on business from the General Synod at Church House Westminster Thursday 1 March 2007
After the intrigues of legislative business on Tuesday and the emotive discussions yesterday the final day’s business was always going to be an anti-climax.
In the morning the Synod considered a motion on 'Taking Responsibility for Crime'. A number of amendments were put. Al those taking away words were lost, whilst all those adding words were passed - which tells you something about Synod. The motion was then carried expressing concerns about such things as the need to reduce custodial sentences, providing help to criminals and to allow them the opportunity to hear the gospel.
Of course the Church of England, as the national church, must take a large part of the responsibility for not declaring to the nation the whole counsel of God and for constantly failing to declare the sinfulness of sin.
Late morning Synod returned to the Marriage Measure. The remaining amendments were all rejected and the various clauses were approved. With the two amendments passed on Tuesday the Measure will now be tidied up before it is brought for Final Approval, presumably in July.
After lunch the Synod considered an amending canon to do with how often the Lord’s Supper is administered in Local Ecumenical Projects.
Final business was a motion on the erosion of standards of the behaviour because of the media. Again the Bishops put up a motion to completely rewrite the original and this time the deed was done by the Bishop of Manchester. The motion was much longer and three further amendments were made to it. The mover of the original motion commented something to the effect that if the Bishop had been in the place of John the Baptist then Herod would have been commended for all his good work and gently given the suggestion that he might have done something wrong. The final motion amounted to little more than a gentle slap on the wrist to the media.
That this Synod
(a) welcome the media's contribution to an open and informed society, significantly influencing people's awareness of themselves, each other and the world;
(b) affirm the Church's support for the highest media standards and express its concerns at the current tendency to exploit the humiliation of human beings for public entertainment;
(c) call on Christian churches, groups and individuals to contribute positively to the debate about standards in the media;
(d) call on Her Majesty's Government to note this Synod's concerns;
(e) note that there are no regulations regarding the printed media for the sale and display of sexually explicit material with binding codes and transparent guidelines; and
(f) recognise that carefully framed research may shed further light on the influence of media as a significant factor affecting behaviour and encourage further enquiries into this effect.'
Another Synod ends. Opportunities to uphold Biblical truth were once again squandered and so the world around us can only learn from the Church of England that God really didn’t know what He was saying in the past and that therefore what we do today is entirely up to us. Growing crime, declining media standards, exploitation, who can possibly be surprised.