Thinking Anglicans

Women Bishops – diocesan debates – 15 October

Updated Saturday afternoon and evening
Updated Saturday night (including corrections to Blackburn and Norwich figures)
Updated Monday night to add Wakefield following motion
Updated Tuesday to add links to reports on Blackburn and Rochester diocesan websites. In addition the voting figures for clergy and laity in the first following motion at Rochester have been corrected to match the diocesan report.

Seven diocesan synods debated the women bishops legislation today. We will update this article as results become available.

A majority of diocesan synods have now voted in favour of the main motion, and the draft legislation can now return to General Synod.

The main motion, which all synods have to vote on by houses and without amendment, is:

That this Synod approves the proposals embodied in the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and ordination of women) Measure and in draft Amending Canon Number 30.

The usual following motion (the “CEEC motion”) seeks further provision for opponents.

That this Synod

1. Desires that all faithful Anglicans remain and thrive together in the Church of England; and therefore

2. Calls upon the House of Bishops to bring forward amendments to the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure to ensure that those unable, on theological grounds, to accept the ministry of Women Bishops are able to receive episcopal oversight from a Bishop with authority (i.e. ordinary jurisdiction) conferred by the Measure rather than by delegation from a Diocesan Bishop.

1) Blackburn passed the main motion in the houses of clergy and laity (which is what matters)..

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 1 3 0
Clergy 36 34 0
Laity 33 30 4

The CEEC following motion was carried: 79 votes for and 55 against.

The diocese has published this report: Diocese Backs Women Bishops Proposals.

2) Carlisle passed the main motion in all three houses.

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 1 0 0
Clergy 30 8 0
Laity 45 10 0

The CEEC following motion was defeated.

3) Norwich passed the main motion in all three houses.

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 3 0 0
Clergy 33 12 2
Laity 31 11 0

The CEEC following motion was defeated.

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 0 1 2
Clergy 21 22 3
Laity 17 24 1

These figures are now correct; the diocesan website originally had an error which has now been corrected.

4) Rochester passed the main motion in all three houses.

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 2 0 0
Clergy 36 12 0
Laity 34 11 2

The CEEC following motion was defeated.

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 0 0 2
Clergy 10 31 8
Laity 13 32 3

There was a second following motion

This Synod expresses the hope that the House of Bishops will bring forward proposals which will meet the legitimate needs of those opposed in conscience to the ordination of women to the episcopate, so that they may remain fully part of the Church of England

which was defeated.

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 1 0 1
Clergy 18 26 5
Laity 20 17 10

The diocese has published a pdf file giving the voting figures both at the diocesan synod (as above) and at deanery synods.

5) St Albans passed the main motion in all three houses.

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 3 0 0
Clergy 43 10 0
Laity 52 7 1

The CEEC following motion was defeated.

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 0 3 0
Clergy 6 39 3
Laity 5 52 4

6) Wakefield passed the main motion in the houses of clergy and laity (which is what matters).

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 1 1 0
Clergy 24 14 0
Laity 23 10 2

The synod debated this following motion:

That this synod requests the general synod to debate a motion in the following form:

That this synod [i.e. the general synod] calls upon the House of Bishops, in exercise of its powers under standing order 60(b), to amend the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and ordination of women) measure in the manner proposed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York at the revision stage for the draft measure.

This was carried in all three houses. These are the voting figures for that motion.

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 2 0 0
Clergy 20 19 0
Laity 20 12 1

The diocese has published this report: Wakefield debates women Bishops.

7) Winchester passed the main motion in all three houses.

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 2 0 0
Clergy 23 21 2
Laity 37 23 2

The CEEC following motion also passed with 61 votes for, 36 against and 6 abstentions.

A second following motion

The Synod requests the General Synod to amend the draft legislation to provide for the review on a periodic basis, by or on behalf of the General Synod, of its operation having specific regard to its efficacy in removing, as far as possible , within the context of the existing safeguards, the legal distinctions between the Episcopal ministry of women and the Episcopal ministry of men, as soon as possible and for a mechanism to be established for the implementation of the recommendations of each and any such review.

was defeated: 29 votes for, 51 against, and 13 abstentions.

From the diocesan website: Winchester Diocese says ‘yes’ …just!

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Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

Surprisingly close vote in Blackburn. Bishops 3 to one against, but passed by the clergy by 1 vote and by the lay delegates by four.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Not so surprising when you remember the “tainted bread” controversy a few years back.

Susan
Guest
Susan

Well done, Blackburn!

Jean Mary Mayland
Guest
Jean Mary Mayland

Blackburn was a tough one and those supporting women bishops are to be warmly congratulated

Historian
Guest
Historian

Blackburn passed the following motion by 79 votes to 55. Interestingly, this was by a show of hands in plenary, not by a secret ballot by houses. Is this unusual?

