Report from May House of Bishops


The House of Bishops met in York at Bishopthorpe Palace on 21-22 May.

The agenda covered safeguarding, the Lambeth Conference in 2020, the future of ministry, and engaging children and young people more completely in the life of the Church.

The House heard an update from Phil George, Chief Executive of the Lambeth Conference Company on the planning and preparation of the 2020 Lambeth Conference, God’s Church for God’s World from 24th July to 3rd August 2020.

The House considered the Church's current involvement with children and young people and committed to prioritising their needs more effectively in the future. There was some discussion about the mutual and complementary roles played by Church, school and family in shaping young people’s perceptions of faith and ideas were shared on how all three could collaborate more closely together. The conversation took place in the context of the Church’s broader work on Setting God’s People Free; encouraging people to live out their commitment to Christianity seven days a week. The Archbishop of York announced that the All Churches Trust had awarded a £500k grant over the next three years to expand the Young Leaders Award project nationally. To date 63,000 young people in Northern England have benefitted from the programme of leadership development.

The House heard a presentation from the Bishop of Stepney on the final report of the Cathedrals Working Group which will be published this summer.

The House discussed the emerging themes of the last set of hearings from the Independent Inquiry into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), reflecting on the ongoing need to address safeguarding effectively at a local level.

The House explored the future of ministry considering diverse aspects including discernment, selection, training and lifelong learning. The ongoing imperative to attract candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds remains clear.