Thinking Anglicans

House of Laity meeting agenda

The agenda and supporting papers for the meeting of the House of Latiy to be held on 18 January 2013 have been published.

Agenda
HL01A
HL01B

I have copied the agenda below.

The press have been advised that this is a public meeting and that it will be chaired by the Rt Worshipful Charles George QC, Dean of the Arches.

HLA1
GENERAL SYNOD
HOUSE OF LAITY

Notice is hereby given of a meeting of the House of Laity to be held at 1.30 p.m. on Friday 18 January 2013 at Church House, Westminster.

Church House
Westminster SW1P 3AZ
18 December 2012
Nicholas Hills
Secretary

AGENDA

PRAYERS

Chair of the House of Laity: HL01A and HL01B

Canon Stephen Barney (Leicester) to move:
1. ‘That this House have no confidence in Dr Philip Giddings as Chair of this House.’

Notes to the agenda are below the fold.

Notes:

1. This meeting has been convened under Standing Order 2(c) of the House.

2. Canon Stephen Barney has prepared a note (HL01A) explaining his reasons for seeking this meeting. Members are also referred to HL01B, which is an unedited transcript of Dr Giddings’s speech during the debate on the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure (GS 1708D) at the November 2012 group of sessions of the General Synod.

3. It would help if members who wished to speak in this debate could, if at all possible, notify the Secretary of the House in advance either in writing or at nicholas.hills@churchofengland.org. A request to speak form is included with this agenda.

4. Members who wish to reclaim expenses associated with attendance at this meeting should discuss this with their diocese or, where their expenses are met centrally, with the Synod Support Unit. Diocesan Secretaries have been informed that the meeting is to take place.

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badman
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badman

I think there is a stronger basis for supporting the motion of no confidence than the one put forward by its proponent. The Chairman of the House of Laity should not be out of step with the large majority of the House of Laity on women bishops, which is one of the main issues for its legislative business in the near future. The Chair has a wider representative role than simply chairing meetings of the whole House – for example, he is an ex officio member of the Archbishops’ Council. Therefore, Dr Giddings is not well suited to his role.… Read more »

Jonathan Edwards II
Guest
Jonathan Edwards II

The House of Laity to choose another chair so that a certain group gets its own way?

The word ‘scapegoat’ comes to mind.

This is not democracy, it’s positive discrimination!

Father David
Guest
Father David

“That this House have no confidence in Dr. Philip Giddings as Chair of this House.”
Gracious – who can have confidence in the House of Laity when they can’t even present the Vote of No Confidence using correct grammar?
There is only one House of Laity – therefore – should it not read:-
“That this House HAS no confidence in Dr. Philip Giddings as Chair of this House.”?
Truly appalling.

Jonathan Jeninngs
Guest
Jonathan Jeninngs

Badman – under your argument, the chair of the House of Laity would have to take the majority position on every major issue before the Synod. Should that position change during the course of a debate, he or she would have to adjust the position accordingly. The inherent dishonesty of this would make far more of a mockery of both Synod and chair than any damage done by someone speaking honestly about their principled views, however out of step they might be. The members of the House of Laity do not need people to tell them what to think; nor… Read more »

Jane Charman
Guest
Jane Charman

Father David, the grammar is correct. It’s called the ‘subjunctive mood’ and is used because we don’t yet know whether they will have no confidence or not. Take a look at other synod motions and you’ll see they are similarly phrased

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Father David, have you never heard of the subjunctive mood?

Copyhold
Guest
Copyhold

No, Father David, the wording of the resolution is grammatically correct—the subjunctive is used after “Be it resolved that….”.

Father David
Guest
Father David

Well that’s me well and truly told and put in me place well below the salt!
However, it seems that “Free Speech” is a right in our nation everywhere except on the floor of the General Synod. Poor Dr. Giddings – he gives a speech as his conscience dictates and is pilloried and vilified for his pains. Those who disagree with his words retaliate with a vindictive motion of No Confidence. I don’t know about the “subjunctive mood” but the mood of the General Synod from where I stand looks pretty nasty and revengeful to me.

