Monday, 10 March 2014
Sunday, 9 March 2014
Saturday, 8 March 2014
Those elected as your church's representatives at Deanery Synod will elect Lay people to a new General Synod next year.
Those lay people may still have to vote on whether we have women bishops (if not passed by the current General Synod) and in future years they will probably have to vote on issues such as: how the church needs to focus on numerical growth; homosexuality; the church's role in speaking for the poor and weak and thus sometimes challenging the rich and powerful.
So it is important you know what the views of your Deanery Synod reps are on such issues before your Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) this or next month. That's because at the APCM you'll be voting such people into the rep roles AND next year they'll be voting in who the lay reps are on the General Synod (which decides the church's position on such issues).
OR as a minimum its important you ask such reps what criteria will be important to them in deciding which General Synod lay reps to vote for next year.
The suggestions below are one approach to these issues. Plainly in whatever approach you choose to take you also need to consider how to hear and take action on Justin Welby's last presidential address to General Synod - one extract from which is...
"if we are to live out a commitment to the flourishing of every tradition of the church there is going to have to be a massive cultural change that accepts that people with whom I differ deeply are also deeply loved by Christ and therefore must be deeply loved by me and love means seeking their flourishing"
Every year each CoE church should hold an APCM.
Often these involve the election of various folk to the Parochial Church Council (PCC).
Sadly attendance at these APCM can often be lower in numbers than those in a Sunday's congregation.
At this years APCM it is likely that some people from your church will also be elected to be lay representatives on the Deanery Synod.
So what is so important about Deanery Synod Reps?
In 2015 members of the Deanery Synod will elect people to be on the General Synod's House of Laity for the next 5 years.
During that 5 years it is possible that General Synod may have to vote on issues like:
a) Women Bishops (only if the current actions to agree to them are not passed - note the issue is certainly not settled yet);
b) How the church speaks for the poor and weak and so sometimes will challenge the rich and powerful;
d) A focus on leaders & activities that lead to numerical growth (see this post for more info).
So why is all this important?
Because in November 2012 the measure to OK women bishops was not passed as it did not achieve the necessary majority in the House of Laity. This was despite:
a) the required majority of General Synod's Bishops and Clergy supporting women bishops;
b) the majority of Diocese synods also supporting Women Bishops.
Whether you agree with women bishops or don't - the above lesson from recent history demonstrates the importance of how members of the House of Laity vote.
What can I do?
So what can you do as somebody on the Electoral Roll of your local church?
1) Ask your churchwardens how - preferably before the APCM - there will be a discussion on the Deanery Synod reps views on the above or other subjects important to you OR as a minimum how you may ask the Deanery synod reps what criteria will be important to them in deciding which General Synod lay reps to vote for next year.
2) Consider standing yourself to be such a representative.
3) Ponder whether the above approach is enough as a Christian. To prompt your thoughts it might be worth reading Justin Welby's appeal for us to act in a way where we commit to the flourishing of those we disagree with as they are also loved by Christ.
Useful background reading (some of these are from a particular stance on the issues above)
An intro to General Synod
Reform's website - and their views and reasoning on a variety of issues
Inclusive Church's Deanery Election Campaign Pack
Better Prepared - Women & the church
Friday, 7 March 2014
This is a summary of this ipsos-mori list
1) Teenage pregnancy - we think annually 15% of girls under 16 get pregnant - actually it's around 0.6%
2) Crime - Over 1/2 of us don't believe crime rates are falling - actually they're 53% lower than in 1995
3) Job-seekers allowance - 1/3rd think we spend more on JSA than on pensions - actually we spend 15x more on pensions
4) Benefit fraud - we think £24 of every £100 spent on benefits is claimed fraudulently - but actually it's 70p
5) Foreign aid - 1/4 of us think foreign aid is our 2nd/3rd biggest government spend item - actually it's 1.1%
6) Religion - We think 24% are Muslim & 34% Christian - the no.'s are actually 5% & 59%
7) Immigration - we think about a 1/3rd are immigrants - but it's actually 13%
8) Age - we think 36% are 65+ - but actually only 16% are
9) Voting - we think 43% vote - actually its 65% of the electorate
Thursday, 6 March 2014
All this information is sourced from the excellent Women and the economy - Commons Library Standard Note
1) 67% of women - the highest % since records began in 1971 - are in employment (67% of women aged 16-64 in 2013 4th quarter quarter - the highest % since comparable records began in 1971)
2) 18% of small & medium sized enterprises were led by women in 2012 (estimate)
3) 20% of FTSE 100 directors were female at January 2014 (up from 13% in 2011)
4) The employment rate for women has now exceeded its pre-recession level (whereas that for men has not)
5) 42% of women in employment work part-time (compared to 13% of men in employment)
6) Over the past year, the number of women working full-time has increased by 3% whilst those working part-time has fallen by 1%
7) Self-employed women number are up by 31% since March-May 2008 & the recession (for men the same figure is 8%)
8) 12% of women in employment work as managers or senior officials (compared to 19% for men)
9) 14% of women are employed in professional occupations (compared to 15% for men)
10) The gender pay gap is 20% (for all employees full-time and part-time) - for full time its 10% and for part time earnings were 6% higher for women than for men.
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
|(ht microsoft clip art for the pic)|
1 - Translation - Dominic is full of himself
2 - Jargon - Dominic has a confident and articulate grasp of his experience and skills
2 - Translation - Dominic is really full of himself
3 - Jargon - Samantha takes individual responsibility for team tasks
3 - Translation - Samantha does things she wasn't asked to do
4 - Jargon - Samantha takes adventurous individual responsibility for team tasks
4 - Translation - Samantha does things she wasn't asked to do that others could do better
5 - Jargon - Roger ably adds his long experience to discussions
5 - Translation - Roger bangs on about his 20 years experience
6 - Jargon - Roger ably adds his long and varied experience to discussions
6 - Translation - Roger bangs on about his 20 years experience of being moved sideways
7 - Jargon - Julia as a boss helped me appreciate the value of mentoring
7 - Translation - Julia hasn't the first idea how to do mentoring
8 - Jargon - Julia as a boss helped me appreciate the value of focused mentoring
8 - Translation - Julia hasn't the first idea how to do mentoring but tells endless stories
9 - Jargon - I've enjoyed this appraisal process
9 - Translation - If I hadn't treated this process as a joke I'd have cried
10 - Jargon - I've enjoyed this appraisal and the separate development process
10 - Translation - If I hadn't treated these co-joined processes as a joke I'd have cried