common cup should be restored at all, then what alternative is there to using individual ones?

Charles Read
Reply to  Toby Forward
3 months ago

Individual wafers and individual cups are a substitute where a common loaf and cup are not possible. They are preferable to no bread or cup.

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
3 months ago

A remote meeting of General Synod?- or of some members? A decision-making meeting of 483 members and however many ‘officers’ in attendance, all on Zoom- heh that’s quite something. Maybe I’ve misunderstood or missed something, being not a member.
Maybe it makes little or no difference in actuality, reflecting the ‘old normal’, it may be thought?
So looking forward to reading papers – have cleared my diary for Thursday in anticipation.

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