Private Members' Motions
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 all the current Private Members' Motions. The number of signatures received was last updated on 30 November 2017.
Current Private Members' Motions
Same sex relationships after the Shared ConversationsMotion details
Mr Anthony Archer (St Albans) to move:
'That this Synod:
(i) having participated in the concluding stages of the Shared Conversations on scripture, mission and human sexuality; and
(ii) noting the reaction to the report Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations (GS 2055)
request the House of Bishops to bring for debate by July 2018 a set of forward looking proposals on same-sex relationships (such as proposals to be developed by a broadly-based group representing the diversity of views on Synod and in the wider Church) that will command confidence by:
(a) affirming the positive contribution that LGBTI Christians make in the life of the Church; and
(b) reflecting the differing interpretations of scripture.'
Biblical understanding of marriage and sexual relationshipsMotion details
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'Motion detail
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.
Clergy PensionsMotion details
Mrs Janet Perrett (Ely) to move:
'That this Synod, noting:
(a) the very substantial increase in the Church Commissioners' general fund in 2016;
(b) the increasing attention being given to the well-being and morale of clergy, including those who are retired, as stipendiary clergy numbers are reduced;
(c) the decreasing value of clergy pensions as result of:
(i) the extension of the retirement age to 67 and the increased number of years in service required for a full pension;
(ii) the reduction of the clergy pension from two-thirds of National Minimum Stipend to one half, despite the abolition of additional state pension support which was the rationale for this change; and
(d) the current deficit in the Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme,
call on the Archbishops' Council to introduce draft legislation to enable the Church Commissioners to make such additional provision from their capital reserves following last year's excellent performance as will enable the restoration of clergy pensions to a credible level in the future.'
Inclusion of disabled peopleMotion details
Mr Sam Margrave (Coventry) to move:
'That this Synod, believing that God loves and values the lives of all disabled people and accepting the full equality of creation:
(a) call on the National Church Institutions:
(i) to adopt the social model of disability in the way the Church of England operates at a national and local level, in order to unlock the potential of disabled people and break down the barriers they face;
(ii) in order to have leaders from under-represented or hard-to-connect communities, to change the selection procedure for those wishing to enter ordained ministry, so as to make it more inclusive and accessible by all disabled people;
(iii) to put in place funding to help disabled people enter ordained and lay ministry;
(iv) to prioritise and make available funding to make our church buildings more accessible; and
(v) to change the way we 'do Church' to make it more inclusive of disabled people; and
(b) call on Her Majesty's Government to adopt a social model of disability across England, in public and planning policy, locally, regionally and nationally, in order to ensure that disabled people are at the heart of the community, and not merely at its periphery, enabled and encouraged at every level.'
Fostering entrepreneurshipMotion details
Mr Sam Margrave (Coventry) to move:
'That this Synod, believing that God's gift of human innovation, invention, and entrepreneurialism can benefit the lives of people and parishes and transform communities, call on the National Church Institutions to foster entrepreneurship by:
(a) establishing a national lending fund to make resources such as loans and grants available to foster entrepreneurship within parishes and dioceses to create sustainable income streams to fund mission and ministry and so create a new glebe for a new generation;
(b) celebrating and encouraging Christian entrepreneurs in their vocation; and
(c) offering start-up grants and support to Christian entrepreneurs; and investing in Christian businesses.'
Encouraging youth evangelismMotion details
Canon Mark Russell (Sheffield) to move:
'That this Synod:
(a) affirm the importance of evangelism to and with younger people, recognising that many parishes and fresh expressions of church are doing excellent work with young people;
(b) commend the work of Diocesan Youth Officers and the staff of the National Church Institutions in inspiring the wider Church in youth evangelism;
(c) support dioceses in investing resources to create more youth ministry posts across the Church; and
(d) encourage dioceses and parishes to consider fresh ways to reach young people with the good news of Jesus Christ and to nurture them as Christian disciples.'
Responding well to survivors of sexual abuseMotion details
The Revd Canon Rosie Harper (Oxford) to move:
‘That this Synod unreservedly condemn the sexual abuse of children, young people and adults and request that an urgent review of the Church’s current safeguarding policies and practices on responding well to survivors of sexual abuse be conducted in order to ascertain whether they provide a sufficient and Christian response that puts the needs of the survivor first.’
Homeless Task ForceMotion detail
Mr Andrew Gray (Norwich) to move:
'That this Synod, noting:
(a) the substantial levels of homelessness in the United Kingdom and
(b) initiatives to address this problem by Her Majesty’s Government, such as the Homelessness Reduction Taskforce announced in the 2017 Autumn Budget
and celebrating the good works already being undertaken by the Church of England, other Christian denominations, faith groups, charities and social enterprises, call upon the Archbishops’ Council to enable the formation of a Church of England led Homelessness Taskforce including representatives from the Houses of Bishops, Clergy and Laity to undertake:
(i) the formation of plans at national, diocesan and parish levels to utilise Church resources (whether financial, volunteers or buildings) to provide shelter and support services for the vulnerable on a nationwide basis, building upon the wide experience of government and Third Sector initiatives in this field; and
(ii) the implementation of those plans in partnership (where appropriate) with local authorities, homeless charities, voluntary organisations, faith groups and social enterprises.’
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)