Thinking Anglicans

Women Bishops: bishops' votes

Voting lists for the electronic votes at the recent sessions of the Church of England’s General Synod are now online. I have summarised the bishops’ votes in the debate on women bishops held on Monday 7 July, both in a table below the fold and online as a pdf file.

The table records whether each bishop voted for or against each motion or amendment, or recorded an abstention. Some of the 45 bishops present missed some of the votes altogether and this is indicated by a dash.

Bishops are listed alphabetically by surname, and their synod number is given in the first column.

I have already given the text of each amendment and of the substantive motion, and the overall voting figures here. The table includes my very brief summary of the purpose of each amendment.

Note: Not included in the table are the bishops of Sheffield and Truro (sees vacant) and the bishops of Coventry, Chester, Ely, Leicester, Salisbury and Sodor & Man, none of whom took part in any of the votes. The bishop of Coventry was only consecrated on 3 July, the bishop of Leicester was on duty at the House of Lords and the bishop of Salisbury was ill. I don’t know why the others were absent.

  Bishops’ Votes     66 67 68 69 70 71 72 74 75 77 adjourn 20
  07 July 2008     Winchester Houlding Trott Threlfall-
Holmes
Killwick Langrish Packer Henwood Baxter Cotton Wright final
  Bishop of … Name   legislation
and code
only a
majority
in favour
omit all
references
to code of
practice
simplest
possible
statutory
approach
new
dioceses
new
diocesan
structures
consider
statutory
transfer
or code
provide
ministry of
women
bishops
require two-
thirds
majority for
code
code for
episcopal
functions
only
wrong
time to
decide
 
47 Dorking Ian Brackley against against against against against against against against against against against for
49 Willesden Pete Broadbent against against against against against against for against for against against for
40 Southwark Thomas Butler against against against for against against against for against for against for
41 Southwell George Cassidy for for against against against for for
3 London Richard Chartres for for against against against against for against abst against for against
50 Forces David Conner against for against against against against against
31 Peterborough Ian Cundy against against against against against against against
11 Carlisle Graham Dow against for against against against against against against against against for
12 Chelmsford John Gladwin against against against against against against against against for against against for
24 Lichfield Jonathan Gledhill against against against against against against for against abst against against for
53 Burnley John Goddard for for abst against for for for against against against for against
35 St Albans Christopher Herbert against for against against against against against for
21 Guildford Christopher Hill against for against against abst abst for for for abst for for
10 Bristol Michael Hill against for against for against against against against against for
14 Chichester John Hind for for for against for for against against against against for against
44 Worcester John Inge against for against against against against for against for against for for
9 Bradford David James for for against against against for for against for against for for
29 Norwich Graham James against for against against against against for against against against for for
51 Beverley Martyn Jarrett for for for against for for for abst abst abst for against
26 Liverpool James Jones against against against for against against against against against against against for
19 Exeter Michael Langrish for for against against for for for against against against for against
52 Hulme Stephen Lowe against against against against against against against for against against against for
27 Manchester Nigel McCulloch against for against against abst abst abst abst abst abst abst for
34 Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali for against for against for for for against for against for against
33 Ripon & Leeds John Packer against for against abst against against for for for against for for
20 Gloucester Michael Perham against for against against against against against against for against against for
43 Wakefield Stephen Platten against for against against against against against against for against for for
6 Bath & Wells Peter Price against against against for against against against against against against against for
22 Hereford Anthony Priddis against for against for against against against against against against for for
30 Oxford John Pritchard against for against against against against against against for against for for
8 Blackburn Nicholas Reade for for against against for for for against against against for against
16 Derby Alastair Redfern against against against for against against against against against against against for
18 Europe Geoffrey Rowell for for abst against for for for against for against for against
25 Lincoln John Saxbee against for against against against against against against for against against for
5 Winchester Michael Scott-Joynt for for against against for for for against against against for against
2 York John Sentamu against against against against against against for against abst against against for
32 Portsmouth Kenneth Stevenson against against against for against against against for for against against for
36 St Ed’bury & Ips Nigel Stock against for against against against for for abst for against for for
7 Birmingham David Urquhart for against against against for for against against against against for against
45 Dover Stephen Venner for for against against for for for against for against for against
48 Dudley David Walker against against against against against against against
28 Newcastle Martin Wharton against for against against against against for against against against against for
1 Canterbury Rowan Williams for for against against abst for for against against against for abst
46 Basingstoke Trevor Willmott against against against against against against against against against abst against for
4 Durham Tom Wright against against against against against against against against against against for against
  for     14 28 3 7 10 14 21 5 15 1 22 28
  against     31 17 40 37 32 29 21 31 19 35 18 12
  abst     0 0 2 1 3 2 1 3 5 4 1 1
  total     45 45 45 45 45 45 43 39 39 40 41 41

