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Saturday, 28 May 2011

Outline Agenda for July Synod

So - here we go again. The Outline Agenda for the July Synod is now available from the Church of England website. There is some interesting stuff here, although the irredeemably cynical bit of me wonders how we will cope with yet another Synod without either sexuality or women in the episcopate...

Although there is not yet any associated paperwork, it is possible to pick out some themes in the agenda, and a few points where we could be in for some robust debate. The Methodist Covenant is back on the agenda, as is an item entitled "Conversations with the United Reformed Church". For the observer of Synodical process there is the amusing prospect of Synod being asked once again to confirm the appointment of the Chair of the Business Committee. Personally, I think that one might have been left to ride for a while, but we shall see.

There are several worthy-looking reports - the substance of which will be revealed in due course. The Church and Education features here, Presence and Engagement is back on the agenda, and there is a report from the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns.

At the moment, however, it is the Diocesan Synod motions that look the most interesting. Bradford have one on admission of baptised but unconfirmed adults to Communion, which will no doubt spark some lively debate. London, however, have my pick of the pops, calling for "a thorough review of how the House of Laity of this Synod and the houses of laity of diocesan synods are elected, particular consideration being given to whether the electorate should be some body of persons other than the lay members of deanery synods." I very much hope that they get what they want - this is one turkey who will happily vote for Christmas if it means that the Laity elected to Synod will be more representative and elected in a fashion that actually gives the people in the pews a voice.

(Chichester 289)