General Synod
July Group of Sessions 2001
How I Voted

All motions were carried by Synod unless stated otherwise.

Reform of the House of Lords (as amended)

That this Synod call upon Her Majesty’s Government, in the reform of the House of Lords, to ensure that provision fully adequate to enable Bishops of the Church of England to continue to contribute effectively to a reformed House be retained and that members drawn from other Christian Churches and from other Faiths also be added to the composition of a new ‘Second Chamber’ in our parliamentary democracy.

in favour

International Development (as amended)

That this Synod

(a) commend Development Matters to the Dioceses and to the wider Church for further study;

(b) call for global political and economic action, as set out in Global View 2001, with a view to strengthening the position of the world’s poor;

(c) encourage the Church to advocate and practise justice in the distribution and investment of its resources;

(d) recognise that current trading relations and lending practices have exacerbated the acute economic and social problems facing developing countries and therefore

(i) urge Her Majesty’s Government to give priority in trade negotiations to the needs of the poorest communities; and

(ii) encourage discussion with Business about the wider social contract and corporate responsibility of companies in pursuit of the common good;

(e) urge that Export Credit Guarantees are only provided for sustainable projects which do not add further unpayable debt to already indebted countries; and

(f) ask that education and health for the poorest should be priorities in any development agenda.

in favour

Third World Debt (as amended)

That this Synod

(a) acknowledge the role of Jubilee 2000 in making third world debt the international political issue of our time; and

(b) noting with regret that at the end of the year 2000 AD wholly insufficient progress had been made towards the relief of the third world debt burden; but

(c) recognising the complexities of some of the issues and acknowledging the lead already given by Her Majesty’s Government,

encourage Her Majesty’s Government and politicians of all parties to continue to press for urgent action by the more affluent nations to cut debt, particularly debt held by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

in favour

Working with the Spirit: Choosing Diocesan Bishops (as amended)

That the Appointments Committee be instructed to appoint a steering group to follow up the recommendations contained in Chapter 7 of the Report, except for recommendation 50, which should be modified to read:

'Para 16.3 of the Guidance Notes should be revised to the effect that, before the Committee makes nominations of candidates for election to the Commission, the Committee should be encouraged to consider the need for a baance among its four representatives',

in consultation with interested parties, and to report further to the Synod.

in favour
(I also voted in favour of the amendment which added the reference to Para 16.3. The committee refered to is the diocesan Vacancy-in-See Committee.)

Renewing Faith in the Countryside (as amended)

That this Synod

(a) express its concern for rural people and their economy in the wake of the Foot and Mouth epidemic; applaud the response of the Churches at local and national level; and call for a thorough consultation throughout society, initiated by Her Majesty’s Government, on the future priorities and role of agriculture in the United Kingdom;

(b) praise the ARC Addington Fund, the Royal Agricultutal Benevolent Institution, the Farm Crisis Network and other voluntary organisations for their prompt actions in meeting the needs of many farming and other rural people brought about by the Foot and Mouth Disease crisis and call upon Her Majesty's Government to respond with much greater urgency and in much greater measure to the financial problems which have become occasioned amongst coutryside businesses and Local authorities and across the economy of many rural areas;

(c) in the tenth anniversary year of Faith in the Countryside, renew the Church of England’s commitment to its mission and ministry in rural areas, particularly in partnership with other Churches and bodies concerned for the well-being of the countryside and its people;

(d) recognise the significant place accorded to the Church in the Government’s rural White Paper and call for this recognition to be matched by appropriate support by Her Majesty’s Government;

(e) affirm its commitment to support the work of the Arthur Rank Centre;

(f) encourage the dissemination of, discussion and appropriate action on the ideas in the spring/summer issue of Country Way and support for the work of the Arthur Rank Centre;

(g) acknowledge the interdependence of rural, urban and suburban communities; and

(h) call upon Her Majesty's Government to institute a Public Inquiry into the outbreak of the Foot and Mouth disease, including the events leading up to it, its handling and its consequence.

in favour
I voted against the amendment that added paragraph (h) to the motion. Whilst public inquiries are very good at blaming people, they are not so good at finding out what happened and making balance recommendations for the future.

