Private Members' Motions explained
Private Members' Motions (PMMs) are one of a number of ways debates can be brought to the attention of the General Synod.
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 thinks about the number of signatures each motion has received. Generally there is only space for one or two PMMs to be debated in each meeting of the General Synod (group of sessions). While the motion with the most signatures is often the one selected there can be reasons for selecting another that has also attracted considerable support (it might, for example, be more time-critical).
Once a motion has been open for signature for three groups of sessions, if it has not attracted 100 signatures, it expires.
Below are the current Private Members' Motions. They can be signed electronically by emailing to [email protected].
PMMs are now open for signature. The deadline for signatures is Monday, 22nd February 2021. Signatures will not be counted after this date.
Current Private Members' Motions
Biblical understanding of marriage and sexual relationships
Mr Edward Shaw (Bristol) to move:
'That this Synod, convinced that all people without exception are loved by God and made in His image and are invited to fullness of life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, affirm:
(a) its rejection of the fear or dislike of anyone on the basis of their sexual orientation.
(b) the radically inclusive nature of Jesus's ministry and message to all people: "The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"
(c) that marriage, as defined by Jesus, is the lifelong sexual union of a man and a woman.
(d) that both those who marry and those who are single, as Jesus Himself was, can enjoy Christ-like relationships and the fullness of life which He offers all.
(e) that all Christians should repent of any sexual activity outside marriage, in the assurance of God's loving forgiveness in Christ.
(f) that all God's holy people are called to live out this calling, for their own good and for the life of the world they are called to serve.'
Review of the 'Five Guiding Principles'
Mr David Lamming (St Edmundsbury and Ipswich) to move:
That this Synod:
(a) share the sadness and regret of the Rt Revd Philip North in his decision, announced on 9 March 2017, to withdraw acceptance of his nomination to the See of Sheffield;
(b) note the substantial support for Bishop North's nomination from many women and men, lay and ordained, in the dioceses of both Sheffield and Blackburn, and in the wider Church of England;
(c) express its full support for Bishop North in his future ministry, whether in the Blackburn diocese or elsewhere;
(d) note, with concern, the implications of Bishop North's decision, and the public debate that preceded it, for the 'mutual flourishing' of the Church of England; and
(e) request the House of Bishops urgently to review the 'Five Guiding Principles' and to consider whether they need to be amended or amplified in order to ensure that there is an equal place at all levels in the Church for men and women of different theological convictions on the issue of women's ordination, and to report to the Synod by February 2018.
Liturgies for same-sex couples
Ms Christina Baron (Bath & Wells) to move:
'That this Synod:
Request the House of Bishops to commend an Order of Prayer and Dedication after the registration of a civil partnership or a same sex marriage for use by ministers in exercise of their discretion under Canon B5, being a form of service neither contrary to, nor indicative of any departure from, the doctrine of the Church of England in any essential matter, together with guidance that no parish should be obliged to host, nor minister conduct, such a service.'
Mr David Lamming (St Edmundsbury and Ipswich) to move:
That this Synod, having regard in particular to:
(a) changes in thinking on the role of the laity in leadership in the Church over the past 25 years, and
(b) the lack of any Scriptural basis for the Church’s current practice restricting the administration of the sacrament at Holy Communion to ordained priests,
request the House of Bishops to reconsider its position (as set out in its April 1997 report Eucharistic Presidency, GS 1248) that the Church should maintain its inherited position that the person who presides at the Eucharist must be an ordained priest.
The Further use of Churchyards
Revd Andrew Dotchin (St Edmundsbury and Ipswich) to move:
‘That this Synod call on the Archbishops' Council to:
(a) consider the position in relation to further burials in churchyards which have been closed by Order in Council; and
(b) make representations to Her Majesty's Government on the matter with a view to primary legislation being brought forward (whether by way of Measure or Act of Parliament) to facilitate such burials in appropriate cases.'
Safeguarding & Tendering for Professional Services
The Revd Canon Simon Butler (Southwark) to move:
‘That this Synod, recognising that the use of tendering for professional services is widely regarded as good practice in the charitable and commercial sectors, and noting the need for high levels confidence that must exist regarding commercial relationships between the Church and its service providers in the field of safeguarding:
invite the Archbishops’ Council to bring forward legislation and associated guidance which require the use of regular tendering processes in the provision of legal, financial and insurance services by parishes, dioceses and the National Church Institutions.’
Funding of Bishops and Priests
Mr Samuel Margrave (Coventry) to move:
That this Synod, valuing the ministry of Parish Priests, call on the National Church Institutions to:
1. Work to end all unnecessary expenditure which does not resource parish churches or parish ministry
2. Reduce Bishops’ stipends to the same level as that of a parish Priest;
3. Undertake a review of the funding of Bishops;
4. Target funding to support poorer parishes through financial difficulties and to radically invest in the reinvigoration of poorer parishes, and
5. Publish the expenditure of Bishops’ offices and associated costs in the same way as MPs.
Holy Communion Using Individual Cups
Mr Clive Scowen (London) to move:
That this Synod, mindful of Our Lord's command that we should both eat and drink in remembrance of Him, ask that legislation be brought forward to provide that, in times when risk of serious infection makes it unsafe to communicate using a common cup, it shall be lawful to administer Holy Communion using individual cups.
Abolition of Deferential Titles
James Dudley-Smith (Bath & Wells) to move:
That this Synod, noting Bishop Peter Hancock’s words quoted by the IICSA Anglican Church Investigation Report October 2020, that ‘issues of clericalism and deference have allowed abuse to be covered up and the voices of the vulnerable to be silenced’ (B.220.127.116.11) ask that steps be taken to abolish, and discourage the use of, deferential titles such as Reverend, Right Reverend, Very Reverend, Most Reverend, Venerable, and that clergy be instead referred to and addressed using the names of the roles they hold, e.g. Vicar, Rector, Bishop, Dean, Archbishop, Archdeacon.
Transparency and Accountability
Sam Margrave (Coventry) to move:
That this Synod calls on HM Government to amend legislation to include the Church of England as a public authority to allow Freedom of Information requests to be made and to ensure accountability, transparency and trust in the established church.
A Register of Interests
Mr Sam Margrave (Coventry) to move:
This synod call on the NCIs to bring forward a plan to create a publicly available register of Bishops or senior staff interests (based on MPs register of interests) to ensure the public can have confidence in church leadership, and that as office holders Bishops or senior staff are transparent about any relationships or interests they share with others.
Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 S.9 Limitation of Time for Institution of Proceedings
The Revd Stephen Trott (Peterborough) to move:
That this Synod express its wish to repeal S9 of the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003, Limitation of time for institution of proceedings, to enable complaints by survivors to be addressed irrespective of the date when the event or events in question occurred.
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.
Private Members Motions fall under Special Agenda III. The other Special Agendas are: Legislative Business (Special Agenda I); Liturgical Business (Special Agenda II); and Diocesan Synod Motions (Special Agenda IV)