THE General Synod has challenged every local church "prayerfully
[to] try at least one new way . . . of seeking to make new
disciples of Jesus Christ" in 2014. The challenge came in a debate
on intentional evangelism moved by the Archbishop of York, Dr
Sentamu, on Monday evening.
The Archbishop recognised that not every Christian was an
evangelist, but insisted that "every Christian is a witness. . .
Witnesses are empowered by the Holy Spirit simply to share what
they have experienced. . . All people in Britain experience
weather, and they talk about it readily and repeatedly. If only
disciples of Jesus Christ in England did the same about him; and he
is infinitely greater than British weather."
In other business, the Synod held a debate about the importance
and work of church schools, and the Church's engagement with
community schools. In this debate, the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt
Revd John Pritchard, who chairs the Board of Education and the
National Society, urged the "widest possible use of the new
Christianity Project", an evangelistic education initiative.
The Synod tackled a range of legislative business, giving an
unopposed final approval to the Draft Church of England
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure, and near-unanimous final
approval to the related Draft Amending Canon No. 31.
First consideration was given to two new draft Measures: the
Draft Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction (Amendment)
Measure, to simplify further the faculty process; and the Draft
Church of England (Ecclesiastical Property) Measure, loosening some
of the restrictions on the legal power of PCCs to hold
It also approved new regulations to increase the size of
On Wednesday afternoon, the Synod rejected
the establishment of an electoral college for elections by the
laity to the General Synod and diocesan synods; and requested
legislation allowing for online voting by 2020.