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					              THE CHRONICLE
             OF CONVOCATION


                     Being a

          Record of the Proceedings
                    of the
          Convocation of Canterbury




Undecima Convocatio Elizabetha Secunda Regnante

             The Full Synod and the
                  Lower House
                in the Sessions of
            6 July         2002
            11 November 2002
            14 July        2003
            14 February 2005
            10 July        2005

           Sessions I, II, III, IV and V




   Published for the Convocation of Canterbury.
            The Convocation of Canterbury

                      OFFICERS

                  President:
HIS GRACE THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
        Lambeth Palace, London SE1 7JU


           Prolocutor of the Lower House
                      (to 2001)
          The Reverend Canon Hugh Wilcox
                    (from 2001)
           The Reverend Canon Bob Baker


                  Pro-Prolocutors
     The Reverend Canon Hugh Broad (to 2003)
  The Reverend Prebendary Kay Garlick (from 2004)
      The Reverend Prebendary David Houlding
  The Reverend Canon Malcolm King (2003 to 2004)


              Joint Provincial Registrar
                       (to 2001)
              Mr Brian Hanson, Solicitor
                     (from 2001)
              Mr Stephen Slack, Solicitor


Synodical Secretary, Actuary and Editor of the Chronicle
         The Reverend Canon Michael Hodge


                     Ostiarius
    Mr Clive McCleester, Custos and Head Virger,
               Winchester Cathedral




                           2
            GENERAL STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE LOWER HOUSE


2000 to 2001 The Reverend Canon Hugh Wilcox           (Prolocutor and Chairman)
             The Archdeacon of Barnstaple             (Pro-Prolocutor)
             The Reverend David Houlding              (Pro-Prolocutor)
             The Archdeacon of Northolt
             The Dean of Derby
             The Reverend Prebendary Horace Harper
             The Archdeacon of Tonbridge


2001 to 2005 The Reverend Canon Bob Baker             (Prolocutor and Chairman)
             The Reverend Canon Hugh Broad            (Pro-Prolocutor to 2003)
             The Reverend Prebendary Kay Garlick      (Pro-Prolocutor from 2004)
             The Reverend Prebendary David Houlding   (Pro-Prolocutor)
             The Reverend Canon Malcolm King          (Pro-Prolocutor 2003-2004)
             The Reverend Canon Mark Bonney           (from 2003)
             The Reverend Canon Peter Burrows         (from 2004)
             The Reverend Gill Dallow
             The Dean of Derby                        (to 2004)
             The Reverend Prebendary Kay Garlick      (to 2004)
             The Reverend Prebendary Horace Harper    (to 2005)
             The Reverend Canon Malcolm King          (to 2003)
             The Reverend Dr Richard Turnbull         (from 2003)
             The Reverend Canon Hugh Wilcox           (to 2003)




                                          3
                     CONVOCATION OF

                        CANTERBURY




       Undecima Convocatio Elizabetha Secunda Regnante




                           SESSION I


                      Saturday, 6 July 2002




                   Minutes of the Full Synod
                    and the Lower House




Note: Resolutions which have been carried are printed in bold type.




                                4
                                          SESSION I

                                     Saturday, 6th July 2002


The Convocation of the Province of Canterbury assembled at 8.30 p.m. in Room 045, Vanbrugh
College of the University of York.



                                           Full Synod

1. PRAYERS
                          Prayers were said by His Grace the President.

2. ASSESSORS
With the leave of His Grace the President, the Prolocutor appointed his Assessors for the day:-
                      The Reverend Stephen Trott       (Peterborough)
                      Canon John Byrne                 (Portsmouth)
                      Canon Gordon Oliver              (Rochester)
                      Canon Patience Purchas           (St Albans)

3.      RESIGNATION OF HIS GRACE THE PRESIDENT
The Bishop of Bristol (the Right Reverend Barry Rogerson) moved:-
        “That this Convocation, having in mind the forthcoming resignation of His Grace the
        President from the See of Canterbury, desires to place on record its sense of gratitude
        for the leadership and guidance he has given to the Province of Canterbury and to
        the whole Church during his years of office.”
After the Reverend Canon Bob Baker (Norwich) had spoken on behalf of the Lower House, His
Grace the President responded.
The Motion was put to the Convocation and carried with acclamation.


His Grace the President and the members of the Upper House withdrew.

                                         Lower House

The Reverend Canon Bob Baker (Prolocutor, Norwich) took the chair.

4.      MARRIAGE IN CHURCH AFTER DIVORCE.
The Bishop of Winchester (the Right Reverend Michael Scott-Joynt) introduced a General
Discussion on the Report, pursuant to Standing Order 9A.
In the discussion there took part: the Reverend David Houlding (Pro-Prolocutor, London), the
Reverend Robin Ward (Rochester), the Reverend Simon Pothen (London), the Reverend Stephen
Trott (Peterborough), the Reverend Robert Key (Oxford), the Reverend Doctor Richard Burridge



                                                5
(University of London), the Reverend Prebendary Michael Walker (Lichfield), the Reverend
Howard Such (Canterbury), the Reverend Canon Hugh Broad (Pro-Prolocutor, Gloucester), the
Reverend Christopher Wilson (Lincoln), the Reverend Simon Stokes (Norwich), the Reverend
Paul Collier (Southwark) and the Venerable Adrian Harbidge (Archdeacon of Bournemouth,
Winchester).

The Bishop of Winchester replied to the discussion.


5.     GUIDELINES FOR THE PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT OF THE CLERGY
The Reverend Canon Hugh Wilcox (St Albans) moved -
“That the House do take note of the Draft Document.”

In the debate which followed, there spoke:- the Venerable Alan Hawker (Archdeacon of
Malmesbury, Bristol) and the Reverend Michael Norman (Bath and Wells).

After the Reverend Canon Hugh Wilcox (St Albans) had replied to the debate, the Motion was put
to the House and carried.

The Reverend Canon Hugh Wilcox (St Albans) moved -
“That the Working Party be invited to consider the comments that will have been received
by not later than 31st July 2002 and to bring amended Guidelines to the Convocation at the
earliest possible date.”

The motion was put to the House and carried.


6.      FORMAL MOTIONS
It was proposed by the Reverend David Houlding (Pro-Prolocutor, London) and agreed:
"(i) That the Prolocutor be authorised, pursuant to Standing Order 13, to nominate
members to serve on any Committee after the House has risen with the concurrence of the
Standing Committee of the House;
(ii)    that those resolutions which should be conveyed to the Upper House be so conveyed."


7.      ELECTION OF THE PROLOCUTOR AND OF MEMBERS OF THE ARCHBISHOPS’
        COUNCIL
The Prolocutor informed the House that draft amendments to Standing Orders would be brought
before the House in order that, in future, the Prolocutor should be elected as soon as possible after
the election of a new Convocation, preferably by post. Voting for two clerical members of the
Archbishops’ Council would not commence until the names of the new Prolocutors were known
and notified to electors.


8.    MINUTES.
The Minutes of this Session were read, confirmed and reduced to Acts according to the ancient



                                                 6
custom of Convocation.

The Prolocutor gave the Blessing, and the House stood prorogued.




                                              7
                          CONVOCATION OF CANTERBURY


                     The Convocation of Canterbury met in Full Synod
                          on Saturday 6 July 2002 at 8.30 p.m. in
                                  the University of York.
                   The Chair was taken by the Archbishop of Canterbury.



1.     Prayers

2.     Assessors

       Canon Bob Baker (Norwich) appointed as Assessors – Revd Stephen Trott (Peterborough),
Canon John Byrne (Portsmouth), Canon Gordon Oliver (Rochester), Canon Patience Purchas (St
Albans).

3.     Resignation of His Grace the President
       The President: This is decidedly embarrassing! May I call on the Bishop of Bristol?
       The Bishop of Bristol (Rt Revd Barry Rogerson): Your Grace – or Archbishop George –
brothers and sisters, the Bristol Evening Post interviewed me recently and said, “Is there any
connection between the Archbishop of Canterbury’s retirement to Bristol and your immediate
departure?” The answer is no! And I will not embarrass you by talking about our exchange
between Oak Hill and Lichfield a very long time ago, or Trinity College or Bath and Wells, nor
your contribution to the life of this Church, both in this country and also overseas and
ecumenically.

         Perhaps I may be allowed to say something about your ministry in the House of Bishops. It
may come as a surprise to many of you to know that, 20 years ago, a meeting of the House of
Bishops was a very sober and quiet affair. It was unlikely that more than four bishops would speak.
If I give you the year 1982, a small prize will be given for those who tell me whom the four were
who spoke! I can tell you that my next-door neighbour in the Midlands, who was renowned for his
speeches elsewhere, would quiver before he spoke in the House of Bishops.

        Archbishop George, you changed that. We are now a community, a college of bishops that
works together. The youngest and the newest can speak with confidence, because you encourage
us to do so. The Church of England has been greatly blessed by the way in which the House of
Bishops has been allowed to work together and, I believe, has produced work which has been for
the benefit of the Church and its mission. For that, we thank you.

        That is about being collegial. Also, because you have enabled many of our dioceses who
have connections with other parts of the Anglican Communion, you have enabled us to build those
links and have brought resources and expertise from across the Anglican Communion to make
those connections and relationships very strong indeed.




                                                8
        I speak about the Sudan and Uganda because those are the ones that I know from my
brother who lives in Salisbury and also the diocese of Bristol. When there have been difficulties,
you have found us ways in which we can solve them. In that way you have enhanced our
relationships, both as this province and also the provinces across the Anglican Communion. That
has something to do with the communal nature of being a bishop.

        Lastly, you have shown us – both you and Eileen – something about the nature of a dual
ministry. There may be debates about this in certain parts of the Church! We would like to thank
you and Eileen for the way in which you have supported and encouraged bishops’ wives – I had
hoped that perhaps I could have said “spouses” during your time, but not so! – in what have often
been very difficult circumstances. We would like to thank you for that personal relationship, and
also for the way in which you have led us in the House.

       It therefore falls to me to move:
       “That this Convocation, having in mind the forthcoming resignation of His Grace the
       President from the See of Canterbury, desires to place on record its sense of gratitude for
       the leadership and guidance he has given to the Province of Canterbury and to the whole
       Church during his years of office”.

The motion was carried with acclamation.

       The President: Thank you very much. I am most touched by that, and I will say a few words
myself in a moment.

       Doubly embarrassing, I have to call on Bob Baker to speak on behalf of the Lower House.

        Canon Bob Baker (Norwich): Your Grace, we planned this meeting of Convocation long
before your retirement was announced, but it provides a wonderful opportunity for your colleagues
in ministry to express our appreciation of your leadership. I speak today not as Prolocutor but, to
my acute embarrassment, as Father of the House. John Moses and I are the only two who have
been continuous members of this Convocation since 1985, and he has had the wisdom to have
taken a sabbatical!

        You and I first met when I became a student at St John’s in Nottingham, where you were a
member of staff. One of my most amusing souvenirs of that time is a photograph I have of you and
some of your colleagues, including Dr David Cook – now a distinguished broadcaster, teaching in
Oxford; David Gillett – now a bishop in the inferior province to the north! And the shy and retiring
Colin Buchanan! I say “amusing” because, in the photograph, you are all dressed in women’s
clothes, impersonating female members of the college community in an end-of-term review.

        A more serious recollection, however, is of the seminar which you ran for theology
graduates in which we worked our way through the Epistle to the Romans. You brought to that task
the academic rigour one would expect, but it was equally clear that you wanted your students not
only to understand Pauline theology but to preach Christ crucified and risen. That commitment to
proclaiming the Gospel with intellectual integrity but with confidence and enthusiasm has been
one of the hallmarks of your distinguished ministry, and not least your archiepiscopal ministry.



                                                 9
        A second hallmark has been your commitment to listening to those with whom you
disagreed. You have won the respect of many people who take opposite views to you on all sorts of
issues, because you have taken them seriously. There is not time to elaborate on this, but it seems
to me that is one of the keys to the way you, together with Archbishops Habgood and Hope, have
held the Church together through one of the most difficult decades of its history. We owe you an
enormous debt for that.

        That has been achieved against a background of unrelenting media scrutiny and, I would
say, unrelenting hostility in some cases – some of it of a very personal nature. Many of us would
have found that intolerable after a week, let alone for 12 years. But your personal integrity and
your refusal to be daunted by it have enabled you to hold your ground again and again.

       I would also like to say, as Bishop Barry did, a word to Lady Carey, as I expect we must
now call her. No? She is still Eileen, is she?

       The President: Yes.

        Canon Bob Baker: When I came to Lambeth with the Mellows group a few years ago, and
we were poking our nose into your business, one of our members who had never met you asked
one of your senior staff whether Mrs Carey supported you in your work. Immediately the reply
came back, “No, she doesn’t”. I do not know whether the speaker saw my jaw drop, but he went on
to say, “It isn’t like that. It’s a shared ministry – or you might better say two ministries inseparably
intertwined”. Bishop Barry has mentioned the support that Eileen has given to bishops’ wives. We
could also mention the support she has given to Anglican women overseas on your many visits,
which has been deeply appreciated. Those things, however, are just the tip of the iceberg. As
clergy, we – even those of us who are single – know very well the pressures on clergy spouses and
we appreciate and value all that Eileen has done.

         I think that is how I shall remember you. In the course of your ministry you have been a
curate, a tutor, an incumbent, a principal, a diocesan, a metropolitan, a primate and an archbishop –
not to mention President of this August body. I shall remember you, however, simply as George
and Eileen, a devoted Christian couple with a passion for the Gospel and a determination to make
it better known, whatever circumstances you found yourselves in. I hope that you will go on being
that for many years to come.

       On behalf of the Lower House, not just as professional colleagues but as partners in the
Gospel, may I give you our heartfelt gratitude and wish you both every happiness in the years to
come.

        The President: May I thank the Bishop of Bristol and Canon Bob Baker very much indeed
for those expressions of thanks, which I receive, together with Eileen, with deep gratitude and
affection. Can I say that, in the Kingdom of God, there is no such thing as Upper Houses or Lower
Houses? We are simply brothers and sisters, serving one Lord in a very torn and divided world and
Church.




                                                  10
         Barry, our links go back a long time, and thank you for reminding me of the exchange we
did. I also did it with John Hind, with Chichester and Trinity – a great desire to see ways in which
different traditions can work together. I think that we have been able to see something of that. If the
Anglican Church is comprehensive, it does mean that one tradition cannot say, “We possess the
whole truth about Jesus Christ and about God”, but we have to find and walk towards him together.
That has been a tremendous thing, and I have learned so much over the years, together with Eileen,
as we have sought to serve our Lord in his Church and in his world.

         I am aware that we are coming to the end of a very busy day and there are items on this
agenda of Convocation that I, thankfully, do not have to stay for. I do not want to be too long.
However, this does give me an opportunity to express how much I valued our fellowship together
as ministers of word and sacrament. I am aware, probably as much as anyone here is, how much
the clergy of our Church find themselves under pressure of all kinds today. Yes, we know that
stipendiary clergy are fewer in number than previously, though overall the good news is that the
number of trained ministers has increased. There are financial pressures on parishes and on the
private purses of many clergy families. There are the demands of new styles of ministry;
collaborative ways of working, though exciting, are not always easily received and learned. None
of this can detract from the immeasurable privilege of being numbered among those who are called
to this particular work – our ministry within the Church, to be servants of the servants of God.
Surely that is the touchstone of what my job has been about and what your job is.

       “I am among you as one who serves”, said our master. Can a servant say any more than his
master? I do hope that, in the trials, burdens and challenges of your ministry, you still carry a deep
sense of joy that comes from being conscious, even in the most frustrating and difficult of
moments, of this supreme privilege that we all share this evening. That is why meeting together as
we are tonight as clergy has its importance. We can encourage one another; remind one another;
occasionally challenge one another, in love; pray for one another and support one another.

        I want to end by saying a very sincere thank you to my episcopal and clerical colleagues in
the Province of Canterbury. Barry picked up the way in which together – it is not just one or two
people – we have changed a culture and a climate. I hope that we can carry on doing this in the
Church of England today. Let us get rid of the elitism that was a thing of the past. Let us make it a
thing of the past, and let us seek to serve our Lord together.

       Thank you, Bob, for reminding me of the days at St John’s, Nottingham. I was worried
because I thought that you were going to tell a different story! To be accused of being a
cross-dresser...! Memories of that period come back. And there is a lot of fun in the Christian
ministry. There is a lot of fun in my life. Having the kind of staff I have, with Bishop Richard,
constantly reminding me of the importance of being human – that, after all, is what it is all about.

        We have seen a lot of changes in our Church. A number of crises – we have surmounted
them. I think that we are, yes, a leaner but a more confident Church. I have been emphasising the
importance of being outward-looking, confident in our mission, more united in our witness. I hope
that will go on being proclaimed in the days ahead.




                                                  11
        I do have a future beyond retirement. In due course I will disclose it to you. But you can bet
on it that I will carry on supporting the work of our great Church of England and Anglican
Communion in the days ahead. Thank you for your support given in the past. I am sure that I can
count on it in the future. You can count on my love and affection and support. [Applause]

                                  [Upper House withdrew]

                                   LOWER HOUSE
           The Chair was taken by the Prolocutor, Canon Bob Baker (Norwich)

        The Chairman: Part of the essence of this assembly is that we are a little less formal than
the Full Synod and it gives us the opportunity to have a more spontaneous discussion and debate.
We meet together as clergy, so we are particularly focusing on the clerical issues we have to deal
with.

4.     Marriage in church after divorce
       The Chairman: We are grateful for the presence at this part of our business of the Bishop of
Winchester. We will ask him to speak very briefly in introducing this matter and then it will be
open for general debate and discussion.
[A member asked if members of the press were present, to which the Chairman replied in the
affirmative. He went on to indicate that Standing Orders permitted a member to move for the
exclusion of members of the press. Otherwise, it was in order for them to be present.]

        The Bishop of Winchester (Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt): As Bob says, I am not going to
make the speech that, by Tuesday morning, I will have prepared to make on Tuesday morning! I
am here, as I understand it, simply to set some debate going. I hope, not just for my sake but for the
Synod’s sake, that one of the things we may achieve this evening or make some contribution to
achieving is some kind of ground-clearing, some mutual questioning, some clarifying of the
present state of the issues. I hope particularly that those members of the press who are here will
take this as a good-hearted statement, but there has been some reporting in recent weeks, and
especially in recent days, which has, it has to be said, muddied rather than clarified the waters. It
may be that people will want to check with each other, and perhaps with me, what some things
mean and what actually is the position.

        It is probably fair to say, however – so that you know where I am coming from – that I have
not read anything in the weeks since the publication of GS 1449, including what I know so far of
amendments which are either on the table or are being refined, that has given me ground for second
thoughts about the material that has been published in GS 1449.

        I thought it was helpful for you to know that, so that you know as what, and representing
what, I am standing here. That said, I am glad to be here. I want to listen to the debate and, if I can
at any point offer answers to any questions, I will be glad to try to do so.

       The Chairman: We will ask Bishop Michael to respond later on, unless particular questions
arise where an immediate answer would be helpful to us. I will ask Father Holding to speak next,




                                                  12
because he asked that we should have this item on our agenda and is very concerned about it. As
you know, particular things have been happening in London diocese to which he may wish to refer.

         Revd David Houlding (London): I think that this is a very valuable way of using
Convocation. I want to flag up one or two issues which I believe the debate on Tuesday touches, so
that I can pick up the way the clergy as a whole are feeling. The Nicene Creed is a classic example
where, in the last Synod, we got ourselves into a terrible tangle on the floor of Synod. I feel that if
we can use Convocation for a more informal discussion like this from time to time, we can avoid
getting ourselves into a mess on the floor of Synod. We do not have to vote this evening; we can
have a discussion. It is a way of making sense of Convocation.

       You will have noticed in the agenda paper that there is a diocesan synod motion from the
Diocese of London, out of our diocesan synod in February 2001. It is tabled in my name and,
needless to say, I find I have to speak to it. It will probably be taken as an amendment when it has
been redrafted. But things have moved on. What seemed sensible then does not seem so sensible
now. I am therefore in quite a difficult position, to know quite how to handle this.

      At our last diocesan synod just two weeks ago, when the Bishop of Stepney on behalf of the
Bishops’ Council tried to amend it more in line with the latest document from the House of
Bishops – to which the Bishop of Winchester has referred – it was very strongly defeated and the
Synod voted overwhelmingly to keep the original motion.

        Our problem with the original motion is that it mentions this idea of panels – call it “panel”,
“tribunal” or whatever. The concern that lies behind the business of panels is that such decisions
for second marriages should not simply rest with the minister concerned. As you will have read in
the report, the legal advice that has been received suggests that the law quite clearly states that only
the minister who is conducting the wedding may make such a decision whether to proceed with a
marriage in church after divorce or not.

        I think that this really is a concern for the clergy. We will take a range of different views, I
am sure, on whether you can re-marry people in church after divorce or not. I hope that you will
agree with me, however, that if that decision solely rests with the priest concerned, it does put him
in a very exposed position. He does need support and, in a sense, he needs protection. One of the
concerns that comes out of this is, in a sense, almost operating a double standard. How do you
make consistent decisions? How can you be fair in the pastoral advice that you are giving to
people?

        The objection to panels could well be that they are too formal; they are too legal, and you
would need an appeals procedure. As the Bishop of London said to me, “Too much money going
into the pockets of the lawyers” – with all due respect to our Registrar. At the same time, how do
we operate a system that is genuinely pastoral? If I decide to go with this amendment on Tuesday,
I will have to emphasise the pastoral nature of this particular amendment. I think that it is pastoral,
but we are trying to find a way in which the clergy can be supported in this decision-making.

        We are also trying to find a standard that can be applied. The House of Bishops, we are told
– and I am speaking very much off the cuff – can give advice but can do no more, according to the



                                                  13
legal advice that they have received. They can issue a set of guidelines, which can or cannot be
followed. In law, they can do nothing more than that. The Bishop of Winchester will correct me if
I am not being accurate in summarising this, but I think that is the position.

        However, there has been an alternative legal opinion which comes from the Privy Council,
which suggests that the General Synod could, in theory, decide to go with the idea of a panel or
some body which would assist the clergy in making their decisions, provided of course that there is
an alteration in the law. I am sure that the bishop will inevitably say that this is a disastrous course
for the Church to follow; but what I would like us to discuss and to reflect on is exactly how we do
see our role in the pastoral care that we exercise towards those couples who come to us, seeking to
be married after divorce.

       We know what it is like; we know how hard those decisions are and how very difficult it is,
once you have said yes to some, to say no to others. It is very, very difficult to operate what could
well seem to be a double standard.

       Sometimes couples come to you and do not want it to be simply your decision. They want
to know, they want that reassurance, that somehow the decision that you are making on their behalf
does have the authority of the Church behind it. Those are the sorts of issues, therefore, that lie
behind the London motion.

        Revd Robin Ward (Rochester): I would like to ask two questions which relate to the legal
advice. First, when we were asked to consider the Winchester proposals it was put to us very much
in terms of legislation: that if we accepted the proposals, there might need to be an emendation of
Canon No. B30 and, if not that, we would need to pass a new Act of Synod.

       We now discover, having been through the whole process of considering this in deanery
synods, diocesan synods, PCCs, that this is not the case. The legal advice that has been given says
that we can only have, at most, a watered-down guideline version of the Winchester proposals.

       I think that we should have discovered this earlier. The Church in Wales is governed by the
same statute law as the Church of England in this matter. They went through this process in 1998;
had similar proposals to the Winchester proposals put before them, which were rejected because
they were considered to give too much responsibility to the individual parochial clergy. The Welsh
bench of bishops then got more legal advice, and the legal advice was as we have now found – that
the 1965 Act leaves the responsibility apparently in the hands of the individual clergy.

       Having had that on record in 1998 in Wales, we should have known in 2000, when
Winchester came before us, that that was a possibility and it should have been looked at before we
went through the whole process to where we are now.

        Secondly, theologically there is a problem with proceeding with the legal advice as we now
have it. If we have a General Synod, then General Synod ought to be able to make doctrinal
decisions and teach the Christian faith, as the General Synod sees it, in this area – a fundamental
area of Christian moral living. I do not think that we can simply throw up our hands and say that,
because the lawyers have said we cannot, we have to leave this in limbo. This has ecumenical



                                                  14
consequences. If other Churches come to us and say, “What is your discipline on further marriage
after divorce?” we cannot really say with credibility, “We are not allowed to have one, because the
lawyers say it interferes with an Act of Parliament”. I think that we need to be more assertive about
this.

       Perhaps the Bishop of Winchester would come back, first on the question about why the
Welsh experience was not incorporated into Winchester and, secondly, how we as a Synod should
look forward and what our role would be if we find ourselves constrained on these important
matters.

        It may well be that we cannot agree, as a Synod or as a Convocation or as a Church, on the
way forward in this. In which case, we should have the courage to say so; but it is not good enough
to hide behind a legal smokescreen.

        Revd Simon Pothen (London): My sympathies go out to, first, David Houlding. As I have
said to him before, I will try to support him. I do see the point that he is trying to make, even though
I did not support it when it came up in London, because of the very real legal minefield that we
shall have to cross.

        We are going to have to set up a system of tribunals, appeals, and various things. My
concern, in an increasing litigious society, is that there are people who will try to use human rights’
legislation to try to overturn a decision that has gone against them, and that will prove extremely
costly. I hear the Bishop of London’s concern, but I also want to hold in balance what Father
Houlding has been saying, about a pastoral measure to protect us, the clergy, from the kinds of
pressures that we will be put under, should this go through.

        I think that this is a way of protecting us. It may be entirely clumsy and it may not be the
right way, but I think that it is a way of giving us at least a modicum of guidance and protection. I
hear the point that my colleague from Rochester has been making, but I think that it is probably the
best of a very bad and clumsy job, and I would support Father Houlding in this.

        Revd Stephen Trott (Peterborough): I think that the legal advice that the bishop has been
given is entirely correct. At the Reformation the Church was forbidden to pass any canons or
resolutions that were contrary to civil law, and that was renewed in the 1969 Synodical
Government Measure. It does mean that what the lawyers are saying is true: that the resolutions of
the Convocations in 1938 and 1957 were simply expressions of opinion, but could not bind the
clergy. The situation, all along, has been as we now perceive it to be: that the decision rests with
the individual cleric.

         It seems to me that what we should do at this stage is to draw back and consider whether we
should legislate by Measure for whatever we decide to do, because that would give us the right to
interfere with the arrangements provided in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1965. It would be a statute
law in its own right, relating simply to the Church of England and to Church of England clergy.
I think that is the proper action to take at this stage, in view of the fact that the advice we have now
is very new; we have not had time to think about this at any great length, in time for this weekend’s
debate. We ought to think again about allowing both our marriage discipline and our marriage



                                                  15
doctrine to be determined on the basis of something so recently heard and decided, and on the basis
of simply accepting the position laid down in the Matrimonial Causes Act. I do not think that we
can allow the Parliament of 1965 to determine the Church’s teaching, doctrine and practice for the
new millennium.

       Revd Robert Key (Oxford): I have of course conducted weddings of people who had been
divorced. Until last year, I was in clerical ministry. I have also said no.

       I remember that some years ago – and those with longer memories will correct me – that
we have been down this panel track before. I think that it was called “Option G” and I remember
speaking against it in the diocese of Southwark.

        It seems to me that the parochial clergy would be in a worse position. You are the interface
with the couple; you will be the ones – at least, that was so in Option G – taking the deposit from
them. You will then be charged with relaying the decision of a tribunal, or whatever it may be.
Whether, as a fairly straightforward Evangelical or a fairly straightforward Catholic, you think that
the cure of souls is shared by the bishop with you, or generously by you with the bishop –
whichever way round it is – it seems to me that I would be happy to share my cure of souls with the
bishop; I do not want to share my cure of souls with a tribunal.

       Back-up by a bishop is one thing. To have pastoral decisions taken not by the parish
clergyman nor by the bishop, but by what might be seen as a nameless and faceless committee,
smacking of bureaucracy of a state Church, seems to me to be the worst of all possible worlds.

        Revd Dr Richard Burridge (London University): I have one or two queries arising out of
the legal advice which has been communicated at pages 28 and 29 of the document. The first is that
I am slightly worried about the implications of civil law which have been given there, which is
dependent upon section 8 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1965. So long as that is there, they seem
to be saying, “We can hide behind it”. What happens as, when and if that is repealed or a human
rights challenge is made to that, saying that that kind of conscious provision is unacceptable? Then
you are in trouble.

         Within the universities we have been grappling in recent months with the implications of
the Human Rights Act. We get legal advice from all sides and this just goes on adding to the legal
bills. I am not a lawyer, but I understand that what we are presently looking at – and this, I
understand, is a more English approach to European law – is because our courts consider
precedents to be important, no matter how much legal advice we received, somebody will try it in
the courts. Until the issue has been tried in court, the legal advice is the best guess in advance as to
whether, for example, Henman will or will not win. What we hope in the universities is that we
have everything in line and, when one of us is taken to court – in exactly the same way as stores are
taken to court in relation to disabled access or whatever – we all hope that it will be the next person
that is taken to court, and not us.

        I totally accept the idea of panels as a way of protection. One of the questions I have asked
in King’s, over things like the fact that the Data Protection Act now applies to everything we write
on a student’s examination paper, and so on – which takes all the fun out of marking! – relates to



                                                  16
insurance. If it is not the next person but is actually us who are taken to court, does the Church have
insurance policies that will cover the legal fees and so on?

        The last question I have is this. I know that lawyers think that words are very important. I
was therefore fascinated to see on page 28 that, since you did not need to amend Canon No. B30,
the issue of whether you had to amend the Worship and Doctrine Act 1974 was an academic one. I
am really grateful for that, and that the Church thinks that some questions are academic. I want to
know which academics you consulted and what the academic advice given was. I am sure that you
would not have indulged in the offensive habit of using that to mean “irrelevant and pointless”!

        Revd Martin Walker (Lichfield): I have worked and lived in the rough end of Shrewsbury –
if you can believe that Shrewsbury has a rough end. One in five of the marriages I have carried out
have been of divorced people. I cannot conceive how most of those would begin to get their heads
round the panel system. The panel system will just be for those with money and the eloquent ones.
It simply will not work downtown. Either the clergy will ignore it or it will simply be a barrier to
remarriage.

        Revd Howard Such (Canterbury): I would like to pick up on Father David’s point about
panels. Not to advocate panels, or any other means for that matter, as a way of protecting the
clergy, but to ask whether there might be some way of using that, or another mechanism, to bring
about what is asked for on page 20 of the report.
        “In deciding your response to the application you need to ensure the maximum degree of
        consistency in your approach, as applicants are entitled to have their cases dealt with by
        you consistently.”
I would have thought that is self-evident. Where I can see it becoming difficulty – leaving aside the
case of clergy who for good reasons of conscience feel they cannot do this at all – is to ensure some
consistency of approach across a given area, be it a diocese, a deanery, the parish next door, or
indeed nationally.

