Sunday, 25 March 2012

Anglican Covenant: analysis of the voting so far

Alan Perry has been keeping tally of the voting statistics in English dioceses, and following last Saturday’s six further results, he has issued the following report:

…There was some confusion in the tally of Oxford’s votes, which has made the update of the statistics difficult, because I had to decide how to include them. There is no doubt about the end result in Oxford: the Covenant proposal was defeated in the House of Clergy. (Oxford, recall, is the home of the Yes to the Covenant campaign.) In the end, I chose to average the numbers, rounding. So, reported numbers for Oxford are:

Clergy: 14/15 for, 36/38 against, 2 abstentions
Laity: 32/35 for, 24/29 against, 3 abstentions.

I have included:

Clergy: 15 for, 37 against, 2 abstentions
Laity: 34 for, 27 against, 3 abstentions.

Bearing that in mind, total voting statistics now stand at:

Bishops: 79.5% for, 14.1% against, 6.4% abstentions
Clergy: 45.7% for, 50.1% against, 4.3% abstentions
Laity: 48.6% for, 46.4% against, 5.0% abstentions

Overall: 48.1% for, 47.2% against, 4.7% abstentions
Overall (clergy and laity only): 47.3% for, 48.1% against, 4.7% abstentions

The overwhelming support for the Covenant by the bishops pushes the total to a slim plurality of support for it, but when their votes are excluded from the counting (as their votes don’t actually count in the diocesan totals) the reverse is true. Except amongst the bishops, it is clear that the members of the diocesan synods that have voted to date are almost exactly evenly divided as to whether the Covenant ought to be adopted by the Church of England, though there is a significant margin and a majority against adoption amongst the clergy…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 25 March 2012 at 11:40pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

Can't find the vote for Durham anywhere and Truro only stated defeated by over a two thirds majority in both Clergy and Laity. Does anyone know the figures for either or both. When the voting is over I would like to make a webpage of all of it.

Posted by: Pluralist on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 12:09am BST

May I ask who determined that the Covenant ( a crucial doctrinal issue) could be passed as a simple majority in Synod? If it comes back in 2015 surely it should be a two thirds vote in the Synod.

It seems to me that the powers that be determined that the two thirds hurdle could never be cleared , so they lowered the bar...unfortunately thay fell flat on their face in the pre-trial.

And some people on this blog, reckon the Catholic Church is devious!

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 6:44am BST

Until Saturday Nothing had been mooted about trying again in three years to see if the ' desired result' could be achieved !

If at first you don t succeed. . .


Btw I CAN get on TA on Tablet but not on my PC!

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 8:47am BST

The number of abstentions seems high to me...higher, I think than with women bishops. I suspect some people were genuinely puzzled about the implications of the C of E signing up.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 8:59am BST

Considering the amount of 'spin' put out by the Anglican Communion Office that was pro-Covenant; coupled with the fact that the bishops could be relied upon to support the Primates' view; this is a remarkable result.

One wonders, in view of the preponderance of clergy resistance to the Covenant, how much the House of Laity voters were in awe of their diocesans?

Without relying too much on the import of noted Gay-averse reporter Andrew Goddard; one does wonder where, precisely, does this place the Church of England, should GAFCON, at the last moment (at its imminent meeting in the UK) decide to back the Covenant? Would the C.of E. have to take a back seat in leadership to GAFCON in the Covenanted Communion?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 11:02am BST

The "Executive Summary" from Fulcrum seems to suggest that the proposed Covenant will keep turning up like a bad penny. Like a bad penny, it should be rejected every time it does!

Posted by: Reid Hamilton on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 12:19pm BST

Father Ron: Interesting point.
And I also noted over the weekend that the Fulcrum spokesperson on the BBC was channelling General MacArthur--I shall return! The argument was that people hadn't understood the covenant and that another attempt would be justified. They definitely have a back-up strategy. And +Nazir-Ali may be signalling what it is (and Father Ron may be recognizing it for what it is...).

Posted by: Scot Peterson on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 1:26pm BST

Fr Smith -- I think the way to pose your question is to ask, not about Gafcon itself (though S Cone did adopt), but about the character of a 30 province representation that a Gafcon leadership is apparently bringing together next month. SE Asia and Southern Cone represent 'GS' and 'Gafcon' respectively. If these two 'movements' join forces and agree some basic Communion understanding, it is of course a sizeable affair. Your colleague 'down under' speaks of a Communion and an Association, in the wake of covenant focusing developments.

