THINKING ANGLICANS

Church in Wales votes in favour of women bishops

The Governing Body of the Church in Wales this afternoon voted in favour of the consecration of women as bishops. Here is the official press release.

Church votes to ordain women as bishops

A Bill to enable women to be consecrated as bishops was passed by members of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales meeting at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Lampeter today.

The Bill was amended, following a lengthy and passionate debate, to become a one-stage vote to enable the consecration of women as bishops, with a “code of practice” to be written by the Bishops for those who in conscience could not accept the authority of women bishops. The amendment had been tabled by the Archdeacon of Llandaff, Peggy Jackson, and Revd Canon Jenny Wigley.

The Bill was proposed by the Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory Cameron, and seconded by the Bishop of Bangor, Andy John.

Addressing members, the Archbishop, Dr Barry Morgan, said, “Thank you for the way in which the debate has been conducted and I hope you will trust us as Bishops to prepare a code of practice.”

Result:
House of Laity – 57 yes 14 no 2 absentions
House of Clergy – 37 yes, 10 no
House of Bishops – unanimous.

A two thirds majority was required in each house.

Update

ACNS reports Wales says ‘yes’ to women bishops.

One year from today, women priests can become bishops in the Church in Wales.

The historic decision to allow women bishops was made at today’s meeting of the Church’s Governing Body in Lampeter, Ceredigion.

The Bill that came before today’s meeting was a modified version of the one that was narrowly voted down in 2008.

The modification proposed that, were the Church to vote ‘yes’ to women bishops, a second Bill dealing with provision for those opposed to women bishops would be considered before any women were elected to the episcopate.

This would have delayed the election of women bishops in the Province for several years.

The Bill was amended, following a lengthy and passionate debate, to become a one-stage vote to enable the consecration of women as bishops, with a “code of practice” to be written by the bishops for those who in conscience could not accept the authority of women bishops. The amendment had been tabled by the Archdeacon of Llandaff, Peggy Jackson, and Revd Canon Jenny Wigley.

Wales now joins the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church of Ireland, both of which allow women bishops, though which have not appointed any to date.

The members of the Governing Body meeting spent several hours in debate. Around 3pm it looked as if they were going to vote on whether to pass the amended bill. However, the group voted instead to continue the debate.

People around the world were able to follow the highlights of the debate on the Social Media microblogging site Twitter using #govbody. Comments came from people inside and outside the meeting in English and also in Welsh.

When the Church finally voted on the amended bill at 4.50pm, the following votes were cast:

Laity – For 57 Against 14 Abstentions 2.
Clergy – For 37 Against 10 Abstentions 0.
Bishops – Unanimously For.

To date there have been 33 women bishops in the Anglican Communion. Twenty-four are either in post or are bishop-elect.

The latest election of a woman to the episcopate is Helen-Ann Hartley, an English priest who will become a bishop the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia in early 2014.

With today’s decision, Wales joins Bangladesh, Brazil, Central America, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, North India, Philippines, Scotland, Sudan and Uganda as Provinces that permit women bishops but have not yet appointed any.

Those Provinces or ‘extra provincial’ churches or diocese with women bishops include Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia; Australia; Canada; Southern Africa; United States and Cuba (an extra-provincial diocese).

Press reports

BBC Church in Wales backs women bishops
Gavin Drake in the Church Times Church in Wales votes for women bishops
Wales Online Church in Wales votes to ordain women as bishops
Steven Morris in The Guardian Female bishops voted in by Church in Wales
John Bingham in The Telegraph Women bishops given go-ahead in Wales

34
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
34 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
22 Comment authors
HelenChris H.JCFCynthiarobert ian williams Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Jean Mayland
Guest
Jean Mayland

Wonderful news.Well done Peggy Jackson and colleague

William Raines
Guest
William Raines

The best possible outcome, and voting well above the required super-majorities: Bishops 100%, Clergy 78%, Laity 80%. That’s a healthy shift of opinion since 2008.

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Hooray. Three down,one to go!

Rev'd Laurence Roberts
Guest
Rev'd Laurence Roberts

Yes, very good ! Well done.

Maybe England can now get on and introduce a similar or even the same legislation.

Then get on with it !

Roger Antell
Guest
Roger Antell

Congratulations to the Governing Body for recognising the logic of the theology in the ordination of women to the priesthood and their refusal to enshrine discrimination and doubts about the validity of women’s ordained ministry. And to Archbishop Barry for his patient persistence in winning enough support for this long-desired change. I’m afraid it leaves the CofE looking even more isolated this evening.

Stephen Morgan
Guest
Stephen Morgan

Church of England take note!

Janet Henderson
Guest

Well done Governing Body, Peggy Jackson and Jenny Wigley. So we see a single clause measure to bring about women bishops, with a code of practice, has clarity, simplicity and power and could well gain sufficient support to be decisive.

