General Synod - February Group of Sessions 2003
How I Voted

All votes are given in the form "votes for"-"votes against".

The following are not included:

  • Take Note motions;
  • amendments to motions;
  • the non-controversial parts of "Choosing Diocesan Bishops"; and
  • the non-controversial draft Care of Cathedrals (Amendment Measure).
  My vote Synod's vote
Series One Matrimony and Burial Services    
That an extended period of authorization from 1 January 2006 until further resolution of the Synod for the Liturgical Business entitled "Series One Solemnization of Matrimony" be finally approved. for

Bishops 24-0
Clergy 104-5
Laity 135-4

That an extended period of authorization from 1 January 2006 until further resolution of the Synod for the Liturgical Business entitled "Series One Burial Services" be finally approved. For

Bishops 26-0
Clergy 140-21
Laity 154-37

Voices from Africa    

That this Synod, affirming its commitment to receiving from the world wide Church

(a) gives thanks for the witness of the churches in Africa and for the challenge and inspiration they offer to the Church of England;

(b) strongly encourage individuals, parishes, deaneries and other groups to read the anthology Voices from Africa as a means of trying to understand both the joys and the sorrows of African Christians;

(c) reaffirm its commitment to working with the PWM Mission Agencies in their work of promoting both the receiving from and giving to the mission of Churches in Africa;

(d) invite Dioceses, through their Companion Link Committees, to review how they 'receive' from their partner Churches; and

(e) request that guidelines for good practice in relationships where there is a mutuality of receiving and giving be prepared before the end of the present quinquennium.

For carried
Gender Neutral Titles    

That this Synod, noting that gender neutral language was one of the guiding principles in devising Common Worship, request

(a) that legislation be introduced to amend

(i) the Synodical Government Measure 1969;

(ii) the Pastoral measure 1983;

(iii) the Diocesan Boards of Education Measure 1991; and

(iv) any other legislation specifying title of offices which may be held by lay people or by either male or female clergy,

so that gender specific titles embedded in the legislation (most particularly that of Chairman) are removed in favour of gender neutral language (such as Chair); and

(b) Bishops' Councils to ensure that the titles of officers in the Boards and Committees of the Dioceses whose title is not governed by legislation and which is gender specific, be revised to gender neutral form at the earliest opportunity.

  This was not put to a vote - see below.
That the Synod do pass to the next business against carried
That this Synod

(a) endorse the statement issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster on 20th February;

(b) in particular, affirm that decisions about how to secure the disarmament of Iraq within the framework of international law must be through the United Nations; and

(c) urge all members of the Church of England to observe Ash Wednesday as a day of prayer and fasting for all caught up in the crisis over Iraq.

For carried
Choosing Diocesan Bishops    
That the debate on item 14 (as amended) now be adjourned and resumed at the July 2003 Group of Sessions for carried
Additional Collects    
That the Liturgical Business entitled "Additional Collects" be considered for revision in committee. For carried
Cathedral Entrance Charges    
That this Synod -

(a) believe that the imposition of a charge for ordinary entrance to cathedrals risks turning these monuments to Christian commitment which are tools of mission and opportunities for evangelism into touristic commodities;

(b) therefore congratulate the cathedrals in the way they have responded to increased numbers of visitors;

(c) call on the cathedrals to raise money from visitors with sensitivity and, if possible, to avoid charging and so to maintain the accessibility which is central to their role; and

(d) urge the Church Commissioners, English Heritage and the other relevant Agencies to do all they can to provide financial support in the light of the central place which cathedrals have within the life of the Church and the nation.

For carried
Size and Composition of General Synod    

That the Canon entitled "Amending Canon No.26" be considered for revision in committee.

For carried
That the Resolution entitled "Church Representation Rules (Amendment) Resolution 200-" be considered for revision in committee. For carried
That the Resolution entitled "Clergy Representation Rules (Amendment) Resolution 200-" be considered for revision in committee. For carried
That the Resolution entitled "Religious Communities (Lay Representation) Rules (Amendment) Resolution 200-" be considered for revision in committee. For carried

Draft Payments to the Churches Conservation Trust Order 2003


That "The Payments to the Churches Conservation Trust Order 2003" be approved.

For carried
Parliamentary Democracy    
That this Synod concerned at the fall in voter turnout at elections and at the perceived marginalisation of Parliament in the nation's political processes

(a) recognise the role of the print and broadcast media in shaping public attitudes to political discourse, and urge the media to exercise responsibility in the performance of their function;

(b) call upon Her Majesty's Government and the leaders of the main political parties

(i) to work together to enhance the effectiveness of our parliamentary institutions;

(ii) to encourage and enable, by legislative and administrative action, and especially by introducing proportional representation by the Single Transferable Vote for elections to Parliament, all members of our society to play a full part in our democracy;

(iii) to abandon the use of the closed party list election system; and

(c) affirm the value of public service as an important part of Christian witness, commend such service as a Christian vocation, and call upon dioceses, deaneries, parishes, and our ecumenical partners, to support that vocation with prayer and practical action.

For carried
Emerging Issues in Mental Health    

That this Synod

(a) welcome the intention of Her Majesty's Government to introduce new mental health legislation designed to reflect the fact that most people with mental health problems live in the community and require a comprehensive response to their illness;

(b) request Her Majesty's Government to take careful note of the wide response to the draft Bill, including concerns about

(i) those who lack capacity; and

(ii) the proposed inclusion of people with learning disabilities who do not have an additional mental health disorder within the ambit of compulsory treatment;

and in particular to retain the positive elements of the 1983 Mental Health Act and call upon Her Majesty's Government to

(i) revise the text of the draft Bill to take account of the many concerns expressed (including but not exclusively those listed above); and

(ii) ensure that sufficient resources are made available for the implementation of any new legislation;

(c) further request Her Majesty's Government to provide a real alternative to prison for those with mental illness, with particular reference to young offenders, and to extend the protection of the legislation for those who remain in prison with mental health needs;

(d) urge parishes and deaneries to develop their pastoral care of those with mental illness and their carers and welcome the decision to produce Promoting Mental Health: A Training Resource for Pastoral Care as a means of equipping them to do so; and

(e) commend the ministry of the mental health chaplains in promoting the wellbeing and needs of mental health users and their carers.



Peter Owen
last modified 8 March 2003
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