Peter Abbey
Guest
Peter Abbey

Whether it is grammatically correct or not it is just a disgraceful, un-Christian witch-hunt.

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

I have just read the transcript of Dr Giddings’ speech. What a tragedy that a transparently decent speech by a transparently decent man should now be the subject of a no confidence motion.

John
Guest
John

I agree the Chair should not be expected to endorse the majority view, and I agree that the Chair should be able to tell the House they are wrong if that’s what they feel. I’m not sure if it was Giddings’ fault he spoke straight after Welby. So the motion should, I think, probably fail on its narrow merits. But the fundamental problem is that it’s unhealthy for such a high-profile, influential role to be in the hands of someone so identified with a partisan view, one that, following the groundswell of opinion after the vote, is so widely seen… Read more »

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

I do hope that the title of the chair of this meeting does mean that the Dean of the Arches is full of (rightly-directed) worship.

Tim Chesterton
Guest

But the fundamental problem is that it’s unhealthy for such a high-profile, influential role to be in the hands of someone so identified with a partisan view

I believe I’m right in saying that Philip Giddings is in favour of the ordination of women, yes? That he spoke and voted as he did because he believed that provision for dissenters is inadequate, not because he is against women as bishops? That’s how I read his speech, anyway.

Pete Broadbent
Guest
Pete Broadbent

The grammar is fine. The no confidence motion is a piece of illiberal vindictiveness simply unworthy of even being considered by the House of Laity. Philip Giddings is the Chair of the House; he is entitled to have his own views on the propriety of ordaining women to the episcopate and on whether or not the legislation before the Synod was fit for purpose. He is also charged with representing the views of those who are members of the House of Laity. His speech, if you read it, is measured and thoughtful. (I happen to think he’s wrong in the… Read more »

Commentator
Guest
Commentator

Fr. Mark may I suggest that you read more of Dr Giddings writing. If you are expert with the Internet you might even be able to recover his sermons that fortuitously disappeared from the website of the church where he serves as a Reader. I think the transparency would reveal other aspects of the man.
Merely a suggestion . . .

Father David
Guest
Father David

Well said, Bishop Broadbent in identifying the No Confidence (waste of time) Motion as “a piece of illiberal vindictiveness”. The grammar of this “illiberal vindictiveness” still bothers me. House is singular. “Have” in this context is plural (it would only be singular if the subject were the pronoun “I” or the singular pronoun “you”). It is nothing to do with the subjunctive. The argument could be that we have a collective noun, “House”, and that current usage permits a plural form of the verb with a collective noun (it is commonplace on the BBC, for example, to hear, “The Government… Read more »

John
Guest
John

My concern is wider than just Giddings’ stance on women bishops. I understand he is Convenor of Anglican Mainstream. That means he is identified with actively promoting a stance on a number of issues that I feel has always been unrepresentative of truly mainstream Anglicanism. But since the vote on women bishops, my sense is that there’s a bit of a groundswell of opinion, and the CofE as a whole is less willing to have itself identified by such opinions. That’s why, although I personally don’t think this motion is the right way forward, I wonder if Giddings (along with… Read more »

Philip Hobday
Guest
Philip Hobday

Couldn’t one reasonably conclude from this manoeuvring – which seems on the face of it rather vindictive – that there is not sufficient trust or ‘respect’ between differing groups to make anything short of statutory arrangements enough to convince those with reservations about the consecration of women that they will have room to flourish? And indeed to convince some of those who, while longing to see women consecrated, are anxious that there should be a sustainable and generous settlement? I write this as someone who supports women bishops and longs to see them consecrated in a flourishing and generous Church… Read more »

David Lamming
Guest
David Lamming

As a mere member of a diocesan synod that supported the Measure on the article 8 reference (and whose 7 diocesan GS members—bishop, 3 clergy and 3 laity—all voted in favour), I would make the following comments, having read both Mr Barney’s note and the transcript of Dr Giddings’s speech: 1. I abhor a witch hunt, which I think this is. 2. I assume there is an error in Mr Barney’s second bullet point and that he meant to say that Dr Giddings’s speech “did not support the views of the House of Laity as a whole.” 3. On that… Read more »

