Bishop Victoria call Press Conference on Christchurch Cathedral

Cathedral restoration: Church disputes Government offered 25m

restoration

Bishop Victoria Mathews called an emergency media standup on Sunday to refute Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Gerry Brownlee’s claim that  the Government offered the church a $25 million deal to restore the building.

On Friday Brownlee said he was disappointed an offer to help with the restoration of the Anglican Cathedral in Christchurch was turned down by the Church Property Trustees (CPT).

He said the offer was made up of $10m in cash and a $15m loan.

The Bishop says Brownlee’s claims of a $25 million offer of Government help are incorrect.

“CPT reached an agreement with mandated Crown negotiators including the Christchurch working group chairman Geoff Dangerfield . . . before Christmas,” Matthews said on Sunday.

“That agreement, to CPT’s surprise, proved not acceptable to the minister and at the last minute a two page, non-binding, principles document was sent through to the negotiating table.”

“This two page statement of principles significantly changed the terms in ways that were not acceptable to CPT as prudent trustees, with $42 million to put towards an over $100 million project.”

On Friday Brownlee had said a second government had made an offer with different terms.

He understood the CPT would be meeting this week to discuss the second offer.

However Matthews said there had been very limited informal discussion.

“A revised two page statement of principles, which is non-binding and which I believe has not been seen by Cabinet, arrived this week.”

“But it was not presented by the Minister, nor did we have assurance he was in favour of every aspect of it,” Matthews said.

On Friday the church said CPT has no scheduled meeting this week.

The church says a decision over the Cathedral’s fate will be out in the next six months.

The cathedral has been derelict for almost six years since the February 2011 quake, with parties at an impasse on whether to demolish or to attempt restoration.

The government set up a working group to look at options for restoration, but no deal has so far been reached.

Source

It seems to me, from the sidelines, that The ‘Impasse’, claimed to have been caused by the Cathedral Property Trustees (CPT) in the ongoing delay on the re-build/replacement of the Christchurch Anglican Cathedral, was clearly outlined by our Bishop Victoria Matthews at the recent Press Conference she recently called.

Critics of the delay need to be reminded (yet again) that this is not the fault of either our Bishop or the CPT of the Christchurch Diocese. Left alone, the diocese would already have demolished the earthquake compromised building and begun a brand new Cathedral on the site. The delay is entirely the fault of the Greater Christchurch Building Trust (GCBT), headed by Messrs: Philip Burdon and Jim Anderton – former parliamentarians – whose links with the current governmental review authority cannot be denied.

Despite being called in as a ‘referee’ on the re-build, it would appear that Minister Gerry Brownlee’s offer of financial support from the government might have been dependent on the CPT bowing to the insistent demands of Messrs: Burdon and Anderton to  rebuild the Cathedral in the same style as the original; whose design has already twice failed the test of earthquake suitability. 

Today’s (22 Feb.) Press Editorial contains the relevant facts about the financial offer from the Government which, though in itself not ratified, would still not meet the actual cost of the more expensive restoration option. The Diocese had already decided to build a brand new purpose-built Cathedral which would have – if not legally challenged by the GCBT – by now have been well advanced; at a cost less than that of GCBT’s proposal for restoration.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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A Conservative View of the ABCs Reflection on G.S.

[G Ashenden] The Radical Call To Go The Wrong Way’. Archbishop Welby’s charge to General Synod

At the end of the recent General Synod when an alliance of orthodox Christians and pro-gay progressives defeated the Bishops’ report on Marriage and sexuality, the Archbishop of Canterbury issued a rallying cry to a perturbed and divided Synod and whatever part of the wider Church was listening in.

It had three elements:

1- “We need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church.

2- “It must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual.”

3- “The way forward needs to be about love, joy and celebration of our humanity; of our creation in the image of God, of our belonging to Christ – all of us, without exception, without exclusion.”

The problem these words present, is that they involve a distortion of Christianity. They preference a non-Christian ideology that gives us a sub-Christian or even perhaps an anti-Christian version of the faith.

That is a very serious charge to make. Because if it is true, it challenges the authority of an ancient office and both the direction and integrity of the Church of England.

