WATCH (Women and the Church) Press Release Sunday 11th July 7.30pm
Vote on Archbishops’ Amendment is Standard Practice.
WATCH is disappointed that some opponents of women bishops are seeking to discredit the standard practices of General Synod after the vote on the Archbishops’ amendment yesterday. The procedure of votes being taken “by houses” is standard practice for many issues. It must be requested from the floor and supported by 25 members of synod. Once this decision is taken, the votes of each House of Synod (Bishops, Clergy and Lay) are added separately. A majority is required in all three houses for the motion to be carried. This ensures that all three groups are prepared to support a proposal and the Church can move forward together.
Ironically the same procedure was used in 1978 when Synod first fully considered ordaining women as deacons, priests and bishops. Although it obtained a majority overall, the motion failed to achieve a majority in the House of Clergy and therefore fell.
“It is important that we all continue to honour the processes of Synod and move forward in the light of the decisions they have made,” said the Revd Rachel Weir, Chair of WATCH. “ We hope and trust that the graciousness and attentive listening that characterised Saturday’s debate continues on Monday when Synod completes its consideration of the draft legislation.
Supporting the draft legislation represents a significant compromise for WATCH and others who support women’s ordained ministry: a compromise made in a spirit of generosity to make space for those opposed.”
WATCH looks forward to these proposals going forward to the wider church for further consultation.