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

Though Dr Giddings is entitled to have and express his view, the House of Laity is also entitled to express itself on his qualities as chair according to its own procedures. Those of us who are ordained (or consecrated) may have views on the matter, but he is not our chair. Though I disagree profoundly with Dr Giddings on the substance of the matter in question, I think it is greatly to his credit that he has so far saved his own account for the forum (House of Laity) in which it is most properly given. Many would be tempted… Read more »

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

“But this is now in the hands of the laity. It is their decision which counts” – Mark Bennet.

So why does this hold good for the eviction of Dr Giddings and yet not for rejection of the faulty measure?

Flora Alexander
Guest
Flora Alexander

Sorry to be pernickety, but please accept that in this case ‘have’ is not plural; it is the correct singular subjunctive form. Now we should move on to more substantial matters.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

If the House of Laity wants itself to be led by someone else, someone who reflects the view of a substantial majority on women bishops, surely that is the House’s right.

Some might call it a witch hunt. I would rather describe it as an attempt to ensure that the chair of the House of Laity represent its members on a major issue before that House.

Why are some so troubled that a leader of the House of Laity should be accountable to its members?

Transparency and accountability in General Synod. Such novelties!

Father David
Guest
Father David

When the Women priests motion was passed 20 years ago by a mere 2 votes – it was hailed as the work of the Holy Spirit. After praying for the guidance of the Paraclete – the Women bishops motion failed by 6 votes – now the Comforter is regarded as having not “got with the programme”! I presume, in stirring up much adverse reaction with this ill advised no confidence motion, the House of Laity will begin their gathering on January 18th MMXIII with an invocation of the Holy Ghost? Personally, I’m at a loss to identify any connection with… Read more »

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

David, Pete, Philip Giddings’s free speech is not in doubt. He can say what he likes, as his conscience dictates, and our consciences may then tell us to oppose with every fibre of our being his deeply unpleasant views. He is a principal backer of Anglican Mainstream, which delights in disseminating some of the most unpleasant, biased, unrepresentative and tendentious anti-gay reporting on any website in the UK. They promote the whole deeply damaging and irrelevant ex-gay nonsense. Their material on women’s rights is hardly any better. He is an opponent of women in episcopal ministry without “proper provision” –… Read more »

Stephen Morgan
Guest
Stephen Morgan

Well said Jeremy! I was going to say you had ‘touched the matter with a needle’ but judging by the above should steer clear of quotations and grammar! If Anglican Mainstream were a trading company they could be had under the Trade Descriptions Act, being neither anglican or mainstream. Some of the items on their website are truly eye-popping: ‘Eleven Gay Myths’ etc. As you rightly say, they and Philip Giddings are entirely entitled to their views, and it is entirely right that the rest of the laity should be aware of just what he and his ilk stand for.

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

I do not like where we are. I use the influence I have to try to get us to a better place – not a them-and-us place but a “we” place – where women can be consecrated bishops. I was not as unhappy as some at the General Synod vote, because it might just give us a chance to get better legislation – by which I mean freedom to flourish in the Holy Spirit, rather than the right to exist by law. The house of laity voted as it did. That does not make the use of established and extant… Read more »

Stephen Barney
Guest
Stephen Barney

Folks,

Thanks for your very interesting and thought provoking comments, some think this is a witch hunt, please be assured it is not. I will explain myself fully in proposing the motion on 18th Jan.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Mr. Barney, you need public-relations advice, and fast.

With all respect, to say that “some might think x is y, but this is not so and I’ll tell you why in two weeks” is about as unpersuasive a post as I’ve ever seen.

You’ve taken an importance public stand–one with which I agree. If you can’t defend it now, then don’t post here, but work on your speech, with assistance from a communications specialist.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Perhaps the solution to all of this is that the members of the House of Laity bear in mind the political and spiritual character of whomever they vote to elect as Chairperson – next time.