Green is very much the General Synod’s business

by
20 February 2015

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From the Bishop of Repton

Sir, - The dismay voiced at the General Synod that the Green report was not to be on the agenda will be echoed well beyond the membership of the Synod. This has nothing to do with allegations against Lord Green or any other institution he has been involved with.

As reported, the report was deemed not to be synodical business, first, because the funds devoted to its implementation were not funds under the Synod's control, and, second, because the care and development of the clergy was the "particular responsibility of bishops with archbishops".

As correspondents and contributors to your columns and in other places have shown, concerns with the Green report extend far beyond issues about money, or even clergy care and development, as such. There are assumptions about the nature of the Church (ecclesiology), and assumptions about the nature of the crisis that the Church is allegedly facing and how that should be theologically assessed, which, with important theological questions about the nature of leader- ship which the report fails to address, are surely the business of the whole people of God, and thus entirely suitable for the Synod to discuss.

As a suffragan bishop, and so belonging to a category not well served by the Green proposals, I, with other members of the College of Bishops, had only the most cursory engagement with the report before it was published. As such, and as a participant in the last (and now discredited) Leadership Development Programme, yet unaware of and uninvolved in any sustained critical assessment of it, and as someone about to take on responsibility for one of the TEIs so noticeably excluded both from the framing of the report and from those it recognises as worthwhile resources for future leadership development, I am bound to acknowledge a degree of personal interest in making these points.

But it may be that others will feel, with me, that the response of the authors and champions of the report is in danger of appearing both patrician and defensive. As an object lesson in the management of change, it certainly leaves much to be desired.


HUMPHREY REPTON,
Repton House, Lea, near Matlock,
Derbyshire DE4 5JP


From the Revd Ian Falconer

Sir, - As an alternative to the Green proposals, I suggest that thoseselected to be fast-tracked into training for senior posts could be flown to a hotel in the Cayman Islands and therefind the realpool, jump in, and swim around in ever-decreasing circles.Perhaps the project could be sponsored by HSBC?


IAN FALCONER,
70 Lowgates,
Staveley,
Chesterfield S43 3TU

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