Thinking Anglicans

Pre-Synod press release

The usual pre-Synod press release has been issued by the Church of England today and is copied below. Synod papers are available here and links will be added to my earlier post here.

Services for same-sex couples, independence in safeguarding, dignity of disabled children: Synod papers published
20/06/2024

Outline proposals on the wider use of prayers asking for God’s blessing for same-sex couples are published today ahead of the annual summer meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod in York next month.

Possible arrangements for the use of the Prayers of Love and Faith in standalone services alongside delegating episcopal ministry and a foundational work to provide a timetable towards a decision on clergy in same-sex civil marriages are also set out as part of broad package in outline proposals designed to help hold the Church together amid deep disagreements over questions of sexuality.

Prayers of Love and Faith are already in use as part of regular services in some churches such as a Sunday eucharist or evensong. But Synod will consider whether and how they might also be used as special services in their own right for a trial period as well as related questions.

The proposals are set out in papers detailing business for the upcoming meeting of Synod from July 5 to 9 at the University of York.

Legislation to be discussed includes first consideration of a measure to overhaul the Church of England’s national governance structures.

Synod will also have the opportunity to debate proposed models for greater independence in Church safeguarding. These follow independent reports by Prof Alexis Jay, the former chair of the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and the barrister Sarah Wilkinson.

And members will scrutinise legislation to create a national redress scheme for victims and survivors of Church-related abuse.

There is also a private member’s motion calling for an inquiry into allegations of abuse and cover-up within the Soul Survivor network.

Synod will debate a motion brought by the Diocese of Liverpool on the human dignity of disabled children. The motion challenges the assumption that “bringing a disabled child into the world is a tragedy to be avoided” and calls for more support and advice for families during pregnancy and after birth.

The Bishop of Leicester, Martyn Snow, the lead bishop for the Church of England’s Living in Love and Faith process, said: “Working closely with people from across our different traditions and theological convictions over several months to develop these proposals I have been struck again and again by an enduring commitment to the unity of God’s church, even amid deep differences over questions of sexuality.

“There is much still to work out in detail but I believe these proposals provide an outline of how we might move forward together.

“It will require realism, give-and-take and a recognition that, as Christians, we hold a variety of views on these questions, all of which are held with integrity and all of which deserve respect.”

More information

Read papers and more information for the July 2024 General Synod Sessions in York

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Simon Gell
Simon Gell
1 month ago

GS 1384 provides the following overview of the current state of the C of E: Church attendance figures are down 19% since the pandemic (Statistics for Mission, early look 2023), and 29% below 2015 • In real terms, parish incomes are down 14% on pre-pandemic levels (Parish Finance Statistics 2022). • The number of regular givers has fallen from 538,000 in 2015 to 480,000 in 2019 and just over 400,000 today; and for the first time in 2022, the average amount given by regular givers has fallen in real terms • Parish share is down 9% since pre-pandemic (closer to… Read more »

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Simon Gell
1 month ago

‘Sackcloth and ashes’ would require an absence of hubris and a degree of self awareness not evident in the higher echelons of the CofE.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
1 month ago

Is this a bait and switch? Trade a temporary trial of stand alone services for permanent exemptions for traditionalists?

Mitch McLean
Mitch McLean
Reply to  Kate Keates
1 month ago

Less of a bait and switch.
More of a quid pro quo.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
Reply to  Mitch McLean
1 month ago

It is really simple. The more liberals pursue gay marriage, the greater the divide with traditionalists – as surely as night follows day. Is this not self evident?

Unity has its limits as the Day of judgement makes clear – for all those Bishops that like to quote the bible for their own political purposes.

Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
Reply to  Adrian Clarke
1 month ago

If I were a betting person the script for Synod runs ( under suffocating security ) 1 As a church we were all SO upset last time so we all want to play nicely this year 2) we all really REALLY want to stay together so the only possibility is NO SIGNIFICANT change- so bad luck all of you who dare to be different 3) Jay was a good use of money because she shut the Charity Commission up but some of the things she suggests go a BIT FAR and upset a lot of nice people like the abusers… Read more »

Gavin Drake
Reply to  Susanna (no ‘h’)
27 days ago

It’s not satire if it’s true

Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
Reply to  Gavin Drake
27 days ago

That’s a very perceptive comment Gavin . As the other news items begin to roll in I think that it looks less and less likely to count as satire by the end of synod

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