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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Now, I don’t think there’s some kind of mass conspiracy amongst some Diocesan Registrars to keep us from knowing the results. I know of one diocese where all the clergy were emailed the full return so no problem there. It’s more an issue of transparency caused by sticking to the letter of the law rather than the spirit. If ordinary members of the Church can’t get hold of the full returns, how can the elections be deemed to be open and fair? In any state election, an inability to show the return would be simply unacceptable.
How hard would it be for the Church of England to publish the full returns of every single diocese in one place (for example the Church of England website)? After all, rule 39(11) quoted above says that every single diocese has to send the full return to the Clerk of General Synod. It’s a very quick job (much quicker than emailing 44 Diocesan Registrars I can tell you) at that stage to put them all into one spreadsheet and post it on the CofE website. At the moment (since no-one is replying to two thirds of my emails), to get the same information I would have to jump into my car and drive round to every single Diocesan Office. That is if they would even let me see them. Think of the carbon…
Kudos to Church House. After two days I did eventually get a copy of every single full return – all attached separately in one email, a mixture of spreadsheets, pdfs and word documents. Some of the returns were missing which makes you wonder at what point, if at all, the dioceses were going to send them to the General Synod Secretary. The fact that I had to put them all together into one easy to read document (the ones that were made available) just proves my point for me.
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