Comments: Women Bishops - London diocesan debate

How sad that the clergy should swing the vote against.
Shame on London.

Posted by Anne Peat at Thursday, 13 October 2011 at 10:28pm BST

Does anyone know which bishop voted which way? And where were the other bishops?

Posted by Grumpy High Church Woman at Thursday, 13 October 2011 at 11:12pm BST

So, for those of us who don't know the diocese of London well, how are we to interpret this result?

Is it the result of Anglo-Catholic influence, immigrant traditionalism, or something else?

Posted by Jeremy at Friday, 14 October 2011 at 3:01am BST

Well, that was to be expected but was really very close. Much closer than in 1992 and probably closer than most had anticipated. As interesting is the fact that the usual following motions were defeated.

Politically I doubt whether any capital can be made out of this for those opposed.

Only one more diocesan synod needs to vote in favour (there are around 20 to go) for the necessary 50% mark to be reached prior to going back to General Synod.

Posted by Wilf at Friday, 14 October 2011 at 8:31am BST

Wilf – we actually need two more dioceses to be in favour to *surpass* 50% and achieve a majority. There are, however, 7 voting tomorrow, so that shouldn't be too difficult.

At this point, it's really about how large a majority can be achieved so as to compel GS and parliament to pass the legislation.

Posted by Dan Barnes-Davies at Friday, 14 October 2011 at 10:42am BST

I suspect that this negative result for Women as Bishops would have come from clergy members of F.i.F., which has probably the largest following in the London Diocese. It would be interesting to know how many of these dissenting clergy would also be against the accommodation of Gays in the Church.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 14 October 2011 at 10:52am BST

How sad that some clergy continue to try to ignore the ministry of women in the church.


Posted by Ernie at Friday, 14 October 2011 at 11:53am BST

The Diocese of London could be arguably the largest in the Anglican Communion. Too bad the majority of priests that voted in this election are living like they're in the smallest.

Posted by evensongjunkie at Friday, 14 October 2011 at 12:50pm BST

Fr Ron, your reaction was similar to mine. I had wondered whether the influential (FiF) Anglo-Catholic wing of the Diocese of London is what scuppered the motion being carried.

As for these "dissenters'" attitudes towards gay clergy, I'd be happy to discuss the misogynistic gay sub-culture of Anglo-Catholicism, and its search for a purpose in a society broadly accepting of LGBT people, but I think I'll just stop digging there!

Posted by Tim Moore at Friday, 14 October 2011 at 1:52pm BST

Call me Mr Thicky, but can someone explain why, presuming that all three votes took place at the same venue, with the same attendees, consecutively, the number of votes cast for the Clergy and Laity don't tally between the motions?

Surely, if you were present, and didn't vote for or against, you abstained. But for the main motion, 82 lay people voted, on the CEEC motion, 77 voted, and on the amendment, 76 votes were cast.

Did some people simply go home after the first vote was lost?

Posted by Simon Morden at Friday, 14 October 2011 at 2:07pm BST

In reply to Dan Barnes-Davies, can I just say that the synodical system doesn't work like that. The General Synod doesn't have to take on board diocesan votes necessarily. The diocesan synod stage is a hurdle to be surmounted, not necessarily a heavy steer. We do of course then get into all sorts of debates about legitimacy, democracy etc. That however is probably for another time. We are stuck with the system we have for now.

Graeme Buttery

Posted by Graeme Buttery at Friday, 14 October 2011 at 2:35pm BST

Simon Morden,

There was a coffee break between the main motion and the further motions. Some people slipped away.

Jeremy,

There are lots of Tradcath and ConEvo parishes in the London Diocese, certainly disproportionately so to some other Dioceses. However, the speeches on the night suggest that the vote was swung by those supporters of Women Bishops who believe the current legislation is flawed and "we can do better").

Posted by tommiaquinas at Friday, 14 October 2011 at 3:41pm BST

I'd guess London also has some 'Reform' types....

Posted by david rowett at Friday, 14 October 2011 at 3:54pm BST

Thanks, Tommi.

However, considering the gravity of the motions being debated, I find that extraordinary. They are representatives and/or delegates of their parishes and deaneries, not there on their own cognisance - or have I got that completely wrong?

Posted by Simon Morden at Friday, 14 October 2011 at 4:20pm BST

Very sad but very close.

