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Day two: Tuesday

12 February 2008

A MOVE to vest parsonage houses in new diocesan parsonage boards set up specially for the purpose was defeated when the General Synod spent the greater part of its business on Tuesday revising the Draft Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Measure.

After two successful amendments from the Revd Paul Benfield (Blackburn), it became clear that the mood of the Synod was to retain parsonages as an integral to the benefice, with a strong sense of ownership in the parishes.

An attempt to make the Church set up its own “officeholders tribunals” as a substitute for allowing the clergy to resort to secular employment tribunals was also defeated, after it was argued that the Bible did not ban Christians from using secular courts, and that the existing employment tribunals were best equipped to deal fairly and impartially with such matters.

A private member’s motion from Thomas Benyon (Oxford) concerning casinos was amended and carried. The Archbishop of Canterbury expressed strong disapproval of the social dangers of gambling and said that claims that gambling could be a means of social regeneration were “utterly ridiculous”.

A further private member’s motion from Timothy Cox (Blackburn) was amended and carried. It encouraged churches to provide Bibles for the use of worshippers and visitors. An amendment from the Revd Ruth Worsley (Southwell & Nottingham) extended the range of Bibles to include those with inclusive language.


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