THE General Synod debated the Code of Practice under part V of the Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure 2007 on Tuesday morning.
The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Michael Langrish, introducing the debate, said that the origins of the Measure lay in the report Mission-shaped Church (CHP, 2004), and in A Measure for Measures (CHP, 2004). The code sought to be helpful in providing a framework within which new mission initiatives could operate. It gave guiding principles, and would eventually be supplemented by more detail.
The Revd Andrew Watson (London) found the report reassuring and much in it sensible and good. He particularly approved the fleshing out of the role of Bishop’s Visitor, a “critical friend”.
The Revd Peter Hobson (Leicester) expressed slight unease at the “weight and cost” of the code, but welcomed it.
The Revd Paul Benfield (Blackburn) moved an amendment that sought to ensure that formal consultation on Fresh Expressions should always be in writing. Earlier conversations might have been conducted informally: it was sensible at this formal stage to have clear evidence that what had been required had been done.
His amendment was carried.
The Synod was commended for the high quality of debate throughout the process, by both the Bishop of Exeter and Mark Russell (Archbishops’ Council).
The Code of Practice was approved as amended.