Thinking Anglicans

Meeting of the House of Bishops, 24 November 2021

Church of England press release

The House of Bishops met on Wednesday 24 November remotely via Zoom.

The House was updated and approved the direction of travel of work currently relating to the review of ministerial formation. The House then received a series of updates on the Emerging Church workstreams. An update was given to the House on the Transforming Effectiveness workstream, followed by reflections on the reception given to the Governance Review Group and Vision and Strategy presentations at November Synod.

The meeting ended in prayer.

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Dominic Barrington
Dominic Barrington
11 days ago

I don’t like to sound negative, and I know a number of members of the HoB, all of whom I respect and admire. But… it is depressing that a summary of their meeting is 3.5 lines of pure jargon. I understand what ministerial formation is, but I have no real clue about how what ‘Transforming Effectiveness’, ‘Governance Review’, and ‘Vision and Strategy’ actually do in the name of the Gospel. Tragically, the text sounds as if it could have been written by Jonathan Lynn and Anthony Jay for an ecclesiastical equivalent of Sir Humphrey speaking to a bemused Jim Hacker… Read more »

Alison Menage
Alison Menage
Reply to  Dominic Barrington
10 days ago

Said it in a nutshell!!

PatrickT
PatrickT
Reply to  Dominic Barrington
10 days ago

Seriously, I think it would be worth contacting members of HoB known to you, including a copy of this press release, and asking them whether this adequately reflects their meeting, because to me it sounds formulaic. Maybe media staff need to be helped to find ways of conveying effectively the content of HoBs meetings to a wider audience.

Simon Kershaw
Simon Kershaw(@simon-kershaw)
Admin
Reply to  PatrickT
10 days ago

Perhaps asking them how much of what was discussed was so confidential as to justify such lack of detail.

Adrian
Adrian
Reply to  Dominic Barrington
10 days ago

This appears to say far more than it means to, though much less than it might.
One interesting factor is where a decision is taken by the HoB, and requires approval, or when decisions are taken elsewhere and so no approval is sought. Hence
Ministerial formation = HoB decision = approval sought
Everything else = updates only.
Surely that does not reflect how decisions are made?

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
10 days ago

People have often commented that these statements are bland. I don’t know how I would characterise this one…to most of us well nigh incomprehensible. I suspect for some the prayer was thank goodness that’s over.Amen.

Stanley Monkhouse
10 days ago

Ministerial formation. Anecdote alert. Over the last fifteen years the demands made on the newly ordained have increased very considerably. In 2006-8 (my experience) attendance at training events, weekends and diocesan conferences was rightly demanded. But that’s all. This changed soon after when portfolios and assignments were introduced. Now there are specialised diocesan posts for the administration of this industry and the assessment of assignments, This may or may not be appropriate, but what troubles me is that it seems one size has to fit all.  It seems not to matter what the minister has done previously, how long they… Read more »

Georges Staelens
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
10 days ago

That is very true. Specific requirements should be put in place for the bivocational priests and deacons.

Rev'd Peter Lear
Rev'd Peter Lear
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
10 days ago

My experience of ordination selection and training was profoundly de-skilling. Hardly any credit was given for 30 years in public service, nor 10 years as a Reader. Ordained in 1998.

David Rowett
David Rowett
Reply to  Rev'd Peter Lear
9 days ago

I get the impression that the Church moves in cycles on this one. Throughout the 60’s and 70’s the Church wanted folk to ‘Get Experience of the World’ (ie mortgage and two kids) before approaching the DDO. Presumably this was a reaction against all those promising but naive types coming direct from the universities, but it ended many a vocation to ordained ministry. (I’m not sure they did anything with that experience at Cuddesdon et al, but it probably meant they acquired a bit of accommodation for marrieds.) Then, In My Day (thus saith the geriatric), it was assumed that… Read more »

Clare Amos
Clare Amos
10 days ago

I have to say that I think that this report can only be described as ‘parody’. Better not to have any report at all than this ridiculous twaddle.

Alison Menage
Alison Menage
Reply to  Clare Amos
10 days ago

Well said!!

