The House of Bishops of the Church of England and public transparency

In this guest post, Andrew Atherstone, a member of the General Synod’s House of Clergy, reviews the public transparency of the deliberations of the House of Bishops

Transparency builds trust. Secrecy breeds distrust. Currently, the Church of England’s House of Bishops faces a serious trust deficit in its relationship with the other two Houses of General Synod, the House of Clergy and the House of Laity. This breakdown is generated partly by the cloak of secrecy surrounding House of Bishops proceedings, for which there is currently no public access and no published minutes. However, as this article demonstrates, public access is written into the House of Bishops Standing Orders, and publication of its minutes was guaranteed to General Synod by a former Archbishop of Canterbury. A thorough review of House of Bishops procedures is long overdue.

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