General Synod (House of Laity) Election 2000 Election Address for Peter Owen

Diocese of Liverpool

Biographical information

I was born in 1947 in Southend-on-Sea where I went to school. After studying mathematics, physics and astronomy at Birmingham and Sussex Universities I taught mathematics at the Royal Military College of Science and, from 1985, Liverpool John Moores University. This summer I took early retirement from LJMU.

I have been a member of St Luke’s Church in Crosby since 1989. From 1989 to 1997 I was the PCC treasurer and I am now a deputy warden. I have been the Lay Chair of Sefton Deanery Synod since 1993.

From 1990 to 1999 I was a governor of St John’s Church of England (Aided) Primary School in Waterloo.

Last year I became the treasurer of the Merseyside and Region Churches Regional Assembly (MARCEA).

Earlier this year I became a member of the South Sefton Research Ethics Committee of Sefton Health Authority.

I was elected to General Synod in 1995. I am a member of the Open Synod Group.

My other interests include postal history (I am President of the Postal History Society of Lancashire and Cheshire), astronomy, early music, and collecting antiquarian mathematics books. I am a member of Amnesty International and its Urgent Action network.

  I have been privileged to serve as one of your General Synod representatives for the last five years. Those five years have been dominated by the revision of our liturgy, and I look forward to the publication of Common Worship in November. The new Synod will have other matters at the top of its agenda, and for many of these my views will follow from Paul's words:
  • There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

So I look for the inclusion of those who are often excluded, such as women, ethnic minorities, the young, the old, the single, the divorced, gays and lesbians, the disabled.

Women Bishops

In July I voted for Archdeacon Judith Rose’s motion calling for further theological study on women in the episcopate. I am confident that this study will confirm my view that since there are no theological objections to the ordination of women to the priesthood (which Synod has already accepted) then there can be none to their consecration as bishops. I believe that we have embarked on the road that will lead to women bishops in the Church of England, and I look forward to the day when the first one is consecrated.

Appointment of Bishops

I believe that the system for appointing bishops should be made more transparent. In particular the Prime Minister’s present involvement should be ended.

Marriage of the Divorced in Church

Many divorced people marry whilst their former partner is still alive, and their marriages are accepted as valid by the Church. Because of this, I can see nothing wrong with the marriage service being conducted in church. All I would require is assurances that proper provision has been made for the former partner and any children.

If I am elected

Since I was elected in 1995 I have regularly reported back to Sefton Deanery Synod on General Synod business, and you can view some of these reports on my website. If I am re-elected I will continue to post these reports, and I will also add a record of how I vote on the matters considered by Synod.

In the last five years, Synod met on 55 days and I attended every day, apart from two days when I was unwell. Now that I have taken early retirement (at age 53) I hope to maintain this record. I will also be able to offer to serve on synod committees, which I was not been able to do when working full-time.

Please feel free to contact me by phone, e-mail or post if you want to discuss anything to do with these elections to General Synod.

Peter Owen • 11 The Downs • Blundellsands Road West • Liverpool • L23 6XS
telephone: 0151 931 2251 • fax: 0705 080 1851 • e-mail:


last updated 16 September 2000