Monday, 27 September 2010

Women in the episcopate draft legislation referred to dioceses

Updated 9 & 10 January 2011: links updated to refer to the new Church of England website.

The Church of England has announced today that the Women in the episcopate draft legislation has now been officially referred to dioceses. Here is the press release.

Women in the episcopate draft legislation referred to dioceses
27 September 2010

Dioceses have until Monday, 14 November, 2011, to debate and vote on draft legislation that would allow the consecration of women as bishops, according to documents published this week.

The four documents have been posted to Diocesan Secretaries and circulated to General Synod members, as well as being posted on the Church of England website. They are:

- a background note on the history of the legislative proposals;

- the text of the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and draft Amending Canon No 30;

- an explanatory memorandum relating to the draft Measure and draft Canon; and

- a procedural note together with a copy of the response form which diocesan secretaries need to send the Clerk to the Synod recording the diocesan decision by 5pm on Monday 14 November 2011.

The membership of a group established under the auspices of the House of Bishops to prepare the draft statutory code of practice will be announced shortly.

Article 8 of the Constitution of the General Synod provides that certain kinds of legislation may not receive the final approval of the General Synod unless they have first been approved by the majority of diocesan synods. Legislation to enable women to become bishops falls within the scope of Article 8 and hence this reference of the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and draft Amending Canon No 30 to dioceses.

There are actually five documents, which are linked from this page: Women in the Episcopate: Article 8 Reference, the text of which (with links) is copied below.

Article 8 of the Constitution of the General Synod provides that certain kinds of legislation may not receive the final approval of the General Synod unless they have first been approved by the majority of diocesan synods . Legislation to enable women to become bishops falls within the scope of Article 8, hence this reference of the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and draft Amending Canon No 30 to dioceses.

Key documents

The Article 8 process is outlined and explained in a note from the Business Committee of the General Synod (GS Misc 964). The Business Committee has also circulated four other documents:

  • a background note on the history of the legislative proposals (A8(WE)BACKGROUND);
  • the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure (A8(WE)M);
  • the draft amending Canon 30 (A8(WE)AC); and
  • an explanatory memorandum relating to the draft measure and amending Canon (A8(WE)X).
Posted by Peter Owen on Monday, 27 September 2010 at 5:40pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod
Comments

Things are always moving on. It would be interesting to know more about the A,B,and C parishes.How many ,for example, would self designate as traditional anglo-catholic and conservative evangelical? their geographical distribution /distribution by diocese; the Electoral Roll and Usual Sunday attendance numbers and financial health.Are things likely to change with a change of incumbent etc.Within a year it looks as if the Ordinariate will be up and running...how will that alter the picture? Might some traditionalist parishes become unviable if ,say, 50% of it worshippers decided to go.While a church needs to be attentive to minorities, it is helpful to know just how substantial the minority is, not least in an age of increasing financial austerity.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Tuesday, 28 September 2010 at 12:58pm BST

Are Diocesan Synods really going to be expected to consider and possibly vote on the legislation before the code of practice is available? Surely that's an open invitation to excessive scare-mongering by opponants?

Posted by: Maggie on Tuesday, 28 September 2010 at 7:23pm BST

Is discussion of the legislation going first to be debated in what in the Church of England are known as deanery Synods? And if so, how will these deliberations affect the tenor of what will be discussed at the diocesan Synods?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 2 October 2010 at 12:22am BST

Ron

The rule is that "a diocesan synod shall not be required or forbidden to consult any other body in the diocese before voting on any matter referred." I am sure that most, if not all, dioceses will decide to consult their deanery synods. But note that this is a consultation. Members of the diocesan synod will make up their own minds on how to vote on the legislation, and can take as little or as much notice of deanery synod views as they choose.

Posted by: Peter Owen on Saturday, 2 October 2010 at 10:23am BST

The document GS Misc 964 just issued says:

CONSIDERATION BY DEANERY SYNODS

11. The Standing Orders of the General Synod state that in relation to Article 8 references ‘a diocesan synod shall not be required or forbidden to consult any other body in the diocese before voting on any matter referred.’ It is, therefore, for each diocese to come to its own view about wider consultation before the diocesan synod takes its decision. The Business Committee strongly encourages dioceses to consult the deanery synods. Any votes taken by deanery synods are not formally part of the reference process.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 2 October 2010 at 12:42pm BST

Thank you both, Peter and Simon, for that clear indication of the value of Deanery Synods in the legislative decisions of the Diocesan Synods. It would have been invidious for deaneries to have any preemptive role in diocesan legislation.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 4 October 2010 at 12:10am BST
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