Thinking Anglicans

Women Bishops – diocesan debates – 12 November

Updated Saturday night to add Portsmouth results.
Updated Monday morning to add links to reports on diocesan websites of Oxford, Portsmouth and York.

In the final day of diocesan debates, Liverpool, Newcastle, Oxford, Portsmouth, Southwark, and York diocesan synods debated the draft legislation to allow women bishops today. In each case the main motion was

That this Synod approve the proposals embodied in the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and in Amending Canon No 30.

The CEEC following motion was

This Synod
1. desires that all faithful Anglicans remain and thrive together in the Church of England
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 who are unable 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) Liverpool passed the main motion in all three houses.

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 2 0 0
Clergy 40 8 0
Laity 26 12 2

The CEEC following motion was defeated with 16 votes in favour, 61 against and 8 abstentions.

The diocese has promptly published this report: Synod votes in favour of women bishops legislation.

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

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 2 0 0
Clergy 34 10 1
Laity 28 7 1

There is a report on the diocesan website: Newcastle Diocesan Synod supports Church of England’s proposals for women bishops.

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

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 4 0 0
Clergy 46 19 0
Laity 55 15 2

CEEC following motion was divided. Paragraph 1 was overwhelmingly carried. Paragraph 2 was defeated as follows.

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 0 4 0
Clergy 19 53 1
Laity 15 52 1

The diocesan website has: Oxford votes for women bishops draft.

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

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 1 0 0
Clergy 36 2 0
Laity 36 6 0

A following motion described as “positive” by our correspondent (a supporter of women in the episcopate) was lost – by 13 votes to 58 with 11 abstentions. A second “negative” following motion was also lost – by 13 votes to 66 with one abstention.

There is a brief report on the home page of the diocesan website.

5) Southwark passed the main motion in all three houses.

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 2 0 0
Clergy 50 14 0
Laity 38 13 3

There were three following motions. Details are on the diocesan website: Southwark Diocesan Synod votes for the Women Bishops legislation.

6) York passed the main motion in all three houses.

  For Against Abstentions
Bishops 3 2 0
Clergy 25 14 1
Laity 42 8 0

This following motion

This Synod calls upon the House of Bishops, in exercise of its powers under Standing Order 60 (b), to amend the draft…Measure in the manner proposed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York at the Revision Stage for the draft Measure

was carried by 62 votes to 24 with 6 abstentions. Details are on the diocesan website.

70
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
70 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
38 Comment authors
Father DavidRPNewarkPerry ButlerPeter OwenSimon Kershaw Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Jean MAYLAND
Guest
Jean MAYLAND

I am told that Newcastle Diocese also defeated the two following motions. In the case of the Archbishops’Amendment the Bishop of Newcastle voted in favour and the Assiatant Bishop abstained. It was 15 for and 15 against in the laity with 8 abstentions but was defeated in the House of Clergy.

In York there was little chance of defeating the Archbishop on his amendment but I congratulate those who stood up against him

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

The most disturbing aspect of this legislation is the provision to make room for those who can’t accept women as bishops. It’s a big mistake to enshrine misogyny and present it to the public as “accommodation”. It is all wrong. I believe it is better to accept women in all positions of leadership in The Church, or leave quietly and find another branch of Christianity that accepts the status quo.

William
Guest
William

Disagreement is one thing, but to label others as misogynist just because they share a different understanding of priesthood is not on. Individuals may or may not be misogynist – I personally wouldn’t judge anyone about that without knowing how they lived their lives. You need to try and grapple with the theology of those you disagree with; don’t just hurl abuse at them.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I cannot help agreeing with Chris Smith (no relation- except en Christo). No matter what kind and cuddly measure is passed to enshrine the opposition of dissidents to the episcopal ministry of our Sisters in Christ, we have to consider what their official accommodation will proclaim to the Church and the World. It will certainly not echo the opinion of Saint Paul, that “In Christ, there is neither male nor female – all are brought together under the One spirit”.

Jesus mercy; Mary pray!

Lauren A. Gough
Guest

If accomodations are made for those who do not agree with women in the episcopate, it will come back and bite later and it will continue to show the Church as addled and foolish. It did for TEC back in the ‘conscience clause’. It was used by people who tried to ‘ghettoize’ themselves in ‘conservative diocese’ that eventually led to the schism that we are now trying to recover from. “Let your yes be yes and your no be no..” Misogyny is a sin–discrimination towards 1/2 of the population is not scriptural or even traditional no matter what Rome says.

