Tuesday, 20 November 2012

More responses to the vote part 1

Updated overnight

Affirming Catholicism has issued this statement.

The failure of the Women Bishops’ Measure to achieve the necessary majority in the House of Laity today is a huge disappointment and sadness. Many men as well as many women will experience this as a real blow, but our hearts particularly go out this evening to our women clergy who have ministered so effectively in the Church and had hoped today would be an affirmation of their ministry.

The full text is copied below the fold.

WATCH has issed a press release (only on Facebook at the moment)

Today’s vote is a devastating blow for the Church of England and the people of this country.

This vote is a missed opportunity for a whole generation to see women and men sharing fully in the mission, ministry and leadership of the Church of England.

The full text is copied below the fold.

Inclusive Church has issued a press release which can be read here.

Inclusive Church deeply regrets that General Synod did not approve the Measure that would have allowed women to become bishops in the Church of England.

We hope that church leaders will take urgent action to bring forward new legislation and to restore public confidence in the Church.

Dianna Gwilliams, Chair of Inclusive Church said:

“I’m personally disappointed that this legislation did not receive the necessary majority in the House of Laity of General Synod. It is clear that the Houses of Clergy and Bishops, along with 42 out of 44 Diocesan Synods believed that the legislation was the best fit.

This debate is not about women. It is about the nature of our church and her leadership. I pray that as we continue to listen prayerfully to each other God will grant courage to all women and men who, together, are providing courageous leadership in our church.”

GRAS has issued this statement:

We are deeply disappointed that the General Synod has made a decision so out of step with the will of the Church of England as a whole. The Synod’s decision to reject the Measure cuts right across what the vast majority of men and women in the Church of England long for and shows that our attempts at compromise have been ignored. It undermines the validity of the ministry of every ordained woman and sends out a negative message to all women everywhere. A single clause measure is now what GRAS will press for at every level.

Affirming Catholicism’s statement reads:

The Board of Affirming Catholicism issues the following statement following the General Synod Vote on the Women Bishops’ Measure
20th November, 2012:

The failure of the Women Bishops’ Measure to achieve the necessary majority in the House of Laity today is a huge disappointment and sadness. Many men as well as many women will experience this as a real blow, but our hearts particularly go out this evening to our women clergy who have ministered so effectively in the Church and had hoped today would be an affirmation of their ministry.

President of Affirming Catholicism, Bishop Michael Perham, said this evening their “priesthood is honoured and valued.” Thinking particularly of those who have “worked hard for a positive vote”, Bishop Michael adds “we all need now a little time to work through our initial sadness and frustration, but then we must go to work.”

After the cross of disappointment will however come new life; the pain shared on all sides must be the “birth pangs of a new way of being church”, says Revd Dr Rosemarie Mallett, Chair of Affirming Catholicism.

The Church in England is synodically governed but episcopally led: and our prayers must in the first instance be for the House of Bishops, meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) in emergency session to find a way forward. Bishop Michael says this must not mean “five more years of waiting for a development that will surely come. There will be women bishops in the Church of England. I have no doubt about that. Our response to the Holy Spirit and the effectiveness of our mission require it”.

Affirming Catholicism will continue to strive and work with all those dedicated to making sure this future becomes an early reality.

WATCH’s press release reads

Women Bishops: House of Laity says no – by 5 votes

Today’s vote is a devastating blow for the Church of England and the people of this country.

This vote is a missed opportunity for a whole generation to see women and men sharing fully in the mission, ministry and leadership of the Church of England.

There is overwhelming support for women bishops in both in the church and in the country at large. We have been discussing this issue for a generation and working on the details of this compromise legislation for over ten years. 42 out of 44 dioceses supported the draft Measure: 75% of all votes were cast in favour.

Today, 74% of General Synod members voted in favour of women bishops. Both the House of Bishops and the House of Clergy voted overwhelmingly in support, but the Measure was narrowly defeated in the House of Laity where it failed to reach the required 2/3 majority: by 5 votes.

In the coming weeks, bishops will need to act promptly to offer pastoral support to women clergy and others who will feel devastated by this outcome.

The General Synod clearly needs to look again at how it represents the will of the people in the pews.

Our Christianity calls us to the future and not the past. WATCH will continue to work towards a future for the Church of England where the gifts and callings of women and men are equally recognised and valued.

The Reverend Rachel Weir, Chair of WATCH said,

“This is a tragic day for the Church of England after so many years of debate and after all our attempts at compromise. Despite this disappointing setback, WATCH will continue to campaign for the full acceptance of women’s gifts of leadership in the Church’s life.”

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Tuesday, 20 November 2012 at 11:33pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod
Comments

Surely WATCH is overstating things - you'll have a new Synod in 2015, which is just three years, right? That's hardly an entire generation.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Wednesday, 21 November 2012 at 12:29am GMT

It is worth remembering that WATCH only came out in favour of this legislation 14 days ago and even then noted strongly held minority views from within its own constituency - people who didn't think it worth having women as bishops on these terms.

That minority view has been difficult to hear in the last 24 hours.

Posted by: Kelvin Holdsworth on Wednesday, 21 November 2012 at 4:51am GMT

Kevin, for whatever it is worth, that minority view was my view. I expressed it several times before the vote.

I think this result is actually in the CofeE's long-term best interest.

I look forward to a single-clause measure the next time.

Posted by: Jeremy on Thursday, 22 November 2012 at 4:27am GMT
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