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Clare Amos
10 days ago

If there was a like button on your post I would press it 🙂

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
10 days ago

If anything could describe the entropy in the Church of England this press release fulfils that if nothing else.

mikethecanon
mikethecanon
10 days ago

And Jesus took his disciples aside and said to them: “We shall evaluate our emerging workstream before moving on to Capernaum and the surrounding villages.” And his disciples said among themselves: “He needs a lot of prayer”.

John Wallace
John Wallace
10 days ago

I’ve often thought that none of our Lord’s disciples would have been accepted for ordination in the C of E. Peter would have been rejected as too impetuous, too unstable. James and John (the Sons of Thunder) would have failed in term of anger management. Matthew’s past seems very dodgy. Simon Zelotes held such extreme political views that he would be a reputational risk. I could go on but (cynically) may be Judas; after all he appeared to be a safe pair of hands managing the budget and the slurs on him in John’s Gospel were not substantiated elsewhere. On… Read more »

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  John Wallace
10 days ago

I’ve heard an aside in a sermon along those lines, though in that case it was thought that Paul wouldn’t get past selection while Peter would be told to go and get a couple of A-Levels and come back.

Lottie E Allen
Reply to  John Wallace
7 days ago

Well said. Most of the Disciples would fail current ministerial selection on two counts.

Firstly most of them had what we would now call “a criminal record”.

Secondly all of them were prepared to take risks in the service of the Gospel…

Marise Hargreaves
Marise Hargreaves
10 days ago

The foolish man built his House upon the sand. The rain came down, the floods came up and the wind blew and battered that house, and it fell with a great crash, Just about sums all of this up really. Glad they had a nice meeting though and had a prayer. Good grief…….

Dave
Dave
10 days ago

I wonder what a similar summary of a meeting of the Bishops of the RC Church in England, or the Bishops of the Church in Wales, or the Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church would look like. Presumably far less jargon and far fewer under managers…

Filigree Jones
Filigree Jones
10 days ago

What mainly strikes me about this press release is how supine the HoB now sounds. It’s the repeated use of the passive tense – the House was updated, an update was given to the House etc. I couldn’t tell whether the reflections referred to at the end were also ‘given to the House’ or whether the bishops did the reflecting themselves. What’s clear is that most of the real thinking, planning and decision making is now being done not by the bishops but within the NCIs with the HoB briefed from time to time and asked to rubber stamp.If meetings… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Simon Kershaw(@simon-kershaw)
Admin
Reply to  Filigree Jones
9 days ago

Or perhaps done in committees of the HoB, which then report back to the full House?

David Lamming
David Lamming
9 days ago

This press release is worse than meaningless. Proceedings of General Synod are livestreamed, with the YouTube video available for anyone to view subsequently and, albeit after a substantial delay, a verbatim ‘Report of Proceedings’ (a Synod ‘Hansard‘) is published. Likewise, if the House of Clergy or House of Laity meet separately, a record of their proceedings is made available at a later date. I’d like to suggest that a member of General Synod (perhaps one of the many new members) table a private member’s motion (‘PMM’) requiring meetings of the HoB to be public meetings, with publication of a full… Read more »

notconvinced
notconvinced
6 days ago

This raises the far wider question of the sheer non-accountability of bishops and a fair swathe of eccelsiastical administration. The Leveson Enquiry saw newspaper editors required, under oath, to answer and then justify their answers to direct questions. And, for the very first time in the IICSA proceedings, the same requirement was applied to Bishops and other ecclesial senior staff. Both were electric to watch; very senior people not used to cross examination of this kind was ground-breaking. Some acquitted themselves very well, others did not. But we managed to get a much clearer picture of the eccesiastical machinery at… Read more »

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
5 days ago

I’ve only just come to this. Surely the explanation is that, while the successor to the Bishop at Lambeth is not yet fully in place, these releases are being written by William Nye? If this is so, his over-riding concern is always that no information is ever given to anyone unless it is absolutely necessary. After all, he didn’t spend time in the office of the Royal personage known (in Private Eye) as ‘Brian’ without learning the most basic trick of the trade: say nothing and keep the b***ers guessing!

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