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Muslim to take part in General Synod panel

31 October 2014


In earshot: people stand on the roof of the village mosque in Caykara, Turkey, on the Turkey-Syria border, watching fighting across the border in the Syrian town of Kobane, on Monday 

In earshot: people stand on the roof of the village mosque in Caykara, Turkey, on the Turkey-Syria border, watching fighting across the border...

THE "unspeakable evil" perpetrated against religious minorities in Iraq and Syria will be detailed in a presentation given to the General Synod this month.

On 18 November, the Bishop of Coventry, Dr Christopher Cocksworth, will moderate a panel including the General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, Bishop Angaelos; and Dr Fuad Nahdi, the executive director of the Radical Middle Way, which promotes a "mainstream, moderate understanding of Islam".

The General Secretary of the Synod, William Fittall, said last Friday that this would be, to his knowledge, the first time that a Muslim had addressed the Synod.

In the afternoon, the Synod will hear a report from the Council for Christian Unity on the final report of the Joint Implementation Commission (JIC) on the Anglican-Methodist Covenant. The Synod will be invited to endorse the recommendations, which ask the two Churches to reconcile their ministries with a view to interchangeability.

Mr Fittall spoke of a "sense of frustration" that interchangeability had yet to be achieved. The issues to be resolved, including the move towards episcopacy in the Methodist Church, were "pretty core issues", he said. But the JIC "has in effect said: 'Now is the time to decide whether we are going to sort these out or not.'" The opening of the episcopate to women addressed one of the Methodists' concerns, he said; so it was "timely" to bring the Covenant to the November group of sessions.

There will also be a debate on a diocesan synod motion from the former diocese of Bradford on the spare-room subsidy, known as the "bedroom tax". This notes "concerns" about the impact of the policy, and calls on the Mission and Public Affairs Council to evaluate research into this, and promote "ways of ensuring access to suitable local housing for all".

Legislative business includes final-approval debates on the Draft Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction (Amendment) Measure, and the Draft Church of England (Ecclesiastical Property) Measure.

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