Thinking Anglicans

Women bishops measure – changes by the laity

The legislation to allow women to become bishops in the Church of England failed at final approval in 2012 because it did not achieve a two-thirds majority in the House of Laity. A different measure was passed in 2014, primarily because of laity who voted against in 2012, but in favour in 2014.

I have published the detailed voting results on final approval of the 2012 measure here and of the 2014 measure here.

From these spreadsheets I have calculated that of the laity who voted against the 2012 measure:

45 voted against in 2014
20 voted in favour in 2014
4 abstained in 2014
2 were absent in 2014
3 were no longer members of Synod in 2014

Those who voted against the 2012 measure and in favour of the 2014 measure were:

Glynn Harrison (Bristol)
Anne Williams (Durham)
Peter Bruinvels (Guildford)
Keith Malcouronne (Guildford)
Adrian Vincent (Guildford)
Anne Bloor (Leicester)
Christopher Corbet (Lichfield)
Debra Walker (Liverpool)
Philip Rice (London)
John Barber (Manchester)
Peter Capon (Manchester)
Philip Giddings (Oxford)
John Beal (Ripon & Leeds/West Yorks & the Dales)
Thomas Sutcliffe (Southwark)
Mary Judkins (Wakefield/West Yorks & the Dales)
John Davies (Winchester)
Priscilla Hungerford (Winchester)
David Robilliard (Winchester)
Jennifer Barton (Worcester)
Martin Dales (York)

Those who voted against the 2012 measure and abstained in 2014 were:

Peter Collard (Derby)
Ann Turner (Europe)
Prudence Dailey (Oxford)
Victoria Russell (Oxford)

Nobody who voted for the 2012 measure voted against or abstained in 2014.

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robert ian williamsPeterFather Ron SmