Here is the second of our articles republished from The Tablet with permission of the editor.
Enter the peacemaker
Jonathan Wynne Jones
Both conservative and liberal Anglicans have welcomed the appointment of Justin Welby. Can he really hold the two sides together when he starts to address the problems besetting the Communion?
Before Justin Welby had even been officially confirmed as Rowan Williams’ successor, African bishops were making it clear that he should not expect any honeymoon period in office. They sent messages of consternation rather than congratulation, warning that the Anglican Communion is “fractured”, in spiritual and institutional crisis, and suggesting that the Archbishop of Canterbury should be replaced as leader of the Anglican Communion by an elected chairman.
Given the scale of the task that awaits Welby when he arrives at Lambeth Palace, it was fitting that he was introduced to the world’s media with his sleeves rolled up. He inherits an Anglican Communion that has fallen apart over the issue of homosexuality and a Church of England similarly divided, not to mention struggling with dwindling congregations and a huge shortfall in pensions for its clergy. On the face of it, turning to someone who has been a bishop for little more than a year might seem like an act of desperation.
Yet the Crown Nominations Commission took a bold decision to look past his episcopal inexperience because they realised that if there is any bishop in the Church of England who has a chance of steering it away from the rocks, it is Justin Welby. His time at Coventry Cathedral’s Centre for Reconciliation will have given him excellent preparation for trying to resolve the seemingly intractable differences between the Church’s warring factions, and his comparatively late ordination could well work in his favour.3 Comments
With the kind permission of the editor we are republishing two articles from the current issue of The Tablet.
Here is the first.
Archbishop who means business
Justin Welby’s appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury puts a man at the helm of the Church of England and wider Anglican Communion formed by deep faith, personal tragedy, Establishment Britain and the business world. It makes for a combination of strong pastoral and managerial skills
Despite his meteoric rise to be named last week as the new Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Durham, Justin Welby, is not a man who takes himself too seriously. At his diocesan synod this month, he and his suffragan, Mark Bryant, opened their joint presidential address in the style of the British comedy duo, the Two Ronnies: Corbett and Barker. “So it’s a hello from me,” said Bishop Welby. “And it’s a hello from him,” Bishop Bryant replied amid much laughter.
Given the scale of the task facing the incoming archbishop, a self-deprecating sense of humour might be useful. But who is Justin Welby, the one hundred and fifth man to sit on the throne of St Augustine?1 Comment
Audio files for Tuesday’s debate, and (when available) for today’s debate can all be found here.
The business summary for Wednesday has been published: General Synod Wednesday 21 November 2012: Debates and farewells.0 Comments
Major Update on Wednesday evening
Updated Thursday morning
Guardian Patrick Wintour Female bishops controversy: government says it will not step in
Andrew Brown Why the church’s house of laity is vulnerable to capture by interest groups
Alan Wilson What next for the Church of England?
Independent Jerome Taylor Church of England in crisis: Archbishop of Canterbury attacks members for voting against women bishops
Channel 4 News Archbishop: Church less credible after women bishop vote
Mail Online Steve Doughty and Matt Chorley ‘Very grim day’: Next Archbishop of Canterbury tweets his verdict after Church of England Synod rejected women bishops
Church Times Women-bishops legislation falls
Guardian Lizzy Davies Female bishops and the Church of England: what happens next?
Lizzy Davies Church of England bishops plot response to vote to exclude women
Patrick Wintour and Lizzy Davies and agencies David Cameron: Church of England should ‘get on with it’ on female bishops
Patrick Wintour and Lizzy Davies Cameron warns priests of turbulence after church votes no to female bishops
Lizzy Davies Female bishops supporter: ‘Although I’m gutted, it’s not the end of the road’
Giles Fraser After the bishops vote, I’m ashamed to be a part of the Church of England
Simon Hoggart Prime minister issues prod for God after vote against women bishops
Suzanne Moore The Church of England can no longer continue as an arm of the state
Mail Online George Pitcher It’s not really about women bishops, it’s a fight for the Church of England’s soul
Steve Doughty The troubles that brought the Synod vote have been building up for decades
Telegraph Allison Pearson Swaziland has a woman bishop – why not Suffolk?
