Bishop Valentine noted that, in preparing the Agenda, the Task Force had given careful consideration to correspondence, items to be brought forward from previous meetings of the House as indicated in past Minutes, and all other concerns which require the attention of the Bishops, of which the Task Force was aware. Bishop Valentine expressed particular appreciation to Archdeacon Light for his assistance in dealing with correspondence and contacting resource people. He noted that the evening sessions were structured to allow for a change of pace and opportunity for involvement on a different level. It was noted that there was one hour allowed for meetings of the Provincial Houses, and recommended that any Houses which require longer periods should make independent arrangements for meetings at some time other than during the meetings of the House of Bishops.
"That the Agenda, as presented, be the Agenda for this meeting." CARRIED
When the House of Bishops returned in the evening to a plenary session, the writing group made up of Bishops Ferris, Howe and Johnson presented their amendment to the fourth point of Archbishop Hutchison's and Archbishop Finlay's motion.
Moved by: Bishop Howe
Seconded by: Bishop Ferris
"4. That the Task Force of the House of Bishops select a negotiator, as soon as possible, to work with the Bishop of New Westminster and the dissenting parishes to secure the appointment of an interim Episcopal Visitor within the model of the ministry of Area Bishops in other parts of the Anglican Church of Canada."
There was some discussion about the writing group's proposal. Bishop Lawrence observed that it was clear that the bishops were at an impasse.
"That the House of Bishops table the motion (by Archbishop Hutchison and Archbishop Finlay) and the writing group's proposed amendment to it until 9 a.m. the next morning." CARRIED Res. #HB-03-10-09
The next morning Archbishop Peers told the bishops, Bishop Buckle had indicated that he was unable to fulfill section one in the motion by Archbishops Hutchison and Finlay. In that section of the motion the House of Bishops requested that he refrain from exercising Episcopal ministry in the Diocese of New Westminster.
Archbishop Hutchison and Archbishop Finlay withdrew their motion. The House of Bishops consented to have it removed.
Bishop Ingham and Archbishop Crawley indicated that had the motion passed they would have complied with its second and third points (to stay disciplinary proceedings). Bishop Buckle said that the relationship between the dissenting parishes and the Bishop of New Westminster had broken down to a point of no reconciliation. He reported also, that the parishes had lost confidence in the House of Bishops and had made an appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury requesting that Bishop Buckle be appointed to give them pastoral care.
Archbishop Crawley commented that if the Archbishop of Canterbury were to say "no" to the parishes, it might encourage them to reconsider. He asked if there was some way of keeping the motion over. Archbishop Peers responded that he thought the best way to do it would be for the House to move a similar motion at the next meeting. The discussion continued and there were several expressions of concern about having the motion withdrawn. Archbishop Hutchison said he withdrew only under the understanding that a motion incapable of performance should be withdrawn. However, he said he thought it was a statement that was worthy. Some discussion continued.
Because of the possibility of the Press being present at meetings of the House, a further resolution was put:
That the Agenda Committee, in planning for future meetings, be requested to arrange the Agenda so that appropriate subjects be dealt with in sittings that are open to the Press, and that subjects that would be better discussed in confidence be assigned to "in camera" sittings. CARRIED
1) That we continue to meet as a House of Bishops at times other than the meeting of General Synod -- and that the necessary financing be arranged in connection with the General Treasurer and N.E.C..
2) That we always meet immediately before the General Synod convenes with sufficient time to (a) select those questions on which we would ask for a vote by Orders, giving proper notice of our intent to do so to the Agenda Committee (this in the event that the unification measures are successful).
3) That we continue to meet separately during General Synod as the occasion demands -- such meetings to arranged so as not to disrupt the orderly conduct of the Synod.
4) That we accept the responsibility for public statements in or own right as the House of Bishops, and that, in order to fulfill this responsibility, we should have the assistance of resource personnel at our meetings or in correspondence. CARRIED
That this House advise the Administration and Finance Committee that it would welcome negotiated standards and guidelines for chargeable travel and accommodation expenses related to meetings of the House of Bishops. CARRIED
Bishop Peterson reminded the House that the Suggested Standards for the National House of Bishops were referred to the Agenda Committee by the House at its meeting in November 1986, with the request that the Agenda Committee prepare, for submission to the February 1987 meeting of the House, revised Standards.
Bishop Peterson said that the Agenda Committee did not feel competent to deal with the request and requested that it be placed on the agenda of this meeting.
Following discussion, it was
That the following Standards for working together be accepted:
1. Dates of regular meetings will be agreed twelve months prior to the meeting of the House with the starting time and completing time agreed upon.
