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General Synod - Summary of Business Conducted on Wednesday 8th February pm







On behalf of the Guildford Diocesan Synod, Canon John Ashe moved:

‘That this Synod

(a) believe that the human genome is gifted by God to each individual and, as such, should not be patentable;

(b) call for strict control on the availability of human genetic data; and

(c) whilst recognising the need for appropriate intellectual property protection regret that EU Directive 1998/44 makes legal provision for the patenting of genetic material of human origin.’


Dr Philip Giddings (Oxford) moved an amendment:

‘Leave out all the words after “this Synod” and insert the words “in the light of deep concerns expressed in this debate ask the Mission and Public Affairs Council to explore the theological, ethical and legal implications of patenting of the human genome and bring a report to this Synod by February 2007”.’

Following debate, the Synod carried this amendment. Two alternative amendments lapsed.


You can see a background paper from the Diocese of Guildford here and a paper from the Mission and Public Affairs Council is here.


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On behalf of the Southwark Diocesan Synod, The Bishop of Southwark moved:

‘That this Synod

(a) recognizing that the commemoration of the Bicentenary of the Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in 1807, celebrated in 2007, will provide unprecedented opportunities to acknowledge our history and tell anew the Christian story of creation and redemption:

(b) acknowledging (i) the progress made to release men, women and children from the dehumanizing and shameful consequences of slavery (ii) that the process of emancipation of all people from all expressions of enslavement is scandalously unfinished work; and (iii) the substantial work currently being undertaken in this campaign by the Church and other agencies;

(c) resolve to

(i) support vigorously every effort by the Church and other agencies to protest against human trafficking and all other manifestations of slavery across the world;

(ii) call on Her Majesty’s Government and the European Institutions to give the highest priority to enabling legislation to bring to an end the causes and outcomes of slavery; and

(ii) request the Archbishops' Council to encourage and resource the Church to tell the story of release and redemption to our own and successive generations by prayer, study, reflection and action.’


The Revd Simon Bessant (Blackburn) moved an amendment:

‘(a) In paragraph (a) after the words “in 1807,” insert the words “to be” and after the word “acknowledge” leave out the words “our history” and insert the words “the Church’s complicity in the Slave Trade”;

(b) at the beginning of paragraph (c) insert the words “in the light of our involvement in the Slave Trade and of the Christian demands of repentance and sorrow” and in sub paragraph (c) (iii) leave out the word “request” and insert the word “urge” and after the words “the Church” insert the words “to address with greater seriousness the legacy of the Slave Trade and”; and

(c) at the end of paragraph (c) insert as new sub-paragraph “(iv) recognizing the damage done to those who are the heirs of those who were enslaved, offer an apology to them”.’


Following debate, the Synod carried this amendment.


The Bishop of Willesden moved an amendment:

‘After paragraph (c)(i), insert as a new sub paragraph

“(ii) affiliate to the Stop the Traffik Coalition;”

and re-letter the remaining sub-paragraphs accordingly.’


Following debate, the Synod carried this amendment.


Following debate, the Synod voted against a further amendment.


You can see a background paper here.

The Synod carried the amended version by 238 votes to none.


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The Archbishop of York moved the Report.

Following debate, the Synod carried the motion.


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The Bishop of St Albans moved:

‘That this Synod

(a) affirm and support chaplaincy and spiritual healthcare as a necessary part of wholeness and healing;

(b) support and encourage healthcare chaplains and volunteers in their work and presence in the National Health Service and in all places of healing care; and

(c) request HM Government, NHS Trusts and other healthcare bodies, to ensure the continuing as well as adequate provision of chaplaincy/ spiritual care.’


You can see the background report here.

After debate, the Synod carried the motion by 156 votes to none.


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