A response to GS Misc 1048.
In the interest of transparency, I plan to post all my contributions to the General Synod on this blog. Not always interesting, but useful and above all open.
This is my written response to a Synod paper that asked for feedback.
General Synod Simplification Group
I write in response to GS Misc 1048.
I am very supportive of the general thrust of the Group’s work, and of the specific proposals that it has set out in GS Misc 1048.
In particular, I note that the Group has looked at the Church Representation Rules (CRRs) with a view to simplifying them. It is very good that the CRRs are available free of charge online, and I hope that this will continue to be the policy of the Synod and the Archbishops’ Council.
I would like to add two things to their consideration, both relate to the CRRs.
1. The need for two annual meetings, with a doubling of notification, the slightly comic need to close one meeting and immediately open another and the production of sets of minutes for two separate meetings is due for some attention. Simplification here would end a good deal of confusion. Would it not be possible to combine the Annual Meeting of Parishioners with the Annual Parochial Church Meeting into one meeting (probably called the Annual Parochial Church Meeting)? I would not be in favour of removing the wider electorate for Church Wardens, so the CRRs would simply have to state the difference in who was allowed to vote in the election of Church Wardens.
2. Could something explicit in the CRRs state that PCCs in multi parish benefices are able to meet together to consider matters of mutual concern or interest. This, I think, is possible at the moment. However, an explicit permission might be an encouragement for it to happen more frequently and thus have a real simplifying effect on such benefices.
I would be very happy to speak further to either of these points should the Group consider that helpful.
With my thanks for your help in passing these to the Group.