Skip to comments.Liberals launch bid to exercise control of new General Synod in national elections [CofE]
Posted on 10/07/2005 1:41:33 PM PDT by sionnsar
Synod elections determining the future direction of the Church of England in the midst of controversies over women bishops and homosexual clergy were held at the weekend. This was the first election since Jeffrey John was forced to stand down from the post of Bishop of Reading after a clamour over his relationship with another man, and his teaching on marriage and sexuality. That event was regarded as a cataclysm by church liberals who immediately formed the organisation Inclusive Church by signing a worldwide petition in their thousands.
But their General Synod election campaign was clearly facing mixed results as the results came in dribs and drabs this week. Mr Frank Knaggs, a leading conservative evangelical, topped the poll in the House of Laity in Newcastle a largely liberal catholic diocese. Canon Chris Sugden one of the Oxford leaders who led the opposition to Canon Johns Reading appointment, gained a seat in the heavily contested House of Clergy on his first attempt. The most intriguing head-to-head concerned the election for a representative of Oxford University a seat which is rarely contested. Regius Professor of Divinity, Marilyn McCord Adams, a leading proponent of gay equality, threw her hat in the ring during the long vacation. Her outspokenness stung the well-known ethicist, Professor Oliver ODonovan into action. The result of their contest was not known at the time of going to press.
The Rev Giles Goddard of Inclusive Church said that he had been keen to ensure that as many Inclusive people stood as possible. In the Diocese of Southwark in which he stood, 11 such Inclusive Church supporters were pitted against each other out of 14 candidates for only seven seats. Its too open at the moment. The traditional party lines dont seem to be as clear as they were. Whats happened over the past five years, he added, has meant that people are not conforming in the way they once would have done. His point is illustrated by the election of the Rev Charles Read as the representative of the Northern Universities. He is one of the few prominent evangelicals calling for the full inclusion of homosexuals.
Giles Goddard said this week that Inclusive Churchs main lobbying on General Synod will be to back a single-clause measure on women bishops, opposing a third province and rejecting any future provision for traditionalist opponents. Dr Philip Giddings of Anglican Mainstream said that none of the major evangelical organisations had led a determined push to get their members to stand for General Synod. He said that, while in London and Southwark homosexuality and women bishops had been prominent issues, the picture elsewhere was much more confused. After a mailing irregularity, the diocese of Bath and Wells declared their Synod elections null and void. A new election will now be held. Election results, page 13
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