Thinking Anglicans

Women in the episcopate – electronic voting results

Updated

Electronic voting results for this month’s General Synod debate on the women bishops legislation have now been published. These take the form of pdf files, arranged by houses (in two cases), by vote (for/against/abstain) and then alphabetically.

I list below the four items voted on electronically, and the voting figures in each case. At the end I link to my consolidated version of the four votes arranged by synod number.

Item 39 (The Revd Paul Benfield amendment)

In paragraph (d) leave out all the words after “on the basis” and insert “that the provision made for those who cannot receive the ministry of female priest or bishops should be made by Measure or regulations made under Canon”.

The effect of this amendment would have been to make statutory provision for opponents. It was defeated in a vote by houses.

item 39 For Against abstain
Bishops 7 34 0
Clergy 48 137 4
Laity 75 115 4

Item 42 (The Ven. Clive Mansell amendment)

In paragraph (d) leave out “79-88 of the annex to GS 1886 described as ‘option one’” and insert “89-95 of the annex to GS 1886 described as ‘option two’”.

The effect of this amendment would have been to include in the measure a requirement for an Act of Synod to be in place before final approval of the measure. It was defeated in a vote by houses.

item 42 For Against abstain
Bishops 10 28 1
Clergy 55 128 8
Laity 93 100 4

Item 46 (The Ven. Clive Mansell amendment)

At the end of paragraph (d) insert “together with provision to prevent legal challenge to patrons, bishops, PCC members and parish representatives acting properly in accordance with their duties in the appointment process for an incumbent or a priest -in-charge (such issues being identified within paragraphs 130-136 of GS 1886)”.

This amendment was defeated on a division of the whole Synod (200 in favour, 210 against and 15 recorded abstentions). But I have divided the voting list up by houses as follows.

item 46 For Against abstain
Bishops 15 23 2
Clergy 87 98 4
Laity 98 89 9

The final vote was on the substantive motion: Item 16 (as amended by items 45 and 47). The two successful amendments were each carried on a show of hands. They added the references to a grievance procedure, and to the use of facilitated conversations.

That this Synod:
(a) reaffirm its commitment to admitting women to the episcopate as a matter of urgency;
(b) instruct the Appointments Committee to appoint this month a Steering Committee to be in charge of the draft legislation required to that end;
(c) instruct the Business Committee to arrange for the First Consideration stage for that draft legislation to be taken at the November 2013 group of sessions, so that the subsequent stages can follow the timetable set out in paragraph 141 of the annex to GS 1886;
(d) instruct the Steering Committee to prepare the draft legislation on the basis described in paragraphs 79-88 of the annex to GS 1886 as ‘option one’ with the addition of a mandatory grievance procedure for parishes in which diocesan bishops are required to participate and invite the House of Bishops to bring to the Synod for consideration at the February 2014 group of sessions a draft Act of Synod or draft declaration to be made by the House to accompany the draft legislation; and
(e) urge that the process of facilitated conversations continue to be used at significant points in the formulation and consideration of the draft legislation.

This was carried on a division of the whole Synod (319 in favour, 84 against and 22 recorded abstentions). Again I have divided the voting list up by houses as follows.

item 16 For Against abstain
Bishops 37 2 1
Clergy 154 27 8
Laity 128 55 13

Spreadsheet of votes [Updated Friday night to correct totals for House of Bishops]

For convenience I have put the results into a spreadsheet arranged by synod number (which brings members together by diocese) for each house and added absentees and vacancies. For this purpose an “absentee” is someone who did not record an electronic vote (for/against/abstention). There are various reasons for being an absentee.

Update 1: There is also this webpage version of my spreadsheet.

Update 2: For convenience I have extracted below the voting records for the members of the Steering Committee.

surname   house   item 39 item 42 item 46 item 16
Benfield Paul clergy 67 For For For Against
Charman Jane clergy 203 Against Against Against For
Cotton Robert clergy 125 Against Against Against For
Giddings Philip laity 367 For For For For
Gooder Paula laity 249 Against Against Against For
Hardman Christine clergy 214 Against Against Against For
Harrison Jamie laity 301 Against Against Against For
Langstaff James bishops 34 Against Against abstain For
Leafe Susannah laity 416 For For For Against
Mallett Rosemarie clergy 216 Against Against Against For
Swinson Margaret laity 341 Against Against For For
Thomas Roderick clergy 120 For For For Against
Warner Martin bishops 14 For For For Against
Willmott Trevor bishops 45 Against Against Against For
Winter Dagmar clergy 168 For Against Against For

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Father Ron Smith
Guest

Thank you for this information. Does the fact that there is no appetite expressed by General Synod for any amendment that would enshrine in canon law any ‘special provisions’ for opponents of Women Bishops mean that the Measure could fail at the final hurdle? If this is the case, then all of the careful work done by those who seek to recognise the unhindered episcopal ministry of women in the Church of England could have been in vain. What does this say about the unequal power of the Laity in General Synod; to turn down the expressed will of the… Read more »

C Skelton
Guest
C Skelton

Why is it that synod number 50 is “not used”? Thank you.