Wilf
Guest
Wilf

Totals (excluding abstentions).
Bishops: For 88, Against 13 (85% in favour)
Clergy: For 1956, Against 464 (76% in favour)
Laity: For 2138, Against 490 (77% in favour)
Overall 77% in favour.

This includes the Europe Diocesan Synod (which was not the actual decision-making body).

John
Guest
John

Chris,

You might believe ‘it’s a big mistake’ etc. But can’t you see that your follow-up ‘to enshrine misogyny’ is grossly prejudicial?

John.

William
Guest
William

Sorry, the previous comment came out more angrily than I intended. I don’t think anyone was being abusive or deliberately insulting. However, people who hold a Catholic understanding of priesthood, have so often been dismissed as misogynist, that the very word strikes a raw nerve sometimes. Admittedly there are probably people out there who have unpleasant views about women. But the majority of Catholics I know just want to remain faithful to the historic understanding of the Church. It is as simple as that. Suggesting that a line of argument is misogynist, is to claim that the argument has no… Read more »

Grandmère Mimi
Guest

“It’s a big mistake to enshrine misogyny and present it to the public as “accommodation”. It is all wrong.”

Yes, indeed, Chris. Why must the Church of England accommodate misogyny? Of course, it’s not my church, so perhaps I should not speak my piece.

June Butler

Dan Barnes-Davies
Guest

Wilf,

I too now have complete stats – here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Danbarnesdavies/Women_in_the_episcopate but they differ from yours.

Where have I gone wrong?

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

William: For me, “remaining faithful to the historic understanding of Church” means women SHOULD be ordained to all positions the Church offers to men. To me, this is my understanding of the way Jesus would approach this. Inclusive. To pretend that misogyny is not at the heart of this issue further devalues women. I can find no valid theological argument that bans women from the same positions held by men in the Church. I do not find high moral ground by those who wish to disenfranchise women from all ordained ministries merely because “tradition” says it must be this way.… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

It is kind of Wilf to give us these figures. When the half way goal was passed some time back Pete Broadbent’s comment then suggested to me that the English General Synod were not going to be overly interested in the final outcome. I suppose there are very few floating voters after all these years of debate but if there are a few they could hardly be unimpressed by the numbers Wilf has crunched for us. I understand that leaders of those opposed to women bishops have also found the figures overwhelming and have suggested that to torpedo the process… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Understanding of the priesthood? Or misunderstanding?

Path dependence and theological correctness are not the same thing.

Dan Barnes-Davies
Guest

My results (on wikipedia, linked above), are now updated with a summary of the following motion “scores” – which generally give an indication that we the people would rather the legislation pass unfettered.

(The phrasing may be regarded as biassed, but that’s because I am. The stats however are not.)

Sara MacVane
Guest
Sara MacVane

Surely (to my mind at least) the “Catholic view” is that the authority to decide who may or may be ordained/consecrated resides in the church, which in this imperfect world must mean that part of the church divided to which I belong. If “my” church could decide, as it did, that authority does not reside in Rome, then surely the decision to ordain/consecrate women is ever so much less earth shaking. As a woman, it is hard for me to understand how an ordained man can believe that “our” church has authority (not of Rome, or Constantinople, or Antioch etc… Read more »

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

I suggest that everyone checks their figures. The ones I have are closer to Dan’s than to Wilf’s and mainly agree with Dan, but I have to deal with Remembrance before I have time to check. I think there are two features of the voting which bear comment, because if they are validated by careful checking they will help to locate us in reality. The first is that the votes in favour of the General Synod motion are distinctly more positive than the Diocesan votes before the Women Priests legislation was passed. The second is that the Church of England… Read more »

Pete Broadbent
Guest
Pete Broadbent

Mark’s comment is helpful in relation to putting things in perspective. There are two other things to be said about the Diocesan Synod voting. 1. As I’ve been trying to emphasise, it only carries moral weight. In 1992, four dioceses voted against (I think). This time only two. But General Synod takes very little notice of the DS voting, as GS members are not delegates but representatives. So, although supporters will talk up the DS voting figures, it won’t carry much weight with those who actually have to make the decision in GS. 2. Because DS is elected by first… Read more »

Wilf
Guest
Wilf

Profound apologies, a spreadsheet is only as good as the person who transcribes the information. The votes in favour above are actually the total votes cast.

