Thinking Anglicans

Women Bishops – London diocesan debate

Updated to include partial information on the following motions

The London diocesan synod held its debate on the women bishops legislation this evening, and voted against the legislation.

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

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 voting figures were:

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 2 1 0
Clergy 39 41 0
Laity 45 37 0

For this purpose the motion is only carried if both the houses of clergy and laity vote in favour.

The diocese has published this Report from Diocesan Synod.

Two following motions were also considered, and both were rejected. When we receive the exact wording of them we will add that information.

1. Understood to be the CEEC motion voted on in other dioceses

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 2 1 0
Clergy 37 38 0
Laity 36 39 2

2. Understood to be a request to reconsider the “Archbishops’ amendment”

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 2 1 0
Clergy 34 38 1
Laity 33 41 2

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Simon KershawPerry ButlerFather Ron SmithLaurence RobertsSimon Morden Recent comment authors
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Anne Peat
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How sad that the clergy should swing the vote against.
Shame on London.

Grumpy High Church Woman
Guest
Grumpy High Church Woman

Does anyone know which bishop voted which way? And where were the other bishops?

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

So, for those of us who don’t know the diocese of London well, how are we to interpret this result?

Is it the result of Anglo-Catholic influence, immigrant traditionalism, or something else?

Wilf
Guest
Wilf

Well, that was to be expected but was really very close. Much closer than in 1992 and probably closer than most had anticipated. As interesting is the fact that the usual following motions were defeated.

Politically I doubt whether any capital can be made out of this for those opposed.

Only one more diocesan synod needs to vote in favour (there are around 20 to go) for the necessary 50% mark to be reached prior to going back to General Synod.

Dan Barnes-Davies
Guest

Wilf – we actually need two more dioceses to be in favour to *surpass* 50% and achieve a majority. There are, however, 7 voting tomorrow, so that shouldn’t be too difficult.

At this point, it’s really about how large a majority can be achieved so as to compel GS and parliament to pass the legislation.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I suspect that this negative result for Women as Bishops would have come from clergy members of F.i.F., which has probably the largest following in the London Diocese. It would be interesting to know how many of these dissenting clergy would also be against the accommodation of Gays in the Church.

Ernie
Guest
Ernie

How sad that some clergy continue to try to ignore the ministry of women in the church.

evensongjunkie
Guest
evensongjunkie

The Diocese of London could be arguably the largest in the Anglican Communion. Too bad the majority of priests that voted in this election are living like they’re in the smallest.

Tim Moore
Guest

Fr Ron, your reaction was similar to mine. I had wondered whether the influential (FiF) Anglo-Catholic wing of the Diocese of London is what scuppered the motion being carried.

As for these “dissenters'” attitudes towards gay clergy, I’d be happy to discuss the misogynistic gay sub-culture of Anglo-Catholicism, and its search for a purpose in a society broadly accepting of LGBT people, but I think I’ll just stop digging there!

Simon Morden
Guest
Simon Morden

Call me Mr Thicky, but can someone explain why, presuming that all three votes took place at the same venue, with the same attendees, consecutively, the number of votes cast for the Clergy and Laity don’t tally between the motions?

Surely, if you were present, and didn’t vote for or against, you abstained. But for the main motion, 82 lay people voted, on the CEEC motion, 77 voted, and on the amendment, 76 votes were cast.

Did some people simply go home after the first vote was lost?

Graeme Buttery
Guest
Graeme Buttery

In reply to Dan Barnes-Davies, can I just say that the synodical system doesn’t work like that. The General Synod doesn’t have to take on board diocesan votes necessarily. The diocesan synod stage is a hurdle to be surmounted, not necessarily a heavy steer. We do of course then get into all sorts of debates about legitimacy, democracy etc. That however is probably for another time. We are stuck with the system we have for now.

Graeme Buttery

tommiaquinas
Guest
tommiaquinas

Simon Morden,

There was a coffee break between the main motion and the further motions. Some people slipped away.

Jeremy,

There are lots of Tradcath and ConEvo parishes in the London Diocese, certainly disproportionately so to some other Dioceses. However, the speeches on the night suggest that the vote was swung by those supporters of Women Bishops who believe the current legislation is flawed and “we can do better”).

david rowett
Guest

I’d guess London also has some ‘Reform’ types….