Read it all

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Kendall Harmon’s blog, offering this Con/Evo review of the response of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the recent failure of a call at the Church of England General Synod to ‘Note’ the Bishops’ Report on Gender and Sexuality; betrays the sort of anxiety that propelled the schimatic departure of the writer from TEC into the schismatic ACNA.  

To accuse the Archbishop of Canterbury of leading the Church of England towards heresy is, as the writer himself admits; “… is a very serious charge to make. Because if it is true, it challenges the authority of an ancient office and both the direction and integrity of the Church of England.”

The point for members of the Church of England is that conservative Americans who have already left the official Anglican Communion, have absolutely no right to dictate the policy of the Church of England, nor to encourage further schism on the basis of their own Sola Scriptura puritanical agenda. The issues addressed by Archbishop Justin have an importance far beyond the parsimonious ideas of stone-age pundits on gender and human sexuality.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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Giles Fraser – Clergy: 1 – Bishops Nil

A delegate walks past protesters outside the General Synod at Church House in London on 15 February 2017
A delegate walks past protesters outside the General Synod at Church House in London on Wednesday. ‘The problem is the bishops themselves, tense with self-imposed anxiety.’ Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

It rained in London on Wednesday afternoon. Then the sun came out. And so it was that when the General Synod of the Church of England met to discuss the acceptability of same-sex marriage, a huge rainbow appeared over Church House, Westminster. Even God, it seems, was making his feelings known on this one.

The bishops had produced a report after a three-year listening process. This itself was just another kicking-into-the-long-grass exercise. After all, who can refuse listening? So church reports that seek no change always call for another report and more listening. But had anybody heard anything useful? The report called for a “change of tone” towards LGBTI people – yes, they always do that, and always in the same patronising tone – but no change of doctrine. The bishops refused to budge on the question of same-sex couples getting married in church. And so the clergy of the C of E threw the report out, leaving the bishops angry and embarrassed.

Recalling the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel in the book of Genesis, Canon Simon Butler – gay, out and partnered – told synod: “I will not let go until you bless me.” Those of us wrestling for equal marriage will not stop until gay people are offered the church’s blessing. We bless battleships with missiles. But not the love between two people. And the problem here is not the clergy or the people in the pews. The problem is the bishops themselves, tense with self-imposed anxiety.

On the same day the report was being sunk by synod, a British Social Attitudes survey found that only 17% of Anglicans now believe that same-sex relationships are “always wrong”, the lowest level since 1983 when people started measuring these views. Back then, the figure was 50%. In the intervening years churchgoers, like the population in general, have dramatically changed their mind over homosexuality. And hurrah for that.

But don’t believe that this is all the church wants to talk about. In my parish, it’s a non-issue. We’ve had openly gay clergy ministering here and many gay people in the pews. While the bishops take themselves away to discuss fictional case studies involving problematic gay-related situations (NB don’t say problem gay people – that’s all part of the “change of tone” directive), we in the parish just get on with doing the stuff we’re supposed to. No, the problem is within the episcopate. They voted 43-1 for the report. And the one who voted against wasn’t some brave bishop registering dissent. It was the bishop of Coventry who couldn’t figure out how to work his voting console.

Such is the high degree of corporate responsibility the bishops feel, that even those sympathetic to same-sex marriage voted for a report that condemned it. Thus the bishop of Liverpool wrote: “For some, the sense of betrayal is particularly acute when applied to people like me, who have spoken of the need for change in the church. Where was I? What happened to my voice? How could I have been so weak as to stand with this document?”

The answer is always the same. The job of the bishops, the current lot insist, is to provide a “focus of unity”. That’s why when bishops retire, and are freed from the responsibility of keeping their dioceses together, they write letters to the papers saying how much they disagreed with what they used to have to support. The bishops tell themselves that they sacrifice their personal views for the greater good. And they ask us to feel their pain. Responsibility for the way in which this need for corporate double-speak has blunted the prophetic witness of the episcopate is squarely on the shoulders of the secretive process by which bishops are selected. It’s a process that promotes the same sort of people – glorified administrators who are good at “tone” and are not given to bursts of independent mindedness. None of which are qualities associated with the prophets of the Bible.

