The February meeting of the House of Bishops was held on Tuesday 9 February via Zoom.

The meeting was an opportunity for the House to engage with key aspects of the Emerging Church workstreams, specifically the work of the subgroups focussed on themes of Younger & More Diverse and Mixed Ecology.

Amongst the first items was the Bishop of London in her capacity as Chair of the Recovery Group, who updated the House on the latest information available on the lockdown, Covid-19 and the ongoing work of the Recovery group.

This was followed by the Bishop of Manchester as Chair of the Coordinating Group of the Emerging Church of England workstreams. His address outlined feedback received from regional discussion held last month as well as an update on the future operation of the Coordinating Group.

The Archbishop of York then addressed the House in his capacity as head of the Vision and Strategy workstream. In his address, the Archbishop drew on feedback from Regional Bishops’ groups on Vision & Strategy and spoke about the integration of the Vision & Strategy work with the Five Marks of Mission and Missionary Disciples; the House took note of the work so far.

The Bishop of Durham and the Diocesan Secretary of Sheffield then addressed the House as Co-Chairs for the working group – Younger and more Diverse, setting out the issues, barriers and opportunities to creating a younger and more diverse church. In discussion groups, bishops discussed the proposed approach, aiming to direct feedback into further work of the Vision and Strategy Group.

A similar process was followed with the Bishop of Dunwich speaking to the House as co-chair of the Mixed Ecology the Norm, a subgroup of the Vision and Strategy workstream. 

The interim Director of Safeguarding then addressed the House, with the House noting progress towards phase 1 of establishing an independent oversight structure for national safeguarding.

The Lay Ministry Advisory Group (a sub-group of Ministry Council) then addressed the House on its future work as it seeks to support diocesan strategies and implement a vision for the ministry of the whole people of God. Presented by the Bishop of Leicester, the House was asked a range of questions on how the Lay Ministry Advisory Group and Ministry Council can best support diocesan strategies for ministry. The House noted the points raised.

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