Saturday, 10 May 2014
Women in the Episcopate - diocesan synod votes 6
Since I last posted on this, six more dioceses (Worcester, Gloucester, Newcastle, Derby, Truro and York) have voted, all in favour. 33 dioceses have now voted in favour of the draft legislation, and none against.
Detailed voting figures for all dioceses are here.
Still to vote (all on dates this month) are Coventry (12th), London and Salisbury (15th), Chichester, Durham, Exeter and Leicester (17th), Chester and Rochester (21st) and Manchester (22nd). Europe will not be voting as the diocese was unable to arrange a synod meeting before the deadline.
Posted by Peter Owen on
Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 6:49pm BST
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Church of England
I have gone through the figures for the Dioceses that have already voted, and compared them with their votes from last time round. In total there has been an increase in the number of votes in favour - roughly a 10% increase. The main change, however, has been the fall in the number of votes against - this has fallen by about 2/3.
If you imagine Peter Snow describing the results so far on an election night, then he would describing this as a 7% swing in favour of the legislation.
Peter...not sure how that's possible, because there are not many recorded abstentions, so the increase in "yeses" should be the same as the decrease in "noes", roughly speaking, though obviously not proportionately since there was already a larger yes vote. Have the "noes" simply stayed away?
In my diocese, at least eight noes stayed away because they didn't see the point in going.
Perhaps the absences and abstentions are indicative of the Holy Spirit's intentions for the outcome.
The precise numbers tell a variety of stories, often local. A general overview shows that in several diocese where church members felt that their Gen Synod members did not represent their views, there has been higher attendance this time round than in 2011, particularly amongst laity who wanted to make their voice heard somewhere in the process. Some dioceses show lower turnout than last time, some in one house, some across the Synod (and this includes diocese very strongly in favour, and others just in favour this time). But then, some dioceses used a meeting already in people's diaries for this debate and others have arranged an extra meeting, so in the latter case, Synod members may have found it harder to attend. What cannot be denied is that the recorded figures which will be returned to General Synod are currently showing support for this legislation at 90% (or higher) of votes cast, and if this continues for the remaining Dioceses (yes, we all know London and Chichester still have to vote!!) then this is a result that General Synod members will need to take very seriously.
Rosalind: "this is a result that General Synod members will need to take very seriously."
Really? Because last time we learned that the will of the dioceses meant ********* to the General Synod...
The General Synod members are, to use a classic distinction, representatives rather than delegates of their constituencies. Thus they vote according to their own conscience, and while one hopes they would take into account such votes in the Dioceses there are in no way bound by them.
Of course, as a matter of practical politics, if the General Synod fails again to pass this legislation - especially given it seems a great improvement over the previous package - a very adverse reaction must be probable. One imagines this would include (1) a concerted campaign in the next GS elections not to re-elect those who voted against; (2) renewed calls for substantial reform of the Synod; and (3) the possibility that Parliament might try and take direct action on the matter of admitting women to the episcopate.
Are you having a lie in this morning at Thinking Anglicans? The Diocese of Coventry votes on Women in the Episcopate were bishops 2 for, clergy 21 for, laity 33 for. No votes were cast against in any of the three houses and there was but one single clerical abstention.
Keep up at the back there!
'One imagines this would include (1) a concerted campaign in the next GS elections not to re-elect those who voted against.'
Such a campaign should be taking place regardless of the outcome of this next vote!