THE working group convened by the Bishop at Lambeth, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton, to review the CDM is working towards change “sooner rather than later”, the Bishop said this week.
The CDM review group has been in close contact with the Ecclesiastical Law Society (ELS) working group, and has members in common. It was meeting this week to consider the ELS proposals, and plans a joint meeting in the near future.
Bishop Thornton repeated his belief, now shared by the House of Bishops, that significant reform was needed. “As I have said, I believe the CDM needs replacing for a variety of reasons.”
On the ELS recommendation for immediate action, he said: “We in the CDM review group are also looking at how we can bring about changes sooner rather than later, and we have put forward various suggestions, and can see areas for modifying the present system under the existing Measure without any need to wait for legislative change.
“One of the key areas for debate will be what the role of the bishop (in particular, the diocesan bishop) is, in any system of discipline. I think that there is a way forward which would enable greater consistency, and stronger and clearer advice being given to bishops, through a system that is resourced through a single process rather than having to duplicate it in every diocese.
“I do also think that there are wider issues at stake relating to how we value, support, and hold ourselves accountable as those who are ordained in the Church of England. I think issues relating to the CDM and its reform are only part of the wider issue about how we relate to each other in the Church, and whether we are properly resourcing and supporting one another.”