        I would be greatly reassured if there were some means by which, without necessarily
involving long and expensive legal tribunals and so on, there is a way in which couples who come
to the Church can be assured of some consistency of approach, rather than simply, as we all know
happens, saying, “One priest will and another priest will not, so we know where we are going to go
– because that is the only way we will get it done”.

        That seems to me to be a wrong signal to be sending out to them. I would be very glad to
think that somewhere, be it in the advice, in another mechanism that can be attached to it, or
whatever it is, there can be the assurance of a consistency of approach on behalf of the ministry of
the Church to the couples, as well as protection of the profession.

       Revd Hugh Broad (Gloucester): My fellow pro-Prolocutor talked about the pastoral
problems, as many others have. May I illustrate this by the situation I arrived in when I went to my
present parish five and a half years ago. My predecessor, who had been there about seven years,
had conducted the remarriage of over 30 couples, two or three of which had been third marriages,
and apparently had done it with no questions or anything like that. When I came along and said to
a couple, “I think we need to sit down and talk about this, and find out what the situation is”, the



                                                  17
reply came, “Oh, well, when my brother got married he came along to your predecessor and he just
did it”.

       You inherit an immense pastoral problem when you follow someone who has taken an
extremely liberal line, whereas I wanted at least to go through the motions of finding out whether it
was right and proper for me to do the second marriage. I was on a hiding to nothing.

        Revd Christopher Wilson (Lincoln): I have no problem at present, working within the
bishops’ guidelines for remarriage, interviewing the couple myself and coming to a decision. The
bishop so far has not suggested that I look further into it, but I would be very happy to hear his
advice.

        My big concern, however, is that if it remains always the decision of the person who is to
officiate at the wedding, and given that we are not indestructible – we do move, we do retire – what
safeguards are there for a couple, who might have approached with some trepidation and gone
through the process with their parish priest, who then discover that, before the wedding date, he
has moved on, retired or, perhaps in some cases, died?

       I raised that at diocesan synod. I am very sorry that it has not been fed into the system,
because I think that it is an important measure for consistency in dealing with people in a pastoral
manner.

        Revd Simon Stokes (Norwich): I agree with very much of what has been said already. A
point that has not specifically been made tonight but which has been made on other occasions is to
do with how couples perceive what they are told; also how we perceive what they say and how
often they either twist what has happened in the past, or they come prepared.

         A joke I have been thinking of helps to illustrate it. A young girl said to the vicar, “I’m not
coming to church any more”. The vicar says, “Why is that? What has happened?”. She said, “I’m
scared of church”. “Why are you scared of church?”. “Well”, she said, “my uncle said that at the
service last week there was a canon in the pulpit, the choir murdered the anthem, and the organist
drowned the choir!”. We have misunderstandings. When you say to a couple, “No”, they do not
hear it in any way other than, “The Church doesn’t want us. The Church is rejecting us”.

       There are very grave pastoral issues. We do have to make decisions and it is important that
we are supported centrally. It is important that if we say no and we are sued, we can be covered
under insurance. At the end of the day, however, if we say no or even if we say yes, we have to get
alongside the people and preach the Gospel to them.

        Revd Paul Collier (Southwark): I have had a very consistent approach, which is that I
always say yes. I do that because we cannot stop a couple who want to get married from getting
married. Also, we cannot withhold God’s blessing from that marriage. When I say to a couple,
“That’s wonderful! Congratulations! Please do come. We’d love to help you celebrate your
marriage – and there are some things we need to talk about”, I believe that it is much easier for a lot
of couples then to listen to some of the issues involved in that advice, and maybe that will help to
strengthen the marriage in the future.



                                                  18
        I think that is a much more constructive approach. It also has the benefit of being entirely
consistent.

       The Chairman: I will ask the Bishop of Winchester if he would like to reply to some of
those points.

         The Bishop of Winchester: It may be worth first of all saying a little about timings. This
relates in part to Robin Ward’s point. It is almost six years since the working party that I chaired
began work. It was the autumn of 1996. Though the report was not finally published until January
2000, if any of you have looked at it recently or have it with you, you will find that at (x) at the end
of my foreword it is dated September 1998. There is something below that which says, “Factual
information in the report was updated in September 1999”, but that means statistical and that kind
of information. I am not taking responsibility for the fact that, whatever happened in Wales
1998-99, we read the Welsh papers in 1997 and the legal advice that went into this document was
given, at the latest, in the first part of 1998.

        I will not recount the story to you, because it would not be appropriate – of how it was that
there was a range of delays and then the September 1999 grey-backed paper on marriage. But those
dates, in a way, tell their own story. It has had a long period of genesis, as I say.

        I think that it is also fair to say that our original judgment in the working party and in this
document was, first, that we understood the 1965 Marriage Act as the lawyers now understand it,
though we did not understand it with the effect that there was some real danger of the bishops, the
Church, the Synod, whoever, fettering – a legal word I have learned only in the last four or five
months – the independent discretion of the priest, if the guidance could be regarded as too heavy.
We were clearly under the impression that we were to work and advise the Synod t work within the
1965 Marriage Act. It did not seem to us – and I have to say it still does not seem to me, in a context
in which the Church’s understanding of marriage, which is fundamentally enshrined in common
law, is under a whole range of sorts of attack – that this was a good time to be seeking to encourage
Government and the House of Commons to be working on the state’s understanding of marriage.
That is a reaction that is firm in my judgment at the moment.

        However, it means that we then took the view that, if the responsibility did lie with the
priest – as we believed it did lie there – and if we were, as we were, no more convinced about
anything that looked remotely like Option G than people had been in the late-1980s, the best that
we could do was to seek to build into our report as near as the Church of England can ever come to
an invariable reference to the bishop – on the understanding that the decision, in the end, still lay
with the parish priest.

        That invariable reference to the bishop was disliked by some, liked by others. We have
since been advised, in the advice which you have in final form, that guidelines need to be phrased
as advice, because it needs to be crystal clear that the parish priest is the person, under the present
state of the law, who has the decisions to make.




                                                  19
        It remains the case, within the legal understanding we have now received, that a priest has
access to her or his bishop, and the bishops will continue to stand ready, either at first hand or
through some representative, continue to offer advice, to dialogue, to respond – on the
understanding that the decision lies with the parish priest.

        Nor is it the case that the Synod’s legal advisers have, in my judgment, given some wrong
advice. They were never asked a question about whether the Synod could or could not go down
some other road by Measure. But if they had been asked that question, they would have responded
as Mr Trott has just described. That part of the advice, given, as I understand it, to the synod of the
diocese of London, in disagreement with the synod’s law officers was inappropriate because it did
not catch correctly the question that the synod law officers had actually been responding to.

        It is important to be careful when speaking of a legal opinion coming from the Privy
Council. It may be that the lawyer is connected with service to the Privy Council, but I think that it
is quite important for his sake, leave aside the Privy Council’s, to be clear that they do not have a
hand in the matter.

        I have already noted my acute anxiety -- as someone who has been working over the last
four or five years at quite a lot of points with representatives of the present Government around
marriage – that we need to be very wary about giving opportunities to the state to re-examine its
understanding of marriage. I strongly doubt too whether Parliament would be prepared to regard as
expedient a change in the law which would effectively weaken the standing and rights of the parish
clergy. There are of course those in this house who, in other circumstances, would strongly back
Parliament in being so defending of the rights of the parish clergy.

       I think that I have responded to the first part of Robin Ward’s points, in terms of what I
have said about dates. I do not think that there is any doubt regarding the Church’s teaching about
marriage. I should have been very concerned if we had come under pressure to propose
amendment of Canon No. B30. We are advised, I am glad to say, that there is no need to do that –
which was the position of the House of Bishops in the second half of the 1980s.

         There is one further point worth making about that. The legal advisers spoke of Canon No
B30 as being ambiguous. There is an alternative view – not, I have to say, from lawyers but from
moral theologians – that Canon No. B30, while absolutely clear about what marriage is in its
nature, quite explicitly and intentionally did not go down the indissolubilist road. In other words, it
is not that it is ambiguous; it is positive about the character of marriage in itself, in its nature, but
resisted the kinds of pressures that were around and whose being around is represented also in the
acts of Convocation, resisting the pressures to make an indissolubilist statement in the canon.

        The purpose of my saying that is to say that I do not believe that our teaching and doctrine
of marriage is uncertain. Nor do I believe that the civil law is stopping us setting it out. What may
be the case is that, unless there were some change in section 8 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1965,
a particular kind of discipline is not available to us. Then you are into a range of other questions,
including that one about seeking to change the law.




                                                   20
        We are advised at the moment – and Stephen Slack will tell me if I am wrong – and Richard
Burridge’s point is clear, that the Human Rights Act is being used by all sorts of people and all
sorts of interests to threaten all sorts of other people. Until a whole range of questions is worked
through in the courts, there is a lot to be said for not running scared before what this or that lawyer,
or this or that pressure group, tells you is likely to be the influence of the Human Rights Act. That
said, we are advised – and I think I have understood the advice we have received – that if a priest
has, in good conscience, sought to make a decision whether or not to marry a couple in these
circumstances, according to his or her understanding of the doctrine of the Church of England and
not on some other extraneous set of considerations, they are very unlikely to be challengeable
under the human rights legislation. That is what I have understood.

        It has also been hinted – not in this document but in some of our lengthy discussions – that,
once we were into some kind of process with judgments by panels and tribunals, which will
undoubtedly end up with some people represented by lawyers and would, as has been said, be
impermeable to many less educated people, that is meat and drink to all kinds of legal structures at
the present time.

        It is still my own view, I have to say, that the expense and administrative cost, in other
ways as well as expense – and the damage to the Church’s reputation in going down a tribunals’
road – are prohibitive. I am interested that the Canadians, with probably a far smaller number of
people going through such a process – came to that conclusion. I find it very hard indeed to think
that that could be a proper thing.

       The Archdeacon of Bournemouth (Ven Adrian Harbidge): May I make a point of order.
There are clearly a lot of problems, but when we come to the debate the press will be present.

       Can we make it clear that we enjoy weddings? That we want to find a way of helping
couples, and that we do not treat them all as problems?

       The Chairman: I am sure that was not a point of order, but it is a very important point.

        Bishop, I am sorry that we are under pressure of time, but it is wonderful to have you able
to respond in such an informal way to our very many questions and queries. I hope that you feel it
has been useful.

        The Bishop of Winchester: May I make one other observation. This is something that I shall
also seek to say next week. It picks up David Houlding and others’ very proper use of language,
using the word “pastoral”. These are pastoral encounters. They are also, as we have been seeking
to say at various points earlier, mission – evangelistic encounters.

        Part of my anxiety in all this is of course the anxiety in the diocese of London synod and
other places – the “slippery slope” question – that we will find ourselves more and more drawn
away from our convictions about marriage as, in its nature, lifelong. We are in this matter, as we
know, holding two things that I believe passionately about. One of them is the forgiveness of God
and another is the character of marriage.




                                                  21
        My own judgment is that we cannot keep our hands clean in this matter. In a stage in
society when so many people are in this position of having had marital breakdown, I believe that
we need clear guidelines, advice, and I believe that we need to keep a decision made. I disagree
fundamentally therefore with Mr Collier. However, I do believe that this is a pastoral and an
evangelistic issue. This is one of the many pastoral front lines. We will not be able to keep our
hands clean or our practice entirely tidy. As a matter of historical judgment, I judge that is the
position the Church has been in since within the New Testament period. So “pastoral” can be used
that way too.

      The Chairman: Thank you very much, bishop. We are very grateful. [The Bishop of
Winchester withdrew.]

5.     Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of the Clergy

       Canon Hugh Wilcox (St Albans): I beg to move:
       “(a) That the House do take note of the draft document”.

        I will assume that everybody has read the document. I want first of all to say what a
privilege it was to be chairman. This is the only group I have ever chaired in which every member
was hardworking, enthusiastic and, although they did not necessarily agree with each other, in the
end produced a document that they were all totally committed to – very rare in my experience. I am
also grateful to the two secretaries of the Convocations and to the staff at Church House, who have
been very supportive.

        The draft guidelines were published earlier this year, as you know, and have been
discussed widely. The members of the group have made themselves available to speak at a variety
of meetings, and I have had the privilege of being invited to speak both to diocesan registrars and
to diocesan secretaries – two contrasting but equally terrifying audiences.

        I am glad to say that both bodies gave the guidelines their general support. That, I think, is
an early plus in the discussion and process. The document is, as it says, a draft document. This is
the beginning of a conversation, not the end of one and I hope that it will go on being a
conversation. If, as I hope, this house and the house elsewhere approve of the motion, then the
working party can continue with the work, take note of all the responses we have had – we have
had over 70, although a lot of them are repetitious and say the same things – and our plan, if you
give us the go-ahead, is to bring a revised document to Convocation and Synod next February. It
cannot be done any earlier than that.

        The majority of the comments have been very supportive. We have of course had the kind
of individual objections, saying that we should not be doing it at all. One, surprisingly, objecting to
Francis Bridger – I have not yet got my head round why! – and some people saying that the clergy
should not be drafting their own guidelines. The majority of the comments, however, have been
very supportive.

       We recognise, as we recognised when we were drafting, that the central issue is that of
confidentiality; especially the complications of child abuse, and the varying views that there are



                                                  22
about what is and what is not legally required of clergy. We are getting legal advice on that. I know
that is a phrase referred to in the previous discussion, which does not necessarily give one entire
confidence – but we are doing our best on that, because what the legal requirements are on these
matters certainly do need to be made much clearer.

        Some comments have asked how these guidelines can be enforced. That question is totally
to misunderstand the exercise. We are not, and have never been, involved in producing a legal
document. If and when the Discipline Measure comes back from Parliament, it will be the
unenviable job, of Canon Hawker and others no doubt, to produce a code which will go with it.
That is a different thing. What we were asked to produce and have tried to produce are guidelines
emerging from pastoral practice and which, if they found favour, will become influential, we pray,
in theological training, in post-ordination training, in continuing ministerial education, and will be
sufficiently flexible for Convocation from time to time to adjust in terms of experience. It is not
meant to be law. It is meant to be something which is, as it says, a guideline.

        We realise that there are a lot of things which need fine-tuning; it may be that there are
things which need to be put in that are not there, and others to be taken out. We will take very
seriously all the responses that we receive and, if individuals here want to make responses, please
do. Do not be put off by the date of 31 July. If you have things to say to us, set them down in
writing and let Michael Hodge or myself have them, because we do want as wide a response as
possible. If this document is to be of any use at all, it has to be owned by all of us, through all of the
wide experience which is in this room and throughout the Church.

        The Archdeacon of Malmesbury (Ven Alan Hawker): May I clarify and add to what Hugh
has said? The function of my working group was not to set standards for the Church of England
clergy. That is specifically outside our brief.

        I welcome this. The code of practice, if it comes, on the Discipline Measure will be about
the procedures and how to operate them. This is a good step forward. There is some way to go,
because you will have the problem that exists between making a general statement and a more
precise comment. Everyone agrees that inappropriate touch is wrong, but what is inappropriate
touch in a variety of situations?

       Though self-regulation is right and proper for a body which acts with some degree of
professionalism, I personally think that now is the time for the Convocations to invite a slightly
wider contribution from professional people in the laity of the Church. I do not know which way
you would want to do it – from the House of Laity or in any other way – but at this stage, now that
we have begun to flesh out the framework, they might give us some very useful responses, and also
provide a mirror back of how it looks to them.

       It was quite right for the clergy to start the ball rolling, but I suspect that at this stage we
need some help from others.

        Revd Michael Norman (Bath and Wells): I have some questions on the document. I would
refer to 6.7,




                                                   23
        “Clergy must not render ministerial service to the members of another parish, church or
        pastoral cure without consulting the minister concerned”.
If you come from a city, as I do in Bath, then Christian churches are totally intermixed. The word
“must” there ought to be “should” or something else. It is just realistic. I have never had anyone
phone me up about all their members in my parish, and vice versa.
        I refer also to 9.2,
        “The clergy should meet regularly with a work consultant to review their ongoing
        ministerial practice”.
Is that ministerial review, or is that something new?

       There is also a problem with 10.8. What does it mean by being, “under the influence of
alcohol”? How much?

        Canon Hugh Wilcox: I could not begin to answer the question about alcohol! Some of the
points that have been made have been made by others, and clearly we have to go back to the
drawing board to look at the definitions.

        The point about the authority of other ministers is important. We should try to operate it, as
a matter of courtesy. I think you are quite right that we need to change the language slightly, but I
hope we can preserve the point about it. I do not think that any of us has the right to start wandering
into other people’s parishes and doing things without their permission, as we would not expect
them to do in ours. I take the point, however.

        I believe that the matter of work consultants is one of Peter Hill’s interesting contributions.
I think that there is a difference between ministerial review and a work consultant in the technical
sense. I see some people nodding, so they clearly do know what this means. Since you do not, and
I do not very specifically, we would need to look at that again.

       This is one example of where secular disciplines are coming in. I agree with Alan
Hawker’s point. We had already begun to take lay advice and consultancy advice about training
and consultancy anyway and we will certainly want to look at that in the revision process.

       The motion was put and carried.

       Canon Hugh Wilcox: I beg to move:
             “ (b) That the working party be invited to consider the comments that will have
                   been received by not later than 31 July 2002 and to bring amended
                   guidelines to the Convocation at the earliest possible date”.

       The motion was put and carried.

6.      Formal motions
        The Chairman: The last two items reflect the fact that the Convocation meets very
infrequently and may not meet for many years to come. So we need to do one or two things, just to
tidy up our business.




                                                  24
       Revd David Houlding (London): I beg to move:
       “(i)  That the Prolocutor be authorised, pursuant to SO 13, to nominate members to
             serve on any committee after the House has risen with the concurrence of the
             Standing Committee of the House;

       (ii)    that those resolutions which should be conveyed to the Upper House be so
               conveyed”.

       The motion was put and carried.

       The Chairman: I have a notice for you and this has to do with the election of the Prolocutor.
There were a number of questions after the last elections about the processes that we went through,
some people not quite understanding the processes.

        The Standing Committee will recommend to Convocation that, in future, the Prolocutor
should be elected as soon as possible after the election of a new Convocation, preferably by a
postal vote.

         Voting for two clerical members of the Archbishops’ Council will not commence until the
election of Prolocutor has been concluded and the name of the Prolocutor has been notified to
electors. So we shall be bringing before you some changes to the Standing Orders, to bring that
about. Many people have asked about the process and some have been confused by the process.
We will have the opportunity, before the end of this quinquennium, to revise that process, make it
a little more transparent and, hopefully, help you not to make the mistake that you made last time
with the election of the Prolocutor!

7.     Minutes
       Canon Michael Hodge (Synodical Secretary) read the minutes, which were then approved
as being a correct record.

                          Convocation was prorogued at 10 p.m.




                                                25
                     CONVOCATION OF

                        CANTERBURY




       Undecima Convocatio Elizabetha Secunda Regnante




                           SESSION II


                  Monday, 11 November 2002




                   Minutes of the Full Synod
                    and the Lower House




Note: Resolutions which have been carried are printed in bold type.




                                26
                                         SESSION II

                                 Monday, 11th November 2002


The Convocation of the Province of Canterbury assembled at 2.00 p.m. in the Harvey Goodwin
Suite, Church House, Westminster.



                                          Full Synod


1. THE CHAIR
The Chair was taken by the Bishop of London (the Right Reverend and Right Honourable Richard
Chartres).


2. PRAYERS
Prayers were said by the Chairman.


3. ASSESSORS
With the leave of the Chairman, the Prolocutor appointed his Assessors for the day:-
               The Reverend Jonathan Alderton-Ford (St Edmundsbury & Ipswich)
               The Reverend Canon Nigel LLoyd         (Salisbury)
               The Reverend Jenny Thomas              (Southwark)
               The Reverend Canon Paul Mellor         (Truro)


4.     MARRIAGE IN CHURCH AFTER DIVORCE.
The Bishop of Winchester (the Right Reverend Michael Scott-Joynt) moved –
“That the rescission of paragraph 1 of the Marriage Resolutions of the Convocation of
Canterbury dated 5th May 1957 and of paragraphs 1 to 4 of the Marriage Resolutions of the
Convocation of York dated June 1938 be approved”.

In the discussion there took part: the Reverend Richard Seabrook (Chelmsford), the Reverend
John Cook (London), the Reverend Robin Ward (Rochester), the Reverend Stephen Trott
(Peterborough), the Reverend Michael Norman (Bath and Wells), the Reverend Canon Dr Brian
Chalmers (Canterbury), the Reverend Jonathan Baker (Oxford), the Reverend Canon Hugh
Wilcox (St Albans), the Reverend Hugh Lee (Oxford), the Reverend Prebendary Horace Harper
(Lichfield), the Reverend Moira Astin (Oxford), the Bishop of Rochester (the Right Reverend
Michael Nazir-Ali), the Reverend David Houlding (London), the Venerable Alan Hawker
(Archdeacon of Malmesbury, Bristol), the Venerable Nicholas Baines (Archdeacon of Lambeth,
Southwark), the Bishop of Chichester (the Right Reverend John Hind), the Bishop of Guildford



                                              27
(the Right Reverend John Gladwin) and the Reverend Dr John Burridge (University of London).

After the Bishop of Winchester had replied to the debate, the motion was put to the Convocation.
The voting was as follows:
In the Upper House, 26 FOR the motion and 1 AGAINST the motion.
In the Lower House, 77 FOR the motion and 26 AGAINST the motion.
The motion was therefore CARRIED in both Houses.

The Chairman and the members of the Upper House then withdrew.


                                         Lower House


5.     THE CHAIR
The Prolocutor (Canon Bob Baker) took the Chair.


6.      FORMAL MOTIONS
It was proposed by the Reverend Canon Hugh Broad (Pro-Prolocutor, Gloucester) and agreed:
"(i) That the Prolocutor be authorised, pursuant to Standing Order 13, to nominate
members to serve on any Committee after the House has risen with the concurrence of the
Standing Committee of the House;
(ii)    That those resolutions which should be conveyed to the Upper House be so
conveyed."


7.    MINUTES.
The Minutes of this Session were read, confirmed and reduced to Acts according to the ancient
custom of Convocation.


The Prolocutor gave the Blessing, and the House stood prorogued.




                                              28
                         CONVOCATION OF CANTERBURY


                    The Convocation of Canterbury met in Full Synod
                       on Monday 11 November 2002 at 2 p.m. at
                             Church House, Westminster.
                     The Chair was taken by the Bishop of London.


1.     Prayers

2.     Assessors

              Canon Bob Baker (Norwich) appointed as Assessors –
Revd Jonathan Alderton-Ford (St Edmundsbury & Ipswich), Canon Nigel LLoyd
(Salisbury), Revd Jenny Thomas (Southwark), Canon Paul Mellor (Truro).

3.    Marriage in church after divorce
              The President: We now come to the most substantial item of business, item
3. The Bishop of Winchester will move that the rescission of paragraph 1 of the Marriage
Resolutions be approved. It has been agreed that this item should be considered in full
Synod. It is Article 7 business and, accordingly, under the Standing Orders of Convocation
no amendment to the motion is in order, nor is it in order to move to next business or to
suggest from the floor of the Convocation any speech limit or the closure.

       With that in mind and granted that we owe it to the rest of the General Synod to
discharge this business before half-past three, I suggest that we should try to complete the
debate on this item by twenty past three, if we need that amount of time. The Lower House
will then be able to complete its remaining business by 3.30. I know that I will have the
co-operation of every member of Convocation in keeping contributions concise and I
suggest that, from the word go, we have a five-minute speech limit after the Bishop of
Winchester has spoken.

       I will now call on the Bishop to move the motion standing in his name.

              The Bishop of Winchester (Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt): I beg to move:
       ‘That the rescission of paragraph 1 of the Marriage Resolutions of the Convocation
       of Canterbury dated 5th May 1957 and of paragraphs 1 to 4 of the Marriage
       Resolutions of the Convocation of York dated June 1938 be approved’.

        Convocation Resolutions in question this afternoon derive from this ancient body,
and it is only proper that it should have an opportunity to consider them as the Synod’s
constitution provides. I do not propose to rehearse the arguments that I made, both in this


                                            29
body and in the Synod last July, but it may be helpful if I clarify some points so as to clear
up any possible misunderstandings and one or two that have been voiced.

        This is, in two senses, uncompleted business. First, because other parts of these
Resolutions relating to the eligibility of divorced persons for the Church’s sacraments and
then the prohibition on any church service following a civil marriage after divorce were
rescinded in 1982 and 1985 respectively.

        Secondly, because it is a logical progression from Synod’s July motion,
recognising that there could be further marriage in exceptional circumstances, to rescind
Resolutions which exhort the Church not to allow further marriage in the case of anyone
with a former partner still living. Indeed, as you know, Synod gave general approval for
such a step by an overwhelming majority only four months ago.

        Of course I recognise that there are many clergy – and I am one of them – who have
remained loyal to the Convocation Resolutions and who feel that they may be more
exposed if those Resolutions no longer remain on the record. But I want to say that those
who have that anxiety will remain under no obligation to solemnize marriages after
divorce, as their discretion to decide whether or not to do so remains protected not only by
the civil law but also by paragraph (c) of the first and main resolution of the Synod last
July, which stated explicitly –
       “The decision whether or not to solemnize such a marriage in church after divorce
       rests with the minister”.
I am sure that I can also speak for my colleagues in the House of Bishops in saying that
bishops will continue to respect and uphold the position of clergy in their dioceses who
refuse to conduct further marriages on grounds of conscience.

         I also want to assure clergy, with everyone else, that the House’s proposals have
been framed in such a way as to uphold the principle that marriage should only be entered
as a lifelong commitment. That was explicitly reaffirmed in paragraph (a) of the Synod’s
first and main July resolution. It underpins the advice that the House intends to issue to
clergy, of which there was a very late draft as an appendix to the July paper, in the event of
the Convocation Resolutions being revoked by the process – which has an important stage
this afternoon and, if it is taken in both Convocations and the House of Laity this afternoon,
the Synod will have an opportunity to confirm on Thursday morning.

        These proposals, this guidance and recommendations, also provide for clergy to
refer individual cases to their bishop for advice, should they wish to do so and, coupled
with programmes of training – like FLAME and the Mothers’ Union and a range of other
people with the relevant experience of working with them – clergy should not feel
unsupported in their decision-making on these sensitive pastoral matters.




                                             30
        I remain convinced that the revocation, the rescission – which is the rather
delightful legal name – of these Resolutions is a necessary step in providing the Church
with a clearer position on a matter which does touch the lives of thousands of our
parishioners. We cannot as a Church say on the one hand, as we did in July, that further
marriage is possible in exceptional circumstances, while at the same time remain of the
view that the marriage service should not be used in the case of anyone with a former
partner still living.

        That is where we are as we stand today, but I hope that Convocation will take the
step toward resolving this inconsistency today by agreeing to the resolution before us – as,
effectively, the Synod started the process of asking the Convocations and the House of
Laity to do in the second motion in July.

              Revd Richard Seabrook (Chelmsford): If you look at these Acts of
Convocation, despite the fact that there have already been some changes to them, this is
nevertheless a continuation of the fact that the teaching of the Church on the nature of
marriage, as the Church of England has received it, is suffering from great erosion.

        To have the nature of marriage embodied in these Convocation Acts is of great help
when a couple come to a vicarage seeking remarriage, if one of those parties has been
divorced and the former spouse is still living. I believe that, as clergy, we need to be able to
point to these Acts of Convocation and the Resolutions contained therein as proof of the
teachings of the Church.

        Many have lived faithful Christian lives, knowing that they have not been able to
get married in church because of the Church’s current teaching. How unjust it will be to
them if these Acts of Convocation are revoked. I remain convinced that if this is given
approval today the signals that the Church of England will give out to our nation will be
very confused indeed. The teaching of the Church will appear to be confused and those
who have tried to live faithful Christian lives will equally be confused. Those who come to
see us in our vicarages or rectories will also go away feeling confused.

         On the one hand, these Resolutions support the upholding of Christ’s teaching on
marriage and yet, if they are revoked today, I believe that the Church of England will give
out all the wrong signals and will be unfaithful to Our Lord and his Gospel.

              Revd John Cook (London): In the report from the bishops on GS 1449A,
point 2(d) says –
       “The House intends to issue this after the passage of final approval for rescission of
       the Convocation Resolution”.

       I have a concern about that. It may be necessary long term to do something, but it is
very hard to do it immediately without seeing what the advice will be. I personally have a


                                              31
great concern that we will erode the exceptional thing that we put in place, and I am not yet
convinced.

              Revd Robin Ward (Rochester): I am anxious about two things in the way in
which we are proceeding today, because I feel that we are in danger of having an abdication
of responsibility as a Church in teaching on this question.

        It seems to me, as the Bishop of Winchester has rightly said, that in July we decided
that the Convocation Resolutions as they stand do not reflect where the Church wishes to
be on this question. I regret that and continue to hold, in my own pastoral practice, to an
indissolubilist position; but I recognise that the Church wishes to move. However, we
could do that simply by changing paragraph 1.3 in the Canterbury Convocation
Resolutions which says that you cannot use the marriage service for somebody who has a
previous partner still living. That would be simple to do and would continue the process
that we have been going through over the last 20 or 30 years, in removing those parts of
these Resolutions that no longer seem applicable.

        We are not doing that, however. We are getting rid of them completely. This
comes back to the question of the legal advice we were given – which has, as it were,
delivered us bound, hand and foot, into the hands of the lawyers. It is that we are unable as
a Church to give anything more than advice on this fundamental question of Christian
moral practice – the advice that the House of Bishops are going to issue. This does not
seem to me to be good enough. I think that we need to be more of a teaching Church.

        The Winchester report said that it envisaged having, either in the form of a change
to the Act of Convocation or even a change to the Canons, a statement of what the Church
taught in this area. However, we have decided that, because of what the lawyers said, we
cannot do that. We knew about this legal advice before the Winchester report was
published. It was all written up, because it was dealt with by the Church in Wales in May
1998 in the Ecclesiastical Law Review. We chose to ignore it then and proceeded with
Winchester, which said that the Church could say to the clergy how they should act in these
circumstances. However, we have now said that we cannot: that only advice can be given.
We have also mentioned the word “exceptional”. I do not really know what “exceptional”
means. I believe that the Bishop of Winchester, in his speech in July, said to us that you
could not measure “exceptional”. It was an aspiration rather than an actual constriction of
the number of these weddings that would take place.

        I think that we therefore need first to have clarified before us why we are not simply
removing paragraph 1.3. Why is the whole regulation going? If it is because of the legal
advice that we were given, then I think that needs to be revisited, because it removes from
the purview of the Synod and House of Bishops a whole area of Christian moral teaching
about relationships which is important.



                                             32
        Secondly, we need more clarification about “exceptional”. What does
“exceptional” mean? How should the clergy apply it? How can the House of Bishops,
exercising their episkopé, regulate that insertion into what we discussed in July, which met
with substantial support when it was passed as an amendment?