JCF
Guest
JCF

Ignorant Yank here eagerly awaits knowledgeable interpretation! 🙂

Andrew Coe
Guest
Andrew Coe

Some more detail extracted from the individual voting records. The 15 General Synod Members just named as the Steering Committee to prepare women bishops’ legislation, voted this way in the final vote on the substantive motion:
11 For, 4 Against.
By House they voted,
Bishops: 2 For, 1 Against
Clergy: 6 For, 2 Against
Laity: 4 For, 1 Against

Alastair Newman
Guest
Alastair Newman

Two thirds majority in each house if my maths is correct.

badman
Guest
badman

The Steering Committee to prepare the legislation therefore consists of 15 people, of whom 5 voted against the final motion on women bishops on 8 July and 10 voted yes. Of the 5 who voted no, 2 are Anglo Catholics and 3 are conservative evangelicals. Revd Canon Jane Charman – voted yes to the women bishops motion on 8 July Revd Canon Robert Cotton – voted yes Dr Paula Gooder – voted yes Ven Christine Hardman – voted yes Dr Jamie Harrison – voted yes Rt Revd James Langstaff (Chair) – voted yes (Bishop of Rochester) Revd Dr Rosemarie Mallett… Read more »

Peter Owen
Guest

Question: Why is synod number 50 not used?

Answer: The Forces Synodical Council is entitled to seven members of General Synod. It is allowed to (but is not required to) choose the bishop to the forces as one of the seven. I assume that number 50 was reserved for this bishop. But in the current Synod the Council has not chosen to take up this seventh place.

Peter Owen
Guest

In view of some of the comments above, I have extracted the voting records of the 15 members of the Steering Committee and added them to the end of the article.

There are some errors in the comments above about the voting on the final motion (item 16):
1) The clergy members voted 5 for, 2 against.
2) Philip Giddings voted in favour.

Dagmar Winter
Guest
Dagmar Winter

I have queried my apparent “for” vote on item 39 with Synod Office. Am sure I voted against. (Wouldn’t make sense otherwise anyway with the rest of my voting.)

Malcolm French+
Guest

What effect (if any) do abstentions have in calculating the 2/3 majorities?

Peter Owen
Guest

Malcolm: Abstentions are ignored in calculating 2/3 majorities. So, to give a hypothetical example, 20 votes in favour and 10 against with 400 abstentions is a 2/3 majority.

Pete Broadbent
Guest
Pete Broadbent

The point about this Steering Committee is that it is unique. Normally to be appointed to a Steering Committee you have to be in favour of the Measure. This lot have been chosen in order to represent all shades of opinion and to go away into a darkened room with facilitated discussion until they come out with an agreed way forward. David Porter, who brokered the Ulster Good Friday Agreement, is in charge of the process. Our prayers are that WATCH and Reform and FiF will be easier than Sinn Fein and the DUP. My only concern is that the… Read more »

Stuart, Devon
Guest
Stuart, Devon

To +Pete’s point, if the assorted blocks within the CofE prove more incalcitrant than Sinn Fein and the DUP, then we really do have bigger problems to worry about.

Wilf
Guest
Wilf

Looking at who did what is interesting. Something that happened in the last round at this stage was that a large number of opponents simply did not vote thus giving larger majorities in favour at the early stages of legislation than at the final stage. This time most of the usual suspects (including the highly unrepresentative anti groups in the lay reps of the dioceses of Chelmsford and Winchester) did vote and did vote against. There were some notable voters who were opposed last time who voted for in the last vote this time. However, this was only a vote… Read more »

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Yes…pace +Pete’s comment: the “polo mint” church perhaps ……with the hole in the middle.The “traditions” do seem to have moved apart over the last 40+. If you saw catholic /evangelical and liberal as three over-lapping circles you could once shade in a substantial overlap in all sorts of ways, but less so now.Though have the bulk of the laity shifted? As I potter around east Kent taking services in retirement it seems most laity are what Alec Vidler dubbed “Un-hyphonated Anglicans”

primroseleague
Guest
primroseleague

“David Porter, who brokered the Ulster Good Friday Agreement, is in charge of the process. Our prayers are that WATCH and Reform and FiF will be easier than Sinn Fein and the DUP. My only concern is that the cast list doesn’t reflect the middle ground CofE who are not part of campaigning groups. But if we’re going to get a solution, this Steering Committee is where we start.” I think this is about the most productive and sensible approach that has yet been tried since 1992, and wish it every chance of success. Of course, you’ll have noted that… Read more »