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Neil
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Neil

The Catholics understand women bishops are coming – even though priests and bishops do not square yet with holy tradition. Their opponents ridicule them and clearly are not hot on ecclesiology. The most surprising absolute traitor in this list is Stephen Platten and the Bishop of Derby (Our Lady of Derby pray for us). The others – Portsmouth, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Southwark, Bristol, Liverpool, Gloucester and Birmingham are not so surprising (though their clergy I am sure will be surprised and ought to face them with consequences)

Neil
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Neil

Oh – and I forgot the Bishop of Oxford. Which is the godliest and holiest men amongst their ranks?

Neil
Guest
Neil

PPS And the most pleasant surprise was to read the voting record of the Bishop of Lincoln who turns out to be a true liberal and not as bigoted as some of his fellow bishops in trying to unchurch his opponents. He is spot on as well in his opposition to the appalling Covenant.

Jay Vos
Guest

A big hip, hip, hurrah to Peter and Simon for providing us up-to-the-minute media reports and other coverage of the past several IMPORTANT months and weeks! Thanks, guys.

John Omani
Guest
John Omani

Interesting exercise trying to discern the politics of these votes. The Catholic minded bishops, +London, +Rochester, +Europe, and +Beverley voted as expected, but on the crucial point, amendment 72, which would have allowed some latitude for placating traditionalists, they were let down by figures such as +Chichester (perhaps not surprising given his weakness in failing to censure his arch-Calvinist suffragan +Lewes). Striking also is the way that the ABC voted with the Catholics on almost all amendments, which makes it all the more surprising that many present felt he was unclear in giving guidance. ++York, on the other hand, voted… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“The most surprising absolute traitor in this list is”

Traitor? Is that really acceptable language for anyone participating in this vote? Whatever we may feel about women bishops, using language that conjures up images of war, of hostile countries and betrayal is wrong when we speak of our brothers and sisters in Christ, however deeply we may wish they thought and believed differently.

poppy tupper
Guest
poppy tupper

Here’s what puzzles me (well, one of the many things that puzzle me about this), neil says that Platten is an ‘absolute traitor’ for the way he voted. Yet he also says that Saxbee is ‘a true liberal and not as bigoted as some of his fellow bishops in trying to unchurch his opponents’. As far as I can see, Saxbee and Platten voted in exactly the same way on every single point, except the move to adjourn. Am I missing something?

Neil
Guest
Neil

Poppy – sorry I misread the list: Sorry I read the list wrong re John Saxbee: TOTAL TRAITORS (no provision for opponents inc. wanting to require 2/3 majority even for code of practise) Lincoln, Portsmouth, Chelmsford, Oxford, Gloucester, Wakefield TRAITORS (no provision for opponents but accept code of practise with a majority) Carlisle, Derby, Southwark, Bath and Wells, Hereford, Birmingham, Southwark, Bristol Erika – war is indeed what is waged by bishops who have reneged on promises/guarantees/assurances/commitments already given to their opponents. The total traitors are those who cannot abide holy tradition and would be first to unchurch others and… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Neil I still object to your language. Go to a real war zone and tell the people there that our bishops are waging a war against their own congregations. Go to a place where people are physically driven out of their homelands and tell them that your bishop is trying to kick you out of your church because he believes you should get used to some people being consecrated. Now, I’m not a particular friend of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, it is because of him that I am not allowed to be as active in my church as… Read more »

John Omani
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John Omani

‘war is indeed what is waged by bishops who have reneged on promises/guarantees/assurances/commitments already given to their opponents. The total traitors are those who cannot abide holy tradition and would be first to unchurch others and kick them out.’ Well, yes, the liberal bishops have behaved as total hypocrites, and failed to uphold their professed belief in a broad church, or to respect what is the faith of the historic communions. It is sadly clear they are no longer interested in restoring eucharistic unity with the Catholic or Orthodox churches. For Anglicans who do wish such an outcome, there is… Read more »

poppy tupper
Guest
poppy tupper

neil, thank you for the clarification. I shall now raise my glass tonight to the health of Lincoln, Portsmouth, Chelmsford, Oxford, Gloucester, Wakefield.