               Revd Stephen Trott (Peterborough): I would like to ask further questions about
this term “exceptional”. My guess is that in a very short space of time what we have called
“exceptional” will quickly become the routine.

         Following the July debate, I have already had a couple come to see me who have had no
previous connection with any sort of organised Christianity but who have read in the newspapers
that the Church of England has changed its mind on this issue – and could they please book a
wedding in my church on Maundy Thursday next year? I suspect that that will become routine
rather than exceptional.

         The only way we have, it seems to me, of maintaining some sort of clarity about the term
“exceptional” is to retain precisely these Resolutions which we are being asked to remove. I see no
conflict between the text of these Resolutions and the test of Canon B30, which we are proposing
to retain. In fact, what I would like us to do is to consider providing a separate form of marriage
service for those who are to be married in exceptional circumstances – because there is a particular
difficulty for anybody taking party in a Christian service to take solemn vows and obligations
which are clearly perceivable to be in conflict with their existing state of life.

         The Book of Common Prayer which I use for marriage services is quite explicit about the
nature of holy matrimony. I would find it very difficult indeed to be able to use that again in the
case of someone with a former partner still living.

         I would like to draw attention to the particular problems that the piecemeal approach that
has been taken will have for parish priests. It was said at the very beginning that there is a postcode
lottery; that in 10 per cent of parishes you can get remarried in church and it is just a matter of
happening to be fortunate enough to live in the right parish or to find a sympathetic parish priest. I
think that this will increase the postcode lottery, except that the statistics will be reversed and it
will be 10 per cent who are unwilling in conscience to perform such services and 90 per cent in
practice who will. That leaves those 10 per cent in an extremely invidious position.

          The problem will be further complicated for us as clergy in finding new appointments
when the time comes. My prediction and my guess is that many parishes will not be willing to
have as their parish priest somebody who will not perform services of this nature. It will severely
restrict the ability of those who in conscience are unable to perform such services to continue to
move around within the Church of England, in the sorts of patterns to which we are accustomed.

         I would therefore propose that we retain these Resolutions; that they are not in conflict
with the lawyers’ advice that has been given to the House of Bishops and to the General Synod;
that they remain as a statement of our view as a Church of the nature of Christian marriage and of
the seriousness of the obligation which it involves for those entering into it and that,
particularly as it touches us here at a Convocation, it provides us with a right and a


                                                  33
statement of our conscience that otherwise we will not have, and without which many of us
will be put in very serious difficulty in conducting a pastoral ministry equally and fairly to
all those who come to our doors.
        I am not willing to discriminate between those who come to my door. I cannot see
any grounds for saying yes to some and no to others. It has to be either yes to everybody or
no to everybody, and I guess that most clergy will find themselves forced to say yes to
everybody without these regulations. I therefore ask that we consider very seriously
retaining them, as a means of stating precisely what we mean by “exceptional”.

               Revd Michael Norman (Bath and Wells): I would like to raise a few points
which have been made and to state a deep concern about the floodgates being opened to
remarriage being something that happens all the time, rather than something that is
exceptional. We have seen already that the guidelines have turned into advice, and I think
that they will then disappear completely.

        My predecessor in my parish had some guidelines which were very similar to the
Bishop of Winchester’s guidelines in his report. It was interesting that they were gradually
being eroded in the parish which I moved to four years ago. I think that will just happen
naturally if there is not some check – and this Act of Convocation gives some check to that.

        I am also concerned about clergy being set up as judge and jury, so to speak,
especially in communities which are very close-knit. It may be different in city
communities but, in villages where you decide that in one case it is all right to remarry and
in another it is not, there would be difficulties in the community – because word would get
round.

        I would also like to express concern about consistency. I think that there is a
consistent policy presently and there will not be after this.

        I am also concerned about scripture. I would like to make a point that nobody has
yet made. When we look at scripture, Our Lord Jesus was not talking in a society that did
not have divorce and remarriage but actually in a very similar society to ours today, where
there is a massive debate. He said something that was very conservative and very strict to
society about divorce and remarriage. Here we are, moving in the opposite direction. I
would encourage Convocation not to carry this motion.

              Canon Dr Brian Chalmers (Canterbury): I find it difficult to believe that I
am sitting among the same set of people, presumably, who were at the last debate when this
issue was raised. I feel it necessary to say that there is at least a tiny minority of us – and it
seemed to be a rather larger minority last time we had the debate – who do in fact
countenance remarriage of those who have been previously married.




                                               34
        I spend a great deal of time with these couples and I do not marry any of them or all
of them willy-nilly. Those whom I have come to the conclusion it would not be proper in
every case have understood my point of view and have been prepared to go along with it.
So it has not produced difficulty or anxiety of that kind. It gives an opportunity to spend
time trying to help them to understand both why their previous marriage might have gone
wrong and also help them to be looking towards a Christian understanding of marriage, and
perhaps even give them some help and guidance that this time round might be more
successful than the last. I would therefore be in favour of it.

         Have we really all changed our minds since last time or are the majority of people
still with me?

               Revd Jonathan Baker (Oxford): It was only yesterday, at the end of parish
Eucharist in my church, that a couple came up to me, having come in halfway through the
service, and said, “Vicar, we have both been married before. We are Roman Catholics
really, but we understand that your Church doesn’t mind about this any more”. I know that
we could all swap anecdotes, but I am very concerned about impressions and public
understanding. It will be very difficult to explain the nuanced and subtle position of the
Winchester report and its guidelines. There will be very many people who will be quite
clear by the end of this debate in Synod, if it goes in that direction, that the Church of
England has changed its mind about marriage.

       We have tried throughout all this process to hold together pastoral care and
teaching, and I think that we have the balance wrong. We have done that particularly
because we have equated the pastoral care of the divorced with remarriage in almost all
circumstances.

         Picking up a point made by the last speaker but putting another angle on it, it has
been my experience that when one has explained, carefully, courteously and I hope
thoroughly, to people who have been married before that the marriage service is not
something that they can have again in church, but that there are other alternatives such as
the service of prayer of dedication – which I know some clergy also have reservations
about – no one in my experience has gone away feeling hurt or rejected. They have
understood that this is the position of the Church and those who have wanted to find a place
in the life of the Church have done so, and have not felt that their membership of the
Church, their relationship with Christ, has been, as it were, in jeopardy.

        On the other hand, I would be reluctant in the extreme to embark on an ongoing
pastoral relationship with a person or a couple to whom I have said no, if we rescind these
regulations. It seems to me that it would be enormously difficult for people to understand a
decision of “no” as anything other than a rejection of them personally. No longer will we
say, and explain patiently and courteously, why the Church teaches what it does. We can
only say to that couple, “I am sorry, you have failed personally to meet our standards”. I


                                             35
think that would be a much harder thing to hear than the things that perhaps we have to say
in our present situation.

               Canon Hugh Wilcox (St Albans): To respond to Mr Chalmers, I am one of
those who has changed his mind, at any rate for the moment. I want the change, but I have
become more and more convinced by clergy I have been speaking to in recent days that
they feel totally unprotected by the so-called “guidelines”, which seem to be very weak
when you look at them in detail.

        We all know as pastors that people will lie until they are blue in the face, even in the
present situation, in order to get married in the church they want to get married in. I have
had two lots of banns challenged in the past few years, because people were telling me that
they lived in the parish and it turned out that they did not.

        It seems to me that we are expected to have investigated all kinds of very
deep-seated matters before we can proceed – and “life ain’t like that”. My fear is if we
proceed on this present basis we will find ourselves driven to a situation such as Father
Trott quite rightly predicted, where there will be the group who are indissolubilists and
others who are driven into sitting very light indeed with the guidelines.

       That would be a very sad situation, because I believe that such marriages should be
exceptional. It is how we achieve that that concerns me. For the moment, I do not think I
can do more than to vote against. I am not satisfied that we are in a position to go forward.

       I hope that these matters can be worked on afresh and we can come again to this,
because I do not think the situation can be left as it is. Certainly, as things stand, I have a
grave problem in voting for the motion.

              Revd Hugh Lee (Oxford): I had not intended to speak in this debate but I am
worried that virtually all the previous speeches have been against this motion. I am
thoroughly in favour of this motion. I think that the Church needs to give a clear message
and, by carrying this motion, I think that it will give a clear message.

         It is very unclear at the moment and, if we said one thing in General Synod and we
now go back and say another thing and then we go to further legislation, where are we? It
is quite clear where we should be. It is quite clear that our sister Churches offer marriage to
divorced people in certain circumstances, and that is what we are going to do if we carry
this motion.

       I worked in the secular world for 35 years, and the message that the Church gives at
the moment is that it is unforgiving. We need to give the message that Jesus gave: that we
forgive you and it is possible to be forgiven. The circumstances obviously have to be
worked out, and the circumstances are different in each case. The resolution makes


                                              36
absolutely clear that it is exceptional circumstances. But we must give the message of
forgiveness, because that is the message that Our Lord gave to us to proclaim. That is the
good news that we have to proclaim. If we do not give that message today, we shall not be
proclaiming good news.

              Prebendary Horace Harper (Lichfield): The teaching of the Church of
England on marriage is plain, in canon law and in the services by which we solemnize
marriage – even in Common Worship, though I suppose it does depend how you put it
together. There can therefore be no doubt about the teaching of the Church. If we are
discovering doubt, then it is simply because things are hopelessly misunderstood, dare I
say even by the parish clergy themselves.

        I have never solemnized a marriage knowingly of those who have had a previous
marriage where the partner is still alive. I did get worried once when I was marrying a
widower and I realised that he had had further marriages further back and I had no idea of
what had happened there. We can be taken for a ride. As Canon Wilcox has said, we are
often taken for a ride by people who are determined.

        It seems to me that we are behaving in this debate very much as if we were
discussing in a vacuum. My response to people asking for marriage after divorce at the
moment is to tell them I cannot help them because the Church of England has a strict
discipline in this matter, but it is only fair to say that other Christian Churches might give
them another answer. My brother’s parishioners here might have been referred to the
Roman Catholic priest and got a better answer out of him than they got out of you –
because that does happen. It is an easy answer for me to give. I am very unhappy with it.

        I also take the point that these matters will not be exceptional in practice. The
exceptional thing cannot in practical terms be held. So what are we to do? Leave things as
they are, with the lottery of the postcode? To be thoroughly misunderstood, as indeed our
debate last July was understood in many of the press reports who thought we were doing an
enabling Act for a second marriage, which was never mentioned in the whole course of the
debate? We shall be misunderstood. But, one way or another, we must make the move,
accept that many clergy are performing second marriages, and they are as entitled to
support as those of us who are unwilling to do them.

        Whether the existing proposed regulations and guidelines are in any way of any use
is perhaps another debate, but I do not think we can, in this section of the Synod, say “We
are going back to the status quo and we are not shifting”. I do not think that is an option.

              Revd Moira Astin (Oxford): I have found that my life experience has often
led me to challenge my thinking. Maybe I am not meant to do that as a Christian, but that
seems to be what has happened to me.



                                             37
        I am also aware that in Synod we are not really meant to tell personal stories, but
never mind. My sister was beaten up by her first husband and she left him. My experience
of God’s forgiveness is that she could be forgiven and be married to the man she should
always have married. Of course, in those days she could not be married in the Church of
England. It caused me to go back to the Bible and really wrestle with what Jesus said.
There are exceptional circumstances where it seems that Jesus said there are some
situations where it might be possible.

        Because of that, I am now in a team where people can be married in those
exceptional circumstances. We have said no. We have nearly always said no because we
have laid the guidelines before people and they have come to the conclusion themselves.
There was a couple within my congregation to whom we said no, and they are still within
the congregation – because we have been honest with them. I think that most people are
honest with us. Most people I meet are genuinely trying to seek some sensible solution to
their future and if we are honest with them, they are honest with us. Yes, we have said yes
to others and we have seen people come to faith through that.

        So please do not let us go back. Please support those of us who believe God is
calling us to do this, to bring Christ’s forgiveness to people and to let them know there is a
new thing that can happen to them.

                The Bishop of Rochester (Rt Revd Michael Nazir-Ali): I think that Father
Robin Ward has raised a very important point and I would like the Bishop of Winchester to
clarify this point in his reply.

        Is the purpose of this motion simply to make the marriage service available for
people who are seeking a further marriage in church after divorce, or is it also to declare
that the Church of England is not competent to enact its own discipline as far as marriage is
concerned? If it is also the latter, then that makes it a very serious matter indeed.

                Revd David Houlding (London): It is important for us to recognise how far
this debate has moved on, especially since July when we passed the amendment on making
it “exceptional circumstances”. It has made a huge difference in the way we think about
this, not least because that amendment put the context into one of pastoral care. The two do
go together.

       When we consider the remarriage of someone who is divorced, it is not simply a
matter of forgiveness. Forgiveness, of course, is on offer to all of us in all areas of life,
including our relationships and our marriages. Whether or not a marriage can be dissolved
and whether or not a remarriage can take place simply do not rest on this concept of
forgiveness. I think it is important to make that distinction.




                                             38
       We have moved this debate on, but we are in a dilemma this afternoon as to what to
do. I fear that to cast out these Resolutions, in both the Convocations of Canterbury and
York, will send out the wrong signals at this stage. We do not yet know exactly what is
contained within the advice that the House of Bishops will give. We have to use the word
“advice” and not “guidelines” because, you will recall, how we were told in the summer
that “guidelines” was too strong a word to use.

      What protection will there be for the clergy who have to make difficult decisions?
There will be some decisions that are clear and obvious, where we ought to say yes –
because the circumstances are genuinely exceptional. I am one who wants to see the way
forward.

        No branch of the Christian Church has ever totally forbidden the possibility of being
remarried in exceptional circumstances. Other branches of the Church have a process of
nullity, which is more helpful. We do not have that way open to us – and, some might say,
quite rightly. At the same time, however, we need also to be able to have that support in
making those difficult decisions. There will also be times when the decision is obvious that
we have to say no; but the majority of occasions will be hard and difficult. What to say?
The clergy do need support in order to come to that decision and the pastoral care they then
have to give.

       What will the advice from the House of Bishops contain? How will it contain this
concept of “exceptional”? Until we know that, I think it is premature to throw out the Act
of Convocation this afternoon. I know that we are living with a contradiction, but we have
been living with that contradiction since 1957 and, in the Province of York, since 1938.
There is a contradiction there and we need to address it, but we have already moved the
debate on a long way. To make a decision today to rescind the Act of Convocation would
be moving too hastily and would actually undo the good work that we have done so far.

              The Archdeacon of Malmesbury (Ven. Alan Hawker): In 30 years as a parish
priest I would reckon that I have had between 200 and 300 requests for what were
remarriages after divorce, and I have to say that in 30 years I have taken them on five
occasions.

        I am therefore content with the basic thrust of what General Synod decided in York.
I believe that is the way we should be moving. My problem, however, is with the
procedure by which we are supposed to be doing it. First of all, I believe fundamentally
that marriage is for life. However, I also believe that as a Church, not only in this area but
in a whole range of other areas, one day we will have seriously to consider what we do
when people undoubtedly fall short of the standards that we espouse as Kingdom standards
and, in a range of situations, persist in those falling-shorts even though they seek
forgiveness and, in this particular instance, want remarriage after divorce.



                                             39
        I have no problem with paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Resolutions and I have no
problem with 4. I cannot understand why we are being asked to rescind any of those three
clauses. In fact, to rescind those clauses is very serious, because we are rescinding the
principle of lifelong union. The only issue at stake here is 3, which is not so much a
statement of doctrinal position; it is suggesting the practical way in which we will put that
into practice. What we are suggesting is that that, and that alone, needs to be modified. My
problem is that I do not want to rescind 1, 2 and 4. In fact, I am quite opposed to rescinding
1, 2 and 4; but I would be happy to see 3 rescinded.

        I am an archdeacon, so I am quite used to meeting with my fellow clergy. My
experience in over four and a half years – and maybe Bristol is an unusual diocese – is that
I have discovered that the clergy are really quite robust. Nearly every clergyman I know is
quite happily throwing canon law to the side when it suits their convenience and, on many
occasions, I do not particularly mind. I am a little puzzled, therefore, when on this
particular issue suddenly we are all extremely fragile and vulnerable. I think that we are
fragile and vulnerable. I think that we will face some quite difficult situations. Many of us
have faced them already over a good number of years, whether we have proceeded to
marry after divorce or whether we have declined to marry after divorce.

        Whenever people phoned me up as a parish priest I always knew when this was
coming because, having asked whether we could take a wedding, the word “but” appeared
in the discussion. That was always the lead-in – “but one of us has been married before” or
“both of us have been married before”. My standard practice was warmly to encourage
them to come together and spend an hour with me, to chat through the principles and the
issues. I had a number of quite remarkable occasions where, at the end of that, the couple
said to me, “We still want something in church, vicar, but we are very happy to leave you to
decide what is best for us”.

        What always worried me, however, was the sheer number of them who told me that
their experience of the Church was of clergy who, they said, shut the door in their face or
simply said, “Sorry, can’t do it. The bishop won’t let me”. The bishop never had the power
to stop them in the first place, but that has been used.

        Seeing how robust the clergy can be on a whole range of other issues that I have to
deal with, I have some confidence that, given a little guidance and support, they might also
find a robust way forward in this.

               The Archdeacon of Lambeth (Ven. Nicholas Baines): I have a great deal of
sympathy with what my colleague archdeacon has just said. I am less bewildered by the
content of this debate than I am by the terms and the language in which we have conducted
it.




                                             40
       I wish that we could introduce a Standing Order by which we would ban the phrase
“send out signals”. I think that is less important than the content of what we are talking
about. Whatever you do will send out signals to someone, which can be interpreted,
misinterpreted, reinterpreted, in any way people wish. For example, if we changed our
minds today, that would send out a signal “The clergy on the General Synod change their
mind from month to month and cannot be trusted. Where is the confidence to lie there?”. I
do not necessarily agree with that, but it sends out a signal.

       I would also like to know what are the criteria that would be acceptable for change.
Perhaps the Bishop of Winchester could help me with my ignorance of what the status was
before 1938, when these paragraphs were agreed?

        I have Roman Catholic colleagues who say – in response to one of the arguments
made earlier – that they could not possibly get rid of celibacy in the Roman Catholic
Church priesthood because that would deeply upset those who have given up a lifetime of
other prospects in order to be celibate. At what point do we say things can change?

        I am also not very happy about anecdotal stories that may sway certain people in a
debate. Why is it that when we clergy – and I speak for myself as well – speak on these
pastoral matters we say, “In my parish I explain carefully. Nobody goes away upset or
confused. They are all clear” and yet, as a clergyman and as an archdeacon, I constantly
meet laypeople who say, “The vicar didn’t understand, didn’t listen”? There is a
discrepancy somewhere here. Those who are most confident of their ability to
communicate these things are the ones who make me most suspicious.

        Perhaps I may finally return to the question of signals. Until two years ago I was in
a parish where the PCC was not happy about remarrying people who had a previous marital
partner still living. We offered the service of prayer for thanksgiving, the blessing after a
civil marriage. I constantly lived – and I know many of my colleagues still do – with a
sense of hypocrisy with that. What we are saying is, “No, we don’t believe we should do
this. We are not going to ask for God’s blessing for this. We are not going to conduct this
service in our church, but if you go away and do the legal bits elsewhere, you can come
back and ask God to bless it”. Is anyone really happy with that? I am not. I think that is
ducking the issue.

       Maybe we are sending out the wrong signals to clergy, in that we are saying
“Continue to cop out. It is easier that way”.

             The Bishop of Chichester (Rt Revd John Hind): I do not think I have
changed my mind, because I have felt very uncomfortable about this all along and did so in
July. However, two things have happened since then which have made me feel that I will
probably vote against the motion this afternoon.



                                             41
        One has been experiencing the very real anguish that a lot of clergy, and some laity
on behalf of the clergy, have expressed to me about the vulnerability that they will feel
without the Act of Convocation behind them. It shifts the register enormously. Okay, they
can hide behind it as an excuse for not taking things seriously themselves but, instead of
having that as protection, the pressure will be on people to say yes, even if in their heart of
hearts they think they should say no.

        The other thing that has given great pause for thought is this discussion about the
word “exceptional”. A lot of people will remember what Chancellor Coningsby said about
“exceptional” in the General Synod. He did not use the description “weasel words”, but he
explained to us what a very fragile concept being “exceptional” was when the lawyers get
hold of it. Whether the exception has just become the norm and you do not bat an eyelid, or
whether in fact the “exception” is not much of a protection anyway, seems to me to be an
area which needs a great deal more exploration in order to give me confidence.

        I have a huge amount of sympathy for what the Archdeacon of Malmesbury has
said. I would like to be able to retain the positive parts of the Acts of Convocation, going as
far as we can by getting rid of the apparent prohibition on the use of the marriage service,
because that would enable us to honour what we were really trying to achieve in the Synod
debate.

         I think that we are rather in the situation of poor old Iain Duncan Smith with his
three-line whip. We seem to be taking an enormous sledgehammer to crack a nut. We are
presented with an all-or-nothing thing, in either rescinding the Acts of Convocation – with
all its unforeseen consequences – or appear to be giving out conflicting signals that we are
changing our mind. It seems to me that we need more time on this particular matter. We
have the process wrong.

        We have taken an enormous step forward in terms of our recognition that there are
circumstances in which we ought to be willing to remarry people in church, and that
seemed to me where the mind of Synod was; but I feel that we are being pushed into a
situation where we might find that we lose rather more than we gain.

               The Bishop of Guildford (Rt Revd John Gladwin): The doctrine of the
Church of England with regard to marriage is clearly stated in the canons of the Church and
its formularies. There was no doubt about that before we had the 1957 Act of Convocation;
there is no doubt about it after the 1957 Act of Convocation and, if we rescind these rules
this afternoon, there will be no doubt about it after that either. It is very important,
however, when we are talking about these issues that we do not waffle around that basic
doctrinal reality.

         I support the motion this afternoon but I do not think we should say, whether we
pass it or otherwise, that we are in any way affecting the doctrine of the Church of England.


                                              42
               Revd Dr Richard Burridge (London University): I want to echo what the
Bishop of Guildford has just said. The speeches which are being made this afternoon
appear to be reopening the entire question which I thought we had voted on in July.

        In the motion that we accepted by over three to one in July we affirmed everything
that the Bishop of Guildford has just said about Canon B30, in that it is solemn, public,
lifelong and so on. We have not changed the Book of Common Prayer; we have not
changed our liturgy. All of those things stand. The issue is simply whether or not we can
have marriages for people after a divorce in church. I understood that we could do that
before 1938 and 1957. We then said that we were not able to do it, or at least did not
approve of it – even though in law we have been able to do it. We decided in 1982 that
there were circumstances, but we could not decide what those circumstances were.

        So for 20-odd years we have been affirming two contradictory things. I thought
that the decision in July was to enable a way out of that which did not take anything away
from the doctrine of the Church of England, as rightly explained by the Bishop of
Guildford, but which would recognise the reality of both the legal situation and also the
pastoral situation, giving us a way forward.

        All that we are being asked to do by the motion before us today is the rescission of
these paragraphs, in the light of our decision in July to go on affirming that traditional
doctrine, to recognise that there are circumstances in which marriages fail, to recognise the
decision lies with the officiating minister, to ask the bishop to give his advice, and all that
needs to be made possible by the rescission of these paragraphs. That is all we are being
asked to do – what we agreed to do by over three to one in July. We are not being asked to
change the doctrine today. If we do not now do what we said we wanted to do in July, we
really will be accused of changing our minds and chopping and changing every five
minutes.

              The President: Some very serious points have been raised. I will ask the
Bishop of Winchester to reply to the debate now, and perhaps be as expansive as the
importance of the questions dictates.

              The Bishop of Winchester: I am grateful for the Bishop of Guildford and Dr
Burridge’s contributions just now, because they seemed to me to say a significant amount
of what I wanted to say in summary. They also make some response to the Archdeacon of
Lambeth’s question on what was the situation prior to 1938. The doctrine of the Church of
England was and is clear; it was reaffirmed in the first paragraph (a) of the resolution that
Synod passed overwhelmingly in July. I do not believe it has been, is or, in my judgement,
will be or should be in any doubt.




                                              43
        I take what was said by Archdeacon Hawker about the general robustness of the
clergy, which is certainly my own experience in four dioceses over 35 years, to encourage
me to be really very surprised by a good deal that has been said. We have had folk
presenting themselves as fragile flowers, whose fragility does not convince me – but that is
a general point.

         There is another general point to be made. It would be a serious situation if,
between them, one or other of the Convocations or the House of Laity refused this
resolution this afternoon, because it would make something of a nonsense not only of the
Synod in July but also not just the last six years of work – which has had its financial as
well as other costs – but the last 20, 30 or 40 years of work in the Church of England on
these matters. The notion, coming of all people from Canon Wilcox, that perhaps we need
to go back again and have another look – with all that he has very sensibly said in the
Synod in the last years about financial responsibility – seemed to me extraordinary. I really
do not believe that any good will come of people thinking, “Let’s have another
commission. Let’s spend another 10 years”, when the lines of thoroughly responsible
disagreement in the Church of England have been clear for 150 years. I really do not think
that is a plausible way forward.

        The basic points that I would want to make have been made, particularly by the
Bishop of Guildford and Dr Burridge. Let me then take up a number of detailed points.
Regarding the question of the advice that the House of Bishops will offer, the House
published a very late draft of that advice in Annex 1 of GS 1449 in the summer. It has been
the view of the House since, because it has published that and it was widely read at that
point, that when the House does publish its advice finally it ought to be very close indeed to
what was published earlier. As I understand the view of the House, to do anything else
would be something of a breach of trust. So that is an answer to those who were asking that
particular question.

        There is the question of the legal advice that both the House and then the Synod
received in July. That is another part of the proper answer to the Archdeacon of Lambeth.
There is – by no means unanimous, no – a clear and strong legal view, not just that the
Convocation regulations are now questionable under the present understandings of the law,
but that there always might have been and that there always was a sense in which those
who passed those resolutions were inappropriately seeking to fetter what was a priest’s
conscientious decision. We cannot, it seems to me, be insistent on the priest’s proper rights
of conscience, as within the canons and discipline of the Church, as a properly independent
servant of God in a great many other areas, and then refuse to take those seriously in this
area. My own understanding now is that the Convocation regulations probably always
were improper. It is not that they have suddenly become so, though they have become
improper in rather particular and different ways in the present understanding of the law.




                                             44
         The argument has been brought that we should argue for the removal of paragraph
1.3 only. I do not think it is possible to keep 1.1. Paragraph 1.2 is among the things that are
implied by “exceptional”, but it does not seem to me sensible to pick and choose in this
matter. The purpose of drawing a resolution and section (a) of it, as the House of Bishops
did for the Synod in July, was precisely to ensure that there was, right at the head of what is
now the Synod’s declared position, a clear reference to the Church of England’s teaching
and to Canon B30.

       I simply do not agree with those who say that is insufficient. I am, in the end, much
more interested in a canon than in an act of Synod, and it seems to me that the canon is clear
and that nobody has played about with it.

        Nor do I believe that we have ceased to be a teaching Church. Nor do I believe that
the clergy have not a proper responsibility for that teaching. That lies squarely with you.
We have already had evidence in this discussion that a whole range of opportunities, both
for teaching and for pastoral care and the holding of those in the proper tension – which it is
our education, training and formation to enable us to do – are enormously there.

       In response to Mr Trott, it seems to me that he can be welcoming; he can encourage
people to engage with him. As part of his welcome and his preparedness to engage, he has
the splendid opportunity of explaining just why Maundy Thursday is not the day for a
marriage. It seems to me to be wholly a bonus for Mr Trott’s pastoral ministry that he has
that opportunity.

        Turning to the question of the word “exceptional”, the sense in which it was used in
the House of Bishop’s marriage document in September 1999 was the sense in which it
appears in the second of the Convocation regulations, the sense in which it needs to appear
if we are serious about Canon B30: that any further marriage after divorce is exceptional, in
the light of the central stream of the Church and the Church of England’s teaching and
practice. It does not say anything about what proportion of our marriages are or are not
further marriages. Those who brought the word into the Synod resolution did not argue for
a clear meaning at that point. I was glad to accept it because it seemed to me that it was –
someone was talking about “signals” – another signal and would underline the existence of
an anxiety that I shared – the language of “slippery slopes”.

         I hope the clergy, given the encouragement to be more honest about our range of
positions as a Church, will indeed – to quote Archdeacon Hawker again – be robust. I am
confident that most will be. We need to be encouraging each other, not to be undermining
each other. I found myself in the Congo the week before last, encouraged to be aware of
that passage in the first chapter of 2 Timothy about the spirit we are given “not being a
spirit of timidity”. I think that there has been unjustified timidity about this afternoon.




                                              45
         There are one or two other detailed matters which need taking into account, as well
as to underline the pastoral opportunity in all of this. It seemed to me that it simply is not
true – and this is Mr Baker’s point – to say that those responsible for this latest generation
of the Church of England’s work on this have been equating pastoral care with a kind of
pressure to say yes to any request for further marriage. That just is not the case and I do not
believe that is how we should be behaving. There is plenty of experience – my own and
many others’ experience – that it is possible to say a clear no, and to win people’s
acceptance to it. If some people do not accept that, then that is part of the rub of being a
priest in the Church of England, it seems to me. It is certainly part of the rub of being a
bishop in the Church of England that actually people will not agree with you. One way and
another, we learn to work creatively with those realities. I hope very much that people
want to do so.

         The service of prayer after civil marriage remains available. If that is what seems
right to you as a priest, and indeed to you having consulted your Parochial Church Council
in general, then that is one of the ways that you will go.

       Listening to Prebendary Harper I was greatly encouraged, as I have been since
going to Staffordshire 15 years ago, by the kind of straightness with which he approached
the whole set of questions.

        I think that I ought to respond to the Bishop of Rochester, because it does not seem
to me that there is any suggestion that the Church of England is not competent to declare its
own discipline. That is certainly not part of the intention. Nor is it part of the intention in
rescinding the Resolution that that is what we are trying to say.

       I am confident – certainly on my experience as a bishop in two dioceses – that the
general practice and responsibility of the bishops is clear; that this is clearly a matter for
decision by the parish priest, and that the bishops do – and I am confident will continue to –
defend, support, encourage the parish clergy to be the properly responsible priests and
servants of God that, in my experience, most are, particularly when encouraged to be
responsible within the canons and the disciplines of the Church of England.

       All told, therefore, it seems to me that this is not a moment to have the kind of
second thoughts which will cause a remarkable amount of disorder in our Church, but the
moment is at hand to get on and go through this stage – positively, trustingly, hopefully,
and with a clear and firm belief in the character of marriage.

              The President: Although the debate has taken place in Full Synod, under
the Standing Orders of Convocation our vote must be by houses.

              There having been a division by houses, there voted as follows:
                                         Ayes          Noes


                                              46
                House of Bishops            26             1
                House of Clergy             77            26

The motion was therefore carried in both houses.

