Friday, 18 January 2013

House of Laity meeting - outcome of the debate

The motion before the House was:

That this House have no confidence in Dr Philip Giddings as Chair of this House.

Immediately before the vote was due to be taken, a motion to pass to next business (and thereby cancel the vote on the main motion) was moved, but overwhelmingly lost.

The main motion was defeated with 47 votes in favour, 80 votes against and 13 recorded.

After the debate Dr Giddings said that he would continue in office, but that there was a need for a debate on the role of the chair of the house.

Posted by Peter Owen on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 3:45pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod

Saved by the snow?

Posted by: Simon Butler on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 3:58pm GMT


I listened to most of it online.

Posted by: Labarum on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 3:59pm GMT

Hurray! Dr Giddings a hero of my week, (as are Nebojsa Vucinic and Vincent de Gaetano, ECHR).
Canon Barney can go fire somewhere else.

Posted by: Mike Thompson on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 4:21pm GMT

I wonder if the inclement weather had any bearing on the outcome of the vote? London, as usual on occasions such as these, was paralysed by two inches of snow. Would a vote in say June have come out any differently?

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 4:40pm GMT

So the House of Laity has confidence in someone who supports discrimination against women?

The way is now clear for the deanery synods to vote no confidence in Synod.

Posted by: Jeremy on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 4:46pm GMT

This is not a great result for Philip. Just over a third of those voting do not have confidence in him. That margin was enough to block women Bishops, surely it is enough to make him realise that if he continues he will be a focus of division. He should now do the honourable thing and stand down in the interests of Church unity.

Posted by: Duncan on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 5:17pm GMT

Thank God that common sense has prevailed.

What a waste of £30,000.

Posted by: Richard on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 7:00pm GMT

Ignorant Yank conjecture: shot across the bow, delivered?

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 8:07pm GMT

A significantly higher proportion of those voting against the no confidence motion compared to those who voted for the Measure. One can only assume that many of those who expressed bewilderment and outrage over the latter believed that it is now 'a time to heal', rather than exacerbate the situation on principle.

Paul's view of the way forward is the relinquishment of our most extreme positions on either side: whether single clause or further accommodation. Even if I had a well-argued theological case behind my convictions, ungracious censoriousness wouldn't fare well by the apostle's standards: 'The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?' (1 Cor. 6:7)

Posted by: David Shepherd on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 8:14pm GMT

So it's victory for Giddings. Maybe if the No Confidence motion was better-worded, it may have passed....just like the WB motion.

I see no closure or "moving on" in the outcome of the vote. If the failed No Confidence vote represents anything to me, it's that it reinforces the underlying argument in the debate against Women Bishops: to oppose women bishops is to follow one's conscience, yet to challenge opponents is to attempt to split the church.

When will this sorry saga come to an end?

Posted by: Tim Moore on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 8:35pm GMT

I agree with Tim that the wording and presentation of the motion may well have had an influence on the outcome. It was argued chiefly on the narrow grounds of the appropriateness of Giddings' one specific speech in the original debate. Once Giddings had apparently established that the timing of the speech was down to Sentamu, and that Welby did not have any complaint, it seemed to me that a motion argued on those narrow grounds deserved to fail. But there is a bigger argument that didn't get nearly as much articulation. The WB debate seems, to my observation, to have created a strong sense within the church at large that Synod is unrepresentative and out of touch, and a desire to wrest control of the church back from partisan hard liners before even more damage is done. The stronger argument would have been that we, the church, don't want any of our key leadership positions occupied by someone so clearly identified with a non-representative, non-mainstream and divisive organisation like Anglican Mainstream. As it is, Giddings seems able to characterise the discontent as just procedural about the role of the Chair and thereby to be able to evade the real issues his position creates.

Posted by: John on Saturday, 19 January 2013 at 7:55am GMT

I am relatively new to this commenting on websites lark but grateful for the information and discussion I am finding here.

In relation to the House of Laity vote I have been reading things like this:

"My point is that the November vote, unlike any 2010 vote, has done enormous damage to the CofE's reputation, moral authority, fundraising, support in the pews, influence in Parliament and with government, etc" and "Unfortunately, the costs of further reputational damage from today's vote are greater."

