Thinking Anglicans

Statements following Synod vote on women bishops


Catholic Group in General Synod

Statement from the Catholic Group in General Synod following the Debate on Women Bishops

The Catholic Group welcomes the new atmosphere of trust and reconciliation, together with the clear recognition that our theological convictions will continue to be within the spectrum of Anglican teaching, and the commitment to provide appropriate bishops and priests for our parishes.

We urge all involved to take steps to build up further the atmosphere of trust, which is why many of us have voted for the new legislative process to continue.

Issued by Martin Dales on behalf of the Catholic Group.


A year on; Synod November 2013 much more positive
Posted on November 20, 2013

The new Women in the Episcopate legislation passed in General Synod today with those in favour 378, those against, 8 and with 25 abstentions.

The Revd Charles Read a Vice Chair of WATCH said, “This is very good news for the full inclusion of women alongside men at all levels in our Church. We eagerly look forward to the consecration of several women as bishops as soon the legislation has completed its passage”.

WATCH was very encouraged by the tone of the debate and the result of the vote which was overwhelmingly positive. Although there is still some way to go before final legislation is passed, WATCH remains fully committed and engaged with the process which will finally enable women to become bishops.

The Revd Anne Stevens, a Vice Chair of WATCH commented, “What a difference a year makes. For the last 12 months people on all sides of the debate have worked closely together on the new provisions, and we saw the fruits of that in today’s very positive and good-humoured debate. I hope that that spirit of co-operation will continue to grow as the legislation goes through the approval process.”

There is also this statement released by Reform on Monday which is still relevant.

Pre-Synod Statement: Rod Thomas explains his thinking going in to the Nov. 2013 General Synod
Posted on 18 November 2013

The approach taken by the Legislative Steering Group was to tie its discussions fairly tightly to the terms of last July’s General Synod motion. This meant that some issues which have always been regarded as important by those arguing for better ‘provision’ were not covered (eg issues of jurisdiction). Nevertheless, within those confines, members of the Group were listening to each other carefully and seeking to respond positively. The end result was a balanced package of proposals which show more sensitivity to the needs of those who cannot accept the ministry of women bishops than those in the previous draft Measure. However, key issues remain unresolved. These include the issue of jurisdiction, the rights of individuals, difficulties over enforcement, and the nature of the oath of canonical obedience. While we are prepared to see the proposals going forward for further Synodical consideration, as the most practicable way forward in our present circumstances, it is important to be clear that if major concerns remain at final approval, we will not support them. We will continue to engage positively in Synodical discussions in order to achieve an outcome that is fair to all.

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Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

It seems that Rod Thomas is still intent on scuttling the proposed legislation, if he does not get precisely what he, and reform, wants from it. One can only hope that his archaic understanding of ‘male-headship’ will no longer prevent suitable women from exercising jurisdiction in their own diocese – by means of allowing a male bishop to exercise episcopal ministry in their stead? For any measure that would seek to by-pass the authority of a female diocesan bishop would render Women Bishops to be of lesser authroity than their male colleagues. Is that what the Church of England really… Read more »

10 years ago

Don’t know where else to put this, but there’s an interesting statement from the Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda, which has now sprung into life, with news that all its bishops have now joined FiF as a result of Monday’s vote. If you don’t include Lindsay Urwin and Roger Jupp, I think that gives FiF something like 8, up from 3.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
10 years ago

Although Rod Thomas’ speech was slightly more generous than the pre-synod statement of Reform, it is clear that the ConEvos are not going to let this go any time soon. The Measure is not susceptible to amendment (save for minor tweaking) and issues of jurisdiction are no longer on the table. The current understanding of canonical obedience is fundamental to the single clause route being travelled. On that basis, we need to be very grateful for the much more generous position now taken by the TradCaths and hope that remaining opposition from Reform in the House of Laity will not… Read more »

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