A letter appears in The Times today signed by eight members of the House of Laity who voted against the Measure last week, and referring in the text to a larger group of twelve people of a similar mind. Times subscribers can read the letter in full here, and there is a report of the letter at Anglican Mainstream over here.
The following excerpts make clear, first their point of view, and second their specific proposal for the way forward.
First their point of view:
…Most of us who make up the dozen, whose votes against the Measure did not reflect any serious opposition to women bishops, had taken the trouble to state clearly in our election addresses in 2010 that we would vote against the Measure if it did not in our judgment make ample provision of oversight in the way that the minorities needed, or honour promises made to the same minorities only 20 years ago.
Many of us 12 were prepared to vote for the Measure as it stood in July with a clause referring to “theological convictions” of those requiring alternative oversight, had the Bishops not lost their nerve and decided under pressure from “senior women” to reconsider their proposed “helpful” clause…
Second their proposals for the way forward:
…But we now all believe there can be a simpler way forward. A new briefer Measure could incorporate the 1993 Act of Synod governing alternative oversight as we have it, with all the valuable experience it has provided of living together with fellow Anglicans who cannot accept women priests and bishops. The new Measure should provide for alternative oversight on a churchwide basis to those unable to recognise their woman diocesan bishop and also to those parishes that accept or have women clergy which are unsuitably served by a traditional orthodox male diocesan bishop in a predominantly conservative diocese. It will minimally amend but not repeal the 1993 Measure which has served us all well. The Church must be concerned for, and provide for, all its members…
The eight signatories are:
Tom Sutcliffe, Mary Judkins, Phillip Rice, John Davies, Anne Bloor, Priscilla Hungerford, Keith Malcouronne, Christopher Corbet
More information about their voting records will follow soon.