                                   [Upper House withdrew]


                                      LOWER HOUSE

             The Chair was taken by the Prolocutor, Canon Bob Baker (Norwich)

4.    Formal motions

                Canon Hugh Broad (Gloucester): I beg to move:

      ‘(i)      That the Prolocutor be authorised, pursuant to SO 13, to nominate members
                to serve on any Committee after the House has risen with the concurrence of
                the Standing Committee of the House;

       (ii)     that those resolutions which should be conveyed to the Upper House be so
                conveyed’.

The motions were put and carried.


5.     Minutes
             Canon Michael Hodge (Synodical Secretary) read the minutes, which were
then approved as being a correct record.

      Convocation was prorogued at 3.25 p.m.




                                             47
                     CONVOCATION OF

                        CANTERBURY




       Undecima Convocatio Elizabetha Secunda Regnante




                          SESSION III


                     Monday, 14 July 2003




                   Minutes of the Full Synod
                    and the Lower House




Note: Resolutions which have been carried are printed in bold type.




                                48
                                         SESSION III

                                    Monday, 14th July 2003


The Convocation of the Province of Canterbury assembled at 8.30 p.m. in Room P/X001, the
Physics Building of the University of York.


                                           Full Synod

1. PRAYERS
                          Prayers were said by His Grace the President.

2. WELCOME
   The Prolocutor welcomed His Grace the President to his first meeting of the Convocation of
Canterbury.

3. ASSESSORS
With the leave of His Grace the President, the Prolocutor appointed his Assessors for the day:-
                  The Reverend William Challis                 (Winchester)
                  The Venerable Joy Tetley                     (Worcester)
                  The Reverend Professor Bernard Silverman (Southern Universities)
                  Prebendary Susan Trickett                    (Bath and Wells)

4. PRO-PROLOCUTOR
   The Prolocutor presented the Reverend Canon Malcolm King (Guildford) to His Grace the
President.

5. CONVOCATION EUCHARIST
   The Prolocutor said that the Convocation would meet for the Eucharist in St Margaret’s
Church, Westminster, before General Synod meets on Monday, 9th February 2004.

6. GUIDELINES FOR THE PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT OF THE CLERGY
   The Chairman of the Working Party, the Reverend Canon Hugh Wilcox (St Albans), moved:
      ‘That this Convocation -
      (a) approve the Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of the Clergy; and
      (b) request the Standing Committee to make arrangements for copies to be provided
      for all clergy in the Province of Canterbury.’

In the debate which followed, there spoke:- the Reverend Jonathan Frais (Europe), the Reverend
Paul Perkin (Southwark), the Reverend William Challis (Winchester), the Reverend Tim Barker
(Lincoln) and the Reverend Doctor Alan Hargrave (Ely).

The Reverend David Houlding (London) moved as an amendment:



                                               49
       ‘In paragraph (a) after “Clergy”
       insert “, subject to any final amendments made by the Working Party and approved
       by the Standing Committee”.’

In the debate on the amendment, there spoke:- the Reverend Canon Hugh Wilcox (St Albans), the
Reverend Richard Seabrook (Chelmsford), the Reverend Robert Key (Oxford), the Bishop of
Birmingham (the Right Reverend John Sentamu), the Reverend Canon Patience Purchas (St
Albans), the Archdeacon of Lincoln (the Venerable Arthur Hawes) and the Archdeacon of
Malmesbury (Bristol) (the Venerable Alan Hawker).

The Revd Peter Townley (St Edmundsbury and Ipswich) proposed ‘That the question be now put’.
This motion was carried.

The amendment was put to the House and carried.

In the debate on the motion as amended, there spoke:- the Archdeacon of Surrey (Guildford) (the
Venerable Robert Reiss), the Reverend Richard Thomas (Oxford), the Reverend Jonathan
Alderton-Ford (St Edmundsbury and Ipswich), the Bishop of Worcester (the Right Reverend Peter
Selby) and the Reverend Andrew Watson (London).

The Revd Canon Malcolm King (Guildford) proposed ‘That the question be now put’. This motion
was carried.

After the Reverend Canon Hugh Wilcox (St Albans) had replied to the debate, the Motion
        ‘That this Convocation -
        (a) approve the Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of the Clergy, subject to any
        final amendments made by the Working Party and approved by the Standing
        Committee; and
        (b) request the Standing Committee to make arrangements for copies to be provided
        for all clergy in the Province of Canterbury.’
was put to the House and carried.


7. REVIEW OF CLERGY TERMS OF SERVICE
   The Prolocutor, the Reverend Canon Bob Baker (Norwich), introduced a discussion in
accordance with Standing Order 9A.

In the discussion which followed, there spoke:- the Reverend Professor Bernard Silverman
(Southern Universities), the Reverend Doctor Richard Turnbull (Winchester), the Reverend
Martin Walker (Lichfield), the Reverend Stephen Trott (Peterborough), the Dean of Worcester
(the Very Reverend Peter Marshall), the Reverend Moira Astin (Oxford), the Reverend Canon
Timothy Newcombe (Truro) and the Reverend Canon Malcolm King (Guildford).

The Reverend Canon Bob Baker (Norwich) replied to the discussion.

           (His Grace the President and the members of the Upper House withdrew.)



                                              50
                                        Lower House

The Reverend Canon Bob Baker (Prolocutor, Norwich) took the chair.

8.      FORMAL MOTIONS
It was proposed by the Reverend David Houlding (Pro-Prolocutor, London) and agreed:
"(i) That the Prolocutor be authorised, pursuant to Standing Order 13, to nominate
members to serve on any Committee after the House has risen with the concurrence of the
Standing Committee of the House;
(ii)    that those resolutions which should be conveyed to the Upper House be so conveyed."

9.     MINUTES.
The Minutes of this Session were read, confirmed and reduced to Acts according to the ancient
custom of Convocation.

The Prolocutor gave the Blessing, and the House stood prorogued.




                                              51
                              CONVOCATION OF CANTERBURY


                        The Convocation of Canterbury met in Full Synod
                            on Monday 14 July 2003 at 8.30 p.m. at
                                     the University of York.
                      The Chair was taken by the Archbishop of Canterbury.


1.     Prayers

2.     Assessors

        Canon Bob Baker (Norwich): Before appointing the Assessors, your Grace, may I on
behalf of the Lower House welcome you to your first meeting of the Convocation. I understand
that the word I should use is “Croeso” but, as I myself come from a self-governing principality on
the other side of the country which has its own language called “Norfolk”, I know how irritated I
get when people try to speak our language! I am sorry if it is wrong, but you are most welcome.

       Appointed as Assessors were: Revd William Challis (Winchester), Ven Joy Tetley
(Worcester), Revd Professor Bernard Silverman (Southern Universities), Prebendary Susan
Trickett (Bath and Wells).

3.     Pro-Prolocutor
       Canon Bob Baker (Norwich) presented Revd Canon Malcolm King (Guildford), who had
       been duly elected as Pro-Prolocutor for the Lower House.

       Canon Bob Baker also announced that the Convocation would meet on the Monday of
       Synod week in February 2004, not for a formal meeting but to celebrate the Eucharist in St
       Margaret’s, Westminster, which the President, had agreed to celebrate

4.      Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of the Clergy
        The President: I gather that I have the power to determine whether there should be a speech
limit imposed. I would like us to complete this part of the business by 9.15 p.m. at the latest, so that
we can give time to Item 5. So, as soon as Canon Wilcox has spoken and introduced the motion, I
should like to impose a five-minute limit. May I now ask Canon Wilcox to move the motion
standing in his name?

       Canon Hugh Wilcox (St Albans): I beg to move:
       ‘That this Convocation –
       (a) approve the Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of the Clergy; and
       (b) request the Standing Committee to make arrangements for copies to be provided for all
       clergy in the Province of Canterbury.’

        Your Grace, this is your first Convocation. Convocation will be delighted to know that this
is my last. [Several members: Oh!] I have not taken legal advice, but I assume that the Perham



                                                  52
principle – which was enunciated by the Dean of Derby on Friday – that the Synod should not
waste time going over work already done a second time, applies mutatis mutandis to the
Convocation, and I shall proceed in that light. Most of you, I expect, were at the meeting of the
General Synod and so I do not intend to repeat what I said there.

         I remind Convocation of the origins of the guidelines, detailed in GS 1504. I imagine that
we all are aware that this came from conversations with the Ministry Division, way back in 2000 –
in fact earlier than that – and concern that, in the way that other professions were finding
themselves faced with the need to produce guidelines, after discussion with individual clergy we
felt – “we” being at that point the two Prolocutors – that we ought to suggest to the Convocations
that the clergy should themselves initiate the work towards providing some kind of guidelines. In
those days we were talking about “codes”, but we rapidly discovered that was going to be the
wrong word to use, for a variety of reasons but principally because we realised that we did not
want to produce what some people thought of as a code but guidelines – and there is a difference.

        At the heart of our work was the conviction that we did not need, and certainly could not
produce, a 25-volume code of behaviour attempting to produce guidance on every single thing that
might or might not happen to a clergyperson in the course of 40 years’ ministry. There are some
professions which have that kind of code. You would get a hernia trying to get them off the shelf!
We rapidly went off that idea and believed that it would be a much better role for the working party
to produce a set of guidelines which would of their very nature need to be updated or revised from
time to time, in the light of experience and of continuing discussion. We were convinced that we
could not devise a text which would be the final word, and we have made no claims to that.

       This, after all, is the first attempt to produce guidelines since those extraordinary
handbooks produced by mediaeval bishops and clergy, most of which are now out of print – if ever
they were in print! We have been encouraged by the response to the guidelines, not only in the
Synod but from clergy and laypeople at large and, in the light of the discussions in the General
Synod, I commend these guidelines to the Convocation.

               Revd Jonathan Frais (Europe): I confess at the outset that I may be stealing the
thunder of the Archdeacon of Malmesbury, because something that he said in Synod has got my
mind buzzing. It is this issue of confidentiality. I am not claiming that there is necessarily an
inconsistency in the text; I am merely saying that I would benefit from clarification.

        Three number references to lines that refer to the importance of confidentiality and then
three number references that seem to refer to exceptions, and that is where I am all in a muddle.
The first number reference is 7.2, and this seems clear.
        “There can be no disclosure of what is confessed to a priest.”
The second number reference is 7.3.
         “If a penitent’s behaviour gravely threatens his or her well-being or that of others, the
        priest, while advising action on the penitent’s part, must still keep the confidence....”
That is making things clear, even in tricky circumstances. The third number reference is 3.13,
concerning the general principle. This again seems to be tightening it up.
        “Unless permission has been given, the clergy are not at liberty to share confidential
        information with their spouses, family or friends”.



                                                53
I think that my wife would object, actually. I talk about so many things with her, I would need
guidance over what I am allowed to and what I am not. That may be my failure to understand what
constitutes a confidentiality – I will admit that.

         Permit me to go on with three number references that seem to constitute the exceptions. In
3.11, ignoring the first three lines –
         “When, in an extreme circumstance and in the minister’s judgement, information has to be
         disclosed and consent cannot be gained, the other party should be informed that such
         disclosure will be, or has been, made”.
The second number reference on the exceptions is at 2.15, reading the first three lines –
         “Children or adults who disclose significant harm will need to know that the information
         will be passed to the statutory agency, usually Social Services, so that it can be properly
         investigated and help obtained”.
Then one that brought a wry smile to my face, 3.15. I enjoyed this exception very much and, if I
may, I will just read the last three lines.
         “Assistant clergy in training posts should make it clear that information given to them will
         normally be shared with their training incumbent.”
I realise that was a specific, limited one.

        I am raised in the evangelical tradition and I think that I have much to learn on the topic of
confidentiality [Laughter] – I think you took that the wrong way! However, I would value
clarification.

        Revd Paul Perkin (Southwark): “All that I have with thee I share” – not with thee, you
understand! – but I did make that promise once, 24 years and two weeks ago to one person. I have
believed always, and worked on the principle in ministry, that that involves not just material goods
but also information. My wife and I have worked on the premise that in the vast majority of cases
we will not need to – and we will value the fact – share with each other confidential information.
But to put it so specifically that the clergy are not at liberty to share confidential information with
their spouses – yes, of course, family or friends – I believe would allow someone in certain
situations, in my case perhaps a woman in my congregation, to use blackmail and to drive a wedge
right into the middle of the clergy household.

        I feel that there is therefore something wrong there. In the same vein, the coyness of 2.8,
        “The place of the meeting, the arrangement of furniture and lighting, and the dress of the
        minister.... The appropriateness of visiting and being visited alone, especially at night...” –
many of us – I realise not in all traditions – work on the principle, and have done happily for many
years, that we do not counsel members of the opposite sex personally and alone. I know that there
are some reasons why others would not hold to that practice but, for those of us who do, it is an
overwhelming safety net for us, a security, and guard.

       Guidelines which do not even make reference to something which is a common practice,
and a huge security and safeguard for many of us, are inadequate. If for different reasons, I will be
supporting Father Houlding’s amendment.




                                                  54
        Revd William Challis (Winchester): Can I build a little on what has been said? Again, I
come from an evangelical tradition. I do not want to offend anyone for whom hearing confession
in a particular way is very precious to them. If I do offend anyone, do come and speak to me
afterwards. However, there are things here that I find difficult.

        There are lots of good things here and do make a contribution to the process. I am glad that
one of the things that has changed from the original draft guidelines is that there is a much stronger
corporate feel. I am grateful for that, but I do have problems, particularly about 7.2. I feel that is at
odds with what is said in 3.14 about “...legal requirements for disclosure in extreme
circumstances”. I feel that this could affect me as an incumbent with two Church schools, where I
might be one thing in one place and another thing in another. I do wonder quite whether the whole
of Anglican theology – and, as I think somebody said this morning, there are different Churches of
England – is saying about this.

        It seems to me that the Book of Common Prayer assumes that confession normally will be
general, i.e. in the context of public worship, other than in the very limited context of sickness,
when attendance at public worship is impossible. So that the 1604 canons are perhaps only
concerned with that very particular situation of extreme sickness in their talking about
confidentiality. Other people here I am sure know far more about the Reformation and
Reformation theology than I do, but did the reformers in general not seem to favour private
confession at all, and was that just because of their rejection of the need for priestly absolution? Or
was it also because they had a new grasp of the importance of the Church as the body of Christ and
the congregation of faithful people? I am not sure. Do we therefore need to redefine what is
happening at a confession? I know that there is a lot of thinking about what is happening in a
confession, but do we need to redefine that?

        I feel that it cannot be acceptable that a person can confess a crime, possibly against a child,
and, even if absolution is not granted, expect total confidentiality. I really find that difficult,
because I am a school governor; I am deeply involved in the life of two Church schools, and I am
being told completely the opposite as a school governor from what I am being told by these
guidelines. I think that there is an inconsistency there.

        I fear that, unless this inconsistency in these guidelines is cleared up, we shall lose a certain
amount of sympathy with those who have worked so hard with this to help us handle issues,
particularly round sexual abuse and the abuse of children, and who have helped us to handle them
better than we have in the past. I have to say that the right of the penitent to confidentiality cannot,
in the end, override the right of the victim of abuse to justice.

        Revd Tim Barker (Lincoln): I suppose that I am following the last couple of contributions
but with a very different theme. I am concerned about what happens with paragraph (b) of the
resolution. I have this vision of study shelves all over England giving way, taking this report onto
the shelves and then just sitting there.

        I think that this is an enormously valuable piece of work. I welcome it and think that it will
be enormously helpful for parish clergy or for any clergy in the exercise of their ministry. I would
be grateful to hear what thoughts the Standing Committee have given to how this is sent out to



                                                   55
clergy and what arrangements will be made for training. Will this be built into CME? Will it be a
task for the chapters? Even for houses of clergy within dioceses? How will this be published? Will
it be widely available? Will it be on the website?

        This is so important that it cannot just be sent out to the clergy and left there. I hope that we
will use this opportunity to engage with those who receive this document, and also with those with
whom we work as parishioners and others.

       Revd Dr Alan Hargrave (Ely): I broadly welcome this document but, as I said in General
Synod, I do have a concern. There are a number of recommendations – for example, that clergy
should take on a work consultant, a supervisor, a spiritual director – and many dioceses do not
provide these opportunities for people. If you want those things, you have to pay for them yourself.

        That concerns me both from an ethical perspective – it seems to me unethical that we
recommend, suggest or even encourage people to take on those things which we do not provide –
but also this document is bound to be taken in a parallel way to the Clergy Discipline Measure.
There will come a point, I am certain, when someone will be disciplined by a diocese and will say,
“Of course, I would have loved to have had a work consultant or supervision, but actually the
diocese did not provide it for me, and that is my defence”. That therefore concerns me about this
document, and I would like to see some provision to make sure that what we recommend is also
what we are providing.

        Revd David Houlding (London): I beg to move as an amendment:

        ‘In paragraph 4(a) after the word “Clergy” insert the words ‘, subject to any final
        amendments made by the Working Party and approved by the Standing Committee”.’

        I move this amendment on behalf of the Convocation Standing Committee but also as a
member of the working party. You will recall Canon Wilcox telling us how we began with a blank
sheet of paper, as it were, and we tried to model the life of the ordained minister. What you have
here in these guidelines, therefore, is more of a way of life rather than a whole series of dos and
don’ts. It is not set in stone, but we want to get something out and achieved so that these guidelines
can be shared more widely in the Church.

         The amendment simply seeks to put what has been described as the Perham principle into
practice, so that, rather than bringing it back yet again and going through all the revision process
and all of the niggly bits and pieces, you will give authority to the Standing Committee to put some
of your concerns that have been raised this evening into a revision of the text. In particular, this
affects the whole business of confidentiality. I am sure that Canon Wilcox will say quite a bit about
this in his summing-up but, needless to say, we struggled with this whole issue.

        There is section 7 and we took, you will recall, the ordinal as the pattern for this document
and therefore looked at all the verbs that appear in the declaration that the bishop reads. One of
those verbs is “absolve”, because the ordained priest is given the power to forgive sins. So section
7 deals with a particular context. Confidentiality also – and there is a lot of it in section 3 – covers
many other areas of our ministerial work. It is a very difficult area. The points that you have raised



                                                   56
already show how it can easily lead to misunderstanding. The House of Bishops has recently been
looking at further guidelines for child protection, and we want to make sure that what is included in
this document is utterly consistent with those revised guidelines. We have to look at those again
very carefully, therefore, and make sure that these, what might be inconsistencies in the sections
on confidentiality, are cleared up.

        What we are asking you to do in this amendment, therefore, is to give us the authority to
look again at these particular issues of confidentiality, as well as the points you have already raised
in the debate, so that they can be included in a revised final version of the text to be produced and
published.

        Canon Hugh Wilcox: The amendment comes with the approval of the working party and I
think that it will be of great benefit to us if the Convocation will pass it. It would be a mistake, it
seems to me, to publish it exactly as it is at the moment. There is some tweaking that needs to be
done, particularly in the light of the fact that since we have closed our books, as it were, the House
of Bishops were continuing with their work. We need to make sure that there is no difference
between those two, particularly on the child protection front.

       The President: Is there any debate on the amendment?

        Revd Richard Seabrook (Chelmsford): I spoke in the debate in General Synod and, whilst I
broadly welcome Father Houlding’s amendment, I hope that there will be no downgrading of
section 7 of the guidelines, particularly in the light of some of the rather shocking things I have
heard this evening. I believe it is very important for the clergy that, whatever persuasion they come
from in churchmanship, if somebody comes to us as a penitent wishing to make a confession,
whether or not we have any particular views on the ministry of reconciliation, they come to us
expecting that we keep it to ourselves and do not go home and tell our wives or our husbands. I
think that this aspect of confidentiality is so important.

        I come from the Anglo-Catholic tradition, where the sacrament of reconciliation is
celebrated in my own parish very often. The importance of that ministry of reconciliation is
something that drives my whole ministry in my parish. I do hope therefore that there is no
downgrading of section 7, because it seems to me that it lies at the heart of what the priestly
ministry is about – a ministry of reconciliation, a ministry of absolution and, most of all, a ministry
of confidentiality, where people come to us and, if they tell us things, they do not expect us to go
and tell anybody else, despite whatever personal views we may have about confidentiality.

        Revd Robert Key (Oxford): I want to underline what William Challis said about school
governors. I declare an interest here, as director of an organisation that runs a large number of
children’s summer camps. Not only do we do CRB checks on 3,500 volunteers, but we also always
write to parish priests. You can imagine what it would do for the Kingdom of God if we had a
headline in the Sun or the News of the World about some child in the care of a Christian venture or
summer activity who had been abused.

       If a priest failed to tell us of something they knew about one of those volunteers, that would
leave us not only with a moral liability but, I suspect, with a legal one. It seems to me that we



                                                  57
cannot simply hide behind a particular churchmanship or other view of confidentiality when
potentially children’s safety is one of the issues at stake.

       The Bishop of Birmingham (Rt Revd John Sentamu): I also hope that section 7 will not be
downgraded. I too come from the evangelical tradition and I was raised on those wonderful verses
of James – “Confess your sins one another that you may be healed”.

        I was raised in the revival, therefore, where at a meeting like this we would all confess each
other’s difficulties, in the hope that people would then walk away. But I have not once since I was
ordained some 24 years ago, listening to people’s confessions, ever shared them with my wife
Margaret. I will tell you why I do not do it. During the time of Idi Amin, four of our friends came to
tell me that they were going to escape and they left. When I was arrested and they started to
interrogate Margaret, she did not know anything about it. She could honestly say that she did not
know. So there is an element of wanting to protect.

        When I worked as a prison chaplain, I had been talking about God being a loving father and
there was a young boy who did not like it very much. He said, “Come to my cell”. I went to his cell;
he took off his shirt, and his back was lacerated. He said, “That’s what my father did to me. Don’t
talk to me about God being a loving father”. I said, “What image do you think is important?”. He
said, “God is someone who won’t grass on you” – in other words, will not tell.

         I have never confused confidentiality with covering up. For example, I have heard people
who have been in real difficulty. My role was to say, “In the name of Christ, you are forgiven”.
But, in practice, they have to work out what those consequences are. I have had people who, after
a lot of discussion, help and support, have actually gone to the police and said, “I have done this” –
but they have gone away as what I call forgiven, reconciled people, who then know that the
consequence of forgiveness is that certain things need to happen. That requires a lot of separate
discussion.

        I do not think that, when my evangelical friends hear these words “absolution” and
“confession”, they are imagining the tradition that I was raised in, which I think is a robust
evangelical belief. Let us therefore not claim territories, grounds and places where we may
actually be in danger of setting up a conflict which does not arise. As far as I am concerned,
confession/absolution do not equal covering up. It means that the person has to face reality. I was
always told, when I went to make my confession to my confessor, that penance was never a sort of,
“Oh, it’s all right. Cover it under the carpet. Good lad. God will forgive you”. It meant, “Go and
face the reality of what you have just done”. That has been very healthy for me.

        Please, let us be Christians who, in Jesus, are so loved by him that, as ministers, we have to
minister safely. Let us not confuse it with the vows we took – yours is mine, and mine I share with
you – because, if we do, friends, a time may come as it did in Uganda when I was glad that my wife
did not know anything I am glad, when I am talking to clergy, that she has not the foggiest idea
regarding my ministry. If I did that and people got into trouble, I also have to protect her. From that
point of view, I hope that we do not downgrade section 7.




                                                  58
       The President: May I point out that I do not think that we are actually debating the
amendment. May I ask if the proposed interventions are on the amendment rather than on the
substance?

       Canon Patience Purchas (St Albans): Kind of, your Grace! I think that I have something
very important to say, if I may be allowed to say it. I speak as one who values the sacrament of
confession very deeply and who has taught it, but I am also somebody who has worked with people
who have been sexually abused. I was disturbed by the recent speech about valuing the sacrament
and the confidentiality of it. Of course I understood that, and I have heard it applauded since.
However, I want to say this – and I think that the guidelines cover this issue if you read them.

         The people with are dealing with in issues of sexual abuse are hugely manipulative.
Someone said that we should allow people space to consider what they have done, and all of that.
The text that always comes into my mind is that if you do harm to one of these little ones, it was
better that a stone was hung around your neck. I think that when Jesus said that, he may have been
talking about sexual abusers. Of course they can be forgiven, but they are clever, wily people. Let
us not put ourselves in the position where they manipulate us. Let us note the provision in the
guidelines that says you can stop a confession and say, “You can tell me what I think you are going
to tell me. Don’t use me to get out of the hole you are in. I will help you, but...”. Please do not let us
be put into the position of covering up and helping people to continue doing what is one of the
cruellest and most dreadful harms anybody can do to a person.

       Believe me – and I do not speak as a victim myself, thank God – I have worked with
victims of sexual abuse whose lives are ruined forever by what they suffered in childhood –
sometimes, because good, holy people in churches have kept quiet.

       The Archdeacon of Lincoln (Ven Arthur Hawes): I want to support the amendment
wholeheartedly, for two reasons. The first is that there is probably some apparent contradiction in
the document as we have received it, and this is an opportunity at least to look at that again. It
might mean that there needs to be a lot more training on the meaning of the word “penance”,
because that can mean different things to different people.

        That is one possibility. The other is to look at the whole idea that is around in institutions
like the health service at the moment, where you talk about “team confidentiality” – when
something needs to be shared with a larger number of people but they too are locked into a concept
of confidentiality.

       The second reason for supporting the amendment is because only today I chaired a
lunchtime meeting, looking at the document Time for Action which was produced by Churches
Together about child sexual abuse and child protection. It is very clear that things are moving quite
quickly. Soon we will also be asked to look at the whole question of abuse of vulnerable adults. It
seems to me that if we have this amendment, then we can take those changes on board at the same
time.

       The Archdeacon of Malmesbury (Ven Alan Hawker): I am slightly uneasy. When we did
the Clergy Discipline Measure, if I had then come to the Synod with a particular point and people



                                                   59
had, quite rightly and properly, identified that there was a lack of clarity, that something needed to
be sorted out, and I said, “Give us the permission to put it right”, and so on, you would have
laughed me out of court.

         This is coming from a working party that admitted on Friday that it does not have it
completely right and that it will have to be developed. That is why I pleaded for a little more time
on Friday evening – to get it right. On this issue of confidentiality and the confession it is
absolutely critical that we get it right. I would value knowing what legal advice the working party
took. My understanding from the Clergy Discipline Measure is that, in a secular court of law in this
land, you have no right absolutely to confidentiality, and that is true for counsellors as well. I have
been to court with counsellors, who are trying not to have to say what has been said to them in a
counselling situation. I have to say that the courts are incredibly generous and understanding of
that situation. However, I suspect that if it were in the area of child abuse in particular, they would
not be understanding.

         I think that it has to be made very clear in the actual guidelines quite what the position is, at
least in secular law – even if you are to have an absolute position. I have no objection to that; I can
understand that and would want it for myself. But I cannot have that without being aware of the
potential risks I might be taking in secular law – because I am the muggins, as the archdeacon, who
will have to come to court with you and try to sort the thing out.

        On confidentiality, the biggest problem in 30 years of parish ministry that my wife and I
had was that we accepted, from square one, that inevitably the nature of the job meant I would
know things that she did not know and she would know things that I did not know. We found that
people thought that the one thing a clergy wife wanted to know were the negatives about her
husband! We had to learn to trust each other. The thing that we discovered very often was that
someone would come to me and say, “Vicar, I want to speak to you in complete confidentiality”
and, the next day, they would talk blandly to my wife as though she knew everything that they had
told me. She would say, “I’m sorry. I don’t know what you’re on about”. We learned to say to
some of our folks, “I appreciate that this is confidential. Now what do you actually mean by that?
Do you mean that is for my ears only, or are you expecting that I will share that with my wife?”.
People will immediately tell you which category it was in and we could keep it in that category. It
was as simple as that to deal with it.

        This working party, who were resistant to taking a little more time to do it, now come back
and tell us, “Let us do a little bit of shifting around, and give us the authority now to approve what
we will do”. I think that they are asking a lot.

        Revd Peter Townley (St Edmundsbury and Ipswich): I beg to move:
        ‘That the question be now put.’
        This motion was put and carried.
        The amendment was put and carried.

         The Archdeacon of Surrey (Ven Robert Reiss): I have a comment and a question. The
comment is that, for what it is worth, in the diocese of Guildford we spent quite a long time looking
at this confidentiality issue in conjunction with the chancellor of the diocese. We produced quite a



                                                   60
lengthy report, which I think was sent to the working party but, if not, we could send it. There is a
resource there that was worked out with a lawyer, which may or may not be of use to you.

        My question is a slightly different one. I would be grateful if somebody could explain to
me what is the status of these guidelines with respect to the Discipline Measure. Is a failure to meet
one of these guidelines grounds for a discipline matter, or is a failure to do something that is not
contained within the guidelines but may well actually be in the canons also grounds for a discipline
matter? I would be grateful for some clarification.

               The President imposed a speech limit of three minutes.

        Revd Richard Thomas (Oxford): I have a very straightforward process question. It seems to
me that we have very little choice but to say to the committee, “Go back and have another look at
this and you have our authority to do that”. However, there was quite a strong feeling that we did
not want to give them carte blanche to make changes and simply to implement those changes,
without coming back to us.

        Could we have some assurance that, once these things have been considered, they will not
just be put into final form without being brought back?

       Revd Jonathan Alderton-Ford (St Edmundsbury and Ipswich): I have two simple
questions. I notice that the motion before our colleagues in York is slightly different to the motion
that we are asked to approve. I would like to know why they have a slightly different system to us,
and whether that will affect anything. We go for a Standing Committee and they go for assessors.
Will that complicate the process? It may be some ancient tradition that I am not aware of. [Several
members: Yes] That is fine.

        The second question is a slightly more substantial one. I notice in the report that from time
to time various obligations are placed upon the laity in the diocese. It would be useful to know if
these requirements have any sort of reciprocal writing-up in documents which the laity and the
diocese are aware of. It is no good saying that the parish will support us in our ministry in these
sorts of areas if they do not know that they have to do it and, perhaps more importantly, they are
not reminded that they have to do it.

        The Bishop of Worcester (Rt Revd Peter Selby): I quite understand the concern that has
predominated in the discussion of the confidentiality issue, that we should know where we are and
have some clarity about the protections which are or are not available to us. I think that it is also
important – if I may add this as a salient point – that, in thinking about this matter, we should be
aware that the people to whom we are ministering also need clarity. Because we have come out of
a period of formality into a period of rather greater informality – where, for example, it became
quite common for conversation to move into counselling, to move into confession, to move back
again – it is very easy for a vulnerable person not to be at all clear what is going on and in which
mode you are actually operating.

       I would hope that we could find a way of speaking, in our guidelines and in the things we
expect of each other, that make it clear to us that, when people are choosing to be vulnerable with



                                                 61
us in whatever mode we are in, it becomes extremely important that we are clear with them in what
mode we are operating.

        Revd Andrew Watson (London): This is a rather different area. I was wondering whether,
when the working group looks at this again, they would look at the whole issue of whether we have
bent over so far backwards to encourage a stress-free, taking your full holidays, taking your days
off properly, environment, that a number of people who might not work very hard have actually
been encouraged in their lifestyle.

