Thinking Anglicans

House of Bishops – senior women clergy representatives

I reported here on the rules that had been made for the election of senior women representatives to attend meetings of the House of Bishops. The rules contained a few errors

  • Chelmsford was accidentally included in two regional electoral colleges
  • The first regional electors did not come into office until after the first elections

and these have now been corrected.

The amended rules (dated 14 June 2013) can be downloaded from here. I have amended my webpage version to show both the original text, and the amendments made to it.

The date by which the first elections must be completed remains 1 October 2013, so the first representatives will be able to attend the next regular meeting of the House of Bishops, which is in December.

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Kelvin Holdsworth
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Quite a novelty for the Church of England to have a system by which people are elected and then end up sitting in the House of Bishops as a consequence.

One wonders whether it might catch on for the real bishops who sit in the House of Bishops…

sally Barnes
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sally Barnes

Why is it taking so long to elect women to attend the House of Bishops at this most crucial time when they should be having a key input into discussions now? This was agreed some time ago. Two General Synods will have passed by the time these elections take place. The Bishops need to have and hear the women’s voice. These rules should have been pushed through as a matter of urgency.

Jeremy Pemberton
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Jeremy Pemberton

How slow can you go? And why?
It’s pathetic.

RosalindR
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RosalindR

One pertinent question this year is whether the House of Bishops will meet as part of the September meeting of the College of Bishops, particularly if there are decisions to be made relating to the planned November General Synod. If it were to do so, it would be helpful for the 8 women to have been elected by mid September.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

To quote, I believe, someone who posted here:

Like a mighty tortoise moves the Church of God.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I suppose one should not be too critical of the way in which Mother C.of E. Gets things done, but really!

Promises, promises! When, exactly, will the ministry of women be taken seriously? It seems that we mjght have to wait for the Rapture before things get moving on this important issue.

Benedict
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Benedict

The Church of England has due process. It seems to me that the majority simply wish to ride roughshod over this, simply to drive through its own wants! Cf, previous comments on this thread.

Veuster
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Veuster

> The Church of England has due process. It seems to me that the majority simply wish to ride roughshod over this, simply to drive through its own wants! Cf, previous comments on this thread.

It seems illogical to set a two-thirds threshold for a vote but then to seek to overturn the result when a two-thirds majority is not achieved. Wouldn’t it be more honest either to accept the result of the November 2013 vote, which was taken in accordance with due process, or to change the way General Synod works and allow it to pass legislation by simple majorities?

James Betteridge
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James Betteridge

“Like a mighty tortoise moves the Church of God.”
We would do well to remember though that the tortoise eventually managed to beat the hare to the finishing line…

Father Ron Smith
Guest

RE Benedict’s comment; one wonders whether God’s Holy Spirit ever has to wait for the C.of E’s ‘due process’? The answer to that question must SURELY be (in the UK) yes

Steven
Guest
Steven

Father Ron, you seem to speak with an authority that most of the traditionalists I know would dare not claim. How can you be so sure that the Holy Spirit is being stifled by the processes of the CofE? Is it not even remotely possible that Synod’s decision in November was guided by the Holy Spirit? I imiagine you would have said it was if the decision was six votes the other way.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

“We would do well to remember though that the tortoise eventually managed to beat the hare to the finishing line…”

CofE > rabbits.

Is that really a comforting thought?

Benedict
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Benedict

Three cheers for Steven in his response to Father Smith. If we truly believe that the Holy Spirit guides and governs his church, then why can it indeed not be possible that November’s vote was the will of God? Six, sixteen or sixty votes, it really makes no difference.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

So according to this theology, everything that the Church does is of the Spirit?

The Crusades? The Spanish Inquisition? The Salem witch trials?

Enlighten us, please.

The Church can do no wrong?

Hannah
Guest
Hannah

This is an item discussing the women clergy who will attend House of Bishops meetings. Why are some contributor’s bent on making it into an opportunity to shout at one another about the outcome of last November’s synod vote?

Suggesting that a process is long and convoluted is not the same as wishing to ‘ride roughshod’ over that process. And whilst appeals to tradition might have some weight when discussing the ordination of women, I find it hard to see how appealing to ancient authority is remotely apposite when discussing the standing orders of the House of Bishops!

Benedict
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Benedict

A question for Hannah. Why, then, in the immediate aftermath of the November vote, were there calls upon Parliament to intervene, and a concerted quest to oust the chairman of the House of Laity, as well as demands for the system to be changed? If that is not riding roughshod over due process, I don’t know what is.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Benedict,
it was widely felt that the November vote brought about a result that did not reflect the mood of the whole church as expressed by 42 out of 44 dioceses.
There is therefore now going to be a conversation in General Synod about whether the system should be changed.

To consider whether a voting system is still robust enough or whether it needs to be changed is also part of due process.

It may well be that Synod decides that the system does not have to be changed.

Helen
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Helen

But Parliament didn’t intervene; the motion of no confidence against Dr Giddings followed the rules of Synod, and the system hasn’t been changed. Do get back to the point of the thread, as Hannah requested, Benedict.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Erika, sorry to drag this out but could you please tell me what method the church employed to seek out the ‘mood of the WHOLE church’? Was it through the Deanery/Diocesan synods? Our PCC never discussed it, and nobody has ever asked for my views in an official capacity, nor of the congregation of which I am a part. If we are really talking about the mood of the WHOLE church should not every one of us have been asked for our view? How can you say ‘WHOLE church’ when you acknowledge that 2 dioceses were not in favour of… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Stephen, the church works through its polity. That may be defective (I would agree, which is why there are now proposals to change some of it), but it is the system by which it makes its discernments and decisions. And for the sake of this conversation the whole church is the group of churches that is united under the heading of the Church of England and bound by its processes. There may be a mythical wider church but that is a spiritual entity and I suspect each one of us defines it differently. I suspect that for you, it includes… Read more »

Steven
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Steven

Erika, thank you for explaining the process to me.