Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Après cela, le déluge — from women bishops to LGBT inclusion in the elections to General Synod

Here in the Diocese of Chelmsford we have a casual vacancy for General Synod in the House of Clergy. Nominations are in (no, I’m not standing) and voting papers are going out.
Mine haven’t arrived yet (!), but I have seen the list of candidates and the addresses they give in support of their election. As one might expect, the position of candidates on the issue of women bishops is generally made clear. What is perhaps less expected is that in some cases, so is their explicit support for ‘full inclusion’ of same-sex relationships.
Of course this was bound to happen at some stage. I had long thought that if the matter of women bishops were not sorted out this summer (and what are the chances of that, I wonder?) then the next round of elections to the Synod, in 2015, would be a two-issue race. In the event I was just a year and a half out.
So watch this space. Perhaps when the votes are in I will be able to offer an analysis.
Certainly, however, it bears out the prognosis of many (and a statement made to me by a leading Anglican theologian) that there has been an agenda: defeat the Anglican Covenant, get women bishops, get LGBT inclusion.
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  1. I'm participating in the Diocese of Egypt & North Africa synod next week, and I'm tipping none of those 3 issues will make the agenda. Our top 2 agenda items are likely to be:
    - How do we support and encourage Christians in the midst of increasing opposition and social turbulence in the region?
    - How do we give a vibrant witness to Christ in these circumstances?
    There will be a fair bit of reports and finances, too, just to stop it getting too exciting :)

  2. Just to rub it in, our Presbytery agenda will look pretty different. Looking at some potential church plants, how to support young church plants, some reports from "sister churches" & on those currently in training. Maybe supporting mission in poorer parts of the world. That sort of thing.

    Darren Moore

  3. It is beginning to look as if the end is in sight for the Church of England.