Adam Davy/PA Wire

General Synod schedule amended to allow clergy to watch England World Cup game

Fri 06 Jul 2018
By Alex Williams

The Church of England has amended the schedule of it's General Synod so members can watch England's quarter final FIFA World Cup clash against Sweden.

Premier learned on Friday how one member of the Church's governing body - General Synod - intended to table a motion calling for a pause in proceedings, hours before kick-off at the Samara Stadium in Russia.

Canon Jonathan Alderton-Ford said he suspected General Synod seminars coinciding with the match on Saturday afternoon would be "very lightly attended".


Nearly 480 members - including bishops, clergy and lay people - are attending the five-day summit in York.

The minister in charge of Bury St Edmunds Christ Church said he planned to ask leaders, "could we have a variation of business to allow us to participate in this historic and significant spiritual event?"

Pressed on why the game was a "spiritual event", he answered that there was a "sad" phenomena of the outcome of World Cup matches impacting people's "wellbeing".

Manager Gareth Southgate has been preparing his squad for the most important World Cup fixture for England since the 2006 World Cup.

General Synod February 2018


Items on the agenda for the General Synod meeting include how the Church has responded to abuse allegations made against clergy, and how relationships between the Church and black-majority churches might be strengthened.

Meanwhile, the Swedish Church in London is urging members of its congregation to bring friends to a screening of Saturday's knock out clash.

Rector, Rev Gunnar Ledwon told Premier "That's the good thing... to have this occasion where we meet people who don't regularly go to church every Sunday but they are feeling somehow connected to the Swedish Church here.

"These and other cultural happenings they are great bridge-builders... we like to work that way."

England progressed to the quarter finals after beating Colombia on penalties in the last-16 stage (pictured).

Click here to listen to Rev Gunnar Ledwon, rector of the Swedish Church in London speaking with Premier's Alex Williams:

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