What Wednesday’s synod vote revealed was not only that the church continues to move in a progressive direction – though with the engine of a lawnmower and the brakes of an articulated lorry. It also demonstrated the widening gap between bishops and their clergy. The C of E works best at the local level. Head office is out of touch. ______________________________________________________________

This article, by Fr. Giles Fraser in ‘The Guardian’, takes time out to consider the failure of the ‘Bishops’ Report’ to bring any hope to those people in the Church of England – both clergy and laity – who happen, because of their innate sexuality, to have a legally valid commitment to a same-sex partner and would like the Church to recognise this commitment.

What Fr. Giles point to is the fact that serving Bishops seem to think that loyalty to their clerical order is more important than loyalty to the people who have been committed to their oversight as members of the Body of Christ. He believes (and I agree with him) that this unwillingness to publicly stand up for their individual consciences on this matter of opening up the Sacrament of Marriage to faithful, same-sex partners, seems more like a private club mentality than a preparedness to stand up for justice for a minority in the Church. Here is an important paragraph in Fr. Giles’ article:

“Such is the high degree of corporate responsibility the bishops feel, that even those sympathetic to same-sex marriage voted for a report that condemned it. Thus the bishop of Liverpool wrote: “For some, the sense of betrayal is particularly acute when applied to people like me, who have spoken of the need for change in the church. Where was I? What happened to my voice? How could I have been so weak as to stand with this document?”

Many of us are aware of other sympathizers with the LGBTI community in the House of Bishops in the Church of England. Is this a directive from the ‘top table’ that has rendered them ineffective in voicing their doubts about the ‘Bishops Report”? Obviously, there was no such restraint felt by the House of Clergy, whose voted scuttled the Report, rendering it non-actionable in its present format.

Whatever arises out of this present impasse, it has become obvious – even to the House of Bishops – that to ‘change the tone of conversations about LGBTI people in the Church’ will simply not serve what surely ought to have been the intention of the original Conversation format in the first instance. With Equal Marriage now a fact of life in the U.K., the State Church of England will need to find a way of dealing justly with those of its adherents who claim the freedom to comply with this latest accommodation to their deeply-felt need.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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Synod Speech by Andrew Foreshew-Cain

My speech from Synod on Wednesday;

Andrew Foreshew-Cain – London 161

Thank you, Mr Chairman, I am afraid I listened to rumours and prepared something lasting a minute, so forgive me if I stumble slightly as I try to find say a few more words.

Synod, I want to ask you not to do this, please, do not vote for his measure. We deserve better. Your LGBTI sisters and brothers deserve better, both here in the Church, and in the country. Our churches and communities deserve better. And the country we seek to serve with the love of Christ deserves better.

The report itself admits that it only addresses the concerns and divisions of the Bishops on marriage alone and nowhere do I think does it reflect the work and the struggle and the genuine listening we have all been involved in for the last three years. It fails to allow for the possibility of what we could achieve as a Church working together. I think the bishops have begun to realise that it is a document divorced from the living reality of the people of God.

We need something better to show that reality.

I suggest we need a Commission drawing together voices from across our Church, the voices of all of us. Yes, of course, the Bishops – but to help them understand where we really are, lay men and women taking serious their call to leadership in our Church. And we need openly confident LGBTI people in the room, taking part.

We need better, because we, your LGBTI brothers and sisters, are not beggars looking for a new tone or welcome on the borders of the Church seeking entrance. We are your family in Christ. We are baptised, faithful, and prayerful, we read and study our bibles.

I am not a case study.

We are flesh and blood.

We need to be able to honest about the divisions in this church as Jayne pointed out and that honesty should not be behind closed doors fearful of episcopal unity but genuinely honest about what divides us and the great hope in Jesus Christ that unites us all.

And we need to trust in each other, trust in our maturity in Christ to sit across the table with each other and see in each other the face of Christ despite our divisions.

And we need love. I need love. Oh God, do we all need love – to hear a little genuine, heartfelt love in this debate because it hasn’t been there much and perfect love casts out fear. The fear that I think this Report reflects too clearly.

Sisters and brothers in Christ. We need better. We deserve better. Synod, please, I beg you. Do not give in to fear, do not be afraid, do not take note.

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Fr. Andrew Foreshew-Cain is a beneficed Anglican Vicar in the Diocese of London, who recently married his same-sex partner and is vitally interested in the Church of England’s seeming double-mindedness about the Church’s open acceptance of the legal relationships of many openly gay priests whose lives are, nevertheless, lived out in a spirit of service to the Church in their local communities.

