The Church of England Evangelical Council has issued a statement
following the meeting of the Council on 16th/17th October 2012:
The CEEC is composed of men and women, clergy, bishops and laity, those for and against the inclusion of women in the episcopate. These convictions are sincerely held, and include those who are satisfied with the present proposals for provision. However, a majority of the Council believes that the current measure does not make adequate provision for the substantial number of the Church of England who cannot support this development, and is concerned that there is a serious possibility the measure may result in their exclusion from the Church. It believes that all members of General Synod must prayerfully consider the good of the whole church and vote with a clear conscience which, for opponents, may mean voting against the Measure, rather than, as they are being asked, to abstain.
Notes to Editors
CEEC is constituted to represent and co-ordinate Anglican evangelicals across the country within the Church of England and its structures and has members both for and against the consecration of women bishops.
There is a substantial number in the dioceses against the present proposals:
a) The votes in the Dioceses on this legislation showed that:
23% clergy opposed the legislation and 2% abstained
22% laity opposed to the legislation and 3% abstained
http://www.churchofengland.org/media/1379450/gs%201847%20(women%20bishops%20-%20business%20committee%20report).pdf See page 4
b) A ComRes Poll in Oct 2012 showed 18% of Anglicans were against the idea of women bishops and 9% were unsure about the initiative.
http://www.comres.co.uk/polls/ComRes_Women_Bishops_Oct2012.pdf See page 8
CEEC Chairman: The Venerable Michael Lawson
Executive Officer: The Revd Canon Michael Walters
Communications Officer: The Revd Peter Breckwoldt
CEEC Chairman, the Venerable Michael Lawson has added a comment on the background to the Statement:-
‘Many evangelicals, both supporters and non-supporters of the ordination of women to the episcopate, are deeply concerned about provision for those who in good conscience cannot accept women bishops. We believe it is a matter not just of justice but of godliness to treat well this minority of those with whom God has joined us together in fellowship and mission. In all this we have to remember we are God’s people, and behave as such, and not slip into the ungodliness of warring political factions’.