AFTER THE RECENT DEBACLE in General Synod in which a minority within the House of Laity were allowed to hold sway over the proceedings by blocking draft legislation for women bishops in the Church of England, I find myself asking, quite simply, is General Synod fit for purpose?
How can a governing body that repeatedly fails to ratify the clear wishes of the vast majority of its members be regarded as fit for purpose? Upon what basis does the Church of England continue to allow the tail to wag the dog?
To the majority in the House of Laity who voted in favour of the legislation: I salute you - thank you. But I must nonetheless ask how we have reached the point where the wishes of that majority are so easily undermined? The decision of the House of Laity does not represent the laity at large, and this is fundamentally wrong: a vociferous minority have infiltrated the House and thus done away with the possibility of true lay representation within Synod itself.
We the undersigned therefore hereby lodge a vote of no confidence in General Synod until such time as it can bring its affairs into order by effecting a genuinely democratic voting system that gives a fair and proper representation to its members in place of the current inequitable system.
We call upon the Archbishops' Council and the House of Bishops to conduct an urgent review into the rules of governance in Synod to correct this grossly unfair system; and if the matter is not resolved before his enthronement, we further call upon Archbishop Designate the Rt Revd Justin Welby to make addressing this inequitable situation one of his first priorities following his installation at Canterbury.