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Agenda for November 2012 General Synod

The General Synod of the Church of England meets in November for a three day meeting to discuss final stages of women bishops' legislation, with an agenda that also includes the Anglican Communion, the Living Wage and youth unemployment.

The Synod will meet at Church House from 2.15 p.m. on Monday 19 November until 5.30 pm on Wednesday 21 November.

The Agenda provides for the Synod to deal with the final stages of the major legislative process designed to make it possible for women to be bishops in the Church of England while also making some provision for those who, for theological reasons, will not be able to receive their ministry. The Final Approval debates will take place on Tuesday 20 November, after a celebration of Holy Communion at which the Archbishop of Canterbury will preside and preach. The debates are expected to fill the rest of the morning and most, if not all, of the afternoon.

On Monday 19 November there will be a presentation about the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council, which is meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, from 27 October until 7 November, and developments in the life of the Anglican Communion generally. It will also include reflections on the process in other churches of the Communion with regard to the Anglican Communion Covenant. That presentation will be followed by a debate on the reference to the dioceses of the draft Act of Synod adopting the Anglican Communion Covenant. As a majority of diocese voted against adopting the draft legislation it cannot be presented for final approval.

On Wednesday 21 November the Synod will debate a motion from Southwell and Nottingham Diocese which calls for changes in the law to allow children who have been admitted to communion but are not yet confirmed to distribute the consecrated bread and wine at celebrations of Holy Communion.

A Private Member's Motion from Mr John Freeman (Chester) will be proposed to affirm the Christian values inherent in the concept of the 'Living Wage' and strongly encourage all Church of England institutions to pay it.

The Synod will also be invited to decide to meet in November 2013 but not in February.

On the afternoon of Wednesday 21 November the Synod will consider recent research by the Church Urban Fund and the Frontier Youth Trust on youth unemployment and its long-term effects on those concerned. The Synod will be invited to commend church and community initiatives that provide training and other support.

This will be final occasion at which the Archbishop of Canterbury will preside, with the Archbishop of York, at a meeting of the General Synod. The final business for the group of sessions will be a motion, to be moved by the Archbishop of York, expressing the Synod's gratitude to Dr Williams and offering him and Mrs Williams its best wishes for the future.

Communicating Synod

Parishioners can keep in touch with the General Synod while it meets. Background papers and other information will be posted on the Church of England website (www.churchofengland.org) ahead of the sessions.

A live feed will be available (accessible from front page www.churchofengland.org), and audio files of debates, along with updates on each day's proceedings, will be posted during the sessions.