Simon Morden
Guest
Simon Morden

Thanks, Tommi.

However, considering the gravity of the motions being debated, I find that extraordinary. They are representatives and/or delegates of their parishes and deaneries, not there on their own cognisance – or have I got that completely wrong?

Jean Mary Mayland
Guest
Jean Mary Mayland

Very sad but very close.

Thanks to the Laity who did support women bishops.
At least the following motions were defeated which actually makes the over all vote even more bizarre.
I gather the Bishop of London did not register a vote

Dan Barnes-Davies
Guest

Mr Buttery,

Oh, bother.

Yours etc.

john
Guest
john

Oh come on. I think it’s a good thing. No one at all here or anywhere else in the C of E is denying that there will be women bishops. It’s a question of ‘provision’ for dissenters. This vote – like other votes – makes it more likely that there will be such ‘provision’. In which case, the ‘dissenters’ will be happy and so will we be.

Rosalind
Guest
Rosalind

John – I don’t know why you think there is no “provision” in the legislation that General Synod has sent to the dioceses. There is so much provision that there needs to be a clause exempting the C of E from specific parts of sex discrimination legislation.

Neil
Guest
Neil

Very sad says Jean Mary M. But, for those who cannot accept the ordination of women to be according to the will of God no doubt equally sad that the vote was not lost also in the House of Bishops and Laity. Very close they might say, and sad.

Pete Broadbent
Guest
Pete Broadbent

Sense of perspective here. In 1992, there were Soviet-style majorities against women priests in London. Given the make-up of the clergy in the Diocese, to have come that close represents a huge turn-around from the dark days of Graham Leonard.

And of course, once we’ve got 50% of the Diocesan Synods in favour, the Diocesan Synod votes become irrelevant. It’s getting that 2/3 in the House of Laity of General Synod at final approval that is the crucial thing.

Simon Kershaw
Admin

Simon Morden: ‘They are representatives and/or delegates of their parishes and deaneries, not there on their own cognisance – or have I got that completely wrong?’

Yes, you are completely wrong. Members of diocesan synods (and members of deanery synods and of the General Synod) are not under any mandate or instruction from their electorate. They are not ‘delegates’. Rather, they are representatives, who speak and listen to other speakers, read and engage with the issues, and vote according to their informed conscience.

Simon K (who will get to vote next Saturday)

Simon Morden
Guest
Simon Morden

Simon – excellent (in that I was wrong, and I’ve learnt something new). I’d assumed it’d be more akin to Union rules, with delegates reflecting the will of a local electorate.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

It is looking doubtful that General Synod will vote for women to become bishops, in all three houses, as required by law. I wonder what ‘provision’ will then be made for those who had wanted women as bishops ? I have seen not a word about this. But can well *imagine* how the anti-WO people will ‘make provision’. There will be none and we will return to the status quo ante. *No need to imagine*, in fact, just refer to church history – especially the history of the with-holding of ordination to women; and the denial of women’s ministry to… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“It’s a question of ‘provision’ for dissenters. This vote – like other votes – makes it more likely that there will be such ‘provision’. In which case, the ‘dissenters’ will be happy and so will we be.” – John, on Friday – John, you obviously have not been concentrating on what has been written here about the whole problem of a 2-tier rank of bishops. Not only does it demean the women bishops concerned, it allows a small body of dissentients to believe they have a right to ‘special treatment’ that does dis-service to the principles of catholicity of which… Read more »

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Do we know why some of the London bishops,including the diocesan it would seem, didnt vote at all? It does seem odd.

Simon Kershaw
Admin

‘Do we know why some of the London bishops … didnt vote at all?’ Can’t answer for any individual bishops; but diocesan synod approval is considered to be given if the clergy and laity each approve; the consent of the diocesan House of Bishops is not required. Presumably this is because the bishops have their say at the General Synod where all the diocesans (and representative suffragans) have an individual vote. It would not be fair for the bishops to have a veto at this stage. So some bishops may well feel that it is appropriate not to vote at… Read more »