Allowing women to speak for themselves and decide for themselves how to present the form of legislation and the case for it works.

The tide is turning – is this ‘reception’ ? A new form of ministry has been tried, tested and seen by a majority of the church to be good.

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

I am delighted to hear this.

Now I hope that we will quickly see a woman elected. Unlike Scotland, where women can theoretically be bishops, but we have still to see any women succeed in an election to a diocese.

Lindsay
Guest
Lindsay

Thank you Thank Thank you Jenny Wigley, Peggy Jackson and Governing Body, thank you for voting for a single clause measure, & for ecclesiological & theological integrity & for giving us here in England a pure & hopeful shaft of light.

Robert Ian Willaims
Guest
Robert Ian Willaims

Don’t forget the Governing Body was purposefully reduced in numbers and the number of women members increased. Women membership is now proportionate to their numbers unlike England.
With no strong evangelical presence in Wales,there was no real blockage, as the Anglo-Catholics are in melt down. No one made the point that none of the latter resigned when their provincial bishop was retired and not replaced.

So there we have it, a largely high church conservative denomination with asa of 120,000, fifty years ago has turned into a liberal protestant denomination with 30,000 attendance.

Richard
Guest
Richard

How have other denominations fared during the same period in Wales?
The votes for women as bishops was by a wide margin; can the larger number of women in the governing body account for that?

Father Ron Smith
Guest

What was especially good about the debate, was that, at a point where a vote might have been prejudiced, the decision was made to keep on talking – with the result that the more equitable decision appears to have been made by a majority of the Synod.

Let’s hope this will convey the right sort of message to the would-be equivocators in the Church of England’s upcoming General Synod in September!

Tim Chesterton
Guest

Well done Wales!

robert ian Willaims
Guest
robert ian Willaims

Richard,The other denominations,all now mainly liberal are all in serious meltdown. All over Wales, many chapels are now houses or warehouses. Even the Catholic Church is dependant on immigration,virtually vocationless and importing priests from India, Poland and Nigeria. Conservative evangelicals are doing quite well. The largest Church in Wales parish ( ASA) of nearly 500 is in Aberystwth. Its rector spoke at the Governing body about male headship. The conservative evangelicals also have a thriving parish in Cardiff, but are virtually absent from the north. Evangelical presence became limited after patronage was ended in 1920, and for 60 years Wales… Read more »

Joseph Golightly
Guest
Joseph Golightly

The report of the Church in Wales makes interesting reading and can be found here http://www.churchinwales.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Members-Finance-English-on-line.pdf

The ski slope on page 4 should make the whole church think as if trends continue it just won’t exist in not many years. What then for some priests and bishops? How will they be paid?

robert ian williams
Guest
robert ian williams

Could I add, that whilst I believe that the Roman Catholic Church is right in its understanding of women’s ministry, I felt more of a degree of sympathy with the women rather than the so called traditionalists. If they had any real integrity, they could not exist in a church which had become heretical in their understanding. How could a small body of 30,000 active people support a two track ministry…and B….in which B did not recognise A? Indeed men ordained by women would not be accepted by B.. it makes no sense. When will some one say the truth… Read more »

Paul waddington
Guest
Paul waddington

Does anyone have any views on the numbers who are likely to move to the Ordinariate as a result of this decision? I understand that at present, there is just one fully formed Ordinariate group in Wales, and about another three exploratory groups.

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

Paul, to answer your questions about the Ordinariate in Wales…. A retired Anglican vicar who lived in Presteigne , Wales ( which by a fluke of history is a geographical Welsh parish in the Church of England!) joined.However previous to his move he served in the tiny sect calling its self the Traditional Anglican Communion. Another cleric , a German serving in the Church in Wales joined with six of his parishioners in South Wales.The Swansea and Cardiff groups on the Ordinariate web site do not exist in reality. Two lay persons joined in North Wales and overall the Ordinariate… Read more »

Chris H.
Guest
Chris H.

Robert, or perhaps it’s “tradition”, as in “I was born and Anglican and I’ll die an Anglican even if Richard Dawkins is ABC.” Or perhaps they choose to be “the remnant” of “true believers” trying to get the rest to see sense. I don’t see why liberals expect traditionalists to assume the best of them while they assume the worst of traditionalists. As for it all being about money, one could just as easily make the opposite case. If liberals who want gay and women clergy, gay marriage, or don’t believe the creeds or the BCP had any integrity, they… Read more »

Anne2
Guest
Anne2

“Obviously the only reason the liberals stayed was because of the money and power.” I am a bit gobsmacked, Chris H. Do you really believe this? I am a liberal and I certainly do not stay in the church for either the money or the power. I stay in it because I believe that the Christian message is an important one for the people I serve,helping and equipping them to deal with the reality of their lives. I am also aware, from looking at the breadth of Christian opinion over the centuries, that there is nothing narrow about that message.… Read more »