       There is always a tendency in Christian circles to assume that clergy and Christian workers
work their hearts out and need to be held back. In my experience, that is not always true. The
phrase “hard work” does not appear in these guidelines at all. It may be that it is implied in a
number of the guidelines, but I wonder whether you could look at that balance when you have
another look at them?

       Canon Malcolm King (Guildford): I beg to move:
       ‘That the question be now put.’
       This motion was put and carried.

        Canon Hugh Wilcox, in reply: I am grateful to all who have taken part in this fascinating
debate, which of course mirrors exactly what has been going on in the working party all of these
months.

        There is a provisionality about these guidelines, as we have tried to say all along. Ministry
is a matter of risk. I do not think that we could ever produce something which could apply to every
single situation you find yourself in. We go out on a limb every time we encounter somebody in a
pastoral encounter. Often it is a coming together of two vulnerable people, and that is a risky
business. Guidelines like this cannot, in my view, be expected to be prescriptive, as a kind of
manual of every single thing you do. Sometimes people get things wrong. I have got things wrong
in ministry. Most of you probably have not! The idea that we can all be perfect in ministry is not a
doctrine I subscribe to. So there is a provisionality; there will always be one.

       Incidentally, “Assessors” is northern-speak for “Standing Committee” – or so I am given to
understand – because they have their own ways and we have ours. Effectively, their Assessors are
our Standing Committee – if you see what I mean.

        Approval has to be given by the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee will have
heard what has been suggested in this discussion. I will not be a member of the Standing
Committee, but I assume that the Prolocutor and others will make quite sure that the point about
whether this should come back to the Convocation again will be very seriously looked at. It is not
in the amendment, but it is a very serious point that has been made and I am sure that it will be
taken very seriously.

        The matters about confidentiality reflect the problem that faces us. I was trying to say to the
General Synod that this was not a reforming document, but we were trying to deal with the
situation as it is now, whatever the views – and we all came with differing views as a working party



                                                  62
around the table – about the sacrament of confession. We had members of the working group who
were able to tell us quite frankly that they had never heard a formal confession in their ministry.
Nevertheless, as the Bishop of Birmingham has said, many of their pastoral encounters have been
confessional – although they would not use that language. So we found ourselves developing a
kind of mutuality of conversation from right across the spectrum of traditions.

        There is a very serious problem about the balance between, let us face it, the very new area
of child protection and the imperatives that is putting on us – balanced against this matter of
confession. It is why I keep saying that all of this work has to be provisional; it has to be ongoing.
It is good that we shall have a chance to have another look at that.

        The point was made about a stress-free environment. We were certainly not trying to say
that anybody can get off without doing their work properly. The point about how things can be
delivered is a matter for dioceses and for houses of laity and everybody else. I would hope that,
given we have some guidelines moving for the clergy, somebody in the House of Laity might look
at having guidelines for laity – “Do we need them as well?”. Hopefully, dioceses and houses of
clergy will begin to look at the implications for their own diocese. If certain things are not being
provided, somebody should be looking at advice, and so on.

        May I thank everybody for their contributions? I know that the working party will take very
seriously all that they have heard.

       The motion was put and carried in the following amended form:

       ‘That this Convocation –
       (a) approve the Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of the Clergy, subject to any final
       amendments made by the Working Party and approved by the Standing Committee; and
       (b) request the Standing Committee to make arrangements for copies to be provided for all
       clergy in the Province of Canterbury.’

        The President: It occurs to me that there are three or four things emerging from that
discussion which are of continuing interest which I think, as a matter not for our formal
deliberation but for our reflection, are worth noting.

        One is what the Bishop of Worcester said about what you might call the contractual
element in any understanding of confidentiality. I agree with him entirely that this cannot be
emphasised sufficiently clearly. In a vulnerable situation people have a right to know what the
parameters are of the relationship into which they are entering – on any theological, pastoral or
practical understanding.

        The second is to do with the confession question, where I think that we should be careful
not to suppose that a matter of churchmanship is not also a matter of theology and that there are
considerations in the minds of those who practise sacramental confession which are strictly
theological. They are about what is actually going on, not simply about a kind of cultural
preference within the Church, and that has to be part of the discussion.




                                                 63
         Thirdly, the mutual expectation which was being flagged up. Not only what the Church has
a right to expect of the clergy but also what the clergy – “have a right” is the wrong language – may
properly expect of the Church at large. That is an important complementary element, I think, in all
this.

        Fourthly, I note that questions have been raised about the relationship of this to the Clergy
Discipline Measure, which I am sure Archdeacon Hawker will have an answer to, but I hope will
not be lost in the discussion.

        It has been a very helpful and, if not clarifying, at least illuminating exchange of views. I
want to thank all those who have taken part, and thank Father Houlding and Canon Wilcox for a
very distinguished swan song. This might be an opportunity to say thank you to Hugh. [Applause]



5.     Review of Clergy Terms of Service

       The President: I believe that this is a general discussion under SO 9A. I wish to invite the
Prolocutor to introduce this discussion, for which he has up to 10 minutes, after which
contributions may be made up to five minutes. Although this is a discussion, I do not really want to
allow members to speak more than once.

        Canon Bob Baker (Norwich): Before I start, may I give the assurance that was being asked
for regarding the code of conduct not being circulated before we have made sure that people do
have some sense that we have got it right. I am quite happy to undertake to do that. I have had
nothing to do with it so far, but I will have something to do with it now.

        Discussion of clergy terms of service has been going on for a long while. There have been
a number of debates in the Synod over the last 10 or 15 years, including that which led to the
review of the freehold in 1990. The present discussions, however, arise more directly as a result of
the Employment Relations Act 1999, which includes the provision in Section 23, giving the
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry the power to confer some employment rights on those
who are technically not employees – which includes most of the people in this room and also
includes groups like casual workers in the building industry and members of Parliament.

         Last year, the DTI issues a discussion document which set out some of the concerns they
had and some options that they were considering. The Archbishops’ Council was asked to respond
to this document and part of its response was to set up a group under the chairmanship of David
McClean, of which I am a member. The Synod had an early discussion of these matters in
February. The group is now bringing to you a set of provisional conclusions and a range of other,
related questions for consideration by the Convocations. It is probably worth saying at this point
that I am aware that time is getting on and we may not have time to deal with all of them by any
means, but I do want you to write and to respond if you have particular concerns or wish to answer
the questions contained in this document, which I hope you have all seen.




                                                 64
        It is important to note that the list of rights referred to in Section 23 are almost all fully
acceptable to the Church. They are the kinds of things we would expect good employers to be
offering their employees, so most of them are uncontentious – with the obvious exception of that
which relates to working on Sundays. Our first provisional conclusion, therefore, is that these
rights should be made available to the clergy. The key question then is how might that be done and
whether such rights should have the force of law.

       In our theological reflection we considered whether, as some had said to us, the clergy
should carry out their ministry outside the sphere of law, and we had great help from Tony
Thiselton on this point. We concluded that not only was it permissible but it was also highly
desirable to give these rights the force of law – and that is our second provisional conclusion.

        One of the Government’s key concerns – and it is shared by the trade union Amicus, who
have contributed to this process – is that there should be a proper process for dealing with claims of
unfair dismissal. This has been highlighted by some of the more controversial cases that have
made the headlines. Our provisional view is that clergy who believe that they have been unfairly
dismissed should have access to secular employment tribunals, rather than the Church trying to
establish its own complicated structures of equivalent purpose. That is therefore our third
provisional conclusion.

        Our terms of reference talk of responsibilities as well as rights. We believe it important to
set out for clergy their responsibilities, including those already contained in the canons – with
which many clergy seem to be fairly unfamiliar. Provisional Conclusion 4 touches on that. There
is, however, a crucial question for our debate today. That is, by what mechanism these rights are to
be given, if they are to be given with the force of law. There are three possibilities. The group
judges that one of them is not a runner, but the three possibilities are these. First, we could amend
ecclesiastical law to provide all these Section 23 rights. Secondly, we could make clergy
employees, giving every clergyman a contract of employment. Thirdly, we could invite the
Government to make an order under Section 23 by which they would confer on us the rights we
would then have, without making us employees.

         The group’s view is that the third of those options is unacceptable. First, because it would
restrict our ability to frame our legislation in the way that would meet our particular concerns. As
you can see from the groups of people I have mentioned, there is a range of different needs and
concerns. We would therefore have more flexibility if we did not go down that route. Also, if we
ask the Government to do it, it would not touch on the issue of responsibilities. They would just
give us some rights, but we would still have to work out the other side of that coin. Fundamentally,
however, it would also be a departure from the principle of the Church being in control of its own
legislation. Legislation is devolved for Synod, and for the Government to make legislation directly
for the clergy would be a serious departure from that. We therefore judge that the third of those
options is not acceptable, but we want to hear from you which of the other two you might favour.

        There are a number of subsidiary questions, including of course the question of who might
be the employer if we went down the employment road – and that is not such a simple question as
you might think. I hope that we will have the opportunity to air some of these questions and hear
your concerns.



                                                 65
        Obviously, for most of us our vocation is a very precious gift and for many of us it is very
uncomfortable to be talking in terms of rights at all. I fully understand and accept that position, but
the reality is that the Government are committed to giving us certain rights, or making sure that we
have them, and there have been contentious cases where the absence of these rights has been very
painful indeed. We need to take this seriously, therefore, but we need to do so in a context where
we are looking at ways in which we can offer ourselves in God’s service, rather than where we can
cling onto or grasp new rights for ourselves. I hope it is in that spirit that we will conduct our
debate.

        Revd Professor Bernard Silverman (Southern Universities): In my case money flows from
my bank account into the Church’s, rather than the other way round. I am a priest all the time, but
I also have a contract. You might reflect on the way that the so-called non-stipendiary priest
contract with his or her parish works – in the sense that you can have a contract which lays out how
much or what you do, or something like that, without compromising your status as a priest.

       It might be that, looking at the way that works out for certain non-stipendiary clergy or
even for Readers, might give you a pattern for a way to think about how to have a contract that
does not compromise one’s vocation as a priest 365 days of the year, however many it is, and
forever.

         Revd Dr Richard Turnbull (Winchester): I contributed to some of the discussion we have
been having in this area over the months, partly through some of the research work that we did for
the clergy stipendiary view – though clearly things moved on from there – and also through the
debate in Synod in February and through the Deployment, Remuneration – I cannot remember the
rest of the title! – Committee, of which I am a member. I do not want to repeat any of those things.
I want to address just one question in this document. It is on page 20. It is the question, “What are
the merits of contracts of employment as against amending Church legislation as a mechanism for
giving clergy Section 23 rights?”.

        I do not myself have a completely fixed view. I am still taking part in the discussion. What
I do want to do, however, is to offer two advantages of the contract over amending Church
legislation. The first of those advantages is that of clarity. It seems to me that in much of what we
do, in much of who we are, how we are and how we operate, clarity is becoming increasingly
important. It is clarity not just for the clergy; it is clarity also for the laity. I simply leave that on the
table.

        There is a second advantage that I would place on the table. I do have a horror of the
Church going down a road of seeking to establish a whole series of parallel jurisdictions. I know
that Bob has already referred to that in terms of the employment tribunals. Interestingly, that was
rejected. If we are going to go through a process of having to give clergy certain rights and
responsibilities through a process of Church legislation, that fills me with considerable horror. It
does so for two reasons. First, it will distract us from our main purpose in Synod being the
governing body of the Church. Surely at this time, more than anything else, we really need to focus
and concentrate on our core purposes? Every time we wanted to make a change, we would have to
go through some process of internal legislation. That would lead to great confusion, because



                                                     66
people do not know where they stand; we will not know what applies to us and what does not and,
even if we found some way of doing it by regulation – we all know this and even your Grace, not
having been in this Synod very long, I am sure realises it – there will always be somebody who will
want to discuss on the floor of the Synod the details of the regulations.

        It seems to me that it would be an advantage of a contract to have those responsibilities and
rights laid out. If the Church wishes to seek exemption from a particular piece of legislation,
perhaps for doctrinal reasons, then that is what we should do. Then it is very clear what we are
seeking exemption from and why – not just because that is the way it is generally done. I just put
that on the table for discussion.

        Prebendary Martin Walker (Litchfield): I wonder if we have time to do this – your time, in
particular, in the House of Bishops? It will take a whole culture change. Having been a training
incumbent and a team leader, the one thing which is most difficult is to persuade bishops to put
their cards on the table and to work with cards on the table. They love confidential chats or words
and they hate being proactive at picking up hot potatoes.

        If this is going to work, people will have to start as they mean to go on. If you are to avoid
trouble, then you set out the parameters within which you work and you do your work as you go
along. If you do not do that and you finish up with a pile of stuff at the end of the job, it is, “How do
we get out of this?” – “Oh, send it down the road to another diocese”. Every now and again we get
stuck with one which bleeds the fund dry, because it goes on and on – simply because somebody
did not do the process at the time. Can you persuade the bishops to act like responsible employers,
or are they going to go on wanting to...?

         Revd Stephen Trott (Peterborough): I am very grateful to the committee for the work it has
done and what it has achieved. I have been involved both in the DTI negotiations which led to
Section 23 and with much work on employment law that has gone on in the background leading up
to this. I am grateful that my paper has been used by the committee as part of its deliberations on
this.

         I am very grateful too to Professor Thiselton for the theological work that he has provided,
illustrating that there is not a necessary conflict between what we are as clergy by virtue of our
ordination and what we do by way of our office. I think that is a very important distinction that we
can and must accept.

         I would like to urge the committee to think again. There are some subtleties in employment
law which I am afraid they have not quite grasped in the way in which the document has been set
out. I think that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for us to act as a Church in the face of the
existing case law, which is the reason why we are not employees and why we cannot be
employees. We do need primary legislation to change that situation and Section 23 provides that
for us.

       I do not think that we need to reinvent the wheel when the great bulk of secular society
already has a functioning, effective, well tried and tested employment tribunal mechanism, into
which we can buy at no charge simply by means of the secretary of state making an order. That



                                                    67
order can take a great variety of forms. It is not prescriptive. We could have an order made that
simply affirmed the existing responsibilities of the clergy, which are set out in canon law in great
detail and in other places. We would still be appointed at our institution as the rector of
such-and-such a parish. The difference would be that this would be a legally enforceable
arrangement, as opposed to being one which is at present still a spiritual description, rooted in the
canonical language of the 17th century.

        I do not think that we have anything to fear, therefore, from opting into what the state has to
offer. Nor do I think that there is any need for a sort of quid pro quo so that, if the clergy are given
these rights, they have to pay for it in some way by surrendering something else. I think that the
responsibilities we have we already have and know that. I know that most of the clergy labour
under a great burden of guilt that they are not fulfilling all the duties of their calling. To add
anything more to that burden would, I think, be unwise and unwelcome.

         I would urge the committee to look again at the security, the acceptability, the
practicability of the law as it already affects the great bulk of people in this country, and try to have
a little more confidence in it, because I think that it will be beneficial for us, as it is for so many
people already.

        The Dean of Worcester (Very Revd Peter Marshall): I am concerned about the direction of
this discussion, in terms of my understanding of 40 years of ministry in the Church of England –
which is based, I suppose, on a notion that we are part of a community under covenant, and we take
up roles within it in a covenant relationship rather than a contractual one. That, to me, is measured
by an understanding of what I give to a covenant and what the Church gives to me under God’s
covenant: that, whatever happens, in the end God will see me into eternity and I will do my very
best, within the limited powers I have, to give to the Church, the ministry to which I am called,
everything I have, and I take responsibility for the way I manage that as decently as possible. If that
means 24 hours a day working and tiredness, that is what it is. If I am responsible for myself,
however, I would respect the notion that I have a duty to myself and to my other obligations, to my
other vocations – to my marriage vocation, to my fatherhood vocation – to put a balance in that. I
do not expect laws to give the boundary to it.

        I have always understood the canons of the Church to be those which allow us the
boundaries in which we can fulfil our covenanted relationship. So once I hear that I am going to be
a wage-earner and I am going to have a contract of employment, I begin to ask myself what sort of
job description will they want to negotiate with me in the future. What then would become my
salary? Who do I compare myself with for my salary – as the task I now have – under sectoral
structures? On that basis, I do not think that you could pay me that amount.

        I would hope that, whatever thinking is going on, we try to frame it under the notion of
covenant because, in the end, we are a covenant of unity, a community of unity, which witnesses to
the world in which we live a different way of being. I would not want us to end up just as a kind of
secular organisation.

       Revd Moira Astin (Oxford): I am a team vicar, so I do not have a contract. That is neither
here nor there, however. Who should my employer be? I filled in my CRB form and it already said



                                                   68
that Oxford diocese was my employer – and they pay me. I am quite happy with them as my
employer. It can be the board of finance, if it saves the bishop the embarrassment.

        Canon Timothy Newcombe (Truro): I would like to speak for Mr Trott’s comments and
against those of Mr Turnbull, for the following reason. Mr Turnbull spoke about clarity. If in his
speech he had substituted the word “transparency”, you could then very quickly have linked into
the force of the arguments advanced by the Reith lecturer last year, who spoke at length about the
breakdown between trust and transparency.

        I think that if anything is to be maintained within and by the Church it is living examples of
trusting relationships, because we are human and they do break down. However, I do not think that
we should move towards contracts of employment simply to advance the ideas of clarity or
transparency.

        Canon Malcolm King (Guildford): May I ask two questions. First, how will this change in
employment affect our relationship with our parishes? We have talked about how it would change
our relationship with the bishops and the structure but at the moment the incumbent, who may
have a freehold or a leasehold, is like the Ordinary within the parish who relates very much to the
parish and to their incumbent. If we move to a structure whereby the diocese, the Church
Commissioner, or whoever, provides clergy for the parish and they are accountable and paid for by
them, how might that affect our relationship with the parishes?

       My second question is – and I should know the answer to this – does this review also
include bishops and archdeacons?

         Canon Bob Baker, in reply: I want to start with Stephen and Peter, because they expressed
the two ends of this particular spectrum, which are very difficult indeed. As Stephen says, there are
many benefits in being employed and many people enjoy those benefits. To answer Malcolm’s
point, one of the things this does is to put us in a similar state to all our parishioners – or those who
have jobs anyway. In that sense, there is a lot going for that side of the argument. There are also
problems with that, however, because clergy’s jobs are very unusual, particularly in the provision
of a house for instance, and in various other aspects of the job. The more you look at it, the more it
seems that employment status does not sit quite comfortably with the clergy job – even if you take
it in that practical sense.

         I think that many of us would also have some sympathy with what Peter was saying about
the covenant relationship, which I think is a very helpful way of looking at it. Another speaker said
that we do not have the time to do this. Unfortunately, we have to do it. We have to do something,
because the Government want to give these rights to all these groups of officeholders and people
who are employed in other ways. They will expect us either to do it ourselves or they will do it
themselves – not least because there have been some very painful cases, where people have felt
that they have been unfairly dismissed and have felt that they have not had a proper, fair,
independent hearing. There are therefore real issues which have to be dealt with and, whether we
like it or not, we have to deal with them. However, there is a real dilemma about which is the better
of these, broadly, two approaches, to go with.




                                                   69
         I think that clarity and transparency are important. We need to know where we stand. That
applies to all sorts of areas, including the one we were talking about earlier. As for persuading the
bishops, the bishops do come into this. They are in the same position as us. They are officeholders
who would have these rights given to them by the Government, unless we give them to them
ourselves. It is not a question of us making them our employers and we becoming their employees.
It is a question of us all being in the same situation as far as this is concerned.

        I am very grateful for the comments. Please do not stop them coming. I am sorry that I have
not replied to every speaker. I will just say to Bernard, who asked at the beginning about different
forms of employment we might look at, that we have looked at quite a range of different ones,
particularly the university lecturer who, interestingly, is in a position of being an employee but his
contract also protects all sorts of freedoms that he has – which is quite important in terms of not
being directed specifically into certain things that he may or may not do. There are other
interesting forms of contract, like the football manager who has a rolling contract, which is very
interesting in terms of fixed-term contracts and which we have not touched on at all.

       The President: This is clearly a discussion which will continue and, in a sense, this
evening’s has only scratched the surface of a very complicated set of questions about what proper
professionalism is the clergy. That is, what is the appropriate professionalism. The term
“covenant” that was used is, I think, a very important one in helping us to understand what is
appropriate. Equally, it is one where it does not hurt us to look, in looking at the legal structures
within which we have to operate and have to be increasingly clear about.

        I was reminded at one point in the discussion of some conversations we had in Wales a few
years ago about the new tribunal procedure we were putting into place. Somebody said that the
trouble was that at the moment, from the bishops’ point of view, we had absolutely nothing – in
cases of clergy misconduct – between the fireside chat in the study and the nuclear button! I think
that the levels of un-clarity there at time are among those things which make bishops, speaking for
myself, hesitant and confused about how to proceed sometimes in these matters. We all need
assistance there, I grant you.

       That concludes the business of the Full Synod.

                                     [Upper House withdrew]


                                         LOWER HOUSE

The Chair was taken by the Prolocutor, Canon Bob Baker (Norwich).

6.     Formal motions
       Revd David Houlding (London): I beg to move:
       ‘(i)  That the Prolocutor be authorised, pursuant to SO 13, to nominate members to
             serve on any Committee after the House has risen with the concurrence of the
             Standing Committee of the House;




                                                 70
        (ii) that those resolutions which should be conveyed to the Upper House be so
             conveyed.’
The motion was put and carried.

        The Chairman: The final thing we have to do, and those of you who are here for the first
time will be bemused by this I am sure, is to read the minutes. Before we do that, can I on your
behalf, and certainly on my own, express our gratitude to Hugh Wilcox? The Archbishop has
already touched on this, but Hugh served as Prolocutor before me, as you know. He has been a
great servant of the Convocation and of the Synod. One of his great gifts of course is that he is a
parish priest who stands up for the rights of parish priests, or at least expresses the voice of the
parish priest, very effectively indeed. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude. So, thank you very
much, Hugh. [Applause]

        Canon Michael Hodge (Synodical Secretary): Before I read the minutes, with your
permission, may I make one comment about the ongoing process to do with the Guidelines? It is
often said that the members of the working party “will have heard”. In fact, it will be more. Before
the members of the Guidelines Working Party meet, they will have in their possession the
transcript of the debate here and also of the one in York. So there will not be any question of not
remembering what was said.

7.     Minutes
       Canon Michael Hodge (Synodical Secretary) read the minutes, which were then approved
       as being a correct record.

       Convocation was prorogued at 10 p.m.




                                                 71
                     CONVOCATION OF

                        CANTERBURY




       Undecima Convocatio Elizabetha Secunda Regnante




                          SESSION IV


                   Monday, 14 February 2005




                   Minutes of the Full Synod
                    and the Lower House




Note: Resolutions which have been carried are printed in bold type.




                                72
                                         SESSION IV

                                  Monday, 14th February 2005


The Convocation of the Province of Canterbury assembled at 2.00 p.m.
in the Harvey Goodwin Suite, Church House, Westminster.


                                           Full Synod

1. PRAYERS
                          Prayers were said by His Grace the President.

2. ASSESSORS
With the leave of His Grace the President, the Prolocutor appointed his Assessors for the day:-
                  The Archdeacon of Birmingham (the Venerable Hayward Osborne)
                                                       (Birmingham)
                  The Reverend Karen Gorham            (Canterbury)
                  The Reverend Richard Seabrook        (Chelmsford)
                  The Reverend Doris Staniford         (Chichester)

3. PRO-PROLOCUTOR
   The Prolocutor presented the Reverend Prebendary Kay Garlick (Hereford) to His Grace the
President.

4. COMMON WORSHIP: THE ORDINAL
       The Archdeacon of Tonbridge (Rochester), the Venerable Clive Mansell, introduced a
discussion in accordance with Standing Order 9A.

In the discussion which followed, there spoke:- the Reverend John Cook (London), the Reverend
Canon David Bird (Peterborough), the Right Reverend the Bishop of Salisbury, the Reverend
Hugh Lee (Oxford), the Reverend Prebendary David Houlding (London), the Right Reverend the
Bishop of Rochester, the Right Reverend the Bishop of Chichester and the Reverend David
Banting (Chelmsford).
The Archdeacon of Tonbridge replied to the discussion.

5. CLERGY TERMS OF SERVICE
   The Prolocutor, the Reverend Canon Bob Baker (Norwich), introduced a discussion in
accordance with Standing Order 9A.

In the discussion which followed, there spoke:- the Archdeacon of Berkshire (Oxford), the
Venerable Norman Russell, the Reverend Stephen Trott (Peterborough), the Archdeacon of
Tonbridge, the Reverend Jonathan Baker (Oxford), the Reverend Prebendary Kay Garlick
(Hereford), the Archdeacon of Lincoln, the Venerable Arthur Hawes, the Reverend Richard



                                               73
Seabrook (Chelmsford), the Reverend Simon Stokes (Norwich), the Reverend Canon Doctor
Robin Ward (Rochester), the Reverend Brian Lewis (Chelmsford), the Reverend Rose
Hudson-Wilkin (London), the Reverend Stephen Coles (London), the Dean of Worcester (the
Very Reverend Peter Marshall), the Reverend Prebendary David Houlding (London), the
Reverend Hugh Lee (Oxford), the Reverend Prebendary Horace Harper (Lichfield), the Reverend
Canon Tim Barker (Lincoln), the Archdeacon of Cheltenham (Gloucester), the Venerable Hedley
Ringrose, the Right Reverend the Bishop of London, the Reverend David Banting (Chelmsford)
and Sister Rosemary CHN (Religious Communities).
The Reverend Canon Bob Baker replied to the discussion.

His Grace the President and the members of the Upper House withdrew.

                                           Lower House

The Reverend Canon Bob Baker (Prolocutor, Norwich) took the chair.

6.      AMENDMENT OF STANDING ORDERS.
SO 3
“Leave out Standing Order 3 and insert
3.      (a)       Following the elections to the Convocations and the House of Laity to form a new
General Synod, nomination papers shall be sent to every member of the Lower House inviting
nominations for the office of Prolocutor.
        (b)       Nominations shall be in writing, signed by a proposer and seconder, both being
qualified to vote in the election, and containing a signed statement of the candidate’s willingness to
serve if elected. The nomination shall be delivered to a person designated by the Synodical
Secretary, within such period (not being less than 21 days) as the designated person shall appoint.
Provided that such nomination period shall include at least the first two days of the first group of
sessions of the new Synod.
        (c)       If an election is required, it shall be conducted in accordance with the following
provisions:
          (i) So soon as may be after the period for nomination has expired, voting papers
                containing a list of the candidates duly nominated shall be circulated to the relevant
                electors.
          (ii) Voting papers, marked and signed, shall be returned to the designated person within
                such period (not being less than 14 days) as the designated person shall appoint.
          (iii) The election shall be conducted by the method of the single transferable vote and the
                procedure to be followed shall be in accordance with rules or regulations to be made
                by the Synod under SO 68 except that, where a member has an address in the official
                list of members outside the United Kingdom, the presiding officer may accept as a
                valid vote a voting paper received by facsimile transmission.
        (d) Following his election the proposer and seconder shall present the Prolocutor to the
President at the first available opportunity.
          (e)             On a vacancy in the office of Prolocutor during the quinquennium the
 election to fill the vacancy shall be conducted in the same manner as an ordinary election as soon
 as practicable after the vacancy has occurred.”.




                                                 74
Prebendary David Houlding (London) moved:
      "That this amendment be made with effect from 18th February 2005".
The motion was carried.

SO 4
“Leave out Standing Order 4 and insert
4. (a)       Following the election of two members of the House of Clergy to the Archbishops’
Council, nomination papers shall be sent to every member of the Lower House inviting
nominations for the election of two Pro-Prolocutors and four other persons to be members of the
Standing Committee of the Lower House.
    (b)      Nominations shall be in writing, signed by a proposer and seconder, both being
qualified to vote in the election, and containing a signed statement of the candidate’s willingness to
serve if elected. The nomination shall be delivered to a person designated by the Synodical
Secretary, within such period (not being less than 21 days) as the designated person shall appoint.
    (c)      If an election is required -
          (i) Subject to paragraph (ii), at the next meeting of the Lower House, voting
                papers containing a list of the candidates duly nominated shall be circulated to
                the relevant electors being present at the meeting. The election shall forthwith
                be conducted by ballot of those present in the House by voting papers marked
                and signed at the meeting.
          (ii) The President, the Prolocutor and the Synodical Secretary, or a majority of
                them, may determine, for reasons which seem to them to be sufficient, that the
                election shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Standing
                Order 3 (c)(ii) and (iii).
          (iii) Standing Order 3 (c)(iii) shall apply to the election with the necessary
                modifications.
          (iv) Two counts shall be conducted. The first shall be for the two Pro-Prolocutors
                and any candidates who have indicated on the nomination papers that they do
                not wish to stand for that office shall be excluded.
          (v) The second count shall be for the purpose of electing six persons to the Standing
                Committee of the Lower House. Provided that the six persons to be elected shall
                include the two persons elected as Pro-Prolocutors on the first count, but so
                that where one or both Pro-Prolocutors have been elected unopposed, their
                names shall not be included on the voting paper and the number of persons to
                be elected shall be reduced accordingly.
    (d)      At the first available opportunity the Prolocutor shall present the Pro-Prolocutors to the
    President.
    (e)      Where a casual vacancy occurs among the Pro-Prolocutors or the four members of the
    Standing Committee elected in accordance with Standing Order 4(a), this shall be filled in
    accordance with Standing Order 120 of the Standing Orders of the General Synod. Provided
    that any casual vacancy remaining unfilled after the application of that Standing Order
    (otherwise than as a result of the unexpired portion of the term of office of the outgoing
    member being twelve months or less) may be filled by the Standing Committee.”.

Prebendary David Houlding (London) moved:
"That this amendment be made with effect from 18th February 2005".



                                                  75
The motion was carried.

SO 12(b).
        “Leave out paragraph (b) and insert
    (b)    The members of the Standing Committee of the Lower House shall consist of the
Prolocutor, the two Pro-Prolocutors, any elected member of the Archbishops’ Council and the four
persons other than the two Pro-Prolocutors elected in accordance with Standing Order 4.”.

Prebendary David Houlding (London) moved:
"That this amendment be made with effect from 18th February 2005".
The motion was carried.

7.      FORMAL MOTIONS
It was proposed by Prebendary Kay Garlick (Pro-Prolocutor, Hereford) and agreed:
"(i) That the Prolocutor be authorised, pursuant to Standing Order 13, to nominate
members to serve on any Committee after the House has risen with the concurrence of the
Standing Committee of the House;
(ii)    that those resolutions which should be conveyed to the Upper House be so conveyed."

8      MINUTES.
The Minutes of this Session were read, confirmed and reduced to Acts according to the ancient
custom of Convocation.

The Prolocutor gave the Blessing, and the House stood prorogued.




