AN ELECTED member of the Archbishops' Council, Canon
Robert Cotton (Guildford), presented the Council's annual
report. The Council had given "a lot of attention" to "tending
relationships" between itself and the House of Bishops, and the
Church Commissioners; and "increasingly between the Council and
General Synod", which he described as "a collection of local people
actively rooted in communities of holiness".
The Revd Christopher Hobbs (London) asked why
the report on the christenings and funerals project used the word
christening rather than baptism; he said that this was
In response, Philip Fletcher (Archbishops'
Council), who chairs the Mission and Public Affairs Council, said
that the word was used because "that is where people are."
Mr Hobbs also asked how theC of E was helping to reshape
Churches Together in England (CTE) to make it "sharper and more
effective", other than by reducing their funding.
Mr Fletcher said that the C of E was encouraging the
organisation "in the direction it wants to go. It knows it wants to
sharpen its processes, and is getting on with that."
Gavin Oldham (Oxford) asked about the
"extraordinary" position that people being trained for ordination
did not have to undergo any mandatory training in any form on
working with children and young people.
Mary Chapman (Archbishops' Council) said that
the Church "can't make it mandatory, because the syllabi are
controlled by the education institutions". A working party was
currently looking at how the C of E could make training in
safeguarding issues compulsory.
Susan Cooper (London) asked about lay
Mrs Chapman said "a lot of work is going on. . . Lay ministry is
not something determined centrally or nationally."
Adrian Greenwood (Southwark) said that, of the
three quinquennial goals, "reimagining ministry" had seen the least
progress, partly because of over-clericalism in the Church. He
asked: "Is that hindering the release and empowerment the
development of the gifts of all baptised believers?"
Canon Cotton answered that an enormous amount had been achieved
on reimagining ministry, but a lot more needed to do be done.
The Revd Amanda Fairclough (Liverpool) asked
whether the report would be disseminated to all those who were in
Paul Hancock (Liverpool) wanted clarification
about the pensions costs "specific to the Archbishops' Council",
which were said to require additional contributions up to 2016.
Margaret Condick (St Edmundsbury & Ipswich)
referred to plans to publish the remaining volumes of the Pilgrim
course. The course had been "excellent", but needed to be more
readable, particularly for those with fading eyesight.
Mr Fletcher said that the readability of the course materials
would be discussed with Church House Publishing.
Canon Cotton sought to explain mission funding. Most was
distributed by formula to dioceses. But the second part, starting
this year, had been distributed in response to bids from dioceses.
So far, ten of the poorest dioceses had been given the first
opportunity to to bid, and five "substantial" grants of £500,000 to
£1 million had been granted to support mission strategies.