Comments: House of Laity meeting

Is the Chairman of the House of Laity going to chair this single item meeting in which the issue in question is a vote of No Confidence in his chairmanship?

Posted by Father David at Friday, 11 January 2013 at 12:44pm GMT

It's already been announced that the meeting will be chaired by the Rt Worshipful Charles George QC, Dean of the Arches.

Posted by Peter Owen at Friday, 11 January 2013 at 1:15pm GMT

Well, what with a "Right Worshipful" Q.C. chairing this gathering makes it all sound even more like a court of law but I'm still not sure what "crime" Dr. Giddings is being accused of?
I only hope that His "Right Worshipful" forgets his black cap on the 18th and doesn't have to make the solemn pronouncement that Dr. Giddings will be taken from this court to a place of execution where he will be hanged by the neck till dead and "May God have mercy on your soul"

Posted by Father David at Saturday, 12 January 2013 at 4:18am GMT

He is having to answer not for any crime, but for his failures of leadership.

Posted by Jeremy at Saturday, 12 January 2013 at 12:06pm GMT

Fr David - you forgot the middle bit about 'to a lawful prison'.....:-)

Posted by david rowett at Saturday, 12 January 2013 at 12:45pm GMT

what does failure of leadership actually mean?
Is there any real sense that the vote would have gone a different way if he hadn't spoken against the measure?
Is there any reason to assume that 6 people who had already made up their minds would have voted the other way?

I still do not see this as anything other than scapegoating.

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 12 January 2013 at 1:04pm GMT

Jeremy, it seems to me that Dr. Giddings displayed admirable leadership skills in his contribution to the women bishops debate especially in the use of his trinitarian mantra - "there must be a better way". Indeed there must be and simply by seeking to get rid of the Chairman of the House of Laity is not a good beginning to seeking the "better way" which his sage leadership suggests.

Posted by Father David at Saturday, 12 January 2013 at 3:22pm GMT

Father David, I can't put it better than the writer above, who says that the lay chair "wish[ed] for a better way but to ha[d] no idea (or no idea to be admitted) of what that might be."

Erika, anyone who mistakes this motion for scapegoating is truly missing the point, which is simple. The lay chair should represent the overwhelming view of the laity that women bishops should now be ordained.

Posted by Jeremy at Saturday, 12 January 2013 at 5:50pm GMT

Erika, I'm glad that I don't have to attend and vote, as I respect Dr. Giddings, having worked for him. But there are, to me, credible arguments in favour of the motion posted here on TA. In the US, we don't always realise the lack of neutrality that chairs on an English model can exhibit. My own bishop (of CO) at the time was taken aback by Rowan Williams' speech on human sexuality at Lambeth '98. Chairs really can have an impact, and if they are in the minority, that can be at least un-, if not anti-, democratic.

Posted by Scot Peterson at Saturday, 12 January 2013 at 7:00pm GMT

that's precisely my point. As far as I'm aware there is not requirement for neutrality. Certainly, the chairs of the other houses weren't neutral.

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 12 January 2013 at 11:13pm GMT

And the corollary to chair non-neutrality is that the chair who advocates for a minority view is taking a chance.

Such a chair is choosing to run the risk that the majority will then vote to remove the chair.

It's that simple.

Having chosen to take that risk, the chair cannot be heard to complain if the risk assumed indeed does come to pass.

Especially here--where the minority view that the lay chair advocated was that the church should continue to discriminate against women.

What a mast to which to nail one's standard!

Posted by Jeremy at Sunday, 13 January 2013 at 12:33am GMT

Twenty years of talking and waiting. It feels like the meeting on the 18th will be more of the same. It's simple - think of men and women as people, then we can each use our time and talents in the service of God.
After twenty years men and women have to be given absolute equality, no fudges.
Let's put our energies into speaking out against domestic violence, poverty etc not into an outdated debate.

Posted by Pamela Hutchison at Sunday, 13 January 2013 at 7:08pm GMT

Presumably the Church of England Laity have noted the endemic attitude of Dr.Giddings towards the unencumbered ordination of Women as Bishops; so that they may vote accordingly at the next election.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 2:47am GMT


I presume that your comment about the next election includes all 33 female members of the House of Laity who opposed the Measure.

Many of them supported a provision for those opposed (that you might consider to be an encumbrance), rather than a single clause measure. Yet they do not oppose women bishops in principle. The prospect of electoral retribution against them would appear a tad self-defeating.

Posted by David Shepherd at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 10:56am GMT

I'm not really clear what it means to say you don't oppose women bishops in principle when you have theological objections to them and you determinedly vote against every attempt to allow women to be ordained as bishops.

I'm starting to suspect 'in principle' here is being used as the opposite to 'in practice', ie 'I accept that the C of E has voted for the principle of women being bishops but I am going to fight the implementation of that principle as hard and as long as I can'.

Posted by Pam Smith at Tuesday, 15 January 2013 at 10:33am GMT

David, Actually, some of the women concerned are definitely opposed in principle to Women Bishops and would quite happily argue those principles. They remain so opposed regardless of provision, or would want provision that fundamentally affect the anglican understanding of episcopal orders. Choosing not to re- elect people is not necessarily retribution, it is reconsidering one's choices and decisions in the light of past events. I think that might also be considered wisdom.

Posted by Lindsay Southern at Tuesday, 15 January 2013 at 11:02am GMT

I see that the motion of no confidence in the Chairman was overwhelmingly rejected by the House of Laity today.

Perhaps if some folk prayed a little more and politicked a little less, the Church of England would have an impact on the vast number of non-Christians in this country.

It seems that many members of the Synod cannot get over the fact that the Synod prayed that the Holy Spirit would guide their vote on women bishops and then didn't like the outcome. So was God wrong?

Posted by Andy (former Anglican) at Friday, 18 January 2013 at 4:32pm GMT
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