David
Guest
David

It was the ‘middle ground’ that realised they had been sleeping when they should have been awake and were hopelessly out-manoeuvred by FiF/Reform at the synod last November. I have many friends who had been quietly supportive of women bishops but not really felt the need to say so or bang any drums for it. They then felt angry and motivated for the first time. Bishop’s too had never before been so outspokenly supportive of women in ordained ministry. It was always thought to be insensitive to the non-accepting minority to do so. My hope is that something changed then… Read more »

Lindsay Southern
Guest
Lindsay Southern

I’m wondering why WATCH are represented as being extreme? They are the only group mentioned here who are strongly supportive of women in the episcopate, which is in fact the majority position of most deaneries & dioceses within the Church of England and certainly representative of a substantial number of people within the pews. They also supported the legislation containing provision in the original form it was presented to the Dioceses who voted upon it. There are also a substantial number of other groups strongly in favour of women in the episcopate – Inclusive Church, Modern Church, Affirming Catholicism, Fulcrum…… Read more »

primroseleague
Guest
primroseleague

Lindsay Southern I think you’re right, although I suspect that the characterisation of WATCH as extremists is because they’re so vocally FOR WO. I think it might be more helpful to class all these groups as “vocal” rather than extreme to be honest. I know the other groups you mentioned are similar to Watch in view, but if you’re a journalist wanting rentaquote then you go to them – in much the same way as you might go to Reform et al for the opposing view. I also agree the comparisons with NI are hyperbole but only just – the… Read more »

Geonokes
Guest
Geonokes

What makes people think that WATCH and Modern Church are extreme is the fact that they continually either criticise or campaign against the appointment of traditionalist bishops within the CofE when they know full well that it is only the on-going presence of traditionalist bishops that enable traditionalist catholics to remain in the CofE with a good conscience. If they could find it within themselves to be a little more supportive about the appointment of traditionalist bishops, and there are plenty of traditionalist clergy who could be appointed on merit alone,then perhaps people might be less inclined to label them… Read more »

Turbulent Priest
Guest
Turbulent Priest

Two observations: 1. Recent research (not to mention the views of our genuinely elected representatives in Parliament) rather suggests that insofar as there is any “middle ground” it is the position espoused by WATCH. Indeed it could even be that the “middle ground” position is the sort of thing that Parliament (which after all represents everybody) would do if it could: a simple “single clause measure”. 2. The ABC has made his position very clear on this one. Would he dare say to Synod: “We will work very hard together on this to support those who don’t agree, both before… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“I’m wondering why WATCH are represented as being extreme? They are the only group mentioned here who are strongly supportive of women in the episcopate, which is in fact the majority position of most deaneries & dioceses within the Church of England …” Because that is a standard tactic that works a lot of the time. Every proposal of a move forward by women is always opposed as extreme by the “traditionalists.” Ever hear the word “FemiNazi?” In the US, that has been ascribed to feminists who want, wait for it, equal pay for equal work, non discrimination in the… Read more »

Pete Broadbent
Guest
Pete Broadbent

I don’t think that you’ll find that I used the word “extreme” in anything I wrote about this. There is of course a sharp polarity in Synod. Option 1 (or probably Option 1.75) has now become the preferred position. But the point is that there are large numbers of members of Synod who are not part of any of the various organised groupings (of which there are something like 7 or 8) and who need to feel that they too own the process.

nick clarke
Guest
nick clarke

Re Spreadsheet of votes House of Bishops – both spreadsheet and web-page. The totals at the end are wrong: the “countif” range doesn’t start at the beginning of the list.

Peter Owen
Guest

Thank you Nick Clarke – You are quite right. I have corrected the totals.

Laurence
Guest
Laurence

Geonokes what are we to do when your ‘traditionalist bishops’ keep going over to Rome ?

You want us to supply more and more for the Ordinariate ?

