Well, that’s the voting over. I am sufficiently cross not to be able to do the sums, but it was something like six votes in the House of Laity that killed it. On paper nothing can be done to resurrect this particular corpse at the moment. If you’ve only just caught up, you can get the bones of the debate here.
What next? Well, Synod met in muted grief – low whispers in the tea room, some tears during the morning prayers, and eyes not quite meeting as people say good morning. The House of Bishops met first thing, and then Archbishop Rowan spoke about the need to care for one another today and in the days to come.
Then he spoke of what happens next. He called for realism: there is no simple answer round the corner, so when the various parties start the conversations they all promised to have, they must be realistic – and recognise the urgency. It will make huge demands on all of us – personally and spiritually. Yesterday did nothing to make polarisation less likely; and we are in danger of it becoming the default position. We must hold back from recrimination or running around saying ‘Who can we blame?’
He said, bluntly, as well as the internal work,we have a lot of explaining to do externally. A lot of our conversation is not intelligible to wider society. We have lost a measure of credibility with the wider public.
Internally, a lot of people will ask why Diocesan Synods were not reflected at General Synod. We have to look at ourselves. Rather than just seeing it as certain groups holding Synod hostage, we need to ask how minorities can exert such influence.
We don’t want to lose momentum: but equally we can’t plunge in to very quick work – we need to allow work for in dioceses.. Maybe we should use the February slot (‘too close for comfort’) for the smaller conversations to
I’ll post a summary of how things feel more widely after lunch.