Rowena Mason and Tim Ross David Cameron: Church needs to ‘get with the programme’ after rejecting women bishops
Martyn Percy Women bishops: a failure of leadership
Tim Stanley In its search for ‘relevance’, the Anglican Church is losing relevance
Independent Susie Leafe Why I voted no to women bishops
Jerome Taylor Strong-arm tactics vs misplaced niceties: how the legislation was sunk
Huffington Post Susan Russell A Seriously Sad Day for the Church of England
Ekklesia Symon Hill “Too good for a girlie”? Sexism and women bishops
Fran Porter The Church of England and women: a rare moment of clarity?
Changing Attitude Colin Coward Reform and Forward in Faith achieve unexpected success
Miranda Threlfall-Holmes My reaction? Incredulity, hurt – and anger
Archbishop of Canterbury Archbishop tells women “this is still your Church”
Rachel Weir Time to reform General Synod19 Comments
Following an emergency meeting of the House of Bishops this morning, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of Canterbury delivered the Presidential Statement to General Synod, in which he called on members to ‘attend to one another…to give to one another the care that we need’. said that the failure to approve the draft Measure meant that the Church of England has “lost a measure of credibility” and that the Church could be seen as “wilfully blind” to modern trends and priorities.
At the end of yesterday afternoon’s proceedings the Archbishop of York said that the Presidents would be consulting overnight in the light of Synod’s decision not to give final approval to the proposed legislation about women in the episcopate. We met last night and we also this morning had the opportunity of an informal discussion with members of the House of Bishops. And what I say is in light of those meetings.
I’ve already said something in public about my personal reaction to yesterday’s vote and I don’t want to repeat what said then or offer a commentary on other people’s comments. But there are a few things it would be helpful to say from the chair today before we move on, as we must, to the rest of today’s business.
Whatever decision was made yesterday, today was always going to be a difficult day. There would have been, whatever decision was made, people feeling that their presence and their significance in the Church was in some sense put into question. There will be people feeling profoundly vulnerable, unwanted and unsure, and that means that the priority for today for all of us is to attend to one another in the light of that recognition, that is to give to one another the care that we need, and whatever else we do today, and think today and say today, I hope that that is what we will be able to offer one another.”
UPDATED Wednesday afternoon (transcript now available)
You can read and listen to the Archbishop’s address on the Lambeth Palace website. The full text is also reproduced below the fold.
Church of England Evangelical Council:
“The church failed to attend to God’s work in God’s way” – Michael Lawson, CEEC Chairman
The Venerable Michael Lawson, CEEC Chairman, comments on the No vote for Women Bishops “Is the church out of touch? No! It simply failed to attend to God’s work in God’s way.”
“The General Synod’s no vote for women bishops will undoubtedly cause both pain and even incredulity to some, yet to others a relief that biblical and catholic orthodoxy has been upheld. The reality is that the out come brings no victory to either side. It is true that broadly speaking the church as a whole has grappled responsibly with this issue. What will be extremely sad is if the result of this vote leads some women to feel they are marginalised in the church, for the reality is that the New Testament encourages the ministry of both men and women, yet in complementary ways. There are of course many places where the rich ministerial gifts of women already have a chance to flourish. But as a result of the vote, this complementarity needs an even greater encouragement by word and action in our churches.
As CEEC has warned on many occasions, one of the reasons for the outcome of the vote will have been the weak and inadequate approach to provision for those who could not accept the possibility of the ordination of women to the Episcopate. At any return to this issue, this matter will require far more thoughtful attention than it attracted hitherto. There was an easy dismissal by some – of those who disagreed with women bishops. This sadly was perceived as ungenerous to say the least, and the whole church needs to learn and learn again that generosity towards those of different opinions is a true sign of the gospel of Christ.
As an outcome to this vote the church may well be criticized that it is out of touch with the times. The truer criticism could well be that we failed to attend to God’s work in God’s way. The CEEC which represents a range of views on this matter, will happily sit down and pray and discuss possible ways forward with any individuals and groups who seek to know the mind of God and build unity throughout his Church.