J Hassell
Guest
J Hassell

The disagreement is surely about Spiritual Leadership and not Leadership as the World understands it? We are all priests – but Holy Scripture points to Spiritual Leadership Order does it not? I am not interested in tradition. Women are as valuable as Men in Gods eyes. If we fight Gods Spiritual order then do not we compromise the calling of Women and push them into a role that was never intended?
Someone please enlighten me because I want to get this right before Almighty God.

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

I unreservedly believe that women should be represented in broadly equal numbers to men, in the episcopacy. However I have to say that I agree with William, both in the content and tone of his posts, because in my opinion one of the great strengths of the Anglican Community ought to be its ability to find unity in Christ, while allowing space for diversity of sincere belief on points of theology. One of my problems with the proposed Covenant is that it could well be used to impose a dominant theological view on the whole communion, creating an imposed uniformity.… Read more »

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

(…contd) Furthermore, I believe the church doors should be kept wide open for as many and diverse views as possible, and as I value many aspects of catholicism myself, I would be deeply saddened if catholic Anglicans were locked out because of a sincere view of priesthood which they may hold with absolute integrity without being mysogynistic. If I was a bishop I would be glad to help with provisions to hold and treasure a section of my communion who may have divergent views to my own, but love God, and offer much to our Anglican and Christian heritage. How… Read more »

Savi Hensman
Guest
Savi Hensman

The draft legislation makes generous provision for opponents of women’s ordination – they need never allow a woman priest or bishop to exercise their ministry inside their parish church. Children could grow up attending their church and never know that women could be Anglican clergy.

But women bishops would be at least nominally the bishop of the whole diocese, and this is the sticking point. For some of us, it would be far less orthodox to have, in effect, two bishops with authority in one diocese, and result in women bishops exercising substantially less than full episcopal ministry.

Susan Cooper
Guest
Susan Cooper

I am a little surpised by Pete Broadbent’s comment: ‘Because DS is elected by first past the post from deaneries, whereas GS is elected by STV’ I don’t think it is correct, at least not in the Diocese of London. I assume that he is using DS as a short for Diocesan Synod. Diocesan Synod members in the Diocese of London are – or certainly were in the past – elected by STV. The problem that often crops up is that insufficient people stand for the places and the method of election becomes irrelevant. I would disagree with him about… Read more »

Christopher (P.)
Guest
Christopher (P.)

Re: Susannah’s comment. As a moderate liberal within a conservative evangelical parish (don’t ask why–it has deep reasons in family), I absolutely agree with you, but know that it’s not reciprocal. On the presenting issue of blessings of same-sex relationships, those in my parish who are approving are seen not just as holding a minority opinion, but rather as holding to heretical doctrines and having fallen away from the faith; they risk being removed from any leadership positions, and they certainly may be encouraged to leave, not by the clergy, but by the prominent lay leaders. In the eyes of… Read more »

Dan Barnes-Davies
Guest

I find interesting the assertion that the diocesan results “only carry moral weight” – as if that will not be enough to sway our GS. Surely they are good churchpeople, and what have we in the church if we have not morals?!

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I have problems with Bishop Pete Broadbent’s assertion that General Synods are somehow more representative of the Church ‘in situ’ than the diocesan Synods.In the Anglican System the Church operates at the parish level, from whence come the representatives to diocesan Synods.

Perhaps, now that he has been elevated to the episcopate, the bishop thinks he might be more ‘representative’ of the Church than an ordinary baptized lay-person. It sound rather like a ‘top-down’ ecclesiastical idea to me. Or am I wrong?

JCF
Guest
JCF

“If we fight Gods Spiritual order then do not we compromise the calling of Women and push them into a role that was never intended?”

The “calling of Women” as defined by whom? Misogynist men???

Surely, any discernment of calling to holy orders MUST BEGIN w/ the individual ***perceiving a call***.

