Statement from the CoE House of Bishops meeting 14 July 2022

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The House of Bishops met for its July meeting by Zoom.

The meeting began with an update from the Bishop of Bristol in her capacity as Deputy Lead Bishop on Safeguarding. An overview was given on current work being done on the culture of the Church and suggested ways to embed and support safeguarding throughout the Church.

The House was then introduced to a draft reflection resource for the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) process , designed to prompt reflection during the upcoming discernment process of LLF. The House was invited to share comments and feedback on the reflection over the coming weeks.

The House was then given an update on racial justice including progress made on the recommendations of The Archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce report From Lament to Action as well as the recently published first biennial report of the Archbishops Commission for Racial Justice.

The House then reviewed how the Vision and Strategy and Ministry Developments teams are working together with diocesan teams to ensure the new national Church spending plans, recently welcomed by the General Synod, works most effectively. The House was asked to contribute to the discussion, shaping the design of the new investment programme, prior to decisions being taken by the Archbishops Council later in the year.

The House was then given a brief update and discussion on the Transforming Effectiveness work being done in Eastern and West Midlands regions with a view to future collaboration and opportunities . There was also an oral update on Bishops finances and zero based forecasting on finances as well as on See Houses.

The Bishop of Stepney then addressed the House on the Seal of the Confessional. She informed the House of the decision to commission further work regarding best practice in the hearing of oral confession, within the Sacramental Ministry of Confession and Absolution, ahead of the final report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). The House was invited to comment on the working group and its draft terms of reference.

The meeting ended in prayer.