Monday, 20 October 2014

Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure

Updated Monday morning and afternoon
Updated Thursday

The Measure completed is progress through Parliament today when the House of Commons agreed that it should be sent for Royal Assent.

The Hansard report of the debate is here.

David Pocklington of Law & Religion UK has this summary of the debate, Commons debate women in the episcopate, which also includes “Next Steps”. [There is a correction to this, published on Thursday.]

General Synod members were this morning sent this note from the Secretary General.

I am pleased to report that the House of Commons approved the Measure to enable women to become bishops yesterday evening. Following the successful outcome in the House of Lords last Tuesday the way is now clear for Royal Assent, which is expected this Thursday.

The royal licence for the canon will be needed before the canon can be enacted by the Synod on 17 November. But there is every reason to believe that that will be forthcoming and we shall be therefore be putting the papers for the November Synod in the post this Thursday. They will be on-line at 2pm on Friday when the usual pre-Synod press conference is held at Church House. The way is now clear for members to proceed with train and hotel bookings for November.

William Fittall

Posted by Peter Owen on Monday, 20 October 2014 at 9:26pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

While the headline news is excellent, Clause 2 remains a worry. Again, TA readers should consult David Pocklington. Kudos to Helen Goodman and Chris Bryant for raising the same questions as Lady Howe did in the Lords.

Sir Tony Baldry's answer doesn't give Ms Goodman (the Labour spokeswoman) the assurance she requested. Will this issue recur when Parliament drafts the short bill requested to change the order of episcopal appointments to the Lords?

Posted by: Iain McLean on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 at 10:09am BST

I think that Tony Baldry made a much better speech in the Commons than Welby did in the Lords.It was also very welcome to read the call of members for the church to be joyful not grudging. I do agree.

Posted by: Jean Mayland (Revd) on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 at 11:27am BST

If the below is incorrect, please direct us to the existing legislation regarding the 26 bishops. As far as I can see there is no need for a Parliamentary Bill to change the sequence of episcopal appointments to the House of Lords. Her Majesty can appoint anyone she wants to the House of Lords (on the advice of the Prime Minister obviously.) Clause 2 of the Bishopric of Manchester Act 1847 states only that nobody outside of 26 defined bishops has a RIGHT to be appointed to the House of Lords - "That until Her Majesty shall be graciously pleased to summon to Parliament any Bishop holding One of the said Sees, no Bishop holding that See shall be entitled to demand as of Right a Writ of Summons to Parliament" - see

Posted by: Jamie Wood on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 at 6:05pm BST

What happened to all the headbangers who believe that the queen will be breaching her coronation vows by giving royal assent, and that she should therefore break hundreds of years of convention and veto the bill?

Posted by: Interested Observer on Wednesday, 22 October 2014 at 7:44am BST

Clause 2 is indeed a serious concern.

The notion that bishops of the established church do not hold public offices is gobsmacking.

Posted by: Jeremy on Wednesday, 22 October 2014 at 1:25pm BST
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