Father Andrew was one of several speakers at the recent General Synod, whose experience of alienation by the Church authorities – simply because of their sexual identity as bearers of God’s Image and Likeness who happen to be ‘different’ in an ongoing culture of homophobia (and transphobia) that is no longer reflected in the world outside of the church – reveals the dichotomy between the seeming acceptance of them in the ‘Bishops Report’ and the contrasting statement (in the Report) of doctrinal opposition to their situation of being legally partnered in civil marriage.

The culture of institutional hypocrisy involves the fact that, in the Church of England, a same-sex partnered clergyperson’s pension rights have been officially extended to their surviving partner in the event of the clergyperson’s death. This shows a tolerance of a situation which the Church still has difficulty in admitting to. On the one hand, General Synod is exhibiting evidence of justice and charity towards committed same-sex clergy relationships. On the other hand, the recent ‘Bishops Report’ (rejected in the House of Clergy at this General Synod) refuses to consider changing the Doctrine of Marriage to accommodate the real situation of the monogamous same-sex legal partnerships among its serving clergy.

In stating that the Doctrine of Marriage cannot be changed; the Bishops seem to forget that the Anglican Church has already changed its doctrinal attitude to Contraception, Divorce and Re-Marriage. To extend the Institution of Marriage to include Same-Sex committed monogamous partnerships would do absolutely nothing to deny the veracity and holiness of the more usual heterosexual  Marriage of two persons – a fact that remains, whether or not the Church comes to recognise Same-Sex Marriage as an extension of its extant doctrine.

It is salutary to realise that, in his Book: ‘Archbishop (Arthur Michael) Ramsey – The Shape of the Church’ (Revised 2015); Peter Webster says this of the Archbishop:

“Attached to catholic order though he was, Ramsey’s attachment to it was always subject to the reality of divine action in the present age. In a situation of crisis in church relations, and indeed throughout the church and the nation (UK) from the mid-1960s onwards, many things that had seemed certain in interwar Cambridge seemed mutable, dispensible. If the greater need of God’s Church on earth demanded it, then there was little in the ordering of God’s Church, so often thought to be immutable, that could not and ought not to be overturned. What God had instituted. He could surely amend”.

It was thus that Archbishop Michael Ramsey was privy to the following changes made in the Church of England’s understanding of (1) Homosexual Law Reform (with the ABC a willing party to this reform); (2) Marriage and Divorce and (3) Contraception.

The question now is: if Archbishop Michael were ABC in today’s Church, would he have helped to turn the tide of resistance to same-sex marriage in the Church of England?

I think he would!

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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More on the Bishops’ Report on Same-Sex Relationships

Church of England Synod rejects report for failing LGBTI people

By Savi Hensman
FEBRUARY 16, 2017

The Church of England’s General Synod has rejected a House of Bishops report for its negative view of same-sex partnerships and marriage. It is time for greater inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

Many Christians, though not all, accept the spiritual value of committed self-giving relationships. Some other churches in Britain have moved towards letting ministers and congregations with different views follow their consciences.

Yet, even after years of “shared conversations” supposed to create greater understanding among those who disagreed, it was widely felt that senior bishops had failed to listen properly.

Many theologians believe that celebrating such partnerships is in line with biblical values, as do numerous church members. Only 17 per cent of British Anglicans now regard same-sex sexual relationships as always wrong, the official Church of England position. Even church working parties have called for a shift.

Yet in ‘Marriage and Same-Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations’ the House of Bishops ruled out change on marriage or sexual relationships. This was largely in response to a small but influential group who have threatened a split if others are given freedom to bless or conduct marriages and their overseas allies. Over the years, in effect, opponents of change have been given a veto.

The bishops did call for a more welcoming tone and maximum freedom within this framework. But many people felt disappointed or even betrayed. Over a dozen former bishops advised that the approach was wrong.

The report had to win the support of most representatives in each of three houses – bishops, clergy and laity. The vote to ‘take note of the report was backed by 43 to one among bishops, and 106 to 83 among laity, but was defeated by 100 to 93 in the house of clergy.

