Comments: women bishops: voting in diocesan synods

As usual the C of E is getting caught up in its own bureaucracy. In order to try to assuage everybody, it ends up pleasing nobody. From parish PCC to rural deanery, deanery, diocese, laity, clergy Bishops and Archbishops, evangelicals, anglo-catholics, old uncle Tom Cobley and all, it's hard enough for a churchwarden at the bottom of the chain to understand, let alone your average Jo. If you want women bishops, have them. Though why anybody would want to be a bishop, man woman gay or saint beats me.

Posted by Andrew Hooper at Saturday, 1 December 2012 at 5:32pm GMT

I know this is an unsustainable argument, but a neutral looking at the figures without knowledge of Synodical politics in any detail might think that the difference in voting between Dioceses and General Synod arose because the bishops adjusted the legislation so more bishops would vote for it. This did not affect the clergy much, but some lay members voted against because they thought the bishops had pushed too far!

Posted by Mark Bennet at Saturday, 1 December 2012 at 10:38pm GMT

Am I right in thinking that the vote in General Synod was NOT primarily about whether or no women should be Bishops, but upon whether or no the pastoral provision for those against their consecration in principle would be adequate subsequent to such consecration? 74 members of the house of laity were afraid the measure would not give them such provision. May I ask these 74 what provision they would now make for pastoral and spiritual care for those who are feeling rejected and deeply disturbed by the General Synod vote, and whose loyalty to the church is being stretched to the limit. Or do they assume that because they themselves have to be right, then the rest of us can simply be ignored?

Posted by Jane Methuen at Saturday, 1 December 2012 at 11:33pm GMT

I have done some number crunching on the difference between Diocesan Synod voting on the (unamended) measure and the voting of GS members.

The results are:

1. In general, where fewer than two-thirds of GS members (clergy and laity) voted for the measure fewer than two-thirds of the clergy and laity in Diocesan Synods voted for it;
2. In some cases where this is the case the difference is rather large (Winchester Diocesan Synod laity 62% in favour, GS lay members 14% in favour);
3. In 4 cases (Bradford laity, Europe clergy, Wakefield clergy, York clergy) more than two-thirds of the GS members voted in favour where fewer than two-thirds of the same house in the Diocesan Synod had voted in favour;
4. In 13 cases fewer than two-thirds of GS members voted in favour where more than two-thirds of the same house in Diocesan Synod had voted in favour (Carlisle laity, Chelmsford laity, Derby clergy, Europe laity, Guildford clergy and laity, Lichfield laity, Oxford clergy and laity, Peterborough laity, Ripon laity, Rochester clergy and laity). The most stark discrepancy was in Guildford laity where 25% of GS members voted in favour where in the Diocesan Synod 71% had done so and in Ripon and Leeds laity (33% compared to 88%).

Posted by Will Adam at Sunday, 2 December 2012 at 3:12pm GMT
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