The Venerable Michael Lawson
Chairman, Church of England Evangelical Council
Statement from Chairman of Reform on Today’s Synod Vote
We thank God that the Church of England has avoided making a big mistake which would have led to real division and a less inclusive Church. The synod’s decision shows respect for the issues of conscience involved. It has avoided putting significant minorities who, as faithful Anglicans, seek to follow the Bible’s teaching, into an impossible position.
We now have a real opportunity to build on the Church’s solid biblical foundations, reflecting together on the right way forward. The good news is that we are still together and able to witness to the saving power of Jesus Christ, which is the heart of our gospel, the basis of our unity, and the only hope for the future of church and nation.
We stand ready for any discussions that our future archbishop may wish to initiate and happily commit ourselves to approaching these positively. Our hearts go out to those who will now be disappointed and confused about the difficult position in which the Church of England now finds itself. We assure them of our prayers. We recognise there is now a need for everyone to take stock while working together to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God as Advent approaches.
Rev Rod Thomas
Chair of Reform
Forward in Faith reacts to the defeat of the draft Measure
Forward in Faith recognises that the outcome of today’s vote in the General Synod will bring disappointment and pain to many. However, we are not surprised that the legislation failed to command the necessary majorities, as it has been apparent for some time that it lacked any consensus across the whole of the Church of England.
As we have done for the last decade and more, Forward in Faith stands ready to offer a better way ahead, which might indeed command that wider consensus which this draft Measure so clearly lacked.
We ask now for a period of prayer and reflection on the part of the whole church, following today’s events.
Catholic Group on General Synod
from the Guardian
We regret the Synod was put in the position whereby draft legislation failed at final approval because it was unclear and unfair in its provision for those who, in conscience, are unable to accept the ministry of women as bishops or priests.
The Catholic Group calls on the House of Bishops to reconvene the talks started in the summer between representatives of different groups, chaired by Bishop Justin Welby.
Updated Wednesday morning
Today’s General Synod news is extensively covered in the Press, and leads many of Wednesday’s front pages.
The Guardian has
The Telegraph’s main story is
In the Independent the coverage is headlined:
Channel 4 News has a report which includes video from Church House and also an interview with Tony Baldry: Church of England votes against women bishops.
For many more links, see the CofE Media Briefing for today.34 Comments
Affirming Catholicism has issued this statement.
The failure of the Women Bishops’ Measure to achieve the necessary majority in the House of Laity today is a huge disappointment and sadness. Many men as well as many women will experience this as a real blow, but our hearts particularly go out this evening to our women clergy who have ministered so effectively in the Church and had hoped today would be an affirmation of their ministry.
The full text is copied below the fold.
WATCH has issed a press release (only on Facebook at the moment)
Today’s vote is a devastating blow for the Church of England and the people of this country.
This vote is a missed opportunity for a whole generation to see women and men sharing fully in the mission, ministry and leadership of the Church of England.
The full text is copied below the fold.
Inclusive Church has issued a press release which can be read here.
Inclusive Church deeply regrets that General Synod did not approve the Measure that would have allowed women to become bishops in the Church of England.
We hope that church leaders will take urgent action to bring forward new legislation and to restore public confidence in the Church.
Dianna Gwilliams, Chair of Inclusive Church said:
“I’m personally disappointed that this legislation did not receive the necessary majority in the House of Laity of General Synod. It is clear that the Houses of Clergy and Bishops, along with 42 out of 44 Diocesan Synods believed that the legislation was the best fit.
This debate is not about women. It is about the nature of our church and her leadership. I pray that as we continue to listen prayerfully to each other God will grant courage to all women and men who, together, are providing courageous leadership in our church.”
GRAS has issued this statement:
We are deeply disappointed that the General Synod has made a decision so out of step with the will of the Church of England as a whole. The Synod’s decision to reject the Measure cuts right across what the vast majority of men and women in the Church of England long for and shows that our attempts at compromise have been ignored. It undermines the validity of the ministry of every ordained woman and sends out a negative message to all women everywhere. A single clause measure is now what GRAS will press for at every level.
Following the defeat by General Synod of the women bishops legislation this afternoon the Church of England issued this press release.
General Synod Rejects Draft Legislation on Women Bishops
20 November 2012
The General Synod of the Church of England has voted to reject the draft legislation to allow women to become bishops.
