Synod member ‘broke Code of Conduct’

THE GENERAL Synod’s Code of Conduct has been ‘wilfully disregarded’, a member has complained.

A member for Oxford, Jayne Ozanne, has said she is ‘appalled’ by a personal attack by Chichester memberAndrea Minichiello Williams. The latter issued a press release arguing against a private members motion (PMM) tabled by Ms Ozanne on gay cure therapy.

The press release from Christian Concern gives personal details about Ms Ozanne and claims her motion is based on ‘deeply flawed’ research.

Chief executive of Christian Concern, Andrea Williams, said:”It is very sad that at a time when Synod is trying to grapple with the foundational issue on sexuality, that of biblical authority and the Church’s teaching, that this motion has been brought about on a purely emotional basis.”

She added that the ‘evidence’ related to claims that such counselling has led some young people to try to commit suicide needs far more research.

“There is independent and reputable evidence that many in the gay community have a higher level of mental health issues than those in the heterosexual community”,she said.

Ms Ozanne’s motion is to be debated on Saturday and calls on the Church of England to endorse the statement signed by The UK Council for Psychotherapy, The Royal College of General Practitioners and others that the practice of conversion therapy has no place in the modern world, is unethical, harmful and not supported by evidence.

The motion calls on the Archbishops’ Council to become a co-signatory to the statement on behalf of the Church of England.

“Andrea Williams has just proved in her latest press release why my PMM is so needed,” said Ms Ozanne.

“I must admit to being appalled about her naming my partner and her circumstances – that’s precisely why the Business Committee have brought in a Code of Conduct for Synod members, which I fear she has wilfully disregarded,” she added.