2. The time of meeting should be long enough to enable us to do our business together and also should make provision for some social time together.
3. All Bishops in active episcopal ministry should strive to be present for all of the meeting time and the meeting will have high priority with all of us.
4. The notice of meeting should be prepared and mailed out by the Secretary. Agenda building may be done by the total membership. The Agenda Committee will be responsible for the agenda in consultation with the House at the beginning of each meeting. The Secretary will circulate known items of agenda prior to the meeting.
5. Any preparatory papers and documents will be mailed ahead of time.
6. The House will determine who receives its minutes.
7. Decisions will be arrived at collegially and differences will be declared and respected within the House of Bishops.
8. Definite times will be set aside for prayer together, for the saying of the daily offices and for the celebration of the Eucharist.
9. These standards will be reviewed annually. CARRIED
Ms. Amy Newell, Chair of the General Synod's Implementation Team and Ms. Suzanne Lawson, Director of Financial Development at the national office spoke to the House of Bishops to give an update of the progress of the Implementation Team.
The Implementation Team group was given a mandate by General Synod in 1992 to continue until the meeting of General Synod in 1998. Ms. Newell said they were not yet at the point of making the shift from planning the work which needs to be done, to actually doing it. She and Ms. Lawson had come to the House of Bishops to enlist its help in two areas.
1. The role of the House of Bishops
2. Its (H of B) place as a "committee" in the structure of General Synod (See appendix iv for diagram) [Appendix iv NOT INCLUDED in electronic database.]
Ms. Lawson commented on the written material which had previously been distributed. It described the work completed and the work still to be done. The House of Bishops broke into table groups to discuss and respond to questions.
I. What question or issues do these papers raise for you as a member of the House of Bishops ?
II. When you look at the structural diagram, what does it say to you ? And, what does it say to the Church ?
Back in plenary the following comments were made:
- there is a distinction between the Order of Bishops and the House of Bishops
- the House of Bishops is not a governing body
- anything which indicates that the primary role of the House of Bishops is legislative, is misrepresentation
A member of the House of Bishops expressed concern that there was no episcopal representation on the Implementation Team. He said that if the work of the Implementation Team was to have an impact on bishops, then he thought it was important that they were represented on the Implementation Team.
Before the House broke into table groups to discuss questions put before them, there was some conversation about not having had enough time to read the document brought earlier by Ms. Lawson for the session on the Implementation Team.
Material proposed for discussion at a meeting of the House of Bishops be in the hands of members at least two weeks before the meeting date. Material may be accepted after this time with the consent of the House. CARRIED
Ms. Newell acknowledged that it was important for the House of Bishops to contribute to the discussions. That being the case, she requested that one or more of the members of the House of Bishops, respond to the resource materials they had received in writing. She noted that submissions needed to be received by the Implementation Team in time for its next meeting on January 16, 1997 in Victoria, BC. A comment made at that time from the floor, was that before responding to the Implementation Team, the members of House of Bishops needed to be clear about who they are first, before they decided who they relate to as a body.
Ms. Newell concluded by asking for input about how the House of Bishops would like to be attached to the implementation process in the future.
Archbishop Peers thanked Ms. Newell and Ms. Lawson for their time and for sharing some of the points which arose from (the 1992-1995) diocesan consultations with the House of Bishops. Since much of the discussion centred on the relationship of the House of Bishops to the Council of General Synod, he went on to compare that relationship with the relationship between the Anglican Primates' Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council. He said that part of the difficulty is that there is a sense that power exists.
A memorandum prepared by Archdeacon Hilchey was studied and discussed.
That the Guidelines regarding In Camera sessions of the meetings of the House of Bishops be approved.
The approved Guidelines are as follows:
1. By decision of the House in February 1977, the Agenda Committee will include an In Camera session at each meeting of the House.
2. In Camera sessions provide an opportunity for members of the House to seek advice from one another about pastoral and administrative matters.
3. In Camera sessions also provide an opportunity for consideration of sensitive issues about which the members of the House wish to take counsel together.
4. The Secretary will exercise discretion in recording comments made during such discussions. Any actions taken in relation to these matters, whether by motion or by consensus will be recorded in the same way as are those in open session.
5. At the end of each In Camera session, the House will decide what measure of confidentiality it wishes to apply to each of the decisions reached and actions taken. The Secretary will record those decisions.
6. The General Secretary and the recording secretaries are entitled to be present during In Camera sessions, unless the House wishes otherwise.
7. Should a bishop be in doubt about the degree of confidentiality which belongs to any matter to which reference is made in In Camera sessions, it is recommended that he consult the Primate.