Thanks to the Laity who did support women bishops.
At least the following motions were defeated which actually makes the over all vote even more bizarre.
I gather the Bishop of London did not register a vote

Posted by Jean Mary Mayland at Friday, 14 October 2011 at 5:37pm BST

Mr Buttery,

Oh, bother.

Yours etc.

Posted by Dan Barnes-Davies at Friday, 14 October 2011 at 6:36pm BST

Oh come on. I think it's a good thing. No one at all here or anywhere else in the C of E is denying that there will be women bishops. It's a question of 'provision' for dissenters. This vote - like other votes - makes it more likely that there will be such 'provision'. In which case, the 'dissenters' will be happy and so will we be.

Posted by john at Friday, 14 October 2011 at 9:30pm BST

John - I don't know why you think there is no "provision" in the legislation that General Synod has sent to the dioceses. There is so much provision that there needs to be a clause exempting the C of E from specific parts of sex discrimination legislation.

Posted by Rosalind at Friday, 14 October 2011 at 10:34pm BST

Very sad says Jean Mary M. But, for those who cannot accept the ordination of women to be according to the will of God no doubt equally sad that the vote was not lost also in the House of Bishops and Laity. Very close they might say, and sad.

Posted by Neil at Saturday, 15 October 2011 at 12:06am BST

Sense of perspective here. In 1992, there were Soviet-style majorities against women priests in London. Given the make-up of the clergy in the Diocese, to have come that close represents a huge turn-around from the dark days of Graham Leonard.

And of course, once we've got 50% of the Diocesan Synods in favour, the Diocesan Synod votes become irrelevant. It's getting that 2/3 in the House of Laity of General Synod at final approval that is the crucial thing.

Posted by Pete Broadbent at Saturday, 15 October 2011 at 11:15am BST

Simon Morden: 'They are representatives and/or delegates of their parishes and deaneries, not there on their own cognisance - or have I got that completely wrong?'

Yes, you are completely wrong. Members of diocesan synods (and members of deanery synods and of the General Synod) are not under any mandate or instruction from their electorate. They are not 'delegates'. Rather, they are representatives, who speak and listen to other speakers, read and engage with the issues, and vote according to their informed conscience.

Simon K (who will get to vote next Saturday)

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Saturday, 15 October 2011 at 4:08pm BST

Simon - excellent (in that I was wrong, and I've learnt something new). I'd assumed it'd be more akin to Union rules, with delegates reflecting the will of a local electorate.

Posted by Simon Morden at Saturday, 15 October 2011 at 4:32pm BST

It is looking doubtful that General Synod will vote for women to become bishops, in all three houses, as required by law.

I wonder what 'provision' will then be made for those who had wanted women as bishops ? I have seen not a word about this.

But can well *imagine* how the anti-WO people will 'make provision'.

There will be none and we will return to the status quo ante.

*No need to imagine*, in fact, just refer to church history - especially the history of the with-holding of ordination to women; and the denial of women's ministry to those who needed to receive it.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Saturday, 15 October 2011 at 9:30pm BST

"It's a question of 'provision' for dissenters. This vote - like other votes - makes it more likely that there will be such 'provision'. In which case, the 'dissenters' will be happy and so will we be."

- John, on Friday -

John, you obviously have not been concentrating on what has been written here about the whole problem of a 2-tier rank of bishops. Not only does it demean the women bishops concerned, it allows a small body of dissentients to believe they have a right to 'special treatment' that does dis-service to the principles of catholicity of which the proper jurisdiction of diocesan bishops is an integral part.

It is akin to the situation in North America, where ACNA separates itself out from TEC on account of its objection to TEC's polity. They have not been forced out by TEC; they solved the problem by separating out from their 'Mother' Church. At least in that situation, each can claim its own integrity, with which they can live.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 20 October 2011 at 10:43am BST

Do we know why some of the London bishops,including the diocesan it would seem, didnt vote at all? It does seem odd.

Posted by Perry Butler at Saturday, 22 October 2011 at 12:51pm BST

'Do we know why some of the London bishops ... didnt vote at all?'

Can't answer for any individual bishops; but diocesan synod approval is considered to be given if the clergy and laity each approve; the consent of the diocesan House of Bishops is not required. Presumably this is because the bishops have their say at the General Synod where all the diocesans (and representative suffragans) have an individual vote. It would not be fair for the bishops to have a veto at this stage.

So some bishops may well feel that it is appropriate not to vote at such references from the General Synod the their diocesan synod.

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Saturday, 22 October 2011 at 4:13pm BST
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