GS 2257 Report of the General Synod Business Committee

June 24, 2022

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The Business Committee prepares a report for each group of sessions of the Synod, which sets out the agenda and determines the order in which business is to be taken.

The Business Committee has set the agenda for the July group of sessions, including at least three Diocesan Synod Motions (DSMs) and one Private Member's Motion (PMM). There are also a number of items of legislation on the agenda, including the Diocesan Stipends Fund (Amendment) Measure. At this group of sessions, eight legislative items will be discussed, four of which are for deemed approval. There will also be two sets of question time. Members of Synod will have the opportunity to engage with the Living in Love and Faith work and the Vision and Strategy work during a group work session on Sunday afternoon. The results of the elections for the central members of the Crown Nominations Commission will be announced on Tuesday morning.

The July group of sessions will be held at the University of York, and accommodation and catering will be arranged by the Synod Support Team. A brief induction programme will be held on Friday morning for new members, and Zoom access will be provided for those unable to attend.

Worship is arranged by the Synod Chaplain, Revd Andrew Hammond, and is integral to the Synod meetings. Holy Communion is celebrated in the Berrick Saul Building every day except Sunday.

The following sets out a summary of each of the papers being presented at the July group of sessions: GS 2256 Agenda, GS 2257 Report of the Business Committee, GS 2258 Route map to Net Zero Carbon by 2030, GS 2259 War in Ukraine, GS 2260 See of Canterbury Crown Nominations Commission.

The Synod will consider GS 2257 distributions for the subsequent six years, GS 2263 Safeguarding and Independence: Update and Next Steps, GS 2264 Church of England Pensions (Application of Capital Funds Measure), GS 2265A and GS 2265B Insurance Premium Tax, and GS 2266A Assisted Suicide.

General Synod will consider the Archbishops' Council's budget for 2023 and its proposals for apportionment, as well as a number of other items, including a measure to change the role of the diocesan safeguarding adviser into that of diocesan safeguarding officer. The Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure and Amending Canon No 43 cover a wide range of technical provisions, and GS 2254A and GS 2254B review the qualifications for membership of parochial church councils and the electoral roll.

The Diocesan Synod will debate GS 2274A and GS 2274B, which calls for the Government to introduce legislation requiring pornographic sites to have in place age verification systems preventing access by people under the age of 18. GS 2275, GS 2276 and GS 2277 are technical changes to the CNC.

The Church of England Funded Pension Scheme (Amendment) Rules 2022, the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 - Amending Code of Practice and the Annual Fees Orders 2022 are all deemed business.

GS 2282A and GS 2282B Reduce Parochial Fees for Marriages: this motion will only be debated if additional time is available.

The Business Committee met twice since the February 2022 group of sessions and took forward the following suggestions from members: - a short break in the afternoon; - clarity regarding supplementary questions; - four microphone podiums at Church House for the February 2023 group of sessions.

Members welcomed the additional session for question time in February 2022, and the Business Committee is looking at ways to improve Synod. Members are encouraged to give feedback on any aspect of Synod through the post-Synod feedback questionnaire or informally by email.

The Business Committee has appointed members to the Elections Review Group (ERG) which will review the process for the 2021 General Synod elections, make proposals for amendments to the election rules, and advise the Business Committee on any other changes related to elections.

The Business Committee has a number of policies covering various aspects of Synod's activities, which are reviewed regularly and updated as necessary. Members are encouraged to use social media to publicise the work of Synod.

The dates for the February 2023 group of sessions are still to be finalised, but members are requested to hold the smaller date envelope.