Wilf
Guest
Wilf

That’s the majority of Diocesan Synods in favour now. Whatever happens from now the main motion goes back to General Synod for final approval.

Dan Barnes-Davies
Guest

Jeremy, what controversy is that? My memory isn’t years long…

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy
David Malloch
Guest
David Malloch

How many bishops does Blackburn actually have?

Alastair Cutting
Guest

Historian said:
“Blackburn passed the following motion by 79 votes to 55. Interestingly, this was by a show of hands in plenary, not by a secret ballot by houses. Is this unusual?”

Chichester took the following motions by show of hands – the main motion, and the three preliminary “Chichester Questions’ were by ballot, and I don’t think the synod would have endured ballots for the following motions as well!

Justin Brett
Guest

Blackburn only has two suffragans, so who was the fourth bishop?

Grumpy High Church Woman
Guest
Grumpy High Church Woman

Interesting on how many bishops are voting for the main measure and abstaining on the following motion. Don’t they have a view?

john
Guest
john

My fellow liberals, There is no point in saluting ‘a majority of dioceses’. It is perfectly clear by now – it always was clear – that there is a substantial minority within the C of E which doesn’t want women bishops but is prepared to live with them (note for the enth time that I personally am 100% in favour of women bishops), provided they get some sort of separate ‘provision’. It is completely hopeless (and worse) to plough on with ‘majority voting’, when the Diocese of London (rather a big constituency) registers its dissent. The time has come to… Read more »

Frozenchristian
Guest
Frozenchristian

Where did Blackburn get 4 bishops from? Blackburn, Burnley, Lancaster and…??

Malcolm Dixon
Guest
Malcolm Dixon

Rochester passed the main motion comfortably and both following motions were defeated. I don’t have the exact figures, or know how long it will take to show up on official channels.

Peter
Guest
Peter

From the Winchester site: Winchester Diocese says ‘yes’ …just! 15 October 2011 By a very tight majority of just two in the House of Clergy, the Diocese of Winchester’s October 15th Synod at St Paul’s, Burseldon, accepted the General Synod’s procedural motion on Women Bishops. After a vigorous but gracious debate – although dominated by speakers against – the House of Laity voted 37 in favour with 23 against and two abstentions. The House of Clergy voted:a very close 23 in favour with 21 against and two abstentions. Both Bishop Peter and Bishop Jonathan were happy to affirm the motion… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“The time has come to ‘do deals’. And they must be done with grace. It looks as if ‘the Archbishops’ amendment’ will be enough to do the job. Get behind it, otherwise there will be endless rancour and bitterness.” – John, on Saturday –

So you, John, would vote for a divided episcopate – those who are acceptable and accepted by the Church, and those who are considered marginal by the ‘elite’. Doesn’t seem theologically sound to me: Rather like a provisional ‘catholicity’. And all on the basis of a ‘defective gene mentality’.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

It really does seem now – in the light of overwhelming approval by a majority of the dioceses of the Church of England – that the female of the species is actually considered to be both biologically and spiritually fitted to exercise a function in the Church that was once, historically, reserved for the males; or at least, sufficiently so for the hoped for passage of the Measure in General synod. Let’s hope that no blunting regulation against the full recognition of women as bishops in the Church of England will ever get past the contraceptive shield of conservatism in… Read more »

suep
Guest
suep

Blackburn’s fourth bishop is one working as an incumbent in the diocese

Historian
Guest
Historian

The ‘fourth Blackburn bishop’ is Bishop Alan Winstanley, Vicar of Whittle-le-Woods and Assistant Bishop in the diocese (he was formerly a SAMS bishop in South America).

Malcolm Dixon
Guest
Malcolm Dixon

In response to ‘Grumpy High Church Woman’, I thought that James +Rochester gave a very good explanation to his Diocesan Synod yesterday. As all the following motions are directed at the House of Bishops, and he is a member of that house, he thought it appropriate to abstain, showing that he was listening but not expressing an opinion at this stage.

rjb
Guest
rjb

I’m inclined to agree with John – at least provisionally. It’s an unpleasant situation to be in, but given a choice between undermining the authority of bishops in their own dioceses and the order of the church, or effectively cutting off a substantial minority of priests and laity who cannot in good conscience accept women priests and bishops, I’d unhappily choose the former. It’s no long-term solution, though – and there will inevitably be rancour and bitterness anyway. What happens when we eventually have a lady Archbishop of Canterbury? Will we have to have a ‘flying’ Archbishop?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

rjb,
but that has always been the problem with provisions, there has never been a clear path to an eventual single solution and they only ever seem to set division further into immovable stone.

If these provisions were accompanied by a long term plan they would be easier to accept but anything, such as an undertaking to provide for existing priests and congregations but not to ordain new priests who cannot accept women’s ministry into a church that clearly does, are decried as hospice care.

