Time for "group work" followed by a 90-minute "take note debate" on the work of the bishops' reflection group on sexuality is allocated for one afternoon of the three and a half day sitting.
But synod will not make a decision on changes to teaching and will
only have a chance to acknowledge the bishops' work, suggesting no major
changes will be proposed.
Any change in Church teaching requires a two-thirds majority in all three "houses" that make up the CofE's parliament.
meeting in February comes at the end of two years of private talks at
all levels of the Church in an attempt to heal deep divisions over the
But the apparent lack of action prompted fury from liberals within
the Church who said "there will be huge disappointment and frustration"
if there is no change.
Colin Coward, founder of the pro-LGBT pressure group Changing
Attitude, told Christian Today: "There is a high level of expectation
among many LGBTI people and supporters in the Church that the bishops
will propose positive changes to Church teaching and practice. If there isn't I think the level of disengagement and
disillusionment will increase and there will be further losses to the
Church. I think more people will abandon ministry."
After the latest meeting of the Church's College of Bishops, a body
of senior clerics, a statement said they had received an update from the
chair of the reflection group on sexuality, Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop
"The Bishops agreed to consult the General Synod in February as well
as updating Synod as to where their discussions had reached," a
One possible change will be an end to celibacy vows for gay priests.
Under current rules clergy living with a same-sex partner have to
promise to abstain from sex.
But sources have suggested to the Mail on Sunday that bishops may
call for an end to the law meaning they would not have to make a solemn
vow but would still be expected to remain celibate.
Another option muted has been a form of "pastoral accommodation"
whereby clergy could be allowed to offer official welcome, prayers and
possibly blessing to gay couples in Church.
The secretary general of the worldwide Anglican Communion will also address the synod.
The Most Rev Dr Josiah Atkins Idowu-Fearon will speak for half an
hour on the final day of the meeting.
The Nigerian bishop has long
opposed any change to the Church's ban on same-sex marriage.