Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Voting on House of Bishops' report

The detailed voting lists for the electronic votes at last week’s meeting of the General Synod have been released. The list for the take note motion on the House of Bishops’ report on Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations is here.

Readers may be particularly interested in the voting in the House of Bishops which I have shown in the table below.

The bishops voted 43 in favour and one against with no recorded abstentions. The Bishop of Coventry (the only vote against) has said that he pressed the wrong button on his voting machine and intended to vote in favour. The Bishop of Southwark has said that he intended to record an abstention but failed to do so.

There are 53 places in the House of Bishops (42 diocesan bishops, the Bishop of Dover, the Bishop to the Forces and nine elected suffragan bishops). Two diocesan sees were vacant on the day of the vote. So, in addition to Southwark, six bishops were absent from the vote. If any readers know for certain the reason for any of the absences, please let us know via the comments.

Electronic voting results for Item 14
Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations: a report from the House of Bishops (GS 2055):
‘That the Synod do take note of this report.’

Voting in the House of Bishops
1 Canterbury Justin Welby for
2 York John Sentamu for
3 London Richard Chartres absent
4 Durham Paul Butler for
5 Winchester Tim Dakin for
6 Bath & Wells Peter Hancock for
7 Birmingham David Urquhart absent
8 Blackburn Julian Henderson for
9 Bristol Michael Hill absent
10 Carlisle James Newcome for
11 Chelmsford Stephen Cottrell for
12 Chester Peter Forster for
13 Chichester Martin Warner for
14 Coventry Christopher Cocksworth against - by mistake
15 Derby Alastair Redfern for
16 Ely Stephen Conway for
17 Gibraltar in Europe Robert Innes for
18 Exeter Robert Atwell for
19 Gloucester Rachel Treweek for
20 Guildford Andrew Watson absent
21 Hereford Richard Frith for
22 Leeds Nicholas Baines for
23 Leicester Martyn Snow for
24 Lichfield Michael Ipgrave for
25 Lincoln Christopher Lowson for
26 Liverpool Paul Bayes for
27 Manchester David Walker for
28 Newcastle Christine Hardman for
29 Norwich Graham James for
30 Oxford Steven Croft for
31 Peterborough Donald Allister for
32 Portsmouth Christopher Foster for
33 Rochester James Langstaff absent
34 St Albans Alan Smith for
35 St Edmundsbury & Ipswich Martin Seeley for
36 Salisbury Nicholas Holtam for
37 Sheffield vacant see vacant
38 Sodor & Man vacant see vacant
39 Southwark Christopher Chessun absent - but intended to abstain
40 Southwell & Nottingham Paul Williams for
41 Truro Timothy Thornton for
42 Worcester John Inge for
43 Dover Trevor Willmott for
44 Forces Nigel Stock for
45 Fulham Jonathan Baker for
46 Willesden Peter Broadbent for
47 Southampton Jonathan Frost for
48 Ludlow Alistair Magowan for
49 Lynn Jonathan Meyrick for
50 Warrington Richard Blackburn absent
51 Huddersfield Jonathan Gibbs for
52 Stockport Elizabeth Lane for
53 Beverley Glyn Webster for
Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 at 7:01pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod

If you'd like to see the results by diocese have a look here

Posted by: Jayne Ozanne on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 at 7:43pm GMT

Chartres has retired so shouldn't that be vacant not absent?

Interested that Bishop Mike Bristol was absent

Posted by: Yrieithydd on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 at 9:54pm GMT

I notice Susannah Leafe amongst the laity who voted against which looks like a "it was too liberal" vote to me

Posted by: Yrieithydd on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 at 10:00pm GMT

The See of London is not vacant until the end of the month.

Posted by: Chris A on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 at 11:14pm GMT

Votes from Libby Lane, Rachel Treweek and Christine Hardman in favor of a report that sought to maintain institutional homophobia ought to put to rest the sexist nonsense about women bringing a new, caring (or worse, "nurturing") perspective. Instead, they're equal to their male colleagues in all things, and that ain't a compliment.

Posted by: James Byron on Thursday, 23 February 2017 at 8:36am GMT

James, you cannot argue that a vote to Take Note constitutes an endorsement of the content of the report. Speaker after speaker who said they were going to vote for taking note also made trenchant criticisms of its content.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 23 February 2017 at 10:57am GMT

Hear , hear James!