Where is a long term solution to come from?

Jean Mary Mayland
Guest
Jean Mary Mayland

Sorry John et al

– a woman Bishop must be the Authority in her own Diocese and that includes delegation

– those opposed are not content not to have trhe ministry of a woman bishop- the Measure gives them this – but they wanted an untainted male. This would set up a continuation of Flying Bishops as a new ‘Donatist ‘ line.
Heresy in a new guise

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

Yet all these male bishops( pro and anti women bishops) derive their jurisdiction from a woman, Her Majesty the Queen.

In the Church of England jurisdiction comes from the crown.. in the Catholic Church it comes from the Holy See.

vbj
Guest
vbj

I note comments about secret ballots and show of hands. Exeter’s voting, on the Measure and the Following Motions, was very public: members left the chamber by 2 doors each side – Clergy left, yes & no; Laity right, yes & no, being counted as they passed through. No abstentions.
Transparency?

Old Father William
Guest
Old Father William

“In the Church of England jurisdiction comes from the crown..in the Catholic Church it comes from the Holy See.”
In TEC it comes from the clergy and people of the diocese.

Clive
Guest
Clive

@Erika: there is only one long term solution and that is the Ordinariate. All these votes tell us that the CofE is done with anyone who is unable to accept OOW and protestations notwithstanding the church wants them out. Hospice care as you put it is just a softer way of saying this.

The game is over foe traditionalists just as it is in all the other liberal provinces. That is the mind of the church as expressed in all these diocesan votes.

Come on over, the Tiber is lovely 🙂

john
Guest
john

Obviously, I don’t accept opportunistic definitions of ‘catholicity’ or ‘heresy’. It seems to me equally obvious that Reformed Catholics by definition cannot appeal to these concepts as if they were unproblematic. But here’s another ‘take’, which I hope might be unifying within the C of E. The present Pope’s ‘generous offer’ of an Anglican ‘ordinariate’ (how these useless terms proliferate) was opportunistic, mischievous and essentially content-free (there is no ‘Anglican patrimony’ once you’ve decided to subsume your Anglican identity within the RC church). Liberal Anglicans say that freely. ‘Anglo-Catholic’ Anglicans of the FiF variety have more difficulty in saying it… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

I recall voting by division in the Ely Diocesan Synod in 1991 — we queued up to register our votes at ‘aye’ or ‘no’ tables, one of each for each of the laity and clergy. But I understand that next Saturday we shall vote by show of hands. I can’t say that I am impressed by that decision, but that’s what is intended. And certainly quicker.

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

We need to decide whether we are looking to staying in a relationship with each other, or drifting apart – being one church, or creating a two-church “solution”. The current legislation maintains the one church model. Anything further is more akin to a trial separation, with the dynamic to split, than “let’s give it a go” with a dynamic to stay together.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

In St Albans we voted by standing up to be counted. The place where diocesan synod meets does not have multiple sets of doors to walk through.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“In the Church of England jurisdiction comes from the crown.. in the Catholic Church it comes from the Holy See.” – Robert I Williams (neophyte catholic) –

The Holy ‘See’ – there’s none so blind!

And anyway, Robert, you need to brush up on your ecclesiology; in the Church of England, a bishop’s spirituality is not derived from the monarch, but from the Holy Spirit in the Church of God – not, from the Church of Rome.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Maybe it’s being from the other side of the pond and all, but I really don’t understand this constant need to “accommodate” dissenters. Didn’t these people take an oath to abide by the decisions of General Synod when they were ordained?

James
Guest
James

No, Church of England Clergy swear an Oath of Allegiance to the Crown and an Oath of Canonical Obedience to their diocesan bishop. They make no oath or declaration in relation to General Synod.

30 out of 44 dioceses have now voted. 28 in favour, two against. Overall figures: Bishops 77.0% for, 18.0% against, 4.9% abstained; Clergy 73.0% for, 24.5% against 2.5% abstained; Laity 74.1% for, 22.9% against, 3.0% abstained. Overall 73.7% for, 23.5% against, 2.8% abstained.

