Three vital statistics from General Synod

This week saw the first meeting of the new General Synod following elections last month. It was designed to be a largely uncontroversial first session, not least because around 60% of the members were new—something fairly unprecedented, which resulted in a surprising number of established members not being re-elected. Most of the items of business … Continue Reading

What is the vision and strategy of the Church of England?

The graphic attached here recently caused a bit of a stir in the Anglican social media airwaves. It was included as part of a document presented to the Archbishops’ Council, and was leaked (on its own, within the accompanying explanation) to social media, where it attracted mostly scornful comment, including comparisons with washing machines (going … Continue Reading

Where are the working class?

Gary Jenkins writes: It is extraordinary how often working class people are ignored, overlooked or written out of the story altogether. A prime example was at the November meeting of the Church of England General Synod. A new vision document for the national church of a more diverse church made no mention of working class people at … Continue Reading

Individual Cups at Holy Communion: Practical Guidance

Andrew Atherstone writes: As part of the Church of England’s Covid Recovery, the practice of Holy Communion remains a pressing concern, especially as the latest lockdown ends and parishes prepare for Christmas. At November’s General Synod, seven written questions to the House of Bishops and the Legal Advisory Commission focused on this topic, though once again … Continue Reading

Receiving Communion in individual cups: round two

Andrew Atherstone writes: As the Church of England undertakes its “Covid Recovery” planning, the question of individual cups at Holy Communion continues to gather pace. As is widely known, the House of Bishops have taken refuge behind a 2011 paper from the Legal Advisory Commission (LAC) which summarily pronounced individual cups to be “contrary to … Continue Reading

Where are all the young people?

One of the most important debates in General Synod last week was on children and young people in the Church of England—or rather, why they aren’t. The paper we were offered summarised the analysis of where young people are in the Church based on church attendance returns, and built on a question asked at a … Continue Reading

Do we really need the clergy?

The Church of England is currently engaged in discussion and action which is pulling in rather different directions in relation to the importance of its clergy, and these debates were exemplified in the latest meeting of the General Synod in York over the weekend. One of last debates, held on Tuesday morning, concerned the follow-up … Continue Reading

Sex, gender and marriage in the C of E

Near the beginning of each meeting of General Synod, there is a session called Questions, where any member can put any question to any part of the Church. It is often interesting, and sometimes controversial, as it allows members to ask the awkward questions that some might wish to avoid. It is also something of … Continue Reading