The Church of England has published a brief summary report of the Bishops’ meeting in York on 22-23 May 2017.
Report from May House of Bishops
The House of Bishops met at Bishopthorpe Palace on 22-23 May; on the Tuesday morning prayers were said for all those affected by the Manchester bombing.
Bishops in the House of Lords (Lords Spiritual) met ahead of the full meeting to look at the parliamentary term ahead, particularly in light of the General Election.
A new approach to delegation, new outline proposals for selection for ministry and draft bishops’ guidelines on ordination training were all discussed and approved. The House also agreed that the Faith and Order Commission (FAOC) could publish a document from the Joint Working Group with the Methodist Church to allow both churches to discuss it further over the coming year.
The House discussed next steps on human sexuality. This included progress on work, announced by the Archbishops after February’s General Synod, to establish a group to produce a Teaching Document and to set up a Pastoral Advisory Group. The meeting also looked at safeguarding policy and a FAOC theology paper on this area, along with a discussion on the work of the National Safeguarding Steering Group.
Some commentators suggested that at their meeting, the Bishops would discuss the irregular consecration of the Revd Jonathan Pryke as a bishop at Jesmond Parish Church by bishops of the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH-SA). From the public affairs point of view, it would be unusual if they did not, but it would be equally unusual if the summary report included reference to such discussions, in advance of any action on the matter.