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General Synod digest: Church Representation Rules

by
21 February 2020

Madeleine Davies, Hattie Williams, Adam Becket, and Tim Wyatt report from the General Synod in London

GEOFF CRAWFORD/CHURCH TIMES

Members re-enter the Synod chamber

Members re-enter the Synod chamber

THE General Synod approved the Church Representation Rules (Amendment) Resolution, on Tuesday afternoon.

Clive Scowen (London) sought to amend parts of the Church Repre­sentation Rules which had been missed. Second, anticipating amend­ments to the Draft Cathedrals Measure, it re­moved rules about cathedral representation on diocesan synods. This would not have an impact until the 2023 deanery-synod elections.

Also, new rules clarified rights of appeal, Mr Scowen said. An appeal would be led by the Dean of the Arches, someone he appointed, or a diocesan chancellor.
Paragraph 10 modified parts of the Church­wardens Meas­ure for con­sistency with the Church Repres­entation Rules. There were 16 amendments from David Lamming, all of which he would accept, he said.

The Bishop of Willesden, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent (London), compared the item to watching paint dry, but maintained that it had to be done. The vote was carried.

Then, Canon Sue Booys (Oxford) said that a paragraph would be taken out so that it did not affect things coming into place before it in July. This was carried.

Mr Lamming then moved Item 534, a long amendment which covered a series of technical issues around appeals and the right of those whose election or eligibility is appealed against to respond in their own defence.

Mr Scowen said that he was happy to accept this amendment, and the other consequential ones that Mr Lamming would move imminently.

April Alexander (Southwark) spoke about declarations of conflicts of interest. She suggested that charity law now required this in the internal Synod elections to both the Church Com­missioners and the Archbishops’ Council. Although this could not be added to this legisla­tion, could these reforms be brought forward in a future Miscellaneous Provisions Measure?

The amendment was carried.

David Lamming (St Edmunds­bury & Ipswich) moved several amendments, relating to appeals procedures.

The motion, as amended, was carried by a two-thirds majority in each House: Bishops: 21 nem. con.; Clergy: 91 nem. con.; Laity: 128 nem. con.

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