Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Birmingham votes for women bishops

Updated

The Diocese of Birmingham voted last Saturday in favour of women in the episcopate of the Church of England.

Press Statement Monday 14th March 2011 from Women and the Church (WATCH)

Massive Support for Women Bishops Legislation in Birmingham

WATCH is delighted by the result of the first Diocesan vote on the law that will allow women to become bishops in the Church of England. In Birmingham on Saturday the Diocesan Synod voted by 75 to 4 in favour of the legislation with its accompanying provisions for those who will not accept women as bishops. To make that endorsement even more clear, two motions that asked for even more provisions for those opposed were defeated, with only a small minority of people voting for them.

Hilary Cotton, WATCH Vice Chair and Head of Campaign, said, ‘This indicates two things to us: firstly, that people in Birmingham want the Church to get on with making women bishops as soon as possible and, secondly, they are satisfied with the provision that this legislation makes for those who will not accept women bishops.’

Hilary Cotton: Campaign Co-ordinator - Home: 01483856827 Mobile: 07793817058
Sally Barnes: Media Officer - Home: 020 8731 0960 Mobile 07759343335

Notes for Editors

WATCH (Women and the Church) is a voluntary organisation of women and men who are campaigning to see women take their place alongside men without discrimination and at every level in the Church of England. This requires the removal of current legal obstacles to the consecration of women as bishops. WATCH believes that the full equality of women and men in the Church is part of God’s will for all people, and reflects the inclusive heart of the Christian scripture and tradition.

The Church Times carried a report on 18 March, Women: yes-vote taken in Birmingham.

THE diocese of Birmingham has voted overwhelmingly in favour of the draft legislation to allow women to become bishops.

Birmingham is the first diocese to vote on the legislation, which was passed by the General Synod to dio­ceses last year (News, 16 July).

The vote in Birmingham, last Sat­ur­day, was 74 to four in favour of the legislation with its current provisions for those who do not accept women as bishops. The Bishop of Birming­ham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart, and the Bishop of Aston, the Rt Revd Andrew Watson, both voted in favour.

The legislation had been con­sidered in deanery synods in the diocese before last weekend’s vote, and two additional motions emerged from these debates, both asking for increased provisions and safeguards for opponents. These were also defeated, however, by a large majority, attracting just a handful of votes in support.

Dr Rachel Jepson, a member of Birmingham’s diocesan synod and a member of the General Synod, said that the vote was significant. “The quality of debate in deanery synods and in diocesan synod was very good, with good listening as well. People have had the opportunity to say what they think, but it’s good to have that decision behind us now so we can move forward.”

The organisation Women and the Church (WATCH) said that it expects the Birmingham vote to be replayed in the majority of dioceses.

The vice-chair of WATCH, Hilary Cotton, said: “This indicates two things to us: first, that people in Birmingham want the Church to get on with making women bishops as soon as possible; and, second, they are satisfied with the provision that this legislation makes for those who will not accept women bishops.”

Many dioceses will hold their votes on the legislation this autumn. If a majority approve it, it will return to the General Synod in 2012 for final drafting, with a final-approval vote expected in July 2012.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 at 1:35pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

very good news indeed. I hope this starts a trend Likewise the vote against the Covenant. Good for Birmingham and wakefield.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 at 1:57pm GMT

When the more grass-roots church members and ministers get a say, they are -it would appear- very down to earth and sensible.

Sooo different from the primates when they all get together in a pack --or even the house of bishops of the C of E when left to themselves to be silly...

Posted by: laurence roberts on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 at 6:38pm GMT

Although we cannot take it for granted that the same voting pattern will necessarily be repeated elsewhere, those figures are certainly heartening for those of us who believe in a liberal, progressive church which is in touch with the world it seeks to serve.

Posted by: Adrian F Sunman on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 at 10:09pm GMT

BRAVO for the Birmingham Diocese - a typical Midlands exercise in pragmatism. Let's hope my one-time home Diocese of Coventry follows suit - and then, who knows what the outcome might be? We might even get equality within the C.of E.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 17 March 2011 at 10:12am GMT

Does anyone know which provisions they approved and what they rejected?

Posted by: Chris H on Thursday, 17 March 2011 at 1:28pm GMT

The danger is that by rejecting any compromise it will just force more Anglo Catholics into the Ordinariate.

btw, I see from a news article on www.ordinariate.org.uk that the 3 former Anglican Bishops have been made Monisgnor

Posted by: Anglican at heart on Thursday, 17 March 2011 at 3:56pm GMT

"The danger is that by rejecting any compromise it will just force more Anglo Catholics into the Ordinariate."

So what?

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Friday, 18 March 2011 at 2:46am GMT

They did not approve any "provisions".

They voted in all three houses in favour of the referred motion, whose wording is fixed and cannot be changed.

They then voted against two separate following motions which would, if passed, have expressed support for a) the amendment that the archbishops proposed last July and b) a more general statement of need for more support for opponents. I am sorry that I do not have the exact wording of either of these amendments. I do however have the votes:

a) 5 in favour
b) 13 in favour

The voting by houses on the basic motion was:
Bishops Yes 2
Clergy Yes 39 No 1 Abstain 3
Laity Yes 34 No 3 Abstain 3

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 18 March 2011 at 9:08am GMT

The two defeated motions at Birmingham were:

a) "That this Synod call upon the House of Bishops, in exercise of its powers under Standing Order 60 (b) of the Standing Orders of the General Synod, to amend the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure in the manner proposed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York at the Revision Stage for the draft Measure, so that there is sufficient provision and care made for those clergy, of whatever churchmanship, who are unhappy about serving under a woman as their Bishop, to enable them to remain within, and feel a valued part of the Church of England."

and

b) "That this Synod is disappointed that the contents of the Code of Practice will not be detailed until after the legislation is passed and asks that improved legal provision be made for those who dissent on theological grounds."

Posted by: Peter Owen on Friday, 18 March 2011 at 10:34am GMT

btw, I see from a news article on www.ordinariate.org.uk that the 3 former Anglican Bishops have been made Monsignor

Posted by: Anglican at heart on Thursday, 17 March 2011 at 3:56pm

It couldn't happen to nicer people :)

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Friday, 18 March 2011 at 5:42pm GMT

Monsignor...a title redolent of Anglican patrimony! and the soutane ,piping and cincture.......but then these Anglican "bishops" have been dressing like Roman monsignori for years...when ARE we going to hear what the Anglican patrimony is????

Posted by: Perry Butler on Saturday, 19 March 2011 at 2:54pm GMT

Many of us had hoped in times past that the Church of England would as a whole be reconciled with The Catholic Church. It has however chosen another path, and surrendering its birthright by craving the Zeitgeist, has forfeited the blessing of unity.
1 Tim 4

Posted by: Pewperson on Friday, 25 March 2011 at 8:59am GMT
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