to be updated during the day
The day’s business started with a debate on the Armed Forces Covenant. The following motion was cared by 393 votes in favour to two against, with three recorded abstentions.
That this Synod, believing that the commitment of those that serve in the Armed Forces demands a reciprocal obligation from the Nation to ensure that they and their families are not disadvantaged:
(a) ask dioceses to reflection the Armed Forces Covenant and to consider signing Community Covenants, where not already signed, and Corporate Covenants setting out how they can both meet the pastoral and spiritual needs of the Armed Forces Community including serving personnel, regulars and reservists, veterans and military families located in their own diocesan area;
(b) invite the Archbishops’ Council to sign a Corporate Armed Forces Covenant setting out how it will provide pastoral and spiritual support for the Armed Forces Community including serving personnel, regulars and reservists, veterans and military families; and
(c) ask the Archbishops’ Council to report to Synod in the next Quinquennium on the implementation of the recommendations set out in The Church and the Armed Forces Covenant (GS 1960).
The debates on the legislation to allow women to be bishops started at 11.15 am. There is a package of four items, which are being separately debated.
1) Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure (GS 1925B) – Draft Measure for Final Approval
2) Draft Amending Canon No. 33 (GS 1926B) – Draft Amending Canon for Final Approval
3) Draft Petition for Her Majesty’s Royal Assent and Licence (GS 1926C) – Draft Petition for Adoption
4) Draft Act of Synod Rescinding the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod 1993 (GS 1934A) – Draft Act of Synod for Final Approval and Affirmation and Proclamation as an Act of Synod
The first two of these (the measure and the canon) require two-thirds majorities in all three houses (bishops, clergy and laity) to receive final approval. Motions for the closure of these first two debates are not allowed, so they will continue for as long as there are members wanting to speak. However the chair of the debate (today it will be the Archbishop of York) may at his discretion reduce the speech limit, and chairs have been know to reduce it to almost nothing to encourage people to stop talking.
The other items require no special majority.
At the beginning of the first debate the Archbishop reminded members of this standing order.
17. Breach of Order
The Chairman shall call a member to order for failure to address the Chair, irrelevance, tedious repetition either of his own arguments or of arguments already well rehearsed by other members, unbecoming language, disregard of the authority of the Chairman, or any other breach of order, and may direct him to stop speaking.
Claire Phipps of The Guardian is reporting live on the debate: Church of England General Synod votes on female bishops.
The Synod adjourned for lunch and reconvened at 2.30 pm.
This business was concluded shortly before 5.00 pm with all items passed with the necessary majorities. Details of the votes here.
Synod was then adjourned until 5.15 pm.
The remainder of the day’s business is included in the official summaries above.