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Legislation and farewells

25 November 2010

THE SYNOD dispatched various items of legislative business on Wed­nes­day afternoon.

It returned to the implementation of the Common Tenure proposals when it approved the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Measure 2010, together with the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) (Conse­quential and Transitional Provisions) Order 2010, moved by the Bishop of Hull, the Rt Revd Richard Frith.

The Synod ran out of time to con­sider the Amending Code of Practice under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003, and this will have to be dealt with at a future group of sessions.

The Synod then went on to first consideration of the Draft Church of England Marriage (Amendment) Mea­s­ure, moved by the chairman of the steering committee, the Vicar-Gen­eral of Canterbury, the Rt Worshipful Timothy Briden. Its pur­pose, he explained, was to put it beyond doubt that a couple’s qualify­ing connection did extend the right con­ferred by a qualifying connection with one church in the benefice to the benefice as a whole.

It also applied to the right to marry in an adjacent parish if a building was out of commission. The draft Meas­ure also removed any doubt about the legality of the form of words at the reading of banns that was provided in Common Worship. The motion was carried and the legislation will proceed to the revision committee.

THE SYNOD said farewell to the Bishop of Lincoln, Dr John Saxbee. It had already indicated its warmth of feeling towards him in the morning’s Covenant debate, said the Arch­bishop of Canterbury on Wednesday afternoon.

Dr Saxbee had stepped into an “unedifying” situation at Lincoln in 2001 and had brought healing and consolidation. Dr Williams said that on a visit to the diocese, many people had said to him unbidden, “You’re not going to take him away, are you?” Tri­butes had been warm and uni­versal.

Dr Saxbee had built the Big Society in Lincoln. His relaxed approach had done wonders for life in the diocese. He had followed a hard act at the Board of Education, and his con­tribu­tions to the Synod and the House of Lords had been intelligent and challenging. The Bishop had given himself generously to good causes, and was a man prepared to go the extra mile for the Kingdom of God, Dr Williams said.

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