Press Statement Tuesday 5th July 2011
Women and the Church (WATCH)
10/10 Dioceses vote for women bishops
The first ten Dioceses in the Church of England to vote on women bishops have all voted in favour – almost all by an overwhelming majority. They have all also turned down requests for extra provision for opponents, mostly by huge margins.
In every Diocese there have been separate votes of bishops, clergy and lay members. Taking the votes of all the Dioceses together, over 80% of lay members, over 80% of clergy and over 80% of bishops have voted for the proposed law, which also makes provision for those opposed to women being ordained as priests and bishops. Parishes will be allowed to opt for a male bishop and/or a male vicar.
Hilary Cotton, Head of Campaigns for WATCH, said, “Across the country Church members are saying, ‘Please just get on with making women bishops’. They are voting overwhelmingly in support of the legislation that will make that happen, and also creates space within the Church for those who will not accept women bishops. They do not want any more wrangling or delay.”
All 44 Dioceses have to vote on the draft legislation for women bishops by November 2011. It will then face a final vote in General Synod in York 2012 where there will need to be 66% of members of each of the three Houses of Bishops, Clergy and Laity, for it to be approved. It will then proceed to Parliament for final endorsement.
For more detailed figures see http://www.womenandthechurch.org/campaign.htm