Private Members' Motions (PMMs) are one of a number of ways that debates can be brought to the attention of the General Synod. Private Members Motions fall under Special Agenda III. The other Special Agendas include Legislative Business (Special Agenda I), Liturgical Business (Special Agenda II), and Diocesan Synod Motions (Special Agenda IV).
Any member of the General Synod can write and submit a PMM. In order to decide whether a PMM should be put on the General Synod's agenda, the Business Committee requires a minimum of 100 expressions of interest in support for the motion to be debated in the form of signatures. By putting their name to particular motions, members are signalling that they think they should be debated. Information on how Synod members can sign PMMs can be found on the Members' Resources page.
When putting together the agenda for the next meeting of the Synod, the Business Committee considers the number of signatures each motion has received. Generally there is only space for one or two PMMs for debate in each meeting of the General Synod (group of sessions). While the motion with the most signatures is often the one selected, another may be selected if it has attracted considerable support (it might, for example, be more time-critical).
A motion that has been open for signature for three groups of sessions expires if it has not attracted 100 signatures.
Current Private Members' Motions
The Ven Mark Ireland (Blackburn) to move:
‘That this Synod, recognising:
- that bullying is unacceptable behaviour within the Church of God, whether by clergy or lay people, and where it exists needs to be addressed; and
- the serious pastoral problems and unfairness that arise while clergy can be subject to penalties for bullying that include prohibition and removal from office but there is no means of disqualifying a churchwarden, PCC member or other lay officer who is guilty of bullying from holding office;
request the Archbishops’ Council to bring forward legislative proposals which would enable a churchwarden, PCC member or other lay officer who was found to have conducted him- or her-self in such a manner to be disqualified from holding office.’
176 signatures as at 15 September 2023 (see list of signatures)
Revd Dr Ian Paul (Southwell & Notts) to move:
‘That this Synod request the Archbishops’ Council, the Pensions Board, and the Church Commissioners to work together to find a way to make use of the whole range of assets and resources across the Church to enable the restoration of the clergy pension to its pre-2011 benefit level as soon as possible.’
118 signatures as at 15 September 2023 (see list of signatures)
The Revd Dr Tom Woolford (Blackburn) to move:
‘That this Synod
- request the Archbishops’ Council to design, fund and implement a time-limited, regional trial of providing funeral services free of all statutory fees (retaining a reduced fee for the burial of a body or of cremated remains in a churchyard); and
- report back to Synod on the impact it made on the number of funerals conducted, pastoral and missional contacts made, on charitable giving in connection with provision of funeral services, and on projected parochial and diocesan finances.’
0 signatures as at 15 September 2023
The Revd Robert Thompson (London) to move:
‘That this Synod, being deeply disquieted at the continued controversies over the actual independence of Safeguarding structures within the Church of England, does not accept that an internal Church inquiry into the allegations of abuse and cover-up within the Soul Survivor network is either sufficient or right in principle.
It accordingly calls upon the Archbishop’s Council to commission, on agreed terms of reference with survivors, a report into those allegations from an independent King’s Counsel without delay.’
143 signatures as at 15 September 2023 (see list of signatures)
Mr Sam Wilson (Chester) to move:
‘That this Synod:
- recognise the importance of including age-appropriate LGBTQIA+ content in relationship education
- commend the use of 'Valuing All God's People' to all Church of England schools in order to help combat anti-LGBTQIA+ bullying
- thank the teachers and staff who help to create welcoming and inclusive environments for all pupils, especially those who do so with personal sacrifice as LGBTQIA+ role models.’
102 signatures as at 15 September 2023 (see list of signatures)
Professor Roy Faulkner (Leicester) to move:
‘That this Synod request a working group be set up to consider Diocesan reform with a view to reporting back to the next group of sessions with firm proposals for more efficient Diocesan working practices, driven by mission statements.’
37 signatures as at 15 September 2023 (see list of signatures)
Revd Mark Bennet (Oxford) to move:
‘That this Synod request that the Archbishops’ Council introduce the necessary legislation to remove the canonical impediment to ordination in respect of a person who has remarried and, the other party to that marriage being alive, has a former spouse still living; or who is married to a person who has been previously married and whose former spouse is still living.’
138 signatures as at 15 September 2023 (see list of signatures)
Mr Sam Margrave (Coventry) to move:
‘That this Synod call upon The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, to resign.’
3 signatures as at 15 September 2023 (see list of signatures)
Revd Mae Christie (Southwark) to move:
'That this Synod request that the House of Bishops remove any requirements relating to Issues in Human Sexuality from the Vocations (Shared Discernment) Process.'
136 signatures as at 15 September 2023 (see list of signatures)
Support a debate
By filling in and submitting the following form, Synod members are including his or her name on the list of members who support a debate on the selected PMM.