seventh General Synod of the Church of England will be inaugurated in Church
House, Westminster, by Her Majesty the Queen on Tuesday 14 November 2000.
The official inauguration will be preceded by a service of Holy Communion
in Westminster Abbey which the Queen will attend.
Synod will meet from 14 to 16 November, and its agenda includes the following business.
Themes and Priorities for the New Quinquennium: Report by the Archbishops’ Council
The Council has four themes for its work in the next five years, which Synod will be asked to endorse.
Synod will vote on final approval of this Measure and Canon. This will complete a major piece of legislation started in the previous Synod.
Draft Synodical Government (Amendment) Measure
Synod will consider the report of the Revision Committee. The draft measure amends some of the law relating to synodical government. In particular it will set a norm on the size of PCCs, make three year terms of office for PCC members the default arrangement, and provide for the over-18s to be on the electoral role for six months before they become eligible for election to the PCC.
Forthcoming Financial Issues
The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Mr Michael Chamberlain, and the Financial Secretary, Mr Shaun Farrell will give a presentation of the main financial issues facing the Church at the present time and show how they inter-relate.
Review of the Church Urban Fund (CUF)
This Review was published in July and addresses some critical issues about the longer term future of the CUF, its relationship to the Church and the way in which it distributes grants to and engages with dioceses. Synod will debate the following motion:
That this Synod:The recommendations referred to in part (c) of the motion are as follows.
1: The Synod should ask the Trustees to conduct, as a matter of urgency, a feasibility study on how the Fund might be enabled to continue to 2010, at least in the first instance, whilst sustaining grant-making as near as possible to current levels, and to produce a business plan for achieving that objective.Southwell Diocesan Synod Motion on Non-Stipendiary Ministers
That this Synod request the Archbishops’ Council, in consultation with the House of Bishops, to examine the designation “non-stipendiary ministry and ministers” with a view to acknowledging such ministers as “self supporting ministers” and to change their title accordingly.Bristol Diocesan Synod Motion on Communion before Confirmation
That this Synod request the House of Bishops to initiate a change in canon law, thereby enabling this Synod, on behalf of the Church of England to decide whether to retain the inherited norm of ‘confirmation before communion’ or to change its practice to affirm the norm, for those who have been baptised, to receive communion before confirmation, rather than to leave it to individual diocesan bishops and parishes to make the decision.The Stephen Lawrence Enquiry
Synod will debate: “Called to Lead: A Challenge to Include Minority Ethnic People”. This is the report of a staff group which has been working on the first stage of an action plan to follow up the report of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. It ends with these two paragraphs:
Conclusions: The Challenge
Two weeks after this report is debated at General Synod we will enter the season of Advent and we will look again for that coming of God which is so plainly set out in the Jewish scriptures. In the words of Eucharistic Prayer F in Common Worship, ‘Embracing our humanity Jesus showed us the way of salvation; loving us to the end, he gave himself to death for us; dying for his own...’ It is this context which should be the beginning of any theological response to the place of Black, Asian (and any other minority ethnic) Anglicans inside the Church of England. Advent is a season of expectancy, and hope, but also one of poverty. The poverty is the fact of Stephen Lawrence’s death in one of the richest cities in the world; the poverty is the tiny number of minority ethnic Anglicans called to be ordained in the Church of England in the last decade; the poverty is in the failure in implementation of the stop and search policy of the Metropolitan Police in London, which has alienated so many Black and Asian people from the police which should be their protector. Yet there is also the fact of the future as God’s gift: the kingdom which we cannot build but only be open to.Iraq: A Decade of Sanctions
This is a report from the Board of Social Responsibility which will inform Synod’s debate on the following motion.
That this Synod, noting with deep sympathy the suffering of the Iraqi people:Presidential Address by the Archbishop of Canterbury
The Presidential Address will conclude the business of Synod. The Archbishop will reflect on current issues facing the church and will share something of his vision for the future.