If one is going to conclude that EVERY woman so discerning (in their thousands and millions) is lying or deluded (nevermind ignoring the EXPERIENCE of the ministry of ordained women!), then *I* am going to call that person a “misogynist”: hurt feelings or no. >:-/

Chris H.
Guest
Chris H.

Father Ron, St. Paul also said that women should not teach or have authority over men. Equal, but with different places/jobs in Christ’s body. Savi, I hadn’t heard that the provisions had been decided/written yet. Just that the liberals promised to make some. Are they available somewhere online? As for those who think conservatives must fall in line or leave to keep the peace, why didn’t you leave before and start your own inclusive church without tearing at the traditional one? If the only way they can keep their integrity is by leaving, why didn’t you keep yours and leave… Read more »

sally barnes
Guest
sally barnes

A) If General Synod is unlikely to take notice of the diocesan results then what was the point of all the energy, time and expense of through the debates?

B) Could someone tell the rest of us what Jesus Christ said about ordaining men and women to the priesthood that gives the Church such authority on which it builds its “Tradition?”.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Further to JCF’s point:

I can only identify three possible options regarding women who feel called by God to the Priesthood.

1) They are all deluded without exception. Probably some of them are, just as some of the men are, but I find it hard to believe that all are.

2) God is calling them to something he doesn’t want them to do. This raises very odd questions about God!

3) Their call should be tested (along with the men) with the intention of ordaining them.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“why didn’t you keep yours and leave before rather than stay in a church made up of bigots and misogynists?”

Posted by: Chris H. on Monday,

May I point out, Chris H., the simple fact that the majority in the Church are not ‘bigots & misogynists’. Therefore why should they (we, in this case) leave? Most Church members are level-headed – thus the positive overall vote for Women Bishops.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Chris H., every church has always had an internal mechanism for the continuous discernment of God’s will. That does not mean that those who perceive a new possibility have to leave and set up their own church, but that they present their perception to the church which then tests that perception, in many cases over several decades, before arriving at a new discernment. Knowing what to do with those who resist that discernment is indeed difficult. But to pretend that their view is still the only right one, simply because it’s the older one, isn’t going to work either. You… Read more »

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

I agree with Sally Barnes ….why on earth go through all this at the Diocesan Level( costing time and money) if at the end of the day the GS doesnt pay much attention. What is synodical goveenment all abouT? This can only breed cynicism..which is perhaps why it is difficult to get people to stand for Deanery Synods,attendance is often low especially among the clergy and few in the congregation show much interest in whatever has been discussed ( aside from the wrangles over the Common Fund!) One of the joys of retirement is not having to go to all… Read more »

Sara MacVane
Guest
Sara MacVane

Erica said what I wanted to say in my last posting, only she said it better. @ChrisH, I believe that Paul was no absolutist, but that he said different things to different people in different instances, as indeed all intelligent people do. Problems, personalities, histories and much more create different circumstances, different problems which require different solutions. We have so little of what Paul wrote or said (I suspect) that we shouldn’t become the absolutists which Paul certainly wasn’t, and …. he had a lot of confidence in women and invested them with authority, if what has been passed down… Read more »

american piskie
Guest
american piskie

Father Ron, as I understand it the C of E synodical system *is* top-down. Members of the General Synod are ex officio members of their local diocesan and even deanery synods, and so on; members of the deanery synod are ex officio members of “their own” PCC. Some of those who designed the system in the 1960s intended this to be the case, that it should be the very opposite of eg the Church of Scotland presbytery/synod/assembly. (This I had from Kemp). Others may not have realised what they were signing-up to. Pragmatically, the business of deanery synods is structured… Read more »

Susan Cooper
Guest
Susan Cooper

Most of us on General Synod are there because some of the voters liked our election addresses. For some of us, these gave a good idea of how we feel about women bishops. We are unlikely to change our minds on the principle. However, we are given the opportunity to hear a wide range of views and most of us listen carefully and my votes have been modified from time to time in an attempt to help accommodate those who think differently from me (I am not sure whether my jestures have been recognised or appreciated, but I have done… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“If I was a bishop I would be glad to help with provisions to hold and treasure a section of my communion who may have divergent views to my own, but love God, and offer much to our Anglican and Christian heritage.” – Susannah – Well, Susannah (and bless you for that indication that your motivation is ‘inclusive’ rather than exclusive on this matter); If you, as a woman, were called to be a bishop in the Church, what I would want for you, and other woman bishops who are diocesans, to be empowered to delegate your episcopal authority to… Read more »