                                              76
                              CONVOCATION OF CANTERBURY

The Convocation of the Province Canterbury met in Harvey Goodwin Suite, Church House,
Westminster, on Monday, 14 February 2005 at 2 p.m. The Chair was taken by The Archbishop of
Canterbury.

Prayers were said by The Chairman.

        The Chairman: I welcome everyone to this session of the Convocation. May I begin by
inviting Canon Baker to appoint his Assessors for the day.

        Revd Canon Baker (Norwich): Your Grace, the following have agreed to act as Assessors
for today: Ven Hayward Osborne, Birmingham; Revd Karen Gorham, Canterbury; Revd Richard
Seabrook, Chelmsford; and Revd Doris Staniford, Chichester.


APPOINTMENT OF PRO-PROLOCUTOR

      Revd Canon Bob Baker (Norwich): Your Grace, it is a very great pleasure to present to you
Prebendary Kay Garlick, who has been appointed Pro-Prolocutor after an election. We formally
welcome her. (Applause)


COMMON WORSHIP: THE ORDINAL

        The Chairman: I have agreed with the Pro-Prolocutor that the item, Common Worship:
The Ordinal, should take the form of a discussion in Full Synod under Standing Order 9A. I shall
invite the Archdeacon of Tonbridge to introduce the discussion. He may have up to 10 minutes for
this and thereafter contributions may be made by other members of either House speaking for not
more than five minutes in each case.

This is a discussion, so it may be possible for members to speak more than once, but I am not
encouraging that. I hope that we shall have completed the discussion on this item by 3.05, so that
we may have a reasonable amount of time for our discussion on Clergy Terms of Service. I trust
members will be as precise as possible as is humanly possible in their contributions. At a suitable
point, I shall ask the Archdeacon to close on the item by summing up and responding to the
discussion.

        The Archdeacon of Tonbridge (Ven Clive Mansell): Archbishop, colleagues, I do hope that
amidst all the other papers you have received for this session of the General Synod, you have had
had an opportunity to read through the report of the Revision Committee on the proposed new
ordination services and also the draft services themselves, and not just to read them through
silently, but also aloud. They are, of course, services to be used actively to give effect to God’s will
and work in the lives of individuals and of the people of his Church. They are services to be read
silently. They can give us fresh guidance for our own ministry and we can reflect on that ministry.
Certainly I found myself prompted to think anew about the ministry which is mine and the ministry



                                                  77
which we ask of others. On occasion, when considering these services, the phrase ‘great
expectations’ came to my mind. It is a mighty calling which is laid before a candidate for
ordination, whether as a deacon or as a priest or as a bishop.

These ordination services have been before the General Synod in their initial draft form. They
were debated and given provisional approval and then referred to a revision committee. The
revision committee then received a large number of submissions, which you can see summarised
in the back of GS1535Y.

The committee’s specific task was to deal with those submissions and, where appropriate, to
amend the draft texts in the light of them. This proved to be a lengthy task involving several
additional meetings, but those meetings were constantly stimulating and, for me personally,
enjoyable. A wide variety of Anglican opinion, churchmanship and insight amongst the members
of the revision committee was there and was shared generously and constructively. Copies of
Greek New Testaments, the Scriptures and editions of Books of Common Prayer from 1549 to
1550 onwards, and the ASB 1980 adorned the tables upon which we worked. I suspect that all of us
learnt something anew about our faith, our calling or our Anglican inheritance along the way.

Let me draw your attention to some of the features of the services.

As in the earlier draft, each of the three ordination services has a special focus reflecting that
particular aspect of ministry found within that order: deacon, priest of bishop.

To some extent, the services are cumulative in their content: priests continue as deacons, bishops
continue as priests and as deacons. An earlier stage in their calling still applies to a subsequent
stage. The former set of earlier ordination service still applies as they move into another order

Equally, within each right what properly and appropriately needs to be said about that particular
order of ministry is not concentrated only in one spot, but it may be spread through different parts
of the service, so you need to read the service as a whole.

The introduction to each service speaks of God’s calling to people to follow Christ, of God’s
calling to the Church and then, within the Church, of God’s calling to particular ministries. For
example, it says: ‘Deacons are ordained so that the people of God can be better equipped to make
Christ known. Theirs is a life of visible self-giving. Christ is the pattern of their calling and their
commission; as he washed the feet of his disciples so they must wash the feel of others.’

Later, further details of the calling of a deacon will appear in the introduction to the declarations,
and yet more details still are picked up in the final words before the candidates and others are
called to ‘pray earnestly for the gift of the Holy Spirit’. A similar pattern is found in each of the
three orders of services.

Questions are asked of candidates, and indeed of others, at various stages in the service and one
alteration in these revised rites is to bring the affirmation of a candidate’s calling into the early part
of the service so that the Church and the candidate can have that affirmation of calling at the point
of presentation. The question to the candidate now also expresses the fact that this vocation was



                                                   78
not only in the past, but is still very much in the present. ‘Do you believe that God is calling you to
this ministry?’ and the candidate replies ‘I do so believe’.

The candidates’ confirmation that they believe that they are called to this ministry was usually
within that long list of questions which forms the declarations. Having moved that particular
question to the beginning of the service, that later sequence of questions begins by asking the
candidates about their acceptance of the Holy Scriptures and then they are asked about other
aspects of their understanding of their calling and of their intention in entering upon that calling.

We were invited to make more of the theme of mission within these questions and particularly of a
bishop’s role in leading people in mission. Now, for example, the third question in the sequence,
and a high-placed question, asks the candidate for ordination as a bishop: ‘will you lead your
people in proclaiming the glorious gospel of Christ so that the good news of salvation may be
heard in every place?’

We have striven to respect and value different emphases and insights which come from various
traditions within the Church of England. Sometimes those traditions posed discomfort for one or
another, and this challenged us to find a way forward which was fresh and acceptable to all. I do
hope that you have had the opportunity to read the narrative at paragraph 140 of the report where
we explain how we wrestled with one aspect of the prayer of ordination for priests and found new
common ground by drawing upon fresh scriptural insights and idioms.

We have tried to retain the reality of the ordination prayer as a single prayer. In planning this part
of a service, some bishops and precentors may find assistance from the proposed guidance and
coaching notes which will probably accompany these services to encourage the choreography of
the event to give best expression to the intention of the words.

We have sought to avoid other features of the service detracting from the importance of the
ordination prayer, but, within the Anglican tradition especially, the giving of the Bible is a
long-standing and very important feature. The report will explain some of the issues of principle,
of understanding, and of liturgical practice which have engaged us. Hopefully, the proposals
which we have recommended with the options they contain will allow the ordination service to
reflect the importance of Scripture for the guiding of the Church, the authority of Scripture for the
preaching of God’s word, and the inspiration of Scripture for an individual’s personal ministry.

Other themes to be brought before us included requests for less ‘inappropriate hierarchical
language’, for more expressions of public declarations of faith, for a wider selection of scriptural
passages for the recommended readings, and many other things besides. You will have to see
whether you feel that we have made the right judgments in response to those various requests.

We hope that what we are bringing before you are forms of service which will inspire all who are
brought together at the occasion of an ordination service and that these rites will both encourage
those who are ordained at such services in the ministry which becomes theirs and prompt all to
pray for them in the ministry to which God has called them in the wide company of Christ’s
people. We hope that many will find amongst the words and phrases of these services sayings and
themes which will linger in the memory and remind both candidates and others of the ways of



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Christ and his Church and that these services will help ordained and lay people alike to go forth
together in Christ’s name.

We hope and pray that these services, like their much used companions in the Book of Common
Prayer from across the ages, and in the ASB, will be a means by which God will prosper his
Church and its mission and service in this land and beyond.

May none of us read these services without reflecting on God’s call to us. May none of us read
these services without being ready to pray for others in their Christian calling. May none of us read
these services without being prompted to a greater awareness of God himself.

Perhaps all of us, like candidates for ordination in any of these services, need to remember the
greatness of the trust which Christ bestows upon us as members of his Church. As those who are
ordained are reminded – ‘you cannot bear the weight of this calling in your own strength, but only
by the grace and power of God. Pray earnestly for the gift of the Holy Spirit.’

We on the revision committee are aware of the grace and power of God for which we must all pray
in our Christian life and service. We have unanimously produced the report which is before you.
We now commend these revised draft services to you. We hope this Convocation, and indeed the
General Synod itself, will find them acceptable and indeed God’s way forward for this service in
the life of our Church.

       The Chairman imposed a speech limit of five minutes.

        Revd John Cook (London): I was very happy with most of what has been put in front of us.
It looks excellent. I want to highlight one thing about the position of the giving of a Bible. If you
look back at the archive discussion in 1977, there is no doubt that the giving of the Bible alone
should be entrenched. The new position is that where the Bible is put is optional. I do not mind
whether it is done half-way through the service or at the very end, but the option of anointing is
there in the notes and, if anointing is used, it must, it says, be used between the ordination and the
welcome. That is where the giving of a Bible has been. That highlights some problems. If the
giving of a Bible may take place either before the welcome or sending out, who decides? It does
open the door for lobbying and arguing. If it takes place before the welcome, it competes with the
anointing. Which comes first or second? If it comes at the end before sending out, does it come as
a sort of tail-end Charlie and that is not the traditional place for it?

Indeed, page 43 of the report says, ‘the giving of the Bible is clearly distinguished from any
subordinate ceremonies’. The problem now is that what we have is a bit complicated and acts as a
random dual system.

       Revd Canon David Bird (Peterborough): You put forward the suggestion that materials
were available for use both in the ordination retreat and also in welcoming a newly-ordained
person to the parish. I gather that it is at the behest of the House of Bishops, from reading the
response. I just wonder whether the House of Bishops are minded to ask the Liturgical
Commission to do this extra piece of work, which I think would add to the ordination ritual, as it




                                                 80
were, within a parish where not everybody is able to drive all the way over to the cathedral but
where everyone wants to be part of the welcoming of the newly-ordained in the parish.

Indeed, on the ordination retreat, I think it would be helpful if there were material available there
which can be used and which has a commonality across all the dioceses as people come together in
retreat in preparation for ordination. I would be interested in a comment from the House of
Bishops particularly on that point.

        The Archdeacon of Tonbridge (Ven Clive Mansell): We spent a lot of time on the giving of
the Bible. If you read the narrative in the report, you will see there were various votes taken and
discussion about what to do. In part, what we have come up with is, I think, reflecting a variety of
opinion on the revision committee. We are also perhaps not on the issue of what the giving of the
Bible means to the service but how best to present that issue in the context of the service. There
were some who wished to do it in a much more dramatic way in the middle with a quote from the
Bible being given, and then the personal Bible being given out at the end, and others who wished to
do it otherwise. Whichever option is followed, the prominence of the Bible and its significance to
those ordained in the Ministry of the Church of England is there.

As to who decides which pattern is followed, I presume that is going to be the officiating bishop
for the ordination service, but he can only work within the framework given in the form of the
service. The liturgical text and the way it is handled will still be within this particular framework. I
suspect it will come at the end in General Synod in the fuller debate.

Do please read again the narrative about all the discussions we have had. Again I would say to you
that the significance of the Bible is very strong in this service and comes across, into whichever
location you put the giving.

I do not think, Archbishop, I can speak for the House of Bishops. I had better leave someone else
more qualified to answer the second question from Canon Bird.

         Bishop of Salisbury (Rt Revd David Stancliffe): In reflection on what David asked for,
I think it would be possible to give him adequate assurance that there is material being prepared. It
has not ever been suggested that any material that might be used in welcoming somebody back into
the parish or whether being used by ordinands in the future would be part of the authorised
provision. That is the reason why it is not included in the revision committee’s work and it is not
coming through the kind of discussions we had on Wednesday.

I think I can assure him that whoever has initiated or commissioned it, by the time it comes into the
public domain, there will be material there and the House of Bishops will have corporately
contributed to it. Those who are already using the material have been encouraged to write and let
me see what they are doing. By the time it comes to the publication of the study of the issues as
opposed to just the text that Bishops may want to have for ordinary ordination services, there will
be that kind of material available.

      Revd Hugh Lee (Oxford): I want to refer to paragraph 52 of the report of the revision
committee where it says, ‘We consider that the italicization of the whole phrase “in the parish of



                                                  81
N” makes sufficient provision for the need for adaptation if the ordinand is to serve in more than
one parish (or is being ordained to a non-parochial title)….’

I do not know if that is sufficient. As many people here may know, I speak on behalf of the
Ministry and the Secretary of Employment in other areas. In some dioceses, when MSEs are
ordained, they are presented as saying, ‘To serve in the parish of such and such, and in the
chemical industry’ or something like that. In other dioceses, the registrar says that is illegal and
you cannot be ordained to a title of the chemical industry. This needs to be resolved. Perhaps it
does not need to be resolved because you are never asked the question to which you get the answer
‘no’. It would be good if there was more in the notes that permitted that sort of presentation than
this. There is nothing in the notes of the ordination service; it is just in this report that says these
italics imply that he can do other things.

        Prebendary David Houlding (London): I do hope that we will be able to welcome these
services, and also to thank both the Liturgical Commission and the revision and steering
committees that have prepared these texts for us. I think they are extremely welcome. We must
bear in mind that the Ordinal is one of our foundational documents. It is not just like another
liturgical text. It is crucial that we read these services and understand what a bishop is as well as
what he does; what a priest is as well as what he does; and what a deacon is as well as what he does.
I think we can do that with these texts. Thank you very much to the revision committee.

I hope that this Synod, and indeed the Convocation, will be able to complete this business in the
course of this Synod by the end of July. I trust therefore the fact that so few people seem to be
wanting to speak in this debate means that we are going to give it very much the seal of our
approval. I believe that here we have a very good understanding of our orders as is consonant with
our Anglican tradition and the tradition of the universal Church from where we have received
them.

        Rt Revd Michael Nazir-Ali (Bishop of Rochester): Following on from Father David
Houlding’s remarks, it is quite remarkable really how this service or these services reflect the great
tradition while taking into account Anglican insights, and contemporary insights at that. They do
seem to begin rather abruptly, and so I am hoping that there will be an introduction to these
services which says something about an Anglican understanding of the threefold ministry of
bishop, priest and deacon. I think it would be risky perhaps to leave this to congregations to work
out from the services themselves. Some kind of introduction would be helpful.

The other point that I wanted to make was that the preface to the Declaration of Assent speaks of
the faith which is uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures, whereas the summary that we have
currently on page 2, for example, of the ordination of deacons, but repeated in the other services,
speaks only of the faith which is revealed in the Holy Scriptures. What is the reason for this
change? Perhaps the revision committee has a good explanation.

         The Archdeacon of Tonbridge: I will take the three points in turn. To Hugh Lee, there is
clearly a legal issue there. We have discussed it. I think in terms of the liturgical text, the
italicization allows the flexibility that the lawyers would allow us to do what you are asking.




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Thank you, David Houlding, for your commendation of the services and reminding us of how they
speak to us not just about what we do but also who we are in our respective ministries.

With regard to the Bishop of Rochester, I think when the document appears in the printed form in
due course and goes into the hands of the ordinary person in the pew, they will have before them
the piece by the Liturgical Commission that produced this set of services for General Synod. I am
looking to the Bishop of Salisbury to give me a nod on that. It may be the Bishop of Rochester is
looking for a small, two paragraph introduction explaining something about ministry at the start of
the service, in which case his request is obviously heard.

On the latter point about uniquely revealed and revealed, there is certainly no theological
discussion of this. I suspect that it is just a question that in rendering the paragraph which now
forms part of the service, that particular adverb has been left out and, as I say, it can be restored.

I do not know whether the Bishop of Salisbury or the Bishop of Chichester have any point to add to
that.

        Bishop of Chichester (Rt Revd John Hind): May I make two comments. One concerns the
last point about ‘uniquely revealed’. In the ordination service for deacons at which the declaration
of assent will not publicly in front of the congregation be said, we are providing that it will have to
be printed on the inside front cover of every printed version of the service in its proper form. Quite
clearly, this refers back to a text which is there only a page and half before. Like the Archdeacon
has said, that could be altered if you had a mind to do so, but I do not think there is any danger of
confusion, given the full text will be there to be seen.

May I make one brief comment, a further word of reassurance, to John Cook about giving the
Bible. I know it relates to an earlier point. We were very clear indeed that nothing at all must get in
the way of the significance in the Anglican tradition of ordinands of giving the Bible. Two views
very clearly expressed and argued about as to the best way in which to signify that. Given the real
concern of the mission of the Church and the centrality of the provision of the Scriptures in that,
there as quite a strong theological case being made for actually making the giving of the Bible part
of the mission of their concerns, while others would want it to retain some additional close links
with the laying on of hands and prayer in the ordination itself.

We found it very hard indeed to adjudicate between those two in the sense of saying that you must
really go for one. It does make both provisions impossible. However, I think there is one aspect,
and John presented the case, which does not quite reflect the form of service as we produced it.
There is no doubt whatsoever about the relationship between the giving of the Bible and any
optional anointing if it happens in the middle of the service. The giving of the Bible does not
happen – I am speaking logically rather than chronologically – before the welcome. The giving of
the Bible happens after the laying on of hands with prayer. It is inseparably linked, and we can
have it in that part of the service with the central act of ordination itself. We chose that language
and referring to the anointing if it happens before the welcome to indicate very clearly the giving
of the Bible related directly to the laying on of hands and prayer and that the anointing was not so
linked. That was the logic of the text.




                                                  83
It may not be as clear as we think it is but certainly there should be no danger of confusion. I
certainly cannot offer any comfort for those who really do want to have an option of giving the
Bible at the end, because that was clearly one of the options that some people did want. We felt that
we had tried to be as fair as possible to those two equally legitimate options.

        Revd David Banting (Chelmsford): Could I refer you to the report of the revision
committee and paragraph 16 on page 5? I was a member of the revision committee and I am
delighted that we are able to present this report unanimously. There was a fairly robust debate
many times during the committee and it is reflected not only in some of the detail, which you have
begun to hear, but in something we seem to come back to again and again that is referred.

The answer given when we got, amongst other places, to paragraph 16, when we got too deep into
the tension of views, was that this committee was not the place to sort out the theology or
theologies of episcopacy within the Church of England. If there are in the general debate requests
for the recommittal of certain issues and certain details, I hope that the Synod will be sympathetic
to those. There are very few, as far as I know, but we will hear more no doubt in the immediate
future, but they all seem to me to illustrate this tension, as it is referred to here, because it does
seem to me personally that we have moved slightly more in one direction rather than another in
these revisions.

The remit of the committee was to revise the ordinal from the ASB of 1980. At the time, we have
referred to the ordinal as a formulary, and that goes back to the Book of Common Prayer, but I
suspect that we have not always been as sensitive to what the Prayer Book is and to how it is
directing us, not only in terms of language and order and so on, but in terms of theology.

I suspect, but we will discover in the main debate, that the requests for recommittal of certain
details are not merely details; they are to do with this overall theme. I hope therefore that Synod as
a whole will be generous to those comparatively few requests.

I could give you more illustrations now, but I think I want to make that point about the tension of
the theology within the Church of England which perhaps for centuries has never fully been
resolved.

The Chairman: As no-one else wishes to intervene, perhaps the Archdeacon could make a final
response.

        The Archdeacon of Tonbridge in reply: Thank you to David Banting for his last comment.
That has brought before you some of the issues that we face as a committee with a very broad
range of opinions in trying to draw together different insight. As he said, the committee felt its task
was not to resolve the theological issues which may be there within the Church of England; its task
was to revise this form of service, which was brought before it by the Synod with the particular
submission that came to it, and yet we have also to stay within the theological traditions which are
there before us in our previous formularies and inspired as they are by Scripture and tradition of
the Christian Church.




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Please do read the report. David has helpfully called up one paragraph for your attention. If you
have not yet had a chance to read the report fully because of everything else that has come your
way, take a chance between now and the time of the debate to read through the paragraphs. You
will find them interesting and illuminating. You will see some of these areas where there were, if
you like, theological or Church tensions, but also I trust you will see how, so far as we could, we
sought to resolve those and move forward with a common mind.

Thank you for your questions. I hope that you will enjoy the debate later in the week.

        The Chairman: That concludes discussions on this item. I would like to thank Archdeacon
Clive for guiding us through that.

CLERGY TERMS OF SERVICE

       The Chairman: We move to the next item, a discussion on clergy terms of service. Again, I
have agreed with the Prolocutor that we should discuss this in Full Synod. There is no particular
pressure on time but I hope that will not encourage people to be unduly prolix.

I invite Canon Baker to open the discussion, speaking for up to 10 minutes, and encourage people
again to take no more than five minutes in what they say thereafter.

       Canon Bob Baker (Norwich): Your Grace, the report before us today, which will be
debated in the General Synod, is the second part of a two-stage process which was initiated when
the Government decided in 2002 that what they call atypical workers should enjoy similar
employment rights to those of ordinary employees. These rights are set out in Section 23 of the
Employment Relations Act 1999 and are, for the most part, uncontroversial. The phrase ‘atypical
workers’ covers a diverse collection of jobs from home workers, casual labourers in the building
industry and Members of Parliament to clergy of various denominations and faiths.

A working group under the chairmanship of Professor David McLean was set up by the
Archbishops’ Council and was asked to consider, first, those Church of England clergy who do not
have the freehold and therefore enjoy very few rights.

We completed that work in December 2003 and our first report was debated in the February Group
of Sessions last year. In it we set out our proposals for creating a new form of tenure for clergy,
which we call common tenure, which would retain their status as officeholders rather than
employees but would secure most of the rights which the Government was pressing for them to
have. For the first time, any member of the clergy who felt he or she had been removed from office
unfairly would have the right to take their case to an employment tribunal but, because we believed
that rights and responsibilities go hand-in-hand, there would also be a capability procedure for
those cases where a priest failed to meet minimum standards.

These proposals were well received by the General Synod and the Church at large. In this second
report, we have taken into account some of the comments made on the first. In this second report,
we address the situation of those clergy who have the freehold. We propose granting Section 23




                                                85
rights to all the clergy, including those who currently have the freehold, and extending common
tenure and the capability procedures to those priests also.

The freehold has often been seen as having two distinct elements: the freehold of property, and the
freehold of office. This is slightly misleading because technically the office is itself a piece of
property. Nevertheless, the distinction helps us to clarify both the strengths and the weaknesses of
the freehold.

Freehold of office is seen by some as essential to maintain the freedom and independence of the
clergy. This freedom is part of a unique tradition for English clergy, although we note in our report
the comments in the 1967 Partners in Ministry Report, which said: ‘As well as being a bastion for
the profit or sturdy reformer or a support for the timid, the freehold has on occasions served as a
wall to protect the lazy or indifferent and as a means of perpetuating a ministry which is not for the
good of the Church.’

Since the publication of that report, and indeed before it, there have been many calls for the
abolition or reform of the freehold, and significant changes have been made to it over the years,
which have not always been understood.

In summary, if we look back over the last 100 years, the nature of the freehold has changed greatly
and the rights it confers in respect of the office are now subject to various constraints. An
incumbent can no longer hold office for life. His or her tenure of office can be ended through ill
health, compulsory retirement, after a breakdown of pastoral relationships, through pastoral
reorganisation, or for disciplinary reasons.

The freehold of property has also changed significantly over the years with the detachment from
the benefice of the tithes, endowment and glebe. The result has been that while it remains
technically true that the incumbent owns the church, churchyard and parsonage, the rights attached
to them are so qualified as to make this ownership little more than notional. Not surprisingly, these
rights have been described as qualified, vestigial, elusive. One ecclesiastical lawyer says that
‘though the incumbent retains rights and obligations in respect of the church and churchyard and
parsonage house, to describe him or her as having the freehold of the benefice is potentially
misleading’. Bishops, incidentally, lost the rights of property when they were transferred to the
Church Commissioners in 1943.

By replacing the freehold system with a common tenure, we believe it would be possible not only
to put all clergy on an equal footing but also to remove the confusion and muddle surrounding the
property rights of clergy, whilst continuing to protect the freedom and independence to exercise
the ministry to which God has called them.

There is one important area of concern about property which we have looked at very carefully and
that is the rights the incumbent enjoys in respect of the parsonage house and particularly the
necessity for consent before it can be replaced.

Our recommendation that in future parsonage houses should be vested in the diocesan board of
finance as benefice property is coupled with a recognition that it would be unacceptable to leave



                                                 86
the incumbent merely with the right to be consulted about the sale of the parsonage. Something
much more robust is needed. The arguments and our proposals are set out in detail on pages 29 to
33 of our report.

A significant amount of this report is taken up with developing ideas put forward in the first phase.
We have set out how common tenure might be applied to training posts, part-time and house for
duty posts, and how it might work for non-stipendiary clergy. We have also considered the pattern
which the necessary legislation might take and the process of implementation. We have identified
the need for professional human resources support for bishops and we have developed further the
ideas for ministry, review and capability procedures, which were flagged up in part 1.

In short, your Grace, under these proposals clergy would lose the rather notional ownership of
some property which the freehold brings, but would retain many of the rights and protections
which it allows, albeit by different means. Most importantly, their freedom to preach the Gospel
without fear or favour would be secure, and, in addition, they would enjoy, as a matter of law, a
number of new rights which employees in other walks of life already have.

Our group welcomes the fact that this report is being debated both here and in the Synod because,
while we want to avoid vain repetition, we recognise that the Convocations have a particular
professional interest in these matters, which may be helpfully discussed in this forum with the laity
absent.

Therefore, your Grace, I commend this report to the Convocation and I look forward to hearing the
views of members.

       The Chairman: The matter is now open for discussion.

        Archdeacon of Berkshire (Ven Norman Russell): Like most archdeacons, I am very well
aware, Your Grace, of the problems of freehold. I think every archdeacon has a small number of
livings in the archdeaconry where pastoral reorganisation cannot go ahead because of difficulties
with freehold. I do think we ought not to get those out of proportion.

I do have serious misgivings about one particular aspect of these proposals and that is the transfer
of the parsonage house, the church and churchyard, to the diocesan board of finance. I think that
this would cause us very great problems for the future. Personally, I am not fully convinced that
the transfer of this property to the diocesan board of finance does give to clergy, and indeed to
church members, quite the protection that is promised. I would want reassurance on that. In
particular, when one thinks of some of the problems there have been in Westminster on a
constitutional point. It is not the point of churchmanship of any particular issues but I think it does
leave open the possibility that if somewhere in the Church of England we were to have an
overweening bishop with very strong views, it would be possible for pressure to be applied on
clergy, and indeed on congregations, of a kind that has not been part of our tradition. I am worried
about that. Possibly even more serous is the financial consequences to the diocesan board of
finance of the transfer of churches and churchyards to the board of finance.




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Most of our deacons have real problems with, for example, our church redundancy procedures at
the moment. One of the problems is that when churches in the redundancy process are then vested
in the diocesan board of finance, the costs very often to the board in the maintenance required for
those churches is at times quite out of all proportion. It does seem to me that if we go down this
route there is a very serous possibility indeed that we may find ourselves in a situation where there
are problems with church buildings. The local congregation which at the moment has the financial
responsibility for the upkeep may say, ‘Well, of course, in the end, it is not our responsibility. It is
the responsibility of the diocesan board of finance’. Not only that, but, given the nature of church
buildings, we could find ourselves, either for heritage reasons or just for reasons of health and
safety, compelled to maintain those buildings. Of course, the diocesan board of finance would be a
different kind of target from a local parochial church council.

There has been a great deal of concern about the costs of these proposals with regard, for example,
to dioceses, the cost on the human resources side of it, and I can understand that. I actually do think
that the potential cost to a diocesan board of finance of buildings being transferred could be in a
very different league from the human resources costs. I do think this is something which we are
going to have to address.

       Revd Stephen Trott (Peterborough): I would like to say, first, that I am not a member any
longer of any campaign group. I am speaking purely as a member of the Convocation of
Canterbury. I speak for myself.

I would like to welcome the decision by the McLean Group Part 2 not to attempt to create a
procedure of our own but instead to accept the Government’s proposal of employment rights and
tribunals under Section 23 of the Employment Rights Act. I think that simplifies matters very
greatly. I am constantly mindful of a confirmation service I heard many years ago in which the
Bishop of Buckingham advised the children there to ‘travel light’. I think if we going to be a
missionary Church, it is right that we do need to take it apart; we need to travel as light as we can in
order that we can move effectively and quickly.

I would like to urge the group to reconsider the proposal to produce a single package of legislation.
I would like to suggest that immediate action be taken for the sake of unbeneficed clergy, which is
acknowledged on all sides, so that they may have common tenure as soon as possible. I think that is
a proposal that would be widely accepted.

Two things do concern me, though. We spent a great of time and a great deal of energy producing
a very detailed and thoroughly worked out Clergy Discipline Measure. It is not yet on the statute
book for practical purposes, although hopefully it will be soon. The Clergy Discipline Measure
provides all of the opportunities that are needed to deal with absent clergy, idle clergy, clergy of
the kind nobody wishes to have as a colleague. There are procedures carefully worked out and laid
down with justice balanced against necessity to deal with such situations. I really do not think we
need a capability procedure.

I would like to quote what Bishop Stephen Pedley wrote in the Diocese of Blackburn Newsletter
for this month. He wrote this: What really distresses me and unsettles my faith is those parishes
which seem almost blatantly, almost institutionally, to discourage their clergy. They ask for



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leadership and energy and vision and then obstruct it the moment it begins to be offered. Think
what that does to someone’s ministry. Too many clergy have been destroyed in spirit by mean or
intransigent parishes. Clergy, like head teachers, are very exposed these days. Most clergy have
no-one, unless there is a distressed and harassed spouse at home with comfort and encouragement.
People complain about things as never before. Because he or she is in the way, officially in the
way, the vicar gets it.

It seems to me that if we add to the Clergy Discipline Measure and to the existing Vacation of
Benefices Measure yet a third opportunity for those who wish to complain and make life difficult
to do so, then we run the risk of undermining confidence and morale in a serous way. I think that
we should restrict ourselves to the Clergy Discipline Measure that we have already achieved at
great length and with great care.

Freehold of office: I do not accept the argument because I do not see the argument anywhere
clearly stated in the report that it is necessary to make any changes to the arrangements in terms of
freehold property rights in order to effect the terms on which clergy can hold a freehold.

The Prolocutor has already listed some of the ways in which freehold has been amended over the
years, and rightly so. It is not the sort of light freehold that the press frequently gets wrong and
alleges is without any conditions any longer. It is not so. If you look at the pastoral measure, in
Section 20 it is already possible to hold a freehold as a team rector for a stated number of years. It
seems to me that a simple amendment to the pastoral measure to allow people to be appointed,
subject to the holding of common tenure, is all that is required. We do not need to begin the process
of unravelling many centuries of history.

Do you know that freehold office began to be developed by the Council of Elvira in approximately
the year 300? It is that much a part of our history and of our culture as a Church. Are we going to
take the risk of unravelling many settled and organically-developed relationships which have
borne the test of time and which provide protection both to the parish as well as the priest by
keeping the freehold rooted firmly in the local community?

Finally, I would like to say how much I agree with Norman Russell. There is a serous risk of a large
number of churches coming into redundancy if people perceive that their church building is no
longer theirs.

