THE longest Measure before the Synod for a generation, the Draft DiocesesPastoral and Mission Measure, was introduced by Dr Edmund Marshall (Wakefieldwhen it returned to the Synod for revision.
The revision committee of two diocesan bishops, two archdeacons, a cathedradean, a diocesan chancellor, two lay canons, and two Readers had been "broadly based committee engaged in making legislation for a broadly baseChurch", Dr Marshall, its chairman, said. They had received written evidencfrom 24 Synod members and from 14 others, and oral evidence from 23 witnessesThey had sought to provide "modern legislation with a lighter touch, tfacilitate the mission of the Church in the 21st century".
Timothy Allen (St Edmundsbury & Ipswich) congratulated the com-mittee oresisting the temptation to complicate the Toyne proposals, but he regrettethat the revision had removed the opportunity for a diocese under threat to bpresent when its future was being decided. The decision would be betteinformed, and the results better communicated, if the diocese were at thtable. He also regretted that the revision had given the Dioceses Commissiopowers of veto over the diocese.
Professor Peter Toyne (Arch-bishops Council) said that the vision had beetranslated to serve the Church with flexible delivery of new mission in th21st century. It had been a tremendous journey that had taken a long time, buit was now as right as it could possibly be.
The Archdeacon of Cornwall, the Ven. Roger Bush (Truro), was concerned abouthe overthrowing of the diocesan veto in clause 7. This reflected the nationatrend towards centralisation, as local authorities increasingly lost power tcentral government. People would not bother to make their voices heard idecisions were being made elsewhere. "Aspects of Clause 7 are following thitrend," he said.
It was wrong to deny the diocesan synod a proper say, where diocesaboundaries were being altered or a diocese was being extinguished. There was lack of transparency over who would define the "wider considerations" thacould affect such decisions.
The Bishop of Willesden, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent (Southern Suffragans)gave the Measure "two-and-half cheers. . . We can do mission off the back othis," he said; though "pastoral orders still have the Commissioners muckfingers all over them." He was concerned that drafting the codes of practicthat covered reorganisation should ensure that they facilitated mission.
The Synod took note of the report.
An amendment from Dr Philip Giddings (Oxford), seeking to em-phasise thcentrality of evangelism in mission, was lost by 100 to 107.
Andrew Presland (Peterborough) moved an amendment to clause 47, MissioInitiatives. He wanted to substitute "consult" for "obtain the consent of". Ithe diocesan pastoral committees consent had to be obtained to a bishopmission order, this would slam on the brakes.
The Measure was intended to change the culture. Pastoral committees were tbe reconstituted with clear responsibilities. They should not be ablarbitarily to veto a mission order.
The Revd Rod Thomas (Exeter) said that leaders of church-plants had difficult job. When they had initiated the plant, it could go forward only bmaintaining momentum. The Synod, he warned, was in danger of building in smany hiccups and vetoes that new initiatives lost momentum. The change owording from "consent" to "consult" was a good move that did not block that.
Dr Christina Baxter (Southwell & Nottingham) declared herself "amazedthat bishops were not on their feet, supporting the amendment. They were thuallowing pastoral committees to say that mission might not be done, even wheit was appropriate.
The Revd Brian Lewis (Chelmsford) said that many members of diocesapastoral committees were committed to mission. They had been elected by thclergy and laity, and were not there "simply to put the brakes on". "Consultwas too weak a word. He opposed the amendment.
The Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, said: "I am not willing to give the curof souls to any committee or group. Sorry, mate."
The amendment was carried by 123 votes to 86.
Clive Scowen (London) moved an amendment to change the name of the pastoracommittee to "the mission and pastoral committee". "Names have symboliimportance in shaping a bodys perception of itself and its task. Lets givthem the name that reflects that duty."
Janet Atkinson (Durham) quoted Lewis Carroll, "When I use a word, saiHumpty-Dumpty, it means just what I want it to mean, neither more nor less.They wanted to keep the name simple.
The Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Christopher Hill, said Alice hacontradicted Humpty-Dumpty. He urged support for the amendment.
The Revd Dr John Hartley (Bradford) said having mission in the name woulsay that the committee was concerned not just with the Churchs own people, buwith its mission.
The Synod also revised Draft Amending Canon No. 27 and the DrafVacancy-in-See Committees (Amendment) Regulation.