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

Common sense dictates that, because the Church of England has always been a broad Church, able to accomodate within its ranks a huge diversity of beliefs and practices, then it should be able to come to an agreement on this one. Anglo-Catholics have been expected to make concessions at every step, but the Code of Practice is just a step too far. To support it would be like the proverbial turkey voting for Christmas. The Archbishops’ idea of coordinate jurisdiction is a suitable compromise, and it has been heartening to see a more fair minded approach to the problem from… Read more »

Rosalind
Guest
Rosalind

(cont..) Similarly, DS members often are, as another person has pointed out, not elected but are often the only people who are willing to give up Saturdays to go to Synod meetings! (or who have their names down but don’t go to meetings) A fallible system, but it is a significant part of the process that the C of E uses to discern God’s will. All synod meetings will have begun with prayer, often a eucharist, and the debates were being held in prayer around the country. Do we have the courage to believe that God might be willing to… Read more »

Columba Gilliss
Guest
Columba Gilliss

What does STV mean? I can guess “first past the post,” I think. Yes, I’m a Yank.
Columba Gilliss

Malcolm French+
Guest

It really comes down to a simple matter of politics (small “p”). In the face of such an overwhelming result from the diocesan synods, a defeat of the measure by General Synod would provoke a political crisis about the legitimacy of the General Synod. And given the massive rejection of the following resolutions in the vast majority of diocesan synods, any monkeying about along the lines of the previous archiepiscopal fudge would similarly case a meltdown of legitimacy.

Dan Barnes-Davies
Guest

I’ve also made a graphical depiction of the results: here http://dan.barnesdavies.co.uk/wite/

Susan Cooper
Guest
Susan Cooper

Single Transferable Vote

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@Erika, Some of us didn’t join, but were born into the church and don’t like to be called bigots and misogynists because we believe what we were taught by the church. All this “change or leave” fits in well with the question I’ve been struggling with for the last week or so since seeing a post about a group of TEC priests where not one in the group would admit to belief in Jesus’ literal resurrection- a good thing according to the writer. Another blogger wrote that none of those leaving TEC to become Catholics, etc. had ever been “real”… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Chris H, whether you chose a particular church or were born into it and stayed because you liked it makes no material difference. If you were taught to believe certain things, did they not also automatically include the way your church does things? People born into the CoE might not have a clue about how the Roman Catholic parish system works in practice but they know about the CoE system of synodical government, how bishops are selected, how the discernment processes of the church work. They have now had over 30 years of awareness women priests were at first a… Read more »

J Hassell
Guest
J Hassell

A calling is weighed by Holy Scripture and God believing Spirit filled Born again Christians. If it doesn’t fit with Holy Scripture then the calling is obviously flawed and we can gently pastor the situation. Muslims feel called and there are millions of these dear folk! First fundamental lesson of the day!

Add or subtract Holy Scripture at your peril.
God is Spirit, Jesus is Lord and the Holy Spirit is our Councellor.

“Let go” – seems to be what God is saying to me now and so I will.

God bless you all.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Chris H — Certainly The Episcopal Church is a more liberal church than the Church of England. Apparently that troubles you? Perhaps you look to the Covenant as a means to enforce doctrinal uniformity? Church of Englanders should realize that in North America the Roman Catholic Church is much more established denomination than it is in the UK–and is far larger than The Episcopal Church. Imagine if the Roman Church in the UK were far larger than the Church of England. That would likely have effects on the Church of England’s development and doctrinal stances. “Local adaptations” and all that.

john
Guest
john

Of course, I am on the side of Susanna and Benedict (who are on different sides over the particular issue but who both wish for continued maximalist accommodation within the C of E). Let me try to make a ‘Christian benevolence’ case. Recently, in Geneva I was looking for a 10 a.m. communion. The (Protestant) Cathedral had a service but no communion. So I attended an RC church which had mass (both bread and wine), which I received. At the end, I thanked the priest at the door and said, among other things, ‘je suis Anglican’. He replied (in French):… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Two Anglican churches in Geneva, and at Emmanuel Communion is at 10 am. (At Holy Trinity, it depends which Sunday of the month…)