"Dr Giddings has the backing of Anglican Mainstream and, I dare say access to funding, so he will still be in a privileged position should your strictures be imposed."

""Anglican Mainstream" (obviously a small but vocal minority of CoE)"

These points are serious for someone trying to engage in the debates you are having. What I am struggling with is if there is an evidence for the assertions that are being made?

For example:

What evidence is there of a decline in finances and numbers as a consequence of the November vote? I'd have thought that it is too early to discern such trends?

What evidence is there that Dr Giddings potentially has access to funding for his synod activities from another organisation? Having financial backing from an unelected third party is a very serious matter.

Does Anglican Mainstrean only represent a small minority?

I have no problem with good polemics- its rather enjoyable but the comments would carry much more weight if the ignorant (such as me) were provided with the evidence in support,


Posted by: johnny may on Saturday, 19 January 2013 at 12:41pm GMT

Concerned anglican: no London was not paralysed by 2 inches of snow. Tubes and buses were running more or less normally.

John: "we don't want any of our key leadership positions occupied by....." No wonder those in the minority have concerns that their position in the church was under threat.

Posted by: ian on Saturday, 19 January 2013 at 3:05pm GMT

Ian: those in certain minorities should indeed have concerns about their positions, and I believe that as a matter of honesty and integrity we ought to be clearer in saying that. The CofE has decided there is no theological objection to women bishops. The CofE has now, as judged by the leadership of the Bishops and endorsed by the Diocesan Synods, clearly decided the time is right to do it. Since the vote in General Synod, my sense is that the lay members of the church as a whole want it to happen too. So if the minority in question is one that wants to carry on fighting a rearguard action, particularly in the significant subset where the rearguard action is animated by a theology (male headship) most of us find repugnant, then they should have the integrity to understand and we should have the integrity to say to them that their active opposition will progressively have less and less place in the leadership of the church. (Before anyone challenges me, I readily agree I have no hard evidence for my perception of where minorities and majorities lie. I could be wrong.)

Posted by: John on Sunday, 20 January 2013 at 12:50pm GMT

Ian, you are perfectly correct that London was not paralysed by the recent snow but you miss the point. The perception was and usually is, thanks to the press, that London is a place to avoid whenever it snows. The question consequently arises as to how the vote might had differed had everyone turned up for the meeting?

By the way, in London we've had another half inch of snow today (Sunday 20th). Heathrow has slashed the number of flights, newscasts are issuing dire warnings for people to stay at home and the roads are uncharacteristically quiet. Much the same happened on Friday.

I'm off to build a snow-woman bishop on the local Common.

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Sunday, 20 January 2013 at 1:57pm GMT

I'm finding the contributions here interesting. Clearly, there has been a major shift since November and more and more people are now strongly reacting against the evangelical theology of male headship and believe it ought not to be given an honoured place in the CoE.

Does this also extend to the Anglo-Catholic idea of sacramental assurance or is that still an acceptable view to hold in the church?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Sunday, 20 January 2013 at 2:45pm GMT

Re sacramental assurance: I am definitely not a theologian. but it seems to me that the view that a women is intrinsically incapable of administering valid sacraments is logically just as contrary to beliefs in the equality and inclusivity of God's love as male headship is. The view that women will not be capable of administering valid sacraments until some combination of Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican churches thus agree is in principle less objectionable, though this view could just be a front for a more fundamental objection. But I don't get the impression, in the rather limited church circles I am in touch with, that there has been quite such a reaction against and rejection of these views as of male headship, perhaps because, however illogical, male headship feels more like a sexist choice whereas sacramental assurance- based arguments feel more plausibly theological. Or perhaps Anglo-Catholics are just seen as more cuddly and less prickly that evangelicals? Or perhaps that view of the sacraments seems a bit alien to most Anglicans, whereas we all engage with issues of headship? Or perhaps I am just betraying my own prejudices?

Posted by: John S on Monday, 21 January 2013 at 7:25am GMT

"So if the minority in question is one that wants to carry on fighting a rearguard action, particularly in the significant subset where the rearguard action is animated by a theology (male headship) most of us find repugnant, then they should have the integrity to understand and we should have the integrity to say to them that their active opposition will progressively have less and less place in the leadership of the church."


Posted by: Jeremy on Monday, 21 January 2013 at 2:15pm GMT
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