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

Ann2, The comment was a “turnabout is fair play” on a comment further up the list by Robert Ian Williams saying that the only reason traditionalists stay in the church is “..its not about theology its all about money and endowments.” If liberals really believe that traditionalists are nothing but greedy liars after the money then there’s no reason conservatives can’t say the same about liberals, and yes, I know some conservatives who do believe this of liberals. And I can’t help but observe they have a point about some liberals. Why would people who laugh at the idea of… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Most unfortunate, Chris H., that you can’t see that liberals believe as we do on very strong theological grounds. The radical life of Jesus, healing, teaching, and hanging out with women in a culture where that was taboo, and women being the first witnesses to the Resurrection. So much biblical writing on how to treat the widow, the orphan, and the outcast. And that bit about women and men being created in the image of God. I understand that traditionalists take certain parts of the Bible quite literally. But liberals are also taking our cues from the life and teaching… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“If liberals really believe that traditionalists are nothing but greedy liars after the money then…”

But you’re doing your “turnabout is fair play” contra Robert Ian Williams, Chris H, an obedient-to-the-Pope-in-all-things Roman Catholic. Ergo, everything else you say above does NOT follow. To put it politely.

Helen
Guest
Helen

Your description of your fellow Christians as “infiltrators” says it all Chris.

Father David
Guest
Father David

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the vote on women bishops in the Church in Wales is that the House of Bishops voted unanimously in favour. This presently could not be repeated in the Church of England where we still have a few orthodox Traditionalist bishops, even though they are vastly outnumbered by their more liberal brothers. Hence the introduction of this innovative novelty this side of Offa’s Dyke would be more problematic in that it would further rupture the already fragile collegiality of the English House of Bishops and further impair communion among our chief pastors.

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

Lets keep things in perspective.. How many clergy converted after the Welsh flying bishop was grounded. None. They’ve coped quite well for five years.

However if they were men of genuine theological conviction and integrity..they would worry that many laity in Welsh parishes are now robbed of the sacraments, because the Church has ordained women and gone into heresy. No such thing..they are happy to stay where thay are, and inhabit a ghetto world, with their stipends, perks and accomodation intact.

james
Guest
james

Excellent news!

Chris H.
Guest
Chris H.

One last comment off topic. Sorry, Simon. I didn’t mean to hijack the thread. The original point I was trying to make was about not assuming ALL traditionalists are evil greedy power seekers. I also made the point in my comment that I personally do not think ALL liberals are Humanists masquerading, but some are. From the responses, I guess the writers agree with Robert. Helen, I do know at least two Humanist priests and the only reason I can see for them to stay is for the pension or to influence/control the “fools” who actually believe. Our rural parish… Read more »

robert ian williams
Guest
robert ian williams

It’s not a question about being uncharitable, but being realistic.Yes God is the judge of all interior motives, but I believe the point I make is a cogent one. How is it the so called traditionalists have coped without a flying bishop for five years?

If they believe that women’s ordination is a serious heresy, why do they continue to wish to stay in the same Church? The only conclusion I can draw is that the real reasons are less than noble and certainly not in line with my understanding of the Gospel.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“Cynthia, since you never use modifiers such as “some”, I take it you agree that all conservatives are greedy and all liberals the epitome of true Christianity?” You are making a “straw man’ out of me. I didn’t get involved in the “greed” discussion, except to joke that I would like some liberal money. I am not ascribing motives for why clergy stay in or leave the CoE. I’m sure it’s very complicated and personal. My topic was theological, and you have not addressed it. You painted liberals as not being rooted in Scripture or theology. I pointed out the… Read more »

Helen
Guest
Helen

How nice it must be to be able to see into men’s souls Chris.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Our bishop won’t hire a conservative, so the ones we get are usually out to “broaden and improve” our faith by making us liberals, probably at the bishop’s request. Then they leave when they don’t win the parish over.”

Worst of all, they’ve resolutely REFUSED to answer your query as to whether they’ve stopped beating their spouses! I see your duty as Grand Inquisitor, ChrisH, is neverending. But I’m sure you agree (“police their own”), qua G&S, “A Policeman’s Lot Is Not A Happy One.”

Chris H.
Guest
Chris H.

Cynthia, liberal theology is so varied, you’ll have to be more specific if you want an agreement on it. Ask 10 liberals what they believe, get 10 different answers. “New Testament characters ….are as real as Harry Potter.” is a position held by a very well known liberal bishop, based on Reason? SOME liberal theology is right; some is out near Pluto. You posted awhile back that anyone who didn’t believe in female priests was a “cultist”. What nuance is there in that? Cultist=non-Christian. Why can’t you “let on”? I don’t understand why my saying what I do after talking… Read more »

Helen
Guest
Helen

Of course Chris: didn’t you notice that fly on the wall? But do refresh my memory; what exactly did “people say” (and what did you infer)?