It is very unusual for Synod to turn down a document for which senior bishops have strongly argued. Yet many members feel that treating LGBTI people as being of lesser value, especially if they seek the joys and challenges of marriage, goes against the gospel and undermines pastoral care and mission.

Afterwards, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said, “we need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church. This must be founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology; it must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual.”

The vote on 15 February 2017 may move the Church of England forward in a journey towards embracing diversity more fully and witnessing to God’s love for all.

© Savitri Hensman is an Ekklesia associate and respected commentator on welfare and other issues. She is author of the book Sexuality, struggle and saintliness: same-sex love and the church(Ekklesia, 2016): http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/22613 and has been involved in seeking greater inclusion.

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I have discussed with Savitri Hensman, in London, her passionate advocacy for LGBTI people; as a committed Anglican, asking the Church of England to understand, recognize and bless faithful, long-term Church members who happen to be in a committed, loving, monogamous same-sex relationship. The time for secrecy about such relationships, Savi and I feel, is over. Society has affirmed such relationships with the provision of both Civil Partnerships and, more recently, legal Marriage – a situation that seems to have bypassed the recognition of the Church of England Bishops.

The refusal of a majority of clergy members of the recent General Synod of the Church of England to recognize the ‘Bishops’ Report on Marriage and Same-Sex Relationships (which has been mentioned in a previous article on this blog) is a sure sign that all is not well with the Church’s official stance on the issue of Same-Sex Relationships, and will need some pragmatic re-thinking on the part of the English Bishops.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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ABC Statement after English General Synod

Statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury following today’s General Synod

Wednesday 15th February 2017

Statement from Archbishop Justin Welby following the General Synod’s vote “not to take note” of a Report by the House of Bishops on the report earlier today on Marriage and Same-Sex Relationships.

“No person is a problem, or an issue. People are made in the image of God. All of us, without exception, are loved and called in Christ. There are no ‘problems’, there are simply people.

How we deal with the real and profound disagreement – put so passionately and so clearly by many at the Church of England’s General Synod debate on marriage and same-sex relationships today – is the challenge we face as people who all belong to Christ.

To deal with that disagreement, to find ways forward, we need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church. This must be founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology; it must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual.

We need to work together – not just the bishops but the whole Church, not excluding anyone – to move forward with confidence.

The vote today is not the end of the story, nor was it intended to be. As bishops we will think again and go on thinking, and we will seek to do better. We could hardly fail to do so in the light of what was said this afternoon.

The way forward needs to be about love, joy and celebration of our humanity; of our creation in the image of God, of our belonging to Christ – all of us, without exception, without exclusion.”

Posted by Peter Owen (‘Thinking Anglicans’) on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 10:17pm GMT

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This statement made by the Archbishop of Canterbury (for whom we pray, here, at every Mass) gives some indication of the concern being felt by the Head of the Church of England at the rejection of the ‘Bishops Report to General Synod’ by the Clergy in Synod.

These are people for whom ‘the rubber hits the road’ in their day to day ministry of the Church. They are more aware than most laity or bishops of people in their congregations who are still suffering from the Church’s traditional culture of homophobia. These are the priests who have to deal with the anguish of young people whose very lives are compromised by their innate sexuality coming into conflict with official Church teaching about something they know instinctively as being part and parcel of their created personae. The clergy are aware of the adult gay and transsexual people in their own congregations whose personal relationships have to be kept secretive, because of their capacity for scandal – when the world accepts them for who they naturally are; children of God and loved by God.

It should not be too surprising that it is the clergy vote that rejected the bishops report. The Bishops, after all, are least motivated to oil the machinery of change in the Church’s traditional way of doing things – certainly its doctrinal stance on marriage, where momentous change has already been accepted on matters of contraception and divorce.

The dear faithful laity – most of them landing on General Synod because of their stolid traditional stance on most matters and because of their age or status that allows them the time to attend the many meetings involved in church governance – could be expected to follow the bishops’ advice on anything concerning faith and ethics. It could have been expected that most of them would have voted with the Bishops Report.

However, praise God, the voices of those supporting the change in doctrine that would have allowed Same-Sex monogamous relationships to be recognized and blessed by the Church were obviously convincing enough to cause the clergy (if they had not already made this decision for themselves) to withhold their approval of the Bishops Report.

