Migrant crisis to top agenda of new General Synod
NEXT MONTH’S General Synod will host a debate on the migrant crisis, after a group of 86 bishops wrote to the Prime Minister on the subject.
It was revealed today that Downing Street had replied to their letter, although the contents were not revealed. However, the Secretary General, William Fittall, said that it ‘maintained’ the Government’s position.
The motion for debate on 25 November has not been revealed, as the current situation may change prior to the Synod meeting.
However, Mr Fittall said that there were two sensitive areas facing Synod. One was its response to the scale of the UK contribution to the crisis and the other was achieving a balance between signaling solidarity with displaced Christians while at the same time ensuring that ‘we respond to the needs of all’.
The two-day meeting will be inaugurated by the Queen and will followed by a Eucharist at Westminster Abbey, where the preacher will be the Roman Catholic Preacher to the Royal Household Fr Raniero Cantalemessa.
Other items on the agenda of the tenth General Synod include the Reform and Renewal programme, global warming, a report from the Church buildings review group and a presentation on recent research on public perceptions of Jesus.
More than half – 53 per cent – of the new Synod were not on the last Synod and the number of women on Synod has increased to 42 per cent, from 31 per cent last time. For the first time there will be women in all three Houses.
The average of Synod members has dropped slightly, from 52 to 51 among the clergy and from 58 to 56 among the laity. The youngest member of Synod will be Rhian Ainscough (Leicester), who is just 19. Meanwhile David Ashton (Leeds), with 43 years on Synod, is the longest-serving member.