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Synod members miss their Greens

13 February 2015

PA

Grilled: senior officials from HM Revenue & Customs answer questions about HSBC's tax services, at a hearing of the Public Accounts Select Committee, in the House of Commons, on Wednesday

Grilled: senior officials from HM Revenue & Customs answer questions about HSBC's tax services, at a hearing of the Public Accounts&n...

THE Green report was on everyone's lips as the General Synod began earlier this week; but, to the annoyance of some members, it was not on the agenda. Timothy Allen (St Edmundsbury & Ipswich) put it to the chair of the Synod's business committee, Canon Sue Booys, that the report Talent Management for Future Leaders, produced by a group chaired by Prebendery the Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, was being withheld from debate "out of embarrassment at Lord Green's earlier roles at HSBC, which on his watch was involved in facilitating tax evasion through Swiss bank accounts. Do they want to close the Wash House door on HSBC's dirty linen?" His question prompted long applause from the Synod.

The Bishop of Ely, the Rt Revd Stephen Conway, who is leading the House of Bishops' work on the Green report, said he wished communication around the report had been better, when it was leaked last year (News, 12 and 19 December).

He noted, however, that the money being proposed to spend on transforming the appointments and training of bishops was not money from General Synod. The development of clergy was, and always had been, "the particular responsibility of bishops with archbishops".

The other reports released as part of the "Reform and Renewal" programme last month were due to be debated on Wednesday afternoon, after a morning of small group discussions.

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