THE Synod took note of the report Review of Constitutions, which concerns the committee structure of the Archbishops’ Council and the General Synod.
The Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, said that, after a “brief revolution”, the Synod had reverted to “spilling ink rather than blood”. The 30-per-cent reduction in membership for the next Synod would result in a nimbler and more focused structure.
John Freeman (Chester) said that these proposals were an improvement on their predecessor.
The Bishop of Ripon & Leeds, the Rt Revd John Packer, highlighted the need for the representation of the ministry of Readers.
Keith Malcouronne (Guildford) supported removing the prohibition of Archbishops’ Council members from chairmanship of the Audit Committee.
The Bishop of Sodor & Man, the Rt Revd Robert Paterson, said that the question about Readers’ representation also needed to be asked in relation to lay ministers of all kinds — to enable them to work collaboratively.
The Revd Christopher Lilley (Lincoln) asked whether the size of the Archbishops’ Council was appropriate. He also expressed concern about the reduction of the number of Synod members on boards: “Don’t cut back on the involvement of ordinary members in synodical procedures outside this chamber.”
Rosalind O’Dowd (London) recommended a benchmarking process of how committees were run, and asked for “wriggle room” to include Synod members who had expertise to bring from a distance.
Adrian Greenwood (Southwark) suggested that a way should be found for the various committees to give presentations to Synod and put forward debates.
Dr Philip Giddings (Oxford) said that the proposals for the participation of elected members were a real attempt to cover the range of remits.
Philip French (Rochester) observed that the Archbishops’ Council was not like a board of directors. It had members in several categories.
Elizabeth Paver (Sheffield) made a case for the Church Lads’ and Church Girls’ Brigade to be given an opportunity in the Board of Education.