Following the meetings of the College of Bishops and of the House of Bishops at Lambeth Palace on 12 and 13 December, respectively, the following Statement has been issued.
Statement from the College & House of Bishops
13 December 2016
The College of Bishops of the Church of England met at Lambeth Palace on Monday 12th December.
The meeting began with a service of Holy Communion and reflections from the Archbishop of York. Discussions on issues of sexuality took place as part of a process of episcopal discernment which began in September and continued at the meeting of the House of Bishops in November.
The college discussed the reflections of the House from their November meeting and also received an update from the Chair of the Bishops Reflection Group on Sexuality.
As with the meeting of the College of Bishops in September and the meeting of the House of Bishops in November the discussions took place in private and participants have agreed not to comment on the contents of the meetings beyond their own views.
The Bishops agreed to consult the General Synod in February as well as updating Synod as to where their discussions had reached. More information will be available when those consultative materials have been prepared in January 2017.
The meeting closed with evening prayer and reflections from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The House of Bishops met at Lambeth Palace on Tuesday 13th December. A full and diverse agenda included substantial discussions on safeguarding, discussions on Renewal and Reform activity – including lay discipleship, simplification legislation and resourcing – and ecumenical issues as well as considerations of work with student groups.
As we commented on the Statement which was issued after the meeting of the House of Bishops on 23 November 2016, in contrast to the earlier lively exchanges with GAFCON UK, this was essentially a “holding statement” until the General Synod in February 2017, revealing little that was not already known. It would have been surprising, therefore, had further information been released from these later meetings, prior to the January circulation of the consultative material in advance of the February General Synod.