First, here are two press reports on yesterday’s release of the General Synod voting lists.
Lizzy Davies in The Guardian Almost half the lay members who voted against female bishops were women
John Bingham in the Telegraph Half of women bishops opponents in Synod were women
And then there are several comment articles.
Bruce Kaye for ABC Religion and Ethics The triumph of the radicals: Women bishops and the Church of England
Savi Hensman for Ekklesia Women bishops: how to move forward?
John Coles, director of New Wine Synod Vote: Women Bishops
Paul Roberts A possible way out of the Women Bishops bind
Colin Coward of Changing Attitude The deeper (mis)understandings which divide us
Alice Udale-Smith for Varsity Female bishops and me: a defence of the General Synod
And finally, WATCH has issued a press release “Pressure for simple legislation mounts as first analysis of voting patterns shows General Synod House of Laity dramatically out of step with lay members of diocesan synods” which is copied in full below the fold.
WATCH (Women and the Church)
Press Release 27th November 2012
For immediate release
Pressure for simple legislation mounts as first analysis of voting patterns shows General Synod House of Laity dramatically out of step with lay members of diocesan synods
A week after the disastrous vote in General Synod and after a period of intense scrutiny from both houses of Parliament, pressure continues to grow on Church authorities to find a way to break the impasse on legislating for women bishops.
Given the failure of all attempts at a compromise enshrined in statute, there is increasing support for the adoption of the simplest possible legislation with provision for those opposed being made outside the legislation itself.
On Monday 26th November, the voting records were published. This shows how individual members of the House of Laity of the General Synod voted and also enables comparisons with the votes previously cast by the lay representatives in the diocesan synods.
As expected, there was a considerable discrepancy between the local and national voting patterns.
When the legislation was debated at diocesan level, it achieved more than a two-thirds majority among lay people in 37 of the 44 dioceses. In Guildford, for instance, 70% of lay members voted in favour at diocesan level, but three of the four General Synod members voted against. Had the General Synod members representing six dioceses chosen to reflect the views expressed by their diocesan synods, the measure would have passed.
Full details of the House of Laity voting figures can be found via Thinking Anglicans.
The Reverend Rachel Weir, Chair of WATCH said
“It is clear that the lay members of General Synod have not reflected the wishes of ordinary parishioners in their dioceses. If the House of Laity of General Synod had followed the pattern of the diocesan synods, this legislation would have passed comfortably last week”
Bishop John Gladwin, the recently retired Bishop of Chelmsford, and Hon Vice President of WATCH said
“The public humiliation and deep wound inflicted on the Church of England by the vote in Synod on November 20th has changed the whole landscape of this and many other issues. What a small minority has done is blow up the bridge to any compromise solution. The consecration of women into the episcopate has been moved from certainty to inevitability. There is now only one route which must be travelled to that outcome. That is the route which removes all discriminatory provisions from the life and ministry of the Church”