By John Richardson
He may be away from his desk, but I've not yet had a reply from my email to Nicholas Hills, the Secretary to the House of Laity of the General Synod, that I sent almost two weeks ago.
In it, I asked him for a "ball-park figure for the likely cost of the House of Laity meeting in January to consider the vote of 'no confidence' in the Chair, Philip Giddings".
Like I said in the email, it was obviously a busy time (even busier now, I guess), but then it can't be an easy time for Philip either.
A true estimate of the cost must be hard to gauge, given that it will include travel and subsistence, and perhaps even time off work, for all the members. However, there must be some obvious daily costs that one can work out from the usual gatherings of the Synod (a sort of 'total minus the clergy and bishops' would do it, I guess).
Nevertheless, in these days of austerity and the need to reduce unnecessary expenditure, we who are paying for it through our quotas etc surely have a right to ask and to know.
We also have the right to know why this meeting is being called. Below is the email sent to all members of the House of Laity setting out the reasons for which Canon Stephen Barney is calling for this special meeting. Judge for yourself whether you think this is a justifiable reason for taking this course of action.
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