Under the requirements of the Synod the legislation required a two-thirds majority in each of the three voting houses for final draft approval. Whilst more than two thirds voted for the legislation in both the House of Bishops (44-03) and the House of Clergy (148-45), the vote in favour of the legislation in the House of Laity was less than two-thirds (132-74). The vote in the House of Laity fell short of approval by six votes.
In total 324 members of the General Synod voted to approve the legislation and 122 voted to reject it.
The consequence of the “no” vote of terminating any further consideration of the draft legislation means that it will not be possible to introduce draft legislation in the same terms until a new General Synod comes into being in 2015, unless the ‘Group of Six’ (the Archbishops, the Prolocutors and the Chair and Vice Chair of the House of Laity) give permission and report to the Synod why they have done so.
Speaking after the vote the Rt Revd Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, said: “A clear majority of the General Synod today voted in favour of the legislation to consecrate women as Bishops. But the bar of approval is set very high in this Synod. Two-thirds of each house has to approve the legislation for it to pass. This ensures the majority is overwhelming. The majority in the house of laity was not quite enough. This leaves us with a problem. 42 out of 44 dioceses approved the legislation and more than three quarters of members of diocesan synods voted in favour. There will be many who wonder why the General Synod expressed its mind so differently.
“The House of Bishops recognises that the Church of England has expressed its mind that women should be consecrated as bishops. There is now an urgent task to find a fresh way forward to which so many of those who were opposed have pledged themselves.”
The House of Bishops of the Church of England will meet at 08.30am on Wednesday morning in emergency session to consider the consequences of the vote.
Exact voting figures will be found here.
To clarify the statement “The vote in the House of Laity fell short of approval by six votes.”, if six members of the House of Laity had voted in favour instead of against, the vote would in that house would have reached the necessary two-thirds majority.30 Comments
Final approval of the legislation to allow women to become bishops in the Church of England was defeated by the General Synod today, because the vote in the House of Laity was less than the necessary two-thirds majority.
The main motion before Synod was
That the Measure entitled “Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure” be finally approved.
and this required a two-thirds majority of those present and voting in each of the three houses. [Abstentions are counted but not included in the calculation.] The votes were:
summary of speeches by Bishop of Manchester and Canon Simon Killwick
summary of speech by the Bishop of Durham
summary of speech by the Archbishop of Canterbury
If I find any more I will add them.1 Comment
Two questions were asked at General Synod on Monday which were answered by the Bishop of Guildford. The full list of all Questions is available here (PDF).
53. Miss Prudence Dailey (Oxford) to ask the Chairman of the Council for Christian Unity:
Q. Has consideration been given to whether the Church of England is in full and unimpaired communion with Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina?
54. Mrs Lorna Ashworth (Chichester) to ask the Chairman of the Council for Christian Unity:
Q. Following the recent issue of a Certificate of Abandonment of the Episcopal Church in relation to the Rt Revd Mark J Lawrence, Bishop of South Carolina, and recognising that Bishop Lawrence has been one of the declining number of theologically conservative bishops who has sought to remain and to keep his people within TEC, in the light of paragraph 6 in the statement offered to the Synod in GS Misc 2011 by the Archbishops, are there any plans to consider proposing to the Synod fuller recognition of the Anglican Church in North America than has been considered to be appropriate up to this point.
The Bishop of Guildford’s answer (transcribed from audio recording available here)
With your permission sir, I will answer this and Mrs Ashworth’s question together.
The withdrawal from The Episcopal Church of most of the clergy and people of several dioceses, led by their bishops, after diocesan convention decisions, is a development novel in kind as well as in scale. Our North American sisters and brothers have been often involved in a litigious and sometimes acrimonious debate. We should try to remain on good terms with all parties and avoid inflaming matters further. Our response should be deliberate, and not hasty.
As the Archbishops noted in GS Misc 1011, the creation of the Anglican Church in North America raises questions of recognition of orders – ministry – as well as a relationship of communion. The former question is in some respects simpler, because the considerations are more objective, and it is also the more pressing, by reason of requests for transfer. Nevertheless there are some matters that require clarification before any decisions can be taken.