       The Archdeacon of Tonbridge (Ven Clive Mansell): I too am concerned, as is the
Archdeacon of Berkshire. The perception in the parish – I say ‘perception’ – of the freehold
property being transferred from being the see of the local person or parson to the diocese is seen as
being badly received, as them taking it away from us, as it were.

I really wanted to raise another issue and that is in connection with the costs of the employment
tribunal procedures and the awards of tribunals. I was at the Ecclesiastical Law Society conference
a couple of weeks ago. In conversations informally there, a number of lawyers expressed great
concern about this. I was wondering to what extent professional lawyers working in the
employment world were consulted as part of the group’s discussions.




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At the moment, I think that if there is a case which effectively is between the bishop and a cleric,
and an award is made against the bishop, in fact, the Commissioners are likely to pay the costs of
the bishop, both the levy and the award, perhaps under discretionary arrangements. I might be
wrong on that. Under these proposals, the DBF becomes the respondent, and therefore the DBF is
going to pick up the bill. I am wondering whether DBFs are prepared for this at all. Have they any
idea what the bills might actually be?

        Revd Jonathan Baker (Oxford): I have a question. How much work has been done with
private patrons? I am thinking at the moment that the rights of presentation are very much about
the property value of the house as much as the office. Presumably that is a substantial issue that
will need to be addressed as this goes forward.

       Canon Bob Baker (Norwich) in reply: Taking the points in order, Archdeacon Norman
Russell spoke about the concerns regarding insufficient protection for clergy who might find
themselves under pressure from the DBF or the bishop. The whole point of our proposals is that we
would take away from the DBF and the bishop the right to make the final decision, as it were. If
there was a disagreement, there would be an external adjudication, we suggest, by the
Commissioners. Obviously that would not work in the case of bishops. There would need to be
some external adjudication then.

I think we are certainly concerned about the kind of scenario that you develop. By giving that
external, final decision, there should be adequate protection against that.

You also talked about the concerns over buildings belonging to the DBF. If I asked the
parishioners in my three parishes, I suspect that very few of them would have a clue who owns the
buildings. They think of them as their buildings, although technically of course they are mine. I
suspect they would still think of them as their buildings if they belonged to the DBF. I am not
entirely clear myself but I suspect if I was a priest in charge, they would belong to the DBF
technically, or to the bishops.

I do not think this is a real issue on the ground. We are certainly concerned about it but clearly any
arrangement would have to make clear that the PCC and the local Church are responsible for the
insurance and maintenance of the building as they always have been. We would certainly need to
make that clear, but I do not think it is an impossible problem.

Stephen Trott, thank you for your comments about employment tribunals and for your contribution
to this process all the way through. You have made some very helpful comments for us at different
times.

You tell us to resist having a single package, and I can see the strength of that, that clergy without
the freehold need these rights immediately and we should get on and do it, and that common tenure
for them would be a step forward. I think that is right, although I think we also have to bear in mind
that we would rather go through one of these very complicated legal processes rather than two,
have one measure rather than two going through to Synod because that makes a huge amount of
work for the legal office and for the Synod in general. If we could do it in one swipe, we would
much rather do that. I hear your point.



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You said we do not need a capability procedure. Yes, the Clergy Disciplinary Measure has taken a
lot of the work and development. It is now on the statute book, although it has not come into effect
because the code of conduct and rules are not in place yet. What we are looking at here are issues
which fall short of being discipline matters, the kind of issues where there are problems in a parish
which need to be resolved and where people do complain at the moment, but do not feel they get
any joy from the bishop or to whomever they complain. What we are looking at with the capability
procedure is not a system of disciplining somebody but a system of providing help and support to
resolve problems when they arise so that those who do complain know that their complaint is
going to be dealt with properly and fairly.

If we were having this discussion in the House of Laity, what we might find is that although, yes,
there are some people who would complain at the drop of a hat, there are lots of laity who resist
complaining about their clergy. They feel rather niggled about some of the things they do and
persist in doing and would like to have some way of openly and fairly dealing with that that was
not going to penalise the priest but would actually address the issue properly. That is what we were
aiming at with the capability procedure, something that was, if you like, therapeutic rather than
disciplinary.

You also used the phrase, in support of Norman Russell, about the church and churchyard being no
longer theirs in the sense of the parishioners. Of course, it is not theirs at the moment. That is
exactly the point. It belongs to the priest. I cannot see that the sense of ownership would be any
different. I hope they would continue to have a sense of ownership, even though technically they
do not have it now and they would not have it under our proposals.

The Archdeacon of Tonbridge raised some legal questions. Yes, we did take some legal advice
from people highly competent in this area, including the husband of the Dean of Salisbury, I think.
We are reasonably confident that we have the legal bits of it right. I think you are right that the
DBF would be the respondent and therefore would be liable in cases that went to the
commissioners for adjudication. That might be one of the protections against the kind of pressure
that Archdeacon Norman Russell was talking about, that the DBF would need to think clearly
before taking on these situations because of its potential financial responsibilities.

Jonathan Baker asked about patrons. Yes, patrons are involved and would be affected. One of the
things we have been trying to do in all this is to create a common system of tenure right across all
clergy. Of course, under the present system, when a living is suspended, somebody is appointed as
a priest in charge and the patrons lose all their rights at that point because they are not allowed to
make a presentation. If we went through with this common tenure picture, their position would
probably be strengthened rather than weakened. They certainly would not disappear from the
scene, and they would be able to be involved in the selection and appointment of clergy as they are
at the moment.

        Prebendary Kay Garlick (Pro-Prolocutor): I think we probably all understand that
everything we are talking about here involves people’s livelihoods, people’s homes, people’s
families – the whole of clergy life really. That being so, it is terribly important that we are very
sensitive and professional in the way that we go forward, whether we go forward, in terms of



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telling people what is going on. Obviously we all have a responsibility there in taking things at
Synod. In the report it actually says on page 4: ‘We recommend that the officers of the
Convocations should consider the role of the Convocations in providing appropriate objective
advice to the clergy on employment law and Human Resources matters.’

I think I might be an officer of the Convocation now, so I am going to speak for this and say that I
think we need to know how you feel the Convocation could actually give advice. I do not think we
are geared up to do that yet. I could be wrong, but I do not think we really have the expertise for
that. Is there a way in which we could be that sort of support and, if so, how?

       Ven Arthur Hawes (Archdeacon of Lincoln): Cannon Bob Baker is very persuasive but he
does not persuade me about the change of ownership of churches and churchyards to the DBF.
Previously he has included the Archdeacon of Berkshire who has already pointed out the financial
implications.

I think there is another implication and that is – and I am sure I do not speak for Lincoln only but
for many dioceses – that the move now, in terms of divorce, partly reorganisation and finance, is
very much towards the local and taking local responsibility for providing ministry, et cetera. It
seems me therefore that to transfer the ownership centrally is running in the opposite direction of
that trend, and I would want to encourage that trend.

        Revd Richard Seabrook (Chelmsford): I am just dismayed at what Canon Baker has said. I
do not think we are here to provide a therapeutic service for people to complain. There is a great
tendency in our society at the moment to create vehicles by which the general public can make
complaints, and so you have Ofcom or Oftel. We are creating ‘OfChurch’ now whereby people
will actually be encouraged to make complaints against the clergy. I think this is a very dangerous
road to go down. I would very much resist what was said a few moments ago.

       Revd Simon Stokes (Norwich): A few weeks ago, there was a report that the Government
was back-pedalling a bit on pushing the faith communities to come up with employment rights. I
wondered what impact that change of pressure might have on us and whether there is actually any
need to pursue what we are doing. I would say that I do support the validity of this but I just
wondered what the comment is from those that have been involved.

        Revd Robin Ward (Rochester): I was disturbed to see, your Grace, that under the new
capability proposing the mobility procedure, the archdeacon can invoke a thwarting procedure
during a person’s first year in office. Is not that, surely, when we have most of our rows! Should
there not be a moratorium on the use of the measure in our first year in office and not a shortened
procedure by which he can invoke this?

        Revd Brian Lewis (Chelmsford): When we talked about the first part of the report in
diocesan synod, one of the lay people got up and said, ‘In my job I have to spend three years here,
then three years there, and three years somewhere else’, but of course he was paid accordingly and
it was quite clear he was paid a great deal more than a clergy stipend.




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I think we have got to recognise that it is generally held that the clergy are really under-paid.
Housing is part of the deal, and a very mixed blessing that is, but also so is permanence. If we are
looking at ways in which that is less so because there might be pastoral reorganization or whatever,
there should have been some, at least, discussion on that to reflect that clergy are so under-paid and
that we need to have some sort of financial recognition. If the Church cannot afford to pay clergy
more, then perhaps it cannot afford to reduce the permanence of their position.

          Canon Bob Baker (Norwich) in reply: Kay Garlick asks about the role of the Convocation.
One is aware that in other walks of life trade unions exercise this role of providing support, advice
and guidance for employees. Clearly, that is a very valuable part of what they do. It seemed to us,
in thinking about these matters, that there was definitely a need for clergy to have that kind of
support, advice and guidance, but that we already have in place a structure which enables clergy to
be represented at every level of the Church’s activity and closely involved in all the decisions that
may concern them – the way they are employed, deployed – and therefore it would make sense to
develop that role as the Convocation. Clearly, we could not do it at the moment. It is something to
which we would need to give a lot of thought. There certainly needs to be some way of providing
for it. It might mean that the best way is to get us all to sign up to Amicus, but I suspect that Amicus
is rather out of its depth in these areas because their kind of way of working is not familiar with the
sort of culture in which we work. I think there are many clergy who would feel pretty vulnerable
without some place where they could go confidently for informed advice and guidance on these
matters.

Arthur Hawes has picked up earlier points. I will not repeat what I said. I hear what you are saying
about central to local. One of the options we reflected on was whether the property ought to belong
to the PCC. There is a case to be made there and it may be that at some point down the line people
will want to come back and reconsider that. On balance, we did not want to lumber the PCC with a
lot of complicated responsibilities. We felt it would be easer for the DBF, which is already doing
this in lots of other areas, to do it. It is certainly a possibility.

No, Richard, I do not want to create ‘Ofchurch’ and I appreciate what you are saying. We certainly
do not want to encourage complaints, but I think, in the climate in which we live, it is important
that if complaints are made, they are dealt with fairly, both for the incumbent and for the
complainant. Our capability procedure is aimed at doing no more than that – perhaps I should not
have used the word “therapeutic” – we hope in a way which is supportive of clergy in the
difficulties they face rather than as simply a means of getting at them in some other way. I entirely
sympathise with the tone of your comment. I am sorry if I misrepresented what we were trying to
achieve. We certainly do not want to encourage people to complain more.

Simon asked about the speed of the Government and how much pressure they are putting on us.
Initially they put a huge amount of pressure on us to get on with this very quickly. That pressure
has certainly relaxed, but we have seen no evidence to suggest that the Government would be
content if we simply let these things slide. We have to keep moving on them. In fact, I think the
Government has been quite impressed by the speed with which the Church of England has moved
on and the thoroughness with which we are dealing with this. Certainly, if we back-pedal now, I
think there would be complaints from the Government.




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Robin spoke about the capability procedures. I cannot read my own notes here, I am sorry, Robin.
Again, these capability procedures are not just to make life more complicated; they are to enable us
to deal with problems fairly and honestly.

Brian Lewis, clergy pay was not part of our brief. Therefore, I am sorry that we did not deal with it
but, as you know, the Synod has pushed for significant increases in clergy stipends over the years.
We are currently steadily in a process of above-inflation increases, but you also know what
resistance that means in terms of its effect on parish share.

        Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin (London): I too am very cautious about going down the road of
encouraging members within the parish to complain. What we really do need is a much more
rigorous ministerial review system in place that is then dealt with honestly afterwards, instead of
some of these other things that we are trying to do. I have a building that I would be very happy for
the diocese to have and to finance it!

        Revd Stephen Coles (London): Could I reinforce what Rose had just said? I always thought
that the incumbent, the churchwardens and the PCC were responsible for buildings and therefore I
assumed that most people thought there was a kind of fairness in that way. If that is no longer going
to be the case, does that mean the diocesan board of finance will now take up all the responsibility
for the repairs and the building?

         Dean of Worcester (Very Revd Peter Marshall): Your grace, I found myself a little at
a tangent in this conversation because in the implied community we belong to, which I always
believed to be under a covenant relationship rather than in a contractual way, this raises the
question about capability. I will address that issue. Clergy live under their own vocation – and we
had a discussion about that earlier – and they are accountable to God and also accountable to the
institution that gives them a stipend to exist – not to work, of course, but just to exist and do what
they believe to be right. At the same time, we are beginning to build into this an assumption that
people have a right to complain out of being part of the same body.

If convocations are to address the issue of helping and I was sitting in the House of Laity, I imagine
the discussion would be about the capability of members of the Laos being present in their church
buildings and the degree to which the mutual complaints system or capability system will be
operating so that clergy will be able to bring charges of capability about clergy not being capable
enough to be in their seats, that they are not very good at listening to sermons for example, or they
do not seem to pray enough. It seems to me a measure is being presented here with an implication
about the nature of being one body together under Christ.

Although I know that in human life, individuals, small groups, can become very powerful voices
and that a larger group can remain silent, it may be that there needs to be a much more open
expression within Church communities and parishes. There need to be forums where people who
do have genuine questions about the capability of their priests, deacons or even bishops can be
heard and listened to as a means of therapy or means of reconciliation and then mutual expectation
can be established so that ministry can go on by all people. A process laid down in the paper
would, it seems to me, begin to produce division rather than unity. That is my experience in terms
of life here.



                                                 94
I am not going to vote against all this because you have put a lot of work into it, but I do ask for a
different concept, a different belief, about the Church as it is to be brought into our thinking so that
we do all this under an assumption of God’s grace for the work in us all, clergy and laity. After all,
if people complain about the clergy, may I remind them there is only one source of us, and that is
from the laity themselves.

         Prebendary David Houlding (London): I too was one of the members of the working party.
There are one or two things I want to say to try to redress some of the balance when we have a
discussion in convocation. This is the right place to bring up some of the criticisms in all this, and
that is very helpful, but, at the same time, I want to rather stress the unity of this package and to
encourage you to see in the second report how it continues on from the first. I recall to you, from
the debate this time last year, how widely welcome the first report was with this concept of
common tenure. That seemed to be a very fair basis upon which we, as clergy, can work.
Therefore, when we talk about the removal of the freehold, we are talking about it I think this
afternoon in rather negative terms. In its place is going to be common tenure for all. Therefore, we
are doing away with what we have at the moment, which is almost like two tiers of clergy: the sort
of first-class clergy who have freehold, and those who do not.

With the granting of common tenure, there is also a whole package to be given by way of security
or job protection and so on. What is taken away with the freehold being removed on the one hand
is restored by other means legally on the other to redress the balance. I think you have to look at the
package as a whole to make any sort of fair assessment of it.

When we come to the division of the property, it is interesting that we did actually anticipate that
the investiture of the property in the DBF would cause some real concerns. The question we have
to ask is: where else would you like to see the property invested? Do you want to see it invested in
the PCC locally? Do you want to see it invested in Church mission? Where else? That is an
important question and I think we do need to hear more from you where that would happen.

The business of ministerial review is very much emphasized in this report. Any capability
procedure that might kick in is not done out of the blue simply to get rid of the difficult or lazy
person. The ministerial review, the job specification, the terms of reference or any capability has to
be set against that so that there is a context in which the capability procedure kicks in. As it were,
you have to assess that against what people often complain about – and it comes from archdeacons
all the time – when a priest has become stuck in his parish, for whatever reason, and simply cannot
be moved off. You do hear about archdeacons saying, ‘It is a problem with the freehold’ again and
again.

I do suggest you cannot have it both ways and therefore, if we are concerned about mission and
pastoral reorganization and these issues, there is a balance here to be struck.

That is probably all I do want to say. I suggest that the common tenure pattern does apply right
across the board. After you have done your training post, your title position, which is the only post
that can be, as it were, time-limited, and when you enter into the common tenure position, then you




                                                  95
do actually have your security and we are all treated the same. Vicars and rectors in that sense,
inductions, all that goes. We are all parish priests together, and that is equal for all.

        Revd Hugh Lee (Oxford: I want to go back to an earlier comment about permanence. The
idea of permanence was linked to the perceived low pay of the clergy. Speaking as an economist,
the labour market is one of the most inefficient markets there is. There are lots of people who are
highly valued and extremely lowly paid and vice versa. I do not think we can possibly argue that
because of the low pay or low stipends of clergy, we should seek permanence. Clearly ordination is
permanent but for any particular job I can see no scriptural or other arguments for permanence.

        Prebendary Horace Harper (Lichfield): This year, your Grace, I complete 45 years in Holy
Orders, so it is not surprising that some half a dozen complaints have gone to the bishop because of
things that I have done or left undone, very largely written by the bride’s mother!

We move in these considerations, and I do take Father Trott’s point that we need to take a lot of
things together then we are talking over these issues, to realise the sheer debilitating effect which
being under a cloud, under a complaint, has on the ministry of a parish priest. It is still mostly a
lonely business being a parish priest and, if things are going badly, friends begin to disappear.

There is a rather delightful specimen letter in either the rules or the code of conduct for the Clergy
Discipline Measure in which a letter goes out from the Palace of Barchester to the Revd Josiah
Crawley telling him that the bishop cannot be of much help to him when proceedings are
happening because he is involved in all parts of it, but it names a friend who will look after him. If
I had such a letter as that, I would write back and say, ‘Thank you, Bishop, but I will choose my
own friends’.

I would urge in all these considerations, not just the matter on the agenda now but the other items
which are coming along and the way in which these measures will be put into operation, that the
pastoral care of clergymen under a cloud whose conscience may not be entirely clear in the matter
around should be given a much more prominent situation. That is so that those who are working
hard away in parishes, dispirited, lonely and, as I say, suffering under a cloud are well aware that
there are people who will care for them and pray for them and bring them back so that they get the
best out of their ministry and not just the difficult bits.

Revd Tim Barker (Lincoln): David Houlding invited us to think about who else the church
buildings might be vested in. I realise that the devil may well be in all the detail, but I wonder
whether some thought could be given to developing local trusts, which would actually allow the
wider community to have some stake in the ownership of church buildings? I think it would be
very unfortunate if these were seen just as the responsibility of the parochial church council. The
church buildings are very much a part of the wider life of the community. If, either in a parish or
perhaps, picking up my Archdeacon’s comments earlier about the wider level, the deanery had
some stake in setting up some sort of trust to own these buildings, I would be interested to see
whether that could offer us some ways forward.

       Canon Bob Baker (Norwich) in reply: Rose Hudson-Wilkin talked about ministerial
review. We take that on board. Ministerial review, as Father Houlding said, is an important part of



                                                 96
all this, and we do need to do it properly. It would also, hopefully, address some of the issues that
Horace is talking about of lonely, isolated clergy feeling that somebody is regularly coming
alongside them and helping them to think through what they doing to make sure they are getting
the support and help they need. We could go along with all of that.

I did not quite catch Simon’s comment at the back but I think what you were suggesting is not what
we say in our report at all. I leave you to go away and read it.

I was very interested in the Dean’s comments about the nature of the body of Christ. I think your
comments about the capability procedures for the laity may have been a bit facetious, but certainly
the whole notion of reconciliation and healing is part of what these things are about.

It seems to me that there may not necessarily be anything wrong with complaining. We were
talking about the ordination of deacons, and of course the first deacons came about because people
complained. It was in that context of complaint, the complaint being dealt with seriously and
sensibly and thoroughly, that a new way of doing things emerged, which was very beneficial for
the Church. I think we do need to take complaints seriously. We do not need to encourage them,
but we do need to make sure they are taken seriously.

I am grateful to David Houlding for just reminding us of some of the background to this and of the
importance of ministerial review.

Hugh Lee asked about whether we should be seeking permanence. This is a very interesting issue.
One of the things that makes me uncomfortable about all of this work is that I think as clergy we
ought not to be seeking any of this stuff. I do not think we should be seeking rights and demanding
all these things because it is not what discipleship is really about. I very much sympathise with the
thrust of your comment. We should not be trading more money for permanence. There is a sense in
which as clergy we are called to just travel where the Lord leads us, whether that is for a long time
or a short time, regardless of what rights that carries with it.

Nevertheless, we operate in a very tight legal framework already and the way we are put in to post
carries with it all sorts of complicated legal obligations and responsibilities, and we have to try to
think through them and make them work for the good of the Church.

I am rather envious of Horace Harper if he has only had six complaints against him because I am
sure my file at the office is much bigger than that! I do agree with him about the debilitating effect
of complaining. As I said earlier on, part of the point of having a good system of ministerial review
is that it ought to nip these problems in the bud. If it works well, it is a way of seeing when people
are beginning to get downhearted and discouraged and trying to help them, giving them some
pastoral care.

In all these matters of course there is very difficult line. This is one of the reasons why, right at the
outset, we resisted trying to make clergy employees. The relationship between the bishop and the
priest is a very sensitive and important one. It is not boss and employee at all; that just does not fit,
I do not think, the kind of vocation to which we are called.




                                                   97
Therefore, we have to find structures that allow bishops to exercise their pastoral ministry but also
allow them to exercise the ministry of leadership of the whole Church in terms of the direction and
help that they give to it. These are complicated areas.

Mr Barker’s suggestion about local trusts to be responsible for the churches is certainly an
attractive one, and I do not think we have ruled everything else out in the proposals that we have
made, if that is an idea that could find favour and be developed. The essence is absolutely right: we
do not want to stop people feeling a sense of ownership for their local church. That ownership does
not exist at the moment legally, although the sense of it does practically. I do not think the
proposals we have put on the table would change that, but if we could achieve that better by a local
trust, then certainly that is something we ought to think about.

         The Archdeacon of Cheltenham (Ven Hedley Ringrose): Following up that last point about
a local trust, I am sure every diocese already has a diocesan trust. I am going to speak tomorrow to
this point. I wonder whether consideration has been given to transferring the churchyard and
church property to the diocesan trust rather than to the DBF. I have chaired our diocesan trust now
for some years. It seems to me that if in our case the parish retains the property, retains in that case
ownership and decisions about what happens to the property, although the diocesan trust would
clearly hold the property for the parish, if it were convinced that it was the right process that it
should be disposed of or some other action should be taken, it would normally approve any
recommendation that comes from the PCC.

        The Bishop of London (Rt Revd & Rt Hon Richard Chartres): Following up that comment
about local trusts, it was a point I made in the discussion during the House of Bishops that there has
to be some joined-up thinking here. Our church buildings strategy of course is constantly
emphasizing the fact that parish churches belong to the people in them and carry their memories
and have a much wider resonance in the whole community than simply among the worshipers who
ought not therefore to be left with the total responsibility for them. Therefore, I do hope very much
that we can marry-up those two policies and look very seriously at the possibility not of providing
local trusts as a universal solution, because I do not think that it will be a universal solution, but at
least permissively making it possible to develop such vehicles. I think it would be very useful if we
had that opportunity in Church law.

        Revd David Banting (Chelmsford): A gentleman over here spoke of a private patrons.
I speak as a patronage trustee for a large, independent statutory body, one of the largest in the
country. We are responsible fully or in part for 500 parishes. We were very pleased to support this
work when it was to do with those who do not have benefice rights, not being priests in charge.
That is what we were expecting this to do, to work under pressure from the Government and
Section 23. I am interested to hear that that pressure may be less now. That seems to me to need
exploring.

We are keen to support it. We are interested in the work if it is to do with a complaints procedure.
Where we felt initially surprise and concern that the group had gone beyond its remit perhaps was
when it moved into considering freehold. Our understanding is that ultimately and legally freehold
is a property right. Therefore there are more ramifications in it than it seems we have got to and
more work needs to be done on that. But our concern is for freeholds.



                                                   98
A lot of people have tended to say, especially if they are connected with the powers that be in the
diocese, that freehold is an awkwardness, even an obstruction, to all the things we want to do in
this reorganisation because people are in difficulty or under a cloud or whatever. In this particular
patch, we want to see freehold as a very positive thing to give security not for life, just a job for
life, and certainly not security for an idle or a wayward clergy, but a security to preach the gospel,
a security to effect the Gospel ministry, which for all sorts of reasons might be unpopular or under
pressure, not only from the local community perhaps, maybe even from an unscrupulous patron,
but also from the structure of the diocese itself. The positive thing is security, because we do not
have many other securities, to exercise the Gospel ministry. We see it in a very positive way and
therefore we are concerned if it is too quickly or too easily taken away. We see this as a very
positive thing. That is the pattern or tradition of the Church of England. Although half the clergy
do not have the freehold, that is a default; it is not the ideal. It is not a policy decision not to have
the freehold; it is just what has happened.

On those two areas, property rights and the positive point about freehold, I would like to see a great
deal more work done before we support any final view.

        Sister Rosemary CHN (Religious Communities): I was having a conversation with the vicar
of a neighbouring parish over these proposals and this person’s response was, ‘I can see that
freehold is not a fair or rational system, but I would not be willing to give up my freehold while the
Church still claims exemption from anti-discrimination legislation’.

        Canon Bob Baker in reply: I take those last four comments first. Archdeacon Hedley spoke
about the diocesan trust. Yes, that is certainly a very attractive idea. I was not clear from your
comments, and I need to listen to your speech tomorrow to get it all, why cannot that same sort of
relationship be created between the DBF and the parishes and what might happen to the parish.
That is certainly what we would envisage or hope for. If it can be better achieved through a trust, I
agree. I certainly would not disagree with anything the Bishop of London said; I would not dare.
Certainly there is scope for some further exploration there. We are not irrefutably wedded to the
notion that it must be the DBF. Looking around the available candidates, that seemed to us to be
the best and most easily managed option.

David Banting speaks about patrons. I did come and talk to a group of patrons – and I am not sure
whether you were there, David – at an early stage in this process. I came more to listen than to talk,
I hope. Certainly there are some issues around patronage here. We recognise that many patrons are
quite determined to continue a vibrant Gospel ministry in places where that might seem as though
it is under pressure. The proposals that we have been trying to put forward would, I think,
safeguard that situation. We are trying to provide a system of tenure which would be available for
all clergy and which would give all of them that security to preach the Gospel without fear or
favour, as I said in my opening remarks. I believe what we have done does protect that particular
need.

Sister Rosemary, you are not entirely correct, may I say, in the sense that the Church is not exempt
from discrimination legislation. We are exempt from one or two tiny bits of it – significant bits of
it, if you like and I do not deny the significance of those bits. The reality is that the Church can be



                                                   99
held to account for discrimination as much as any other organisation in terms of these basic
employment issues about which we are talking. Certainly discrimination is covered by other bits of
the law and not by this bit of employment law at which we are looking. I think most of us on the
group are very strongly aware that there needs to be anti-discrimination legislation which covers
not just the Church but everyone else, and we will support that. I think the particular issues of
discrimination that concern members here have to be dealt with through other means and not
through this particular channel.

Your Grace, I am very grateful for all the contributions. I was particularly pleased to hear at least
one person say he was not going to vote against these proposals. We are in a process, of course, of
trying to develop something here, which is fairly major and significant. One of the things that we
had at the back of our minds (and it has been referred to a couple of times today) is that if we do not
do this ourselves in some way and bring the clergy into some kind of proper open and fair system
of tenure, it will be imposed upon us. There is a very severe risk of that. There is quite a lot of
pressure on the Government, even though they have relaxed the pace because they have realised
how complicated this is, to make this apply to us, and indeed to clergy of other faiths. Therefore, I
would urge you to be very cautious about voting against all this. By all means, come back to us
with proposals as to the way this can be improved. I really encourage you not to throw it all out
because we may find ourselves out of the frying pan into a very fierce fire if we do.

        The Chairman: I would like to thank Canon Baker very warmly for steering us through that
discussion and not least for giving me a wholly new perspective on the Acts of the Apostles. I had
never thought of the Apostles as objects of complaint from their parishioners. I am really quite
glad that certain parishioners did not kick in or we would not be here today! Thank you all for your
contributions to a very helpful discussion. I look forward to further reflection on these matters in
the days to come.

I believe that completes the business of the Full Synod. I would like to invite members of the
House of Bishops to withdraw at this point.

            (His Grace the President and the members of the Upper House withdrew)



                                           Lower House

THE CHAIR Canon Bob Baker (Norwich) took the chair at 3.38 p.m.

       The Chairman: We come to the next item on our agenda. I ask Prebendary Houlding to
move the three motions which you will see standing here in relation to the amendment of Standing
Orders. We will take them one by one. I impose a five-minute speech limit.




                                                 100
AMENDMENT OF STANDING ORDERS

Standing Order 3

Election of Prolocutor
Leave out Standing Order 3 and insert
‘3.     (a)      Following the elections to the Convocations and the House of Laity to form a new
General Synod, nomination papers shall be sent to every member of the Lower House inviting
nominations for the office of Prolocutor.
        (b)      Nominations shall be in writing, signed by a proper and seconder, both being
qualified to vote in the election, and containing a signed statement of the candidate’s willingness
to serve if elected. The nomination shall be delivered to a person designated by the Synodical
Secretary, within such period (not being less than 21 days) as the designated person shall appoint.
Provided that such nomination period shall include at least the first two days of the first group of
sessions of the new Synod.
        (c)      If an election is required, it shall be conducted in accordance with the following
provisions:
                 (i)     So soon as may be after the period for nomination has expired, voting
                         papers containing a list of the candidates fully nominated shall be circulated
                         to the relevant electors.
                 (ii)    Voting papers, marked and signed, shall be returned to the designated
                         person within such period (not being less than 14 days) as the designated
                         person shall appoint.
                 (iii) The election shall be conducted by the method of the single transferable
                         vote and the procedure to be followed shall be in accordance with rules or
                         regulations to be made by the Synod under SO 68 except that, where
                         a member has an address in the official list of members outside the United
                         Kingdom, the presiding officer may accept as a valid vote a voting paper
                         received by facsimile transmission.

         (d)    Following his election the proposer and seconder shall present the prolocutor to the
President at the first available opportunity.
         (e)    On a vacancy in the office of Prolocutor during the quinquennium the election to
fill the vacancy shall be conducted in the same manner as an ordinary election as soon as
practicable after the vacancy has occurred.’.

       Prebendary David Houlding: I beg to move:

       ‘That this amendment be made with effect from 18 February 2005’.

       I confess I do not know what I am talking about. I throw myself on your mercy a little
because it is the end of a long afternoon and before a huge Synod in front of us. I suspect that
Standing Orders are not exactly top of your list of priorities. In fact, they all make sense to
Michael, I can assure you, because he drafted them. It is good to get the business sorted out before
the end of this Synod so that the new procedures can fit in for the opening of the new Synod.




                                                 101
Standing Order 3 concerns the election of the Prolocutor. That is so that the process of nomination
can be brought forward before the opening of the new Synod. This is based on the experience of
what happened in the year 2000 when there was a considerable scramble to get it all done. If the
nomination procedure is brought forward before the Synod is actually opened and continued two
days into the opening of the new Synod that should make for a much smoother election procedure.

