Comments: Women in the Episcopate - diocesan synod votes 6

I have gone through the figures for the Dioceses that have already voted, and compared them with their votes from last time round. In total there has been an increase in the number of votes in favour - roughly a 10% increase. The main change, however, has been the fall in the number of votes against - this has fallen by about 2/3.

If you imagine Peter Snow describing the results so far on an election night, then he would describing this as a 7% swing in favour of the legislation.

Posted by Peter at Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 9:02pm BST

Peter...not sure how that's possible, because there are not many recorded abstentions, so the increase in "yeses" should be the same as the decrease in "noes", roughly speaking, though obviously not proportionately since there was already a larger yes vote. Have the "noes" simply stayed away?

Posted by Turbulent priest at Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 11:15pm BST

Turbulent: they may well have stayed away... Have a look at the analysed figures: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Danbarnesdavies/Women_in_the_episcopate_2014

Posted by Dan BD at Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 3:47pm BST

In my diocese, at least eight noes stayed away because they didn't see the point in going.

Posted by Richard at Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 8:14pm BST

Perhaps the absences and abstentions are indicative of the Holy Spirit's intentions for the outcome.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 12 May 2014 at 7:13am BST

The precise numbers tell a variety of stories, often local. A general overview shows that in several diocese where church members felt that their Gen Synod members did not represent their views, there has been higher attendance this time round than in 2011, particularly amongst laity who wanted to make their voice heard somewhere in the process. Some dioceses show lower turnout than last time, some in one house, some across the Synod (and this includes diocese very strongly in favour, and others just in favour this time). But then, some dioceses used a meeting already in people's diaries for this debate and others have arranged an extra meeting, so in the latter case, Synod members may have found it harder to attend. What cannot be denied is that the recorded figures which will be returned to General Synod are currently showing support for this legislation at 90% (or higher) of votes cast, and if this continues for the remaining Dioceses (yes, we all know London and Chichester still have to vote!!) then this is a result that General Synod members will need to take very seriously.

Posted by Rosalind R at Monday, 12 May 2014 at 11:29am BST

Rosalind: "this is a result that General Synod members will need to take very seriously."

Really? Because last time we learned that the will of the dioceses meant ********* to the General Synod...

Posted by Dan BD at Monday, 12 May 2014 at 5:51pm BST

The General Synod members are, to use a classic distinction, representatives rather than delegates of their constituencies. Thus they vote according to their own conscience, and while one hopes they would take into account such votes in the Dioceses there are in no way bound by them.

Of course, as a matter of practical politics, if the General Synod fails again to pass this legislation - especially given it seems a great improvement over the previous package - a very adverse reaction must be probable. One imagines this would include (1) a concerted campaign in the next GS elections not to re-elect those who voted against; (2) renewed calls for substantial reform of the Synod; and (3) the possibility that Parliament might try and take direct action on the matter of admitting women to the episcopate.

Posted by Philip Hobday at Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 3:47pm BST

Are you having a lie in this morning at Thinking Anglicans? The Diocese of Coventry votes on Women in the Episcopate were bishops 2 for, clergy 21 for, laity 33 for. No votes were cast against in any of the three houses and there was but one single clerical abstention.
Keep up at the back there!

Posted by Father David at Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 7:31am BST

'One imagines this would include (1) a concerted campaign in the next GS elections not to re-elect those who voted against.'

Such a campaign should be taking place regardless of the outcome of this next vote!

Posted by Jeremy at Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 8:18pm BST
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