Posted by: Dean Henley on Thursday, 23 February 2017 at 11:02am GMT

As mentioned in an earlier comment, the Bishop of London's resignation from his see is not effective until 28 February, so he was technically absent. But the informal convention is that a bishop does not normally take part in formal church business after his/her farewell service, and for London this was on 2 February.

A reliable source has informed me that three bishops (Birmingham, Bristol and Rochester) were absent for various good reasons having nothing to do with the matter at hand.

Posted by: Peter Owen on Thursday, 23 February 2017 at 11:03am GMT

re James's comment on women bishops' voting:

on a quick tot-up, male clergy voted 3 to 2 to 'take note'. Female clergy, in strong contrast, voted over 4 to 1 against against taking note. I'm certainly not going to give a 'sexist nonsense' about 'women bringing a new, more caring perspective' interpretation. But it is rather a striking contrast. Without female clergy the whole Synod would have 'taken note'.

Posted by: Fr Rob on Thursday, 23 February 2017 at 12:08pm GMT

Isn't part of the problem interpreting the outcome that people voted against taking note for a wide range of (sometimes quite opposite) reasons? Some clearly wanted a much more radical way forward, others felt the report went too far from the church's current stance. Of course the vote means the Synod must start again, but isn't that just a change of PROCESS? It doesn't mean that any particular OUTCOME is more (or less) likely.

Posted by: Philip Hobday on Thursday, 23 February 2017 at 1:05pm GMT

I wouldn't argue that taking note's an endorsement, Simon, but the hierarchy would've, as they've done previously. You're right, some supporters of equality did vote in favor (as some traditionalists voted against). However, the House of Bishops knew how things were going down, which is why they lobbied so hard in favor, and the new OBOF lobbied so hard against.

That's interesting, Fr. Rob. There could be some subtler gender differences at work, but another possibility's that it breaks down by tradition, and more male clergy are more conservative (due to beliefs about headship and the apostolic succession, generally conservative women are less likely to put themselves forward for ordination).

Posted by: James Byron on Thursday, 23 February 2017 at 1:36pm GMT

Taking note of this report would have become an endorsement, because everyone knew the hierarchy would have portrayed it that way. See Archbishop Welby's portrayal of the recent ACC vote to "receive" his report on the primates' meeting. He portrayed it as endorsing the "consequences" the primates had urged. But that is not at all what the ACC intended.

As a result, the Achbishop's inaccurate portrayal of deliberative outcomes has caused Synod to think more carefully about how it deliberates on what the Bishops put in front of it.

And Synod's vote not to take note is _certainly_ a rejection of the Bishops' report. We can disagree about a vote to take note, but a vote _not_ to take note is quite clear. There's no way to silk-purse that sow's ear--in fact, the argument is even stronger if "taking note" is almost meaningless.

Remember: The Bishops couldn't muster up a majority-of-houses vote in favor of something that the Bishops were, at the same time, trying to portray as inconsequential.

Seems to me as though Synod thought that taking note was consequential, and that it shouldn't take note.

Posted by: Jeremy on Friday, 24 February 2017 at 12:29am GMT

I wonder; is one factor in this equation re women's voting on the Bishop's report the possibilty that the women bishops who voted 'For' were likely to have been appointed bishops because of their conservatism ? Just Asking!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 24 February 2017 at 4:59am GMT

"Taking note of this report would have become an endorsement, because everyone knew the hierarchy would have portrayed it that way. See Archbishop Welby's portrayal of the recent ACC vote to "receive" his report on the primates' meeting. He portrayed it as endorsing the "consequences" the primates had urged. But that is not at all what the ACC intended."

There is another factor. "Maximum flexibility" was, deliberately I think, left undefined. That worried both conservatives and liberals. Leaving key terms to be decided after a vote is a common - if unsavoury tactic - of managers forced to govern through committee. Weak managers like it because they think they can then get controversial decision through a committee by hiding how controversial their proposal is; strong managers knows it builds resentment and are far more open with committees.

Posted by: Kate on Friday, 24 February 2017 at 8:00am GMT

Father Ron Smith. Except that they are not conservative actually. And in the debate one of the two diocesans admitted to having changed her mind.

Posted by: David Runcorn on Friday, 24 February 2017 at 9:04am GMT

There seem to be quite a lot of absent bishops. Is that more than normal? I wonder if people feel it's better to be absent than to abstain.

Posted by: Leon Clarke on Friday, 24 February 2017 at 3:40pm GMT
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