       The Chairman: Is there any debate on Standing Order 3 or comment?
(No response)

The motion was put and carried.

Standing Order 4
Pro-Prolocutors and elected members of the Standing Committee
Leave out Standing Order 4 and insert.
‘4      (a)      Following the election of two members of the House of Clergy to the Archbishops’
Council, nomination papers shall be sent to every member of the Lower House inviting
nominations for the election of two Pro-Prolocutors and four other persons to be members of the
Standing Committee of the Lower House.
        (b)      Nominations shall be in writing, signed by a proposer and seconder, both being
qualified to vote in the election, and containing a signed statement of the candidate’s willingness
to serve if elected. The nomination shall be delivered to a person designated by the Synodical
Secretary, within such period (not being less than 21 days) as the designated person shall appoint.
        (c)      If an election is required –
                 (i)     Subject to paragraph (ii), at the next meeting of the Lower House, voting
                         papers containing a list of the candidates duly nominated shall be circulated
                         to the relevant electors being present at the meeting. The election shall
                         forthwith be conducted by ballot of those present in the House by voting
                         papers marked and signed at the meeting.
                 (ii)    The President, the Prolocutor and the Synodical Secretary, or a majority of
                         them, may determine, for reasons which seem to them to be sufficient, that
                         the election shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of
                         Standing Order 3(c)(ii) and (iii).
                 (iii) Standing Order 3(c)(iii) shall apply to the election with the necessary
                         modifications.
                 (iv)    Two counts shall be conducted. The first shall be for the two
                         Pro-Prolocutors and any candidates who have indicated on the nomination
                         papers that they do not wish to stand for that office shall be excluded.
                 (v)     The second count shall be for the purpose of electing six persons to the
                         Standing Committee of the Lower House. Provided that the six persons to
                         be elected shall include the two persons elected as Pro-Prolocutors have
                         been elected unopposed, their names shall not be included on the voting
                         paper and the number of persons to be elected shall be reduced accordingly.
        (d)      At the first available opportunity the Prolocutor shall present the Pro-Prolocutors to
the President.
        (e)      Where a casual vacancy occurs among the Pro-Prolocutors or the four members of
the Standing Committee elected in accordance with Standing Order 4(a), this shall be filled in



                                                 102
accordance with Standing Order 120 of the Standing Orders of the General Synod. Provided that
any casual vacancy remaining unfilled after the application of that Standing Order (otherwise than
as a result of the unexpired portion of the term of office of the outgoing member being twelve
months or less) may be filled by the Standing Committee.’.

       Prebendary David Houlding: I beg to move:

       ‘That this amendment be made with effect from 18 February 2005’.

        This concerns the Pro-Prolocutors, or indeed in the northern convocation Deputy
Prolocutors, and again it is based on experience of what has happened. I seem to have been
Pro-Prolocutor for quite a long time, not because there was an election last time but simply
because I was invited by default, it would seem. Certainly, there was difficulty in getting
candidates to stand in the by-election that was taking place, and at last we have been able to work
on Prebendary Kay Garlick. This is really to simplify the procedure. Also, of course, it saves
expense. Rather than have all the election papers sent out and having to fill in forms and send them
back, it is suggested here that the Pro-Prolocutors are in fact elected in Convocation. It is as
straightforward as that, that we actually do it when we are together meeting on the floor of the
House, and the election will be announced at the same meeting of the Convocation.

       The Chairman: Is there any debate or comment? (No response)

The motion was put and carried.

Standing Order 12
‘Leave out paragraph (b) and insert

‘(b)   The members of the Standing Committee of the Lower House shall consist of the
Prolocutor, the two Pro-Prolocutors, any elected member of the Archbishops’ Council and the four
persons other than the two Pro-Prolocutors elected in accordance with Standing Order 4.’.

       Prebendary David Houlding: I beg to move:

       ‘That this amendment be made with effect from 18 February 2005’.

Standing Order 12 is just consequential upon the re-writing of the previous Standing Order. It is
even more straightforward.

We have to go through all this again, by the way, with the House of Clergy, just to get it all ratified.
It is neither here nor there.

       The Chairman: Is there any debate or comment? (No response)

The motion was put and carried.




                                                  103
       The Chairman: All three amendments having been carried, that concludes that item of
business. Now we get to the really exciting bit of the meeting. I am going to ask Kay Garlick to
move the formal motions at the next item.

       Prebendary Kay Garlick (Hereford): I beg to move:

       ‘(i)         That the prolocutor be authorised, pursuant to Standing Order 12, to nominate
                    members to serve on any Committee after the House has risen with the concurrence
                    of the Standing Committee of the House;

(ii)                that those resolutions which should be so conveyed to the Upper House be so
                    conveyed.’

The motion was put and carried.

       The Chairman: Finally, because we do not know when the Convocation will next meet,
and that is the reason for this bit of business, we shall read the minutes of this meeting.

       The Synodical Secretary (Canon Michael Hodge): Before I move this, could I ask for your
agreement? If the Convocation is minded to approve the minutes, the full text of the various
amendments to Standing Orders will be included in them. As they are exactly as set out on the
agenda paper, would you excuse me from reading them out? (Agreed)


MINUTES:
              Canon Michael Hodge (Synodical Secretary) read the minutes.

Prebendary David Houlding (London): Mr Prolocutor, I am at a loss to know why I have not been
asked to move an amendment to change the way we do these minutes at the end of every
Convocation.

The Chairman: As I said, the reason why we do this – and it does seem a rather bizarre procedure
– is simply that the Convocation is not required to meet at any particular regular interval. Therefore
it may be ten years before it meets again and there will be no-one around to approve the minutes.
That is why we do it this way.

Is that a correct record of what we have just done?

The motion was put and carried.

        The Chairman: That process may well put you off entirely from responding to the
comment I am about to make. Canon Michael Hodge, our wonderful Secretary, is going to
relinquish his post in 2006. We shall be looking to appoint a new Synodical Secretary at this time
next year. If you have any ideas or if you would like to take on this responsibility yourselves, we
would be very pleased indeed to hear from you. Have a word either with Michael, with me or with
anyone else here on the platform. We would be very glad to hear from you. We have one or two



                                                  104
ideas of people we might approach. There may be somebody who would enjoy doing this
particular task and be involved in this particular way. You do not have to be a member of Synod to
do it. I believe Michael was a member of Synod when he was appointed but that is not a
requirement of the office. Do let me know if you know of any suitable candidates.

That concludes our business as a Convocation. We will conclude with a prayer in a moment. Of
course, there is a meeting of the House of Clergy immediately following this, as soon as our
brothers and sisters from the Province of York have joined us.

The meeting concluded with prayer.




                                               105
                     CONVOCATION OF

                        CANTERBURY




       Undecima Convocatio Elizabetha Secunda Regnante




                           SESSION V


                      Sunday, 10 July 2005




                   Minutes of the Full Synod
                    and the Lower House




Note: Resolutions which have been carried are printed in bold type.




                               106
                                          SESSION V

                                     Sunday, 10th July 2005


The Convocation of the Province of Canterbury assembled at 10:15 p.m. in Room V/045,
Vanbrugh College, the University of York.


                                           Full Synod

1. PRAYERS
Prayers were said by His Grace the President.

2. ASSESSORS
With the leave of His Grace the President, the Prolocutor appointed his Assessors for the day:-
       The Archdeacon of Malmesbury (the Venerable Alan Hawker)            (Bristol)
       The Archdeacon of Warwick (the Venerable Michael Paget-Wilkes)
                                                                           (Coventry)
       The Reverend Cedric Blakey                                          (Derby)
       The Reverend Doctor Alan Hargrave                                   (Ely)

3. ORDINATION SERVICES.
   The Bishop of Guildford (The Right Reverend Christopher Hill) moved:
      'That the liturgical business entitled "Ordination Services" be approved'.

In the debate which followed, there spoke:- the Reverend Prebendary Kay Garlick (Hereford), the
Reverend Jonathan Baker (Oxford), Sister Rosemary (Religious Communities), the Archdeacon of
Tonbridge (the Venerable Clive Mansell, Rochester), the Reverend Jonathan Alderton-Ford (St
Edmundsbury and Ipswich), the Reverend Doctor Ian Paul (Salisbury), the Bishop of Portsmouth
(the Right Reverend Kenneth Stevenson), the Reverend David Banting (Chelmsford), the Dean of
Worcester (the Very Reverend Peter Marshall), the Reverend Prebendary David Houlding
(London), the Very Reverend Jonathan Meyrick (Rochester), the Reverend David Phillips (St
Albans), the Reverend Canon Gordon Oliver (Rochester), the Reverend Andrew Watson
(London), the Reverend Doctor Alan Hargrave (Ely), the Bishop of Dorking (the Right Reverend
Ian Brackley, Guildford), the Reverend Penny Fleming (Guildford), the Archdeacon of Berkshire
(the Venerable Norman Russell, Oxford) and the Reverend Canon Peter Townley (St
Edmundsbury and Ipswich).
After the Bishop of Guildford had replied to the debate, the Motion
        'That the liturgical business entitled "Ordination Services" be approved'
was put to each House. In a division of the Upper House, 18 voted in favour and 0 against; in the
Lower House, 102 voted in favour and 3 against. The motion was carried in both Houses.

His Grace the President and the members of the Upper House withdrew.



                                                107
                                        Lower House

The Reverend Canon Bob Baker (Prolocutor, Norwich) took the chair.

4.      FORMAL MOTIONS
It was proposed by the Reverend Prebendary David Houlding (Pro-Prolocutor, London) and
agreed:
"(i) That the Prolocutor be authorised, pursuant to Standing Order 13, to nominate
members to serve on any Committee after the House has risen with the concurrence of the
Standing Committee of the House;
(ii)    that those resolutions which should be conveyed to the Upper House be so conveyed."

5.     MINUTES.
The Minutes of this Session were read, confirmed and reduced to Acts according to the ancient
custom of Convocation.

The Prolocutor gave the Blessing, and the House stood prorogued.




                                             108
                           CONVOCATION OF CANTERBURY


                     The Convocation of Canterbury met in Full Synod
                         on Sunday 10 July 2005 at 10.20 p.m. at
                                  the University of York.
                   The Chair was taken by the Archbishop of Canterbury.


1.     Prayers

2.     Assessors

       Appointed as Assessors were: The Archdeacon of Malmesbury (Ven Alan Hawker), The
Archdeacon of Warwick (Ven Michael Paget-Wilkes), Revd Cedric Blakey (Derby), Revd Canon
Dr Alan Hargrave (Ely).

3.      Ordination Services
        The President: We now come to item 3, and I have agreed with the Prolocutor that this
should be considered in Full Synod. The motion represents Article 7 business. Accordingly, under
the standing orders of the Convocation, no amendment to the motion is in order; nor is it in order to
move to next business, to move a speech limit, or to move closure. As chairman, I have the usual
right to lengthen or shorten the speech limit at my discretion.

        Given the late hour – and the even later hours that I am told some of you kept last night! –
I hope that members will be as concise as possible in their contributions. I shall be imposing a
five-minute speech limit immediately after the Bishop of Guildford has spoken. I call upon him
now to move the motion standing in his name. He may speak for up to10 minutes.

       The Bishop of Guildford (Rt Revd Christopher Hill): I beg to move:
       ‘That the liturgical business entitled “Ordination Services” be approved’.

        I am afraid that this will not be as much fun as the take-off of the Bishop of Salisbury in last
night’s Revue. I do not have a silver spoon! I will concentrate on the substantial matters referred to
in the green paper, ‘Ordination Services’, GS 1535C. I hope that you have had time to glance
through them, and in particular Schedules A and B, which are the substance of the matter, and the
commentary over the signature of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

       On Friday, Synod ensured that one of two forms of confession would be used but, by
majorities of 24 to 7 and 95 to 62 in the Houses of Bishops and Clergy respectively, the Synod
declined to have the word ‘normally’ put in. The House of Laity, however, by 81 to 77, went the
other way; but, of course, it being lost in two Houses, the amendment was lost.

        The House of Bishops has listened carefully to the discussion, and respects the desire of the
House of Laity for what I might call a penitential piety, and that is good, even if it is not easily
liturgically similar to the kind of flow of the movement of an ordination liturgy. The bishops also



                                                  109
recognised that ‘normal’, as we all know, is quite a tricky and interesting word; but it does flag the
importance of penitence on the part of the ordinands and among the congregation. The House of
Bishops desires that the whole Church will own the Ordinal. We have accordingly included,
therefore, Professor Thiselton’s proposal that the ‘normal’ should be a confession. That moves us
on to Schedule B, paragraph 1. I will not spend any time over paragraph 2. It is a tidying-up
operation. It is uncontroversial. We are praying for the unity of the Church.

        At paragraph 3 we come to the core of the matter. The ruling out of the option of the Giving
of the Bible at the Sending Out was lost in all Houses, but anxieties remained in all three Houses,
and there will be anxieties among some of the Convocation tonight in both Houses.

        The view we have come to – at least as I discern it – in the House of Bishops and as is
recorded in the document you have in front of you is that, while the presenting issue is the position,
there is a deeper, a real, issue: a perception that the draft was somehow downgrading the
importance of the symbolism of the personal, individual giving of the Scriptures with something
like the traditional performative words of either the BCP or in their ASB version. In the House of
Bishops it was strongly argued by both the Bishop of Chester and, interestingly, the Bishop of
Worcester that something had been lost here in the new draft. In the light of this, what I might call,
dialectical alliance, the House has looked again at the words at the Giving of the Bible. You will
see that we have restored the ASB words – almost. So there are shades of last night’s Revue, after
all!

        The ASB words were very close indeed to the words of Cranmer in the Ordinal, and you
have the texts before you at 3(a), (b), (c) and (d). I will concentrate on the presbyteral, priestly
ordination, turning over the page to the fourth paragraph, sub-paragraph (b).
        ‘Receive this Book,
        as a sign of the authority which God has given you this day
        to preach the gospel of Christ
        and to minister his Holy Sacraments’.

       That is the performative language which the early draft did not have, and it also has the
merit of linking authority to both the preaching of the gospel and the administration of the
sacrament, which is traditional BCP.

        Paragraphs 4 and 5 are tidying-up amendments. I am very happy to answer questions on
that but I will not present any defence of them. There is an explanation in the text.

         The House voted 30 to nil – though I think that there was one abstention – in favour of this
last, as it were, amendment from the House, with the aim not only of uniting the House of Bishops
but also of the whole Synod more fully behind the Ordinal, which is a core liturgical text of the
Church. It is indeed a core liturgical prayer of the Church. With that aim, I commend the House of
Bishops’ amendments to you.

       One final word – if anybody wants to buy a copy, I have a second-hand copy of the ASB,
and I will sell it at an exorbitant price!




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         Revd Prebendary Kay Garlick (Hereford): I am worried about ‘normally’, partly because
we did have a vote in Synod which was supposed to be giving some sort of steer. We voted against
it, and here it is. I am mostly worried, however, because I think that part of the reason why it was
voted against – and it was pointed out during the debate – was because if you add on what we have
put about one of the two forms of confession on page 169 of Common Worship ‘are normally
used’, then it actually reads as if you could use another sort of form of confession if you wanted to.
It does that now that we have changed the other – if you see what I mean. I therefore think that it is
even more important that we do not have ‘normally’, because it changes what is being said there.

         Revd Jonathan Baker (Oxford): I am a member of the revision committee. I share very
much with what has been said about that particular point. In many ways, it is regrettable that we
have had to be presented with this new revision tonight; but I do think that we are very much into
the art of the possible, in terms of getting the whole Synod united behind this key text. There is so
much that is so good in the new Ordinal in terms of the ordination prayers themselves, the shape of
the liturgy, and all sorts of other things, that this is perhaps a reasonably small thing which we may
have to swallow.

       I would therefore support the last speaker in principle, but would urge everyone present to
cope with it, deal with it, and accept it, and take the wisdom of uniting the whole Synod behind it.

      Sister Rosemary CHN (Religious Communities): I wonder what Lynne Truss’s comment
would be on the form of the sentence, ‘One of these two forms…are normally used’.

       Archdeacon of Tonbridge (Ven Clive Mansell): The answer lies in the fact that there is a
second part to that sentence, ‘…one of these two forms of confession and…absolution’. So it is
confession and absolution, which come before the ‘are’.

       Revd Jonathan Alderton-Ford (St Edmundsbury and Ipswich): I want to ask a different
question, and it is this. Is what we are doing tonight and tomorrow worthy of us, the God we serve,
and the thing we are trying to do?

         I am very struck that the process over the last few years has not been a very honourable
one. I speak as an evangelical, and the sorts of things that have been said and done, the votes that
have been taken, the arm-twisting and horse-trading that have gone on, show us in a very poor
light, I think. Maybe we ought to spend tonight actually saying sorry to God about what we have
done about something which should be so precious and important. If I do not have the spirit of all
of this, I apologise, but it is something that has been in my heart all day and I share it with you.

        Revd Dr Ian Paul (Salisbury): With reference to that and the ‘normally used’ and whatever,
in the debate I seem to recall somebody saying, ‘I am sure we can smooth out the grammatical…’
– whatevers. I do not know if legally we are tied exactly to those wordings or whether we have
latitude to make sure that the English makes sense.

      As someone who shared the concerns and stayed on to take part in the debate in February,
when we went through these things, which we then went through again on Friday, I am very




                                                 111
grateful to the House of Bishops for having done that careful listening on the issue of the prayers of
penitence, and also on the performative nature of the Giving of the Bible.

        I do still have some concerns about the option of the position of the Giving of the Bible at
the end. I am in a difficult situation in that I am not responsible for organising ordination services,
and therefore I have not been confronted – unlike other services – with the dilemma about making
the thing flow. I recognise the importance of flow and movement, and I would not want to stick
with the historic evangelical kind of baldness, as it were, in approaching these kinds of services. It
is an important principle, however, that the choreography should serve theology, and not the other
way round. I would therefore be concerned if in10 years’ time we do find that in all ordinations, for
the sake of choreography, the Giving of the Bible has ended up at the end of the service and that
that performative nature, which is reflected in this language, is in any way diminished.

        Given that the House of Bishops has listened so carefully, it seems to me that I would seem
churlish to vote against it, and therefore I suspect that I will vote for it. However, I want to register
that as an ongoing concern.

        The Bishop of Portsmouth (Rt Revd Kenneth Stevenson): One of the reasons we are having
to do a bit of mopping-up is because at the February Synod it had not been made clear, because of
pressure and fatigue, that, within the ASB Ordinal as synodically emended or permittedly
emended, six years ago Synod voted for the option of spreading the service through the liturgy
with the Giving of the Bible at the end. If that point had been registered more thoroughly in
February, we might have had a different result.

       I just put that as a background to tonight’s discussion. We are having to make up for a gap
in synodical clarity, and it is unfortunate. However, I very much take the point from
St Edmundsbury and Ipswich about what this feels like to do it now.

         Revd David Banting (Chelmsford): I have a bit of a dilemma, in that I do not want to speak
explicitly to what is here but implicitly to the principle. I am enormously grateful for hearing that
Synod and this Convocation before Synod wishes to be united, and I am grateful to the bishops
that, although Synod voted these two options down, they have heard the concern and done
something about it.

        Because of Synod’s decision, when it was tired and hungry on Friday night, the sensitivity
that I wish to bring was not even heard, because the amendment was caused to lapse. In the spirit of
what the bishops are offering us now, however, for the principle of unity, they have gone back to
the ASB in 1980 as a way forward. My amendment simply asked for that to be done on what many
of us may think is an infinitely less significant thing: the title of the bishops’ rite.

        That concern was not properly heard; but in the light of what the bishops have done, in
going back to the ASB even when we voted against it, and a desire for unity, could I ask
permission to endeavour, very briefly, to speak to that principle? At the moment, I will be voting
against it because I feel the sensitivity and comprehensiveness of the Ordinal that almost all the
liturgical text ought to represent, and has historically, will have been lost and the whole issue will
not have been aired at all. I think that I ought to stop at that stage and ask permission of the



                                                  112
President and of the Convocation if I may continue for a couple of minutes and explain a little
more.

      The President: What is the mind of Convocation? Could I offer three minutes for David to
make his point? [Agreed]

         Revd David Banting: I am very grateful. The Ordinal historically, and right up to this
version, is comprehensive and sensitive. That was seen in the work that Cranmer did in the 1540s
and 1550s; it was seen in the re-adoption in 1662; it was seen in 1980; and it is seen in this. May I
give you simple examples? The title ‘Holy Communion’ or ‘Eucharist’ – that rings certain bells for
different people. They are both allowed. ‘Priest’, also known as ‘presbyter’. To be a little bit more
technical – it came up in the revision committee, of which I am a member – in the Visitation of the
Sick, ‘I absolve thee’; but, in Morning and Evening Prayer, ‘to declare and pronounce to his people
the absolution of their sins’.

         A tired and hungry Synod on Monday night will not be clear about the sensitivity around
the title of the bishops’ rites, which in BCP and ASB is ‘Ordination or Consecration’, and in this
proposed text is now ‘Ordination and Consecration’. They will not even have heard the balance
that has been lost.

      May I quote from the recent, full-blooded report on episcopal ministry, the Archbishops’
Group on the Episcopate reporting in 1990, on page 81? Of this double technical term it wrote:
      ‘This double technical term contrives to leave open in some degree the question whether
      the episcopate constitutes a separate order from the presbyterate’.

It acknowledged that, in the past and even in the ASB, there was a sensitivity that needed to be
observed, because of history and continuing – if I can put it this way – unresolved tensions. They
were referred to again and again in the revision committee and they were in the report, and in my
question in February which I read out in detail. The Bishop of Chichester recognised that there was
a certain breadth of understanding in the nature and understanding of episcopacy. In 1662,
‘Ordination’ was added – ‘Ordination or Consecration’. That was to avoid the extremes of
non-conformity and it allows – and has ever since – the more Catholic to see priest and bishop as
entirely separate orders to which you are ordained. The danger is the Romanist, more sacramental
understanding of order. However, ‘or Consecration’ was retained, to allow a more Reformed – and
the Church of England is the Catholic and Reformed tendency – to see the office of bishop
growing out of the presbyterate, as an office of pre-eminence, jurisdiction and presidency, with its
danger of incipient Presbyterianism.

        I would like to return to the 1980 title, to observe that comprehensiveness, balance and
sensitivity. It is too late to offer an amendment, but I ask for it to be recorded.

        The Dean of Worcester (Very Revd Peter Marshall): I have looked at the language and I am
concerned about the notion of ‘sign’, in relationship to what the Bible as Holy Scripture represents
at the point of presentation.




                                                113
        As I understand it, the authority given of ordinations is signed by the laying on of hands
with prayer. The Bible, the Holy Scripture, is a sign of something that differs from that authority to
act as deacon priest. I know that we are not amending, but I wonder whether some thought might
be given to a phrase which might give what the Giving of the Bible is really a sign of: the Bible as
Holy Scripture, through which we minister the Word and Sacrament, not a sign of the authority
given. As far as I was concerned, it was the laying on of hands with prayer – full stop.

       The President imposed a speech limit of two minutes.

         Revd Prebendary David Houlding (London): As this discussion goes on, I find myself
totally in tune with Jonathan over the way in which we might be proceeding in this, and I do think
the need for uniting around what the House of Bishops has done for us is very important. I was
certainly one who argued on the floor of the Synod to take out the word ‘normally’. I think that
what the House of Bishops has come up with has possibly helped us through, and I am perfectly
happy to accept what they have done.

        I want to say something in reply to David. It would be sad if we saw this in terms of
churchmanship, but we are dealing here with a reading of 17th century history. We can see very
clearly, in the Puritan period when the episcopacy was very much in doubt, the need, as the
Cromwellian period comes to an end, to restore episcopacy. No bishop: no king; no king: no
bishop. That was the way the Church of England formed itself, in order to be consistent with what
had been there from the earliest times. I do think that it is inherent in our Anglican understanding
that the three orders of the Church are the way we define our ministry. I cannot accept this notion
that somehow the episcopate is to do with an order of the realm.

        We were very clear – if I may say so, through the Chair – in the way we responded to those
amendments on Friday evening, about where we now stand. I would be sorry if we had to vote on
it again, because I really do not think that we ought to go down that line. It then becomes a sort of
battle. We need to rethink the way we look at the 17th century history, and I think that we will find
it was quite clear, at the Settlement at the Reformation, that the threefold orders of ministry were
continued – and that has been consistent to the present day.

        The Very Revd Jonathan Meyrick (Rochester)): Perhaps I may, through the Chair, reassure
Peter a little. It seems to me the phrase which is there, particularly in the priest’s paragraph, is so
clearly in the past – ‘has given’ – that I do not see how it can be thought that the current giving is
conferring that authority, because it has been given.

        Revd David Phillips (St Albans): I may have been asleep, but could I ask this question in
relation to section 4 on the green sheet? Where has that come from? What is the rationale behind
it?

       The President: I will ask the Bishop of Guildford to respond in due course.

       Revd Canon Gordon Oliver (Rochester): Although tired and hungry on Friday evening, I
was thinking clearly when I voted. However, I want to say something about how the liturgy is
experienced by people who are not liturgical experts.



                                                 114
        I understand perfectly well the vast importance of getting the wording of the liturgy as right
as it can be got, because of its importance in conveying the theology about what we are, as the
Church, as Christians, and as ministers. However, for most of the ordinands, for the priests, for the
people who use this service, they experience it as a whole. The service as a whole is, as it were, a
performative sign as a whole, within which there are other, particular sections that have deep
meaning for those who are liturgical experts; but actually most people in our Church are not
liturgical experts: they experience worship and service, ordination, commissioning Eucharist, as a
whole experience that causes them to receive the Word of God, meet with the risen Christ, and go
forth into the world to serve.

         Revd Andrew Watson (London): I am very grateful to the House of Bishops for the changes
to be made. It certainly made me feel that I can vote on Monday with a clear conscience for the
liturgy.

       I would like to ask the Bishop of Guildford why there is a different form of wording in the
Peace service – this is section 3 – from the bishops and the deacons. ‘As a sign of authority which
God has given you this day’ in the service for the Ordination of Priests, also called Presbyters, and
simply, ‘as a sign of the authority given you this day’, where God is not mentioned, in the other
two services. I do not quite see why we need a different form of words in that sentence, which
seems to be a parallel.

        Revd Canon Dr Alan Hargrave (Ely): Listening to people speak, I remember writing a PhD
a long time ago and being very worried about the fact that I had not done it quite right. I kept on
revising it, thinking that somehow there was a perfect solution; that if only I could find the perfect
words, it would be okay.

        I am ordained because the bishop laid hands on me. It seems to me that this is pretty good,
and we fool ourselves if we think that there is an absolutely perfect way of getting this ordination
service right. There is not. What we have is pretty good. Let us go for it! [Applause]

       The Bishop of Dorking (Rt Revd Ian Brackley): I am trying to remember our Council of
Bishops’ meeting at breakfast yesterday. When we moved to the ASB words, we realised that we
would be losing the congregational response at the Giving of the Bible. I think that I remember
David Stancliffe saying, ‘It will be possible, for example with the deacons’ response, for the
congregation to say the last two lines – “Build them up in his truth and serve them in his name”’.
Similarly with the bishops’ ordination or consecration, you could say, ‘Take them for your guide,
and declare them to the world’.

       However, there is not the possibility of doing that with the priests’ ordination, because it
does not follow grammatically that you could use a couple of the lines for the congregational
response. I do not know whether that idea has been dropped and we are going to stick to the plain
ASB as it was. I would just like some information.

       Revd Penny Fleming (Guildford): I am standing to register my ‘foggery’ really, because on
Friday afternoon I was still driving up the A1 and so I missed the debate. Listening to what is going



                                                 115
on, it sounds as if something was voted against and now we are going to have it anyway. I hope
that what we are doing is not damping Synod, but no doubt the House of Laity will sort us out!

       The Archdeacon of Berkshire (Ven Norman Russell): I was one of those who was in a
minority that voted against, and I do think that we have seen the Church of England House of
Bishops at its best.

       For something as important as the Ordinal, it is important that we should have something
around which we can unite. It will never be perfect, but I think that those who have voted with the
minority, as I have done, have been listened to with sensitivity and I, for one, am very grateful.

       Revd Canon Peter Townley (St Edmundsbury and Ipswich): In response to the Bishop of
Dorking, when priests receive their Bible might it be possible for the bishop to say, ‘Receive this
Book, as a sign of the authority which God has given you this day’, and for the congregation
simply to reply, ‘Preach the gospel of Christ and minister his Holy Sacraments’?

       The President: It might well, but I am afraid that we cannot amend. I will now ask the
Bishop of Guildford to reply.

         The Bishop of Guildford, in reply: Thank you for the sensitive and wide-ranging
comments. I will try to pick up the most important points. To Bishop Ian, who is my colleague, I
know that the Bishop of Salisbury worked hard, looking at how the congregational responses
might be added to them. In the end, we felt that what would meet the point was a more-or-less plain
reiteration of ASB. I think, at this stage of the game, that fits with our texts.

        Somebody asked about paragraph 4, and for information. In the earlier draft it seemed as if
the bishop was the sole sign of unity. So the new text broadens that to bishop with Church, and
‘Thus formed into a single communion of faith and love, the Church in each place and time is
united with the Church in every place and time’. If you compare the texts, it is less episcopally
centred.

        One or two of the other points were partly answered by other members of Convocation. I
think that at this stage of the evening I owe it to respond in charity to David Banting. I suppose I
would simply want to say what I said to Full Synod: that the Ordinal attached to the Book of
Common Prayer 1662 not only has the titles as he has described them, but at the point at which two
bishops present a bishop for oath, the declarations, consecration and ordination, the word used is
‘and’ – ‘ordained and consecrated bishop’. The ASB Ordinal does, as the footer giving the running
description of the rite, speak of ‘ordination of a bishop’. I think that it would be for members of
Convocation to ponder on this and to come to their own conclusions in conscience. I am sure that I
should not say any more. I commend the document to you.

      The motion was put and The President, pursuant to standing orders, ordered a division by
Houses, with the following result:
                                   Ayes          Noes
      Upper House                   18           0
      Lower House                  102           3



                                                116
The motion was therefore carried.

The President: That concludes the business of the Full Synod.

                         [Upper House withdrew]




                                      117
                                    LOWER HOUSE
     The Chair was taken by the Prolocutor, Revd Canon Bob Baker (Norwich).

4.   Formal motions
           Revd Prebendary David Houlding (London): I beg to move:
     ‘(i)  That the Prolocutor be authorised, pursuant to SO 13, to nominate members to
           serve on any Committee after the House has risen with the concurrence of the
           Standing Committee of the House;
      (ii) that those resolutions which should be conveyed to the Upper House be so
           conveyed.’

     The motion was put and carried.

5.   Minutes
     Revd Canon Michael Hodge (Synodical Secretary) read the minutes, which were then
     approved as being a correct record.

                     Convocation was prorogued at 11.05 p.m.




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