A MOVE to a default position of circulating documents electronically would save the Church the cost of staff time, printing, and postage, Canon Sue Booys (Oxford), who chairs the Business Committee, told the Synod in a debate on its report.
Proposed amendments to the General Synod’s standing orders were introduced by Geoffrey Tattersall QC (Manchester), who chairs the Standing Orders Committee.
New amendments affected questions and answers: the person answering a question no longer had to refer to the written answers but initial answers were circulated beforehand; so question time was limited to the asking and answering of supplementary questions.
Robin Lunn (Worcester) asked that the agenda and fringe meetings be sent out on paper to everyone, and everything else default to electronic form.
Canon Jonathan Alderton-Ford (St Edmundsbury & Ipswich) said that he backed switching to electronic documents, but suggested that, for the first session of each quinquennium, documents should be sent out in paper form.
Dr Philip Giddings (Oxford) said that he was in favour of the new default position as long as new Synod members had the situation clearly explained.
Mr Tattersall introduced the complete revised list of standing orders that had been simplified and put into more modern and gender-neutral language.
He said that there were two views about the chair having to invite a motion for closure. Deciding to close a debate was a decision only the Synod could make, but there were questions about how that could be instigated. He also called for more correspondence from members.
All the amendments to standing orders put to the vote were approved.