Financial Issues Facing the Church

Review of Allocations and Apportionment

That this Synod approve the recommendations for the calculation of the central apportionment of the Archbishops' Council's budget as set out in paragraphs 1 to 6 of Annex A of the report (GS 1420).

in favour

That this Synod invite the Archbishops' council to implement the proposals for selective allocations set out in GS 1420, on the basis of option 1 in paragraphs 7 - 8 of Annex A to GS 1420.

against (The motion was carried)

I voted in favour of the following defeated amendments to the above motion on selective allocations:

Leave out all words after "this Synod" and insert the words

"urge that no alterations to the selective allocation to Dioceses be made until:

(i) the recent increase in Diocesan contributions to pensions has been met;

(ii) progress has been made in working towards mutual support between dioceses;

(iii) an independent evaluation has been made concerning the suitability of using Income Tax data as the major basis for selective allocations to Dioceses, and whether the suggested selected allocations will really help the Church's ministry "in areas of greatest need"; and

(iv) allowances have been made to incorporate variations in living costs in different areas of the country".'


Leave out all words after 'GS 1420' where first occurring and insert the words ", including in its assessment of allocations indicators of deprivation as suggested in Option 2 in paragraphs 11-12 of Annex A to GS 1420".'

The Archbishops' Council's Budget for 2002

I voted in favour of this budget.

The Health of the Poor (as amended)

That this Synod

(a) endorse the welcome given by the Oxford Diocesan Synod to the reports of the Acheson enquiry, the Family Budget Unit and the New Policy Unit together with the theological response by the Revd Professor Nicholas Sagovsky of the University of Newcastle on the consequences of health inequalities, poverty and social exclusion;

(b) welcome the Government's White Paper Saving Lives: Our Healthier Nation - an action plan to tackle poor health by improving the health of everyone and the health of the worst off in particular - and call upon Her Majesty's Government to further develop partnerships with local authorities, primary care trusts and others to tackle poor health, poverty and social exclusion;

(c) encourage action by all members of the Church to support policies which will improve the health of the poor of the United Kingdom;

(d) ask Her Majesty's Government to commission independent research which will lead to the identification of minimum income standards related to need and then bring forward the legislation that will put such minimum income standards into effect; and

(e) encourage the Dioceses to distribute to all their parishes the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust petition to Her Majesty's Government on minimum incomes.

in favour

Additional Collects

That this Synod, in the light of criticisms of the new collects for Common Worship, request the House of Bishops to commission additional collects for each Sunday and Feast Day in the Liturgical Year in a worthy contemporary idiom.

in favour

Review of Synodical Government: Second Report by the Bridge Follow Up Group (GS 1412)

That this Synod instruct the Business Committee to introduce legislation based on the recommendations contained in the report.


At the end insert the words "with the exception of the recommendation in paragraph 13 of GS 1412 (suffragan bishops)".

in favour

At the end insert the words "with the exception of the recommendations in paragraph 22 of GS 1412 for the abolition of or, failing that, a reduction in the level of representation for the special constitutuency of deans and provosts".

in favour

At the end insert the words "with the recommendation in paragraph 26 for the retention of the existing constituency of one archdeacon per diocese being replaced by a recommendation for a special constituency for archdeacons of the same size as the special constituency for suffragan bishops".

in favour

At the end insert the words "with the exception of the recommendation in paragraph 36 of GS 1412 (Chaplain-General of Prisons)".

in favour

At the end insert the words "with the exception of the recommendations in paragraph 40 of GS 1412 regarding the abolition of the existing Special constituencies for Universities and fresh arrangements for the provision of theological expertise".

against (The amendment was defeated.)

At the end insert the words "with the recommendation in paragraph 40 for the provision of theological expertise by appointments by the Presidents after consultation with the Appointments Committee being replaced by a recommendation for one or more special constituencies of University recognised teachers with theological expertise, whether bishops, clergy or laity, male or female".

in favour

At the end insert the words "with the exception of the recommendation of a total membership of the General Synod in the range of 480-490 (plus appointees) in paragraph of GS 1412".

in favour

At the end insert the words "and to explore as a matter of urgency ways in which young people can have an effective voice in this Synod".

in favour

I then voted in favour of the amended motion.

Peter Owen
last modified 12 August 2001
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