General Synod (House of Laity) Candidate 2005
I have been privileged to serve as one of your representatives on General Synod since 1995 and am now seeking your support for my re-election for a further five-year term. Your choice of representatives will be particularly important as the new Synod will be considering legislation to allow the ordination of women to the episcopate. The final vote on this is likely to be taken towards the end of the lifetime of the Synod now being elected.
Please feel free to contact me by phone, e-mail, fax or post (details below) if you want to discuss anything to do with these elections to General Synod.
I voted in favour of the motion that was carried in this year's July Synod to start the process of removing the legal obstacles to the ordination of women to the episcopate. I support a simple, single-clause measure to achieve this, but with a code of practice so that those who find women bishops difficult to accept are helped to stay in the Church of England.
The good news of the Gospel is for all and so I look for the inclusion of those who are often excluded, such as women, ethnic minorities, children, the young, the old, the single, the divorced, gays and lesbians, the disabled. I support the full inclusion of lesbian and gay people in all areas of the church, including the three-fold ordained ministry. The recent pastoral statement from the House of Bishops on Civil Partnerships shows that many bishops have a long way to go before they accept full inclusivity.
Clergy Terms of Service
I support the proposal to introduce common tenure for all clergy. This will give much needed and justified security to clergy without the freehold, and introduce a degree of accountability for those with it.
I very much support this covenant as the first step on the road to unity. Since the covenant was signed progress in working more closely together has been rather slow, but slow progress is better than no progress. I want Synod to work on resolving the difficult areas of disagreement.
Finance and mutual support
There have been some welcome, but small, moves towards more mutual support between dioceses in the last few years but there is still a need for the better off dioceses to offer more help to the less well off, such as Liverpool.
Senior church appointments
I welcome the recent improvements in the system for appointing diocesan bishops to make it more transparent. There is a review under way into other senior ecclesiastical offices and I support the principle that these too should be made in a way that is transparent and gives confidence in the appointments made.
If I am elected
Since I was elected in 1995 I have written reports of each group of sessions, and all of these since July 1998 can be accessed from my website. Since my re-election in 2000 I have also added a record of how I voted on the matters considered by Synod. If re-elected I will continue to provide both of these.
The 1995/2000 Synod met on 55 days and I attended every day, apart from two days when I was unwell. The 2000/2005 Synod met on 49 days and I did not miss a single day. Since I am retired (although still not yet 60) I hope to be able to maintain this record.
I was born in 1947 in Southend-on-Sea where I went to school. After studying mathematics, physics and astronomy at Birmingham and Sussex Universities I taught mathematics at the Royal Military College of Science and, from 1985, Liverpool John Moores University. I took early retirement from LJMU in 2000.
I have been a member of St Luke's Church in Crosby since 1988. From 1989 to 1997 I was the PCC treasurer and from 2001 to 2005 a churchwarden. I was the Lay Chair of Sefton Deanery Synod from 1993 to 2003. From 1990 to 1999 I was a governor of St John's Church of England (Aided) Primary School in Waterloo. I have been the treasurer of Churches Together in the Merseyside Region since 1999. I am a member of the Open Synod Group, WATCH (Women and the Church), and Changing Attitude.
I am a General Synod representative on the council of Trinity College Bristol (a Church of England theological college) and I served on the Synod's revision committee for the weekday lectionary.
I joined the NHS's Sefton Local Research Ethics Committee in 2000, and became its
chair in 2003. My other interests include astronomy, early music, and collecting liturgical books and antiquarian mathematics books. I am a
member of Amnesty International and its Urgent Action network.
I am particularly interested in the use of the internet for church communications. I am on the editorial staff of Anglicans Online and Thinking Anglicans, and I am the webmaster for my own parish.
Peter Owen 11 The Downs Blundellsands Road West
Liverpool L23 6XS
telephone: 0151 931 2251 fax: 0151 287 0154 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org