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“I don’t think that you’ll find that I used the word “extreme” in anything I wrote about this.” No Pete, but you said that “the middle ground is missing.” Given that 42 of 44 dioceses wanted WB’s would mean that WATCH basically represents about 95 percent of the mind of the church. To me, it looks like WATCH is absolutely rock solid, vast majority, middle ground. I’m sure that that statement is the result of narrowly focusing on Synod; however, it sounds dishonest to the broader church to pretend otherwise. The focus has to be larger than Synod. There needs… Read more »

Gerry Lynch
Guest

The key group in all of this is actually the 13 members of the house of laity who abstained in the final vote. If they support the legislation it passes, if they vote against it, it fails. High as my regard is for David Porter, it is simply mad to suggest, as Pete Broadbent does, that he brokered the Belfast-Good Friday Agreement, or indeed that he had any role in doing so. He will be very amused at the suggestion. Nonetheless, he does have an excellent background in mediation and conflict resolution in Northern Ireland and brings a superb skillset… Read more »

Lindsay Southern
Guest
Lindsay Southern

+Pete, no you didn’t use the word ‘extreme’ – and I didn’t say that you did – I wondered why in general WATCH are often portrayed in that way. You did however state that the steering committee did not represent the middle ground who are not part of campaigning groups thus inferring that WATCH does not include any of that middle ground. Furthermore your comments implied that WATCH (together with others) might be as difficult to negotiate with as Sinn Fein and DUP – I wonder how people who did not know WATCH or FiF or REFORM would read that… Read more »

Pete Broadbent
Guest
Pete Broadbent

OK, sorry Gerry – hyperbole for the sake of making a point. @Cynthia – what you’re not getting is that it’s not the *position* of WATCH or FiF or anybody else that matters in getting this sorted; it’s making sure that the *process* by which we sort it is owned by everyone in Synod. There are many people in Synod who are pro WB, but who don’t want to be aligned with any of the pressure groups. If you prefer “non aligned” to “middle ground”, then so be it. For many on Synod, they’re not part of WATCH, Aff Cath,… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

I hear you Pete. And I sympathize that the workings of Synod are complex, and that they are indeed the process. I am concerned that the broader church needs to be kept in mind. It would also be good to hear the Good News in all this. The theology of exclusion is horrifically painful, and has done great damage. It would also be so nice to hear healing words. It puzzles me that I’m not hearing more theology, except from Miranda Threlfall-Holmes. It seems to me that there is rich territory for solutions, or at least clarity, in that work.… Read more »

Charles Read
Guest
Charles Read

And that’s the problem with a process that assumes the task is to get WATCH, FinF and REFORM to agree / broker a deal a la Good Friday Agreement. This is not the task and it is not like the GFA.

As long as we have people speaking in these terms, we are set up to struggle if not to fail.

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

Part of the problem is of course that dioceses in the CoE don’t choose their own bishop. If they did, the conservative areas wouldn’t be fighting quite so hard for their own way. Since bishops are chosen for them, without provision they fear being forced into having female bishops. Considering the recent outcry against and the stepping down of a chosen bishop-elect in the CoE, they fear what the conservatives in TEC are already saying. The current conservative bishops are the last the church will see.

Helen
Guest
Helen

What makes you think any diocese in the UK would elect a conservative bishop Chris? Philip North stepped down because of representations from the diocese.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“Part of the problem is of course that dioceses in the CoE don’t choose their own bishop. If they did, the conservative areas wouldn’t be fighting quite so hard for their own way.” Chris H. I’m not sure this is the problem. 42 of 44 dioceses voted for WB’s. The majority of CoE church membership is pro WB and also pro LGBT marriage equality. So if CoE had elections for bishops, as we do in TEC, it is highly likely that these elections would be the end of conservative bishops, except perhaps in those 2 dioceses. The conservatives in CoE… Read more »

Hannah
Guest
Hannah

Three points, sort of related: Dioceses do not elect their own bishops, but there are diocesan representatives on the committee which interviews and appoints bishops. Perhaps the point is really that – with one or two possible exceptions – we don’t have ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’, or ‘catholic’ or ‘evangelical’ dioceses; we have the Church of England, and expressions of its broad spectrum in most dioceses, though with varying prevailing traditions in any given place. The ‘problem’ with ConEvo bishops in the C of E, as was raised in questions at Synod last month, is that whenever a man from that… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

I’m not Cynthia, but the best polling data available on the question Hannah asks comes from Linda Woodhead. The answer then was Yes, but only by a small margin.
See
http://www.religionandsociety.org.uk/events/programme_events/show/press_release_do_christians_really_oppose_gay_marriage
or a better formatted version is at
http://modernchurchblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/gay-marriage-poll-and-christian-morality_20.html

More links at
http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/006009.html

Of course, the trend is positive and may have already increased the margin.

Hannah
Guest
Hannah

Thanks Simon, that’s helpful (and encouraging!).

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Thanks Simon. Hannah, I was saying that based on the polling that Simon had previously posted on TA.

My anecdotal experience in CoE is of acceptance in the cities. In rural areas we tend to be more cautious and closeted. I can’t extrapolate that to the larger CoE, thus I was encouraged by the information provided on TA.