Clergy ordained in several churches with which we are not, or not yet, in communion are seeking permission to minister in the Church of England. The Council for Christian Unity has therefore established a small group to offer advice to the Archbishops through the Faith and Order Commission on the relevant issues. The question about the Anglican Church in North America’s orders (whether it is a church and whether its orders are such, whether they such that we can recognize) will be addressed in that context. This will necessarily involve direct ‘engagement with the Anglican Church in North America’ which was envisaged in the Archbishops General Synod miscellaneous paper that I have referred to, GS Misc 1011, and that will be the context for subsequent exploration of relationships between our churches.
On Saturday, a Special Diocesan Convention endorsed the South Carolina withdrawal from The Episcopal Church. The Bishop has stated that their position would be to remain within the Anglican Communion as an extra-provincial Diocese. The Episcopal Church on the other hand maintains that General Convention consent is necessary for any withdrawal. So the legal and indeed theological and ecclesiological position is extremely complicated. And it is absolutely not certain.
It has therefore not been possible to consider the consequences for our relationships at this immediate stage. And, in my view, any statement just at this point would be premature.
Updated Tuesday morning
Guardian Lizzy Davies Church of England prepares for vote on female bishops
Telegraph John Bingham General Synod: arcane procedures mask passions running high
and Church warned over women bishops
Emma Barnett Women bishops: refuseniks have run out of excuses
Peter Stanford Women bishops: judgment day, at last
Guardian Editorial Let bulwarks be bishops: women in the Church of England
Guardian Natalie Hanman Should women be bishops?1 Comment
Here’s a brief, official summary of today’s opening day of Synod: General Synod: Summary of business on Monday 19 November 2012.
Audio files of the session are available here.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has published a speech he made today: Archbishop heralds “another model of Church life coming to birth”.0 Comments
Over a thousand clergy of the Church of England have signed an open letter to The Independent urging the General Synod to vote in favour of women bishops in Tuesday’s ballot. The letter, with a complete list of signatories, is here: Open Letter: The Biblical case for women bishops.
Daniel Goddard, Gerard Brand, Jonathan Brown and Kunal Dutta write about the letter in the Independent: Clergy demand women bishops ahead of General Synod.
The Telegraph also reports on the letter: Church of England General Synod: women bishop vote in balance as row looms.
There are other news items previewing the debate.
Telegraph John Bingham Top female cleric urges backing for ‘imperfect’ women bishops deal
BBC Michael Buchanan Church of England to vote on women bishops5 Comments
Mail Online Adrian Hilton Archbishop Justin Welby will try to be all things to all men
Daniel Deng, the Archbishop of Sudan, was interviewed about Bishop Welby’s appointment to Canterbury on the BBC Radio 4 Sunday programme this morning. The three minute interview starts 15 min 42 sec in from the start.
This article by Lucy Bannerman was originally published behind the paywall at The Times on 9 November and is now available for all to read at the Ottawa Citizen: New Archbishop of Canterbury is no bumbling academic2 Comments
Updated Sunday night
There are several items this weekend about Tuesday’s debate and vote on women bishops.
Independent Emily Dugan Church of England poised to vote for women bishops
Telegraph John Bingham All eyes on ‘game-changer’ Welby as Church faces final showdown on women bishops
Telegraph Cole Moreton Ladies in waiting at the Church of England
Ruth Gledhill was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Sunday programme this morning. The five minute interview starts 20 min 15 sec in from the start.
Guardian Lizzy Davies Female bishops: history awaits at CofE General Synod vote0 Comments
On Monday the General Synod is due to hear a presentation on the Anglican Consultative Council meeting held recently in New Zealand. A great many documents from that meeting are now available online here.
Of particular interest for the other agenda item tomorrow, concerning the Anglican Covenant, is this report on Provincial Reception of the Anglican Covenant (PDF).
This paper contains three kinds of information.
The first (Category A) is from member churches which have taken action in their governing body with respect to the Covenant, and which have communicated their decision to the Anglican Communion Office. The second (Category B) is from member churches which have taken action along the way to a decision, but which have not yet made a formal decision. The third (Category C) is from member churches whose actions have not been communicated to the ACO, but about which there is information through the media or on their own websites.