John
Guest
John

I must admit I am getting tired of fighting my lonely little fight. But here’s another try: everybody who goes to church – any church – whether in the C of E or any other denomination, knows that the ‘de facto’ differences are far more important than the ‘de iure’ arrangements. So for me, Mark, it isn’t about ‘one’ church or ‘two’: it is always about cooperation among people who disagree. Item: home group in our church; we’re all in communion, all in favour of WO to the highest level; we disagree about practically everything else, those other things actually… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

John, you are all staying together because on the one contentious issue that really matters at the moment you’re all of one opinion. How is that helping here? Now if you told me that you have people who strongly disagree with WO but who nevertheless join you when a woman presides in your church I would believe in how you all get on in practice and how you don’t let polarised theology spoil your way of being church. But I dare say that when it comes to the crunch, those who don’t have a problem with WO can worship in… Read more »

Edward Prebble
Guest
Edward Prebble

“I must admit I am getting tired of fighting my lonely little fight.” John Sorry you are feeling isolated, John. Do keep it up. I remember getting some very stern comments on this site some months ago when I suggested that one of the Canadian dioceses, having clearly (and rightly) won the legal battles over church property, might now try to find an accommodation with their ‘dissidents’. I was told that I was condoning schism and had Neville Chamberlain thrown at me. We are of course wrestling with the classical liberal conundrum. How can I carry out my inclusive approach… Read more »

Davis
Guest
Davis

Well said Mr Prebble. We must find a way to live and love – together.

Rosalind
Guest
Rosalind

Edward and John: What I can’t work out is how a group that refuses to accept communion from a woman, or a bishop who has ordained a woman, is now apparently being described as “inclusive” by you. If what is being asked for is the possibility of being able to continue the conversation at some time, even in the future, with groups who disagree (which is how I see the current legislation which is being suppoorted by so many in the dioceses) , rather than close it down and retreat into a world where ordained women can be treated as… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“how can we find a way for those who believe we are wrong to stay with us?’ – Edward Prebble – Good try, Edward. Sadly, though, there is a little matter of ‘integrity’ here. How can anyone who truly believes that the Church they belong to is in error that is grievous enough to trouble their conscience to the degree that they have demanded ‘alternative oversight – because they do not believe that the women bishops of their Church are valid dispensers of the charism of a true bishop?. Surely, such a matter – where the dissenting person is unable… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Edward, yes to all of that in principle. But in principle alone it’s not worth much. Give me a constructive idea for a long term solution that no-one has yet come up with and that is a genuine solution and not just a postponing to the next stage. One that doesn’t completely turn the idea of church on its head by strengthening the move towards creating 2 separate units. For all that John talks about people in real life not being so polarised and just getting on with worshipping together, that worked fine until now. But it’s clear, isn’t it,… Read more »

john
Guest
john

Edward, Many thanks. Kindness and compassion are also principles. Erika, I think it’s all out of proportion. Sounds arrogant. The ‘proportion’, however, is this: our churches are empty, we expend most of our energy fighting each other: it’s crazy and worse. We don’t all have to be identical. Living together in harmony/disharmony can allow a certain separation over things people feel defining of their particular brand of Christianity, or Anglicanism. There are Evangelical churches I wouldn’t be seen dead in – and nor would you, but I wish them well, they are Anglicans, there is a certain shared identity –… Read more »

Robert IAN WILLIAMS
Guest
Robert IAN WILLIAMS

Ron confuses jurisdiction with Holy orders.

Jurisdiction ( as with the first Anglican bishop of New Zealand ) comes from the Crown.

The Truro vote was amazing . As this diocese was once the bolt hole of anti-women’s ordination forces. See what happens when you change the bishop.

As for talks of Anglican patrimony..as I point out the Anglo Catholic converts to Rome are in the main bringing back what they copied from Rome in the nineteenth century.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

OK–I see the difference. But if you are sworn to obey your diocesan bishop, how do you then ask for him to be replaced by an alternate when you disagree with him?

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Erika said, “I know of no other church that has introduced women priests and bishops and has tied itself in such knots over it.”

In some quarters the failure to ordain women as bishops threatens to make the C of E a moral laughingstock.

Jeremy P
Guest
Jeremy P

John – I am with Jean Mayland. I don’t think it is unreasonable (in fact I never have) for our church to make its decision in relation to women deacons, priests and bishops. Some thought it was insufficiently ecumenical in stepping out ahead of Rome and Constantinople: others of us thought it was time we caught up with Methodists and Presbyterians and others – so you could argue it both ways. 1991 was a close but clear decision: the truly daft move was the Act of Synod – which was why I joined GRAS at once. If people don’t like… Read more »

John Roch
Guest
John Roch

It might be helpful for those outside the UK to see the statutory Affirmation and Oaths Bishop The Church of England is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church worshipping the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It professes the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the Catholic Creeds, which faith the Church is called to proclaim afresh in each generation. Led by the Holy Spirit it has borne witness to Christian truth in its historic formularies, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the ordering of… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

“You go your way I go mine,” *is* living together in love. “Staying together for the children,” is a variant of “What will the neighbors think?” and hurts everyone, especially the children. Surely, John, you must realize there is a difference between the *idealized* church and the *de facto* church(es)? If you want to live together, how does that translate – do you fight, constantly, with Baptists, or Catholics, or Methodists, or Orthodox – all of whom, at some point, have rejected us or been rejected by us? This magical thinking is not helping anyone. Hurting people, then demanding those… Read more »