Ban on clergy in racist groups approved

The General Synod moved a step closer to banning clergy from membership of groups such as the British National Party (BNP) when it gave final approval to the Clergy Discipline (Amendment) Measure this afternoon. The Measure doesn’t itself proscribe membership of the BNP, but gives…

Convocations and laity say preliminary yes to women bishops

THE General Synod will debate women bishops on Monday, after the House of Laity and the Convocations of Canterbury and York voted to approve the draft legislation this afternoon. While the language of the motion before Synod members today was whether or not they approved…

Wakefield Diocese calls for theological debate about Church of England structure

The Wakefield diocesan synod has called for a “theologically informed debate” about the “organisational structures of the Church of England”, amid concern at the processes being followed by the Dioceses Commission. Opening a debate at last week’s meeting of the synod in Halifax, the Bishop…

Wedding-hours change will not apply to the Church of England

A relaxation of the law that places a restriction on the hours when marriages may be solemnised does not apply to wedding services in the Church of England, lawyers from Church House said this week. They warned that conducting a marriage outside the permitted hours…

Wakefield concerned about West Yorkshire reorganisation

THE Dioceses Commission has announced that it will continue with a scheme to reorganise three Yorkshire dioceses, producing a detailed proposal in the autumn. One of the three, the diocese of Wakefield, argued that the three dioceses should remain independent. An earlier draft of the Commission’s scheme proposed…

Survey backs traditionalists

A SURVEY carried out by Christian Research on behalf of Forward in Faith suggests that more than 69 per cent of Anglicans want to see women bishops “as soon as possible” or “within the next five to ten years”. Of the remaining 31 per cent,…

Praise for clerics’ input during riots

THE violent disturbances that broke out in many English cities in August 2011 “made unprecedented demands on clergy, their staff, and the net­works they were involved in”, is the finding of a new report, published by the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs Council….

Marriage ads approved

THE Advertising Standards Auth­ority (ASA) has rejected complaints against four advertisements placed by the Campaign for Marriage coalition. The adverts had appeared in Country Life, The Daily Telegraph, and two blogs. The ASA said that 24 complainants had challenged whether the claim “70% of people say keep…

Women-bishops supporters might send measure back

THERE are growing signs that a procedural motion will be tabled to delay the women-bishops legislation when it goes to the General Synod for final approval next month. Under Section 94 of the Standing Orders, a motion can be moved from the floor of the…

Pope’s butler held over leaks to media

THE Vatican is still in shock after the arrest of the Pope’s butler last week on allegations that he had leaked secret documents to the Italian media. Pope Benedict XVI’s personal valet, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested on Wednesday of last week after confidential documents were…