Wherever possible the exact wording of resolutions as adopted or defeated is given…
At the time this document was discussed at the ACC, Mary Frances Schjonberg of ENS filed this report: Council considers status of Anglican Covenant in small groups.
The Anglican Consultative Council spent an hour in private conversation on Oct. 31 (local time) considering the status of the Anglican Covenant but took no action.
Those reflection group conversations, preceded by a short plenary session open to the public, has been the pattern of this 15th meeting of the ACC.
Before the Oct. 31 reflection conversations began, New Zealand Diocese of Christchurch Bishop Victoria Matthews asked the members to consider “why [the covenant] is a cause of fear and why is it a sign of hope for others?”
The results of the reflection conversations were to be given to the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO) and the Anglican Communion Standing Committee “as they discern the ways to take the matter forward,” according to a handout on the process…
And the previous day, in this digest report (scroll down for item) she had reported that Members get covenant status update.
While the ACC is not due to discuss the current status of the Anglican Covenant until Oct. 31, a document handed out today shows that nine provinces have made a final decision on the covenant with one rejecting the covenant, six accepting it as is and two making modifications as part of their acceptance.
Those in the so-called Category A that have approved the convent are Ireland, Mexico, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Southern Cone of America, and the West Indies. In addition, according to the document, South East Asia adopted the covenant with an added preamble of its own and the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has subscribed to the covenant’s first three sections but said it cannot adopt section 4, which outlines a process for resolving disputes.
And, also in Category A, is the Scottish Episcopal Church, which has refused to adopt the covenant.
The U.S.-based Episcopal Church is one of eight provinces sorted into Category B, which is described as including provinces that have made “partial decisions” about the covenant…
The Church of Ireland Gazette also reported on all this, and interviewed Malcolm French of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition. The full text of the Gazette report is available below the fold.11 Comments
Updated Sunday morning
Episcopal News Service reports: South Carolina convention affirms decision to leave Episcopal Church
The majority of South Carolina Episcopalians who attended a special convention at St. Philip’s Church here Nov. 17 affirmed actions by Bishop Mark Lawrence and the diocesan Standing Committee a month ago to disaffiliate the diocese from the Episcopal Church.
Those actions took place after Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori restricted Lawrence’s ministry on Oct. 17 after the church’s Disciplinary Board for Bishops certified to her that he had abandoned the Episcopal Church “by an open renunciation of the discipline of the church.”
On that same day, the Standing Committee announced that the action of the Disciplinary Board “triggered two pre-existing corporate resolutions of the diocese, which simultaneously disaffiliated the diocese from the Episcopal Church and called a special convention.”
The bishop referred to the special convention as “the Valley of Decision” during his address and asserted, “It is time to turn the page.” He referred to attempts to prevent separation of the diocese, and his oft-mentioned issues of theology, morality and disagreement with church canons…
The full text of Bishop Lawrence’s address to the convention can be found here. It is worth reading in full.
The ENS report notes that:
..While the bishop referred to numerous letters of support from church leaders, he did not announce any open offers of affiliation with the Anglican Communion, and he confirmed that for now the separatist diocese will affiliate with no one. In a conference call following the convention, he confirmed that alignment is not on the table at present.
However, during his address, he claimed that “for now and the foreseeable future, having withdrawn from our association with TEC, we remain an extra-provincial diocese within the larger Anglican Communion.”
Such a designation requires action by the Anglican Consultative Council, which concluded a 12-day meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, on Nov. 7. No action on South Carolina was taken during that meeting and the council will not meet again until May 2016…
Special Convention Approves Canonical and Constitutional Amendments Regarding Disassociation
Today, Saturday, November 17, 2012, the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina met in Special Convention at the “mother church of the Diocese,” historic St. Philip’s Church in Charleston. There, an overwhelming majority passed three resolutions…
Full details of the three resolutions can be found here (PDF).
Video of Bishop Lawrence’s address here.11 Comments
Andrew Brown in The Guardian The dictionary is wrong – science can be a religion too
Susan Russell in the Huffington Post And Here’s to You, Bishop Robinson
Matthew Groves for ResPublica The New Archbishop: A counter-cultural first among equals2 Comments