Posted by: c.r.seitz on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 1:44pm BST

The link to the full report quoted is:
http://blog.noanglicancovenant.org/2012/03/more-voting-statistics.html

@Pluralist:

Durham voted (for-against-abstained):
Bishops 1-0-0
Clergy 22-12-1
Laity 41-14-4

Truro:
Bishops 0-1-0
Clergy 5-18-3
Laity 8-28-3

Abstentions could indicate many things. They could be a sign of confusion; they could be a way of not voting yes without being noticed as voting no; they could be a protest against being asked to vote for anything on such scant information....

Posted by: Alan T Perry on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 2:07pm BST

should GAFCON, at the last moment (at its imminent meeting in the UK) decide to back the Covenant? FRS

There you have it! (because of climate change there have been huge amounts of poisonous snakes appearing in cultivated places seeking nourishment for their very survival).

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 4:29pm BST

Common sense suggests that an abstention in the face of power is not an abstention that, left to itself, would likely have voted with power.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 5:56pm BST

My apologies Alan for not including the link to your article, now added.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 6:50pm BST

When looking at figures why not analyse deanery synod votes as well? The deaneries in Westminster voted about 7 or 8 to 1 against the covenant.

Posted by: Neil on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 11:15pm BST

"Your colleague 'down under' speaks of a Communion and an Association, in the wake of covenant focusing developments." - cseitz -

My colleague, Peter Carrell, is both pro-Covenant and pro-GAFCON, Christopher, but that does not mean he is necessarily representative of our ACANZP Province; which will probably reject the Covenant - even though our diocese may support it.

Whatever folks may think about the influence of the GAFCON/FCA conglomerate, they could not possibly be said to represent the Scripture, Tradition and REASONableness of true Anglicanism - despite the fact that they claim to be the only 'Orthodox Anglicans' on the planet

Those who willingly remain with Canterbury, as the Founding See - with or without the Covenant - are traditionally entitled to be called 'Anglican', whether newcomers on the block accept that or not.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 11:58pm BST

Probably a completely ridiculous observation of little statistical validity, but every bishop who voted 'no' found himself in agreement with the rest of his diocese. Only in Oxford and Chelmsford did a no-voting bishop not find himself in agreement with both lay and clergy, and in both those dioceses three other bishops voted otherwise.

The same cannot be said of pro-covenant bishops, where in 18 dioceses their support for the covenant was not reflected in the house of clergy, the house of laity, or both. (Admittedly, in 4 of those 18 the episcopal vote was split.)

I wish I were some sort of statistician, it'd be so very helpful....

Incidentally, Google doesn't now show me the 'yes to the covenant' banner. What are they spending their money on now?

Posted by: david rowett on Tuesday, 27 March 2012 at 12:00am BST

Fr Smith -- 'pro covenant and pro Gafcon' -- really? Also, I didn't imply that he thought the covenant would pass in your province. I believe he has said he thought it wouldn't.

Posted by: c.r.seitz on Tuesday, 27 March 2012 at 7:13pm BST

Yes, Christopher; I thought that a bit odd too. But everyone to their own understanding. I guess the desire for unity might have something to do with my colleagues bi-partisan stance. The only problem with that is that Gafcon won't play ball - yet!

Let's see what happens after FCA/Gafcon in London next month. Gafcon might take over - with its own, much more conservative, version of covenant.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 27 March 2012 at 9:46pm BST

No, I don't think Fr Carrell is pro-Gafcon at all. He is pro covenant. Prof. Seitz

Posted by: c.r.seitz on Wednesday, 28 March 2012 at 12:24am BST

Christopher, there are even Global South Primates who seem to embrace the Covenant! Does ACI have a particular unified stance, do you know?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 28 March 2012 at 11:19pm BST

Mr Smith--of course GS Primates embrace the covenant (as does one Gafcon province -- S Cone). You said Carrell was pro-Gafcon, but that is nowhere clear in his writings. He is pro covenant. Should Gafcon provinces follow the lead of S Cone, that would be a significant development. You seem unaware of the distinction between 'GS' (Burundi, Indian Ocean, Congo, S Africa, SE Asia, Middle East, et al) and 'Gafcon'. The latter is a smaller sub group. Carrell has nowhere I am aware of signalled he is 'pro Gafcon'. ACI has written on this matter, yes. Prof. S.

Posted by: c.r.seitz on Thursday, 29 March 2012 at 1:54pm BST
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