AFTER a debate on the Wednesday morning, the Synod accepted the
Business Committee's proposal to cancel the February sitting.
The Archdeacon of
Dorking, the Ven. Julian Henderson (Guildford), who chairs
the Business Committee, said that he hoped that the Synod would not
want to "rush into" another group of sessions in February. It was
"extremely important" to allow "time to reflect and refocus on how
the consequences from yesterday's decision should be handled".
Material on "key matters" would not be
ready, and there were not enough separate rooms available in London
to enable work in groups to "strengthen relationships and grow in
mutual understanding", as recommended by some people.
The content of the agenda would not
justify the expenditure, and the committee believed that meeting
three times in 2013 was not justified. There were only ten weeks
left to prepare an agenda, and the new Archbishop of Canterbury
would not yet have been enthroned.
Canon Pete Spiers
(Liverpool) said that the Synod must meet sooner rather than later,
and "truly listen to each other".
The Archdeacon of
Hackney, the Ven. Rachel Treweek (London), said that not
meeting till July would imply that members "couldn't bear to spend
time with each other for another eight months". There was a need to
"reimagine" the Synod.
Martin Dales (York)
suggested a "sacred synod" before July, perhaps in the form of
Timothy Allen (St
Edmundsbury & Ipswich) said that not to meet in February would
be "negligent and complacent". The Church had lost credibility.
Synodical procedures must be put into "overdrive".
The Bishop of Dover,
the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott (Canterbury), said that it was becoming
"increasingly toxic" to meet at Church House. It was "utterly
naïve" to think that a process could be devised in ten weeks to
"repair the damage". The York meeting provided space "where we live
together, eat together, and pray together" - a real place where
communion could happen.
Sue Johns (Norwich)
supported him. The Synod needed time to listen to the parishes,
deaneries, and dioceses. Something "positive and meaningful" was
Canon Ceila Thomson
(Gloucester) said that, if the Synod met in February, she would ask
that it include "biblical exegesis to correct some surprising
theology mentioned yesterday".