There's no point reading the mainstream press about General Synod, which starts tomorrow in York. If you get withdrawal symptoms, there's always the Church of England Headline Generator, which will give you just as much truth and significantly more amusement.
In the meantime, here's some background reading for Synod members who get bored of talking/listening/agreeing/disagreeing/brinkmanship about W***n B*****s.
Attendance stats: Diocesan tables for 2008-11 and 2001-11. In the light of the upbeat headlines around the stats published a couple of months ago, here's the gnarlier reality. If you're not from London diocese, make sure you're sitting down.
Diocesan Church Growth Strategies: index page of various blog posts from a recent conference on how Dioceses can facilitate the growth of the local church. Numerical and spiritual growth are now officially top of the agenda of the national church, and once we've stopped the self-indulgent talkfest over women bishops we might get on and give this agenda the time and effort it deserves.
Sneaking in a Radical Growth Strategy: After a full day of group therapy on you-know-what, there is 90 minutes on Saturday evening concerning whether the first female bishop will be asked to lead a diocese or switch off the lights as she leaves the building. If, like me, you despaired of the CofE ever facing up to the stats above, this is the most encouraging bit of Synod business in a long while.
Church Growth in the CofE: discussion paper - a summary of GS Misc 1054, a document which, if taken seriously, would completely transform the CofE.
If you've been a regular visitor here in the last few weeks, you'll have seen most of these already, but there's still the General Synod blog, which lo! has sprung to life again. Dave Walkers cartoon will help you visualise the goings-on, if you desperately need to. and update Jeremy Fletcher blogging from the inside of the goldfish bowl.