Neil
Guest
Neil

Perhaps toast the Bishop of London too, who seems to be a man of his word: ‘The question remains of how to honour the promises made when women were ordained to the priesthood that those who could not accept the decision of General Synod as one authorised by scripture and tradition would continue to have a secure and honoured place in the life of our church. It was clear from the debate on Monday that there are profound doubts about whether a national code of practice could provide such a “secure and honoured place”. With all this in mind I… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

John – I neither belong to nor support all the actions of FiF Reform or the Global South, the last two of which clearly wish to unchurch people and would kick them out given the chance. Your analysis fails in that FiF has never had the aim of taking the church over, or refusing to allow those who believe in the ordination of women to prosper. The body arose simply as one which wished for survival with integrity. And the huge majority of trad Catholics have indeed shown tolerance cooperation respect and latitude to the pro-women CofE which has reigned… Read more »

Ian
Guest
Ian

Neil, while actually agreeing with much of what you say – I think you’re being hard on +Birmingham. I was present at York and he spoke and voted in favour of the new dioceses option and against the whole thing at the end. I’d like to know why so many were absent though

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Well, Ian, as Peter has already pointed out Salisbury is on sick leave, Leicester was on House of Lords duty, and Coventry was only consecrated last week, and may well not have completed the formalities to take up his seat in the house.

That leaves Ely, Chester and the bishop of Sodor and Man.

3 unexplained absentees is not so very many.

Neil
Guest
Neil

Ian – I apologise a second time. Bishop David of Birmingham I read on the wrong line plus I left out Liverpool from the list of those who ‘failed to uphold their professed belief in a broad church’. The key lines I am interested in (though I realise it is more complex) are 72 (Packer) and how it realtes to 20 (final vote)

Neil
Guest
Neil

I was surprised there was no debate on the Tablet leader: ‘If one tries to be prophetic without at the same time being traditional, what weight does it have? On whose behalf is one being prophetic? It is one thing to say that the entire thrust of Christian history leads ultimately to the conclusion that ordination to the priesthood and episcopacy should be open to either sex. It is quite another to say that the thrust of Christian history can be ignored if it does not point that way. Indeed, if such ordination is advocated as an act of justice… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Is that a better excuse, or a worse excuse than being on duty in the House of Lords?

Brian
Guest
Brian

Motion 76 that inserted the qualification ‘statutory’ for the Code of Practice was carried. No votes are shown. Was this because it was a show of hands. How significant is this qualification?

Ian
Guest
Ian

Yes Brian it was a show of hands. Its significance is questionable. It seems to mean that it is statutory for the Bishops to have a Code of Practice but not statutory for them to apply it (indeed Synod threw out the option of forcing Bishops to ” follow” it and settled on them simply “having regard” for it). It was confirmed (I think by the vicar general of York) during Synod that for a Parish to challenge a Bishop if he or she had not applied the Code of Practice would involve a judicial review – how many parishes… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Here is what the proposer of the motion said about it: (from last week’s report in the Church Times) Jacqueline Humphreys (Bristol) moved an amendment to make the national code of practice statutory. If her amendment was accepted, she said it was still for the Manchester group to decide the content of the code. It would belong to the Synod, but making it statutory could meet everyone’s needs. It would be guaranteed to be in place at all times, it would be robust, “with real teeth”, it could be exactly tailored to meet the fit perfectly, and it was “the… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

Also of note is that the the whole system of provincial episcopal visitors (a.k.a. ‘flying bishops’) was only invented after the passage of the Priests (Ordination of Women) Bill through the synodical process in the early 1990s, and whilst it was awaiting scrutiny by the parliamentary Ecclesiastical Committee and subsequent approval in the Lords and Commons. There was no provision in that Bill itself for codes of practice or extra bishops, or anything of the sort. (The Bill did contain the provision for PCCs to declare that a women priest should not minister in their parish; but nothing about flying… Read more »