My hope is that the Bishops in our own ACANZP Province of the Anglican Communion will take note of the situation at the Church of England General Synod, determining to make a better job of their own recommendations to our G.S. Meeting in 2017.

Here is a link to the Statement by the Sec. general of the Anglican Communion:

https://goo.gl/t3nD0T

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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Bishop’s Report Rejected by C. of E. General Asynod

Result of the vote on the House of Bishops’ Report
15 February 2017

The General Synod of the Church of England has voted “not to take note” of a Report by the House of Bishops following a debate on the report earlier today on Marriage and Same Sex Relationships.

A take note debate is a neutral motion which allows Synod to discuss the content and recommendations contained in a report without committing the Synod to the formal acceptance of any matter.

The vote required simple majorities in each of the three Synodical Houses. A total of 242 people voted in favour of the report 184 against and 6 abstentions – with a majority of Synod members voting to “take note” of the report. However the report failed to obtain a simple majority in the House of Clergy.

The House of Bishops voted 43 in favour and 1 against.

The House of Clergy voted 93 in favour and 100 against with 2 abstentions.

The House of Laity voted 106 in favour and 83 against with 4 abstentions.

With the take note motion now rejected, the Bishops of the Church of England will reflect on the views expressed at the General Synod. The diversity of opinion and strong views expressed, will need to be taken account by the Bishops in their consideration of the discussion going forward.

Responding to the vote, the Rt. Revd. Graham James, the Bishop of Norwich said:

“I can guarantee that the House of Bishops will consider carefully and prayerfully all the contributions made in the debate today.

“When reports come to the General Synod they often come at the end of a process and contain recommendations. This wasn’t that sort of report. The Bishops came to this debate committed to listen. Our report did not bring proposals, it brought a framework and a request for Synod to tell us what they thought. We have listened to those who have spoken, and those others who have made contributions to us directly. Our ongoing discussions will be informed by what members of Synod and the wider church have said as a result of this report.”

Introducing the debate on behalf of the House of Bishops, the Bishop of Norwich said that the report did not make formal proposals but was rather suggesting frameworks where areas needed attention: “The point of a take note debate is that it enables other voices to be heard, including those who believe the framework for further consideration is mistaken or wrongly constructed and needs modification. It is not a vote for approval but an invitation to comment and engage, and the House is listening.”

Setting out the difficulties facing both the House of Bishops and the wider Church in considering the report the Bishop of Norwich said: “There is no simple and easy answer to this issue beyond committing ourselves to engagement with each other when the views on what we should do are profoundly contested.”

The Bishop of Willesden, the Rt. Revd. Pete Broadbent said:

“As I said at the launch of the Report such a debate is on a neutral motion. It allows Synod to discuss the content and recommendations contained in the report. The Synod has declined to take note and so the report in its present form cannot come back to Synod for discussion, though we will still have to find a way forward for the wider discussion.

“We will find this debate a continuing source of disagreement because we haven’t coalesced around an end point. When we legislated for women to be bishops, even those opposed came to the view that the Church of England had to make it possible for women to be bishops in the Church of God according to our canons and formularies. In this debate, we haven’t even begun to find a place where we can coalesce. The Bishops’ Report acknowledges a place of starting. More conversation is needed. We don’t yet know the next stage – nor yet when and whether we can bring any further report to Synod.”

Press reports

Olivia Rudgard The Telegraph Church of England votes to reject controversial gay marriage report which said union should be between a man and a woman

Anglican Communion News Service Church of England’s report on marriage and sexuality suffers setback at Synod

Posted by Peter Owen (Thinking Anglicans) on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 7:07pm GMT
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The Vote to ‘Take Note’ of the controversial ‘Bishops’ Report,’ which comments on the result of a  year’s  ‘Conversations’ in the Church of England on the subjects of Human Sexuality and the Doctrine of Marriage, has been soundly rejected by the clergy Vote at the current sitting of the General Synod.
This was not unexpected – that the clergy should outvote the House of Bishops on this important matter, wherein the situation of LGBTI people in the Church seems to have been overlooked by the special Committee of Bishops that made the Report. One of the Bishops, The Rt Revered Peter Broadbent, here acknowledges that the ‘Bishops’ Report’ should only be the beginning of a process that would open up the church’s understanding of the need for accommodation.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand
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