Questions put at Opening Session of C. of E. General Synod


February 2014
QUESTIONS: of which notice has been given under Standing Orders 105-109.

Questions for written reply are marked with an asterisk.

Below-mentioned are of special interest to LGBT people awaiting

decision by the General Synod on matters pertaining to them:

The Archbishop of Canterbury to reply 

The Revd Canon Giles Goddard (Southwark) to ask the Chair of the
House of Bishops:
Q10 Has an assessment been made of any implications of the
appointment of the Revd Dr Tory Baucum as one of Canterbury
Cathedral’s Six Preachers from the point of view of the relationship
between the Church of England and ACNA (with which the Church
of England is not currently in communion)?

The Archbishop of York to reply
The Revd Prebendary Stephen Coles (London) to ask the Chair of
the House of Bishops:
Q11 Has the House had any discussion of the extent to which the
primates of the Anglican Communion are complying with the
communiqué which they themselves agreed at their meeting in
Dromantine in February 2005, in which they stated that “we
continue unreservedly to be committed to the pastoral support and
care of homosexual people”?

The Bishop of Sheffield to reply on behalf of the Chair
Mr Clive Scowen (London) to ask the Chair of the House of Bishops:
Q12 With regard to the College of Bishops’ request to the Archbishops
to commission the design of (i) a process for facilitated
conversations on the subject of sexuality, involving profound
reflection on the interpretation and application of Scripture, and (ii)
additional materials to support and enable them, will the Chair of
the House of Bishops give assurances that the design will ensure
• the process will not be a “one way street” intended at the outset
to lead to a change in the church’s teaching or pastoral practice
concerning sexuality or marriage;
• the primary purpose of the conversations will be to enable
participants’ views to be clearly articulated, heard and
understood, rather than to change participants’ views;
• the conversations will be professionally facilitated in a way
which does not steer them to any particular conclusion;
• the conversations will not be premised on the proposition that
scripture is not clear about these matters; and
• participants who believe that scripture clearly teaches that
having sexual relationships, otherwise than within the marriage
covenant between one man and one woman, is not consistent
with Christian discipleship will be free fully to articulate and
explain that view?

Mrs Andrea Minichiello Williams (Chichester) to ask the Chair of the
House of Bishops:
Q13 Why, in light of the Statement on the Pilling Report by the College
of Bishops (issued 27 January 2014) which emphasises upholding
the Church of England’s commitment to biblical orthodoxy on
God’s purpose for sexual expression (within marriage between
one man and one woman), is a two-year process of facilitated
conversation taking place, if such a process is not intended to
change the orthodoxy?

The Revd John Cook (Oxford) to ask the Chair of the House of
Q14 Given the College of Bishops’ request to the Archbishops to
commission the design of a process for facilitated conversation on
sexuality, can the Chair of the House of Bishops give an assurance
that the process and additional materials will focus first on scripture
and its perspicuity, so that experience and culture are responded
to in the light of a clear understanding of Scripture?

The Revd Canon Giles Goddard (Southwark) to ask the Chair of the
House of Bishops:
Q15 Has consideration been given to the implications for the Church of
England of the coming into force in March 2014 of the legislation
allowing same-sex marriages, including from the point of view of
the status of such marriages?

The Revd Mark Steadman (Southwark) to ask the Chair of the House
of Bishops:
Q16 In the light of the Association of Christian Counsellors‟ recent
decision on ethical grounds and „in the interests of public safety‟ to
ask its members not to use Reparative or Conversion therapies,
has the House of Bishops considered issuing guidance to the
clergy to address the safeguarding issues that may arise from
encouraging someone to engage in such therapy?


The connection between: Question 10, asked by Canon Giles Goddard; and the situation of LGBT people in the Anglican Communion; is that Mr. Baucum, who has been invited to be a special Preacher at Canterbury Cathedral, is a clergy member of ACNA, a schismatic Church in the U.S. which has broken away from TEC, an Anglican Communion member.

The rest of the questions being asked in the General Synod are directed at finding the mind of the synod on matters pertaining to the future of LGBT in the Church of England. One of these questions relates to the applicability of ‘Conversion therapy’ for Gays, which has been discredited by the British Association of Psychotherapists.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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