General Synod – Monday

July 11, 2011 § 2 Comments

We’re about to debate the nomination of the Bishop of Dover as Chair of the Business Committee. It was controversial last time. People didn’t want a Bishop, and the debate was adjourned.

Anyway, Bishop Trevor has just got up to say that he is withdrawing from being considered. Golly!

++Rowan is now speaking. He wants us to nail the perception that a Bishop cannot do that job. We’ve effectively been told off – and perhaps the Synod had it coming. Uncomfortable murmurings now. Hmmm

A bit of reflection. Bishop Trevor told the Synod that there were two problems: a difficulty about a Bishop being the Chair (House of Bishops taking over the world etc); and a difficulty – perhaps – with him as the Bishop in question.

In that case he didn’t want to push things – it would be embarrassing for the House of Bishops and himself. Really humble move I think, and that allowed ++Rowan to widen the question. What’s wrong with a Bishop doing the job? Are we really do suspicious of them?

It will be fascinating to see what mechanism will be used to take this forward. And many will be seeing the Bishop of Dover in a new light.

On to Eucharistic Prayers for use with children present. It’s only taken 25 years or so. +Wakefield has just said warm things about Dana Delap, newly ordained, who has done so much in this.

This is a ‘general’ debate, but has been enlivened by a couple of speeches . Paul Ferguson on structure and broadening imagery. Sandra Millar on the same thing, with a wise and vibrant engagement with children. Put them both on the Revision Committee.

Most speeches like the stuff – but one entertaining one talked about a six year old who didn’t know what ‘Lift up your hearts’ meant. And Mark Beach doesn’t feel that the prayers bring awe and allow us to ‘touch the face of God’.

Some good interventions about gesture and drama. The Bishop in Europe wonders – with a twinkle – if we might have flabellae (I think) – angels on the end of long poles. Rosalyn Murphy said much the same. It’s about doing it well, not just having better words.

What I hope will happens that there will be a good and creative Revision process – there’s been enough ammunition provided by the debate.

One little thing which should be followed up. Nick Harding said that the draft prayers had been used well in a secure hospital in his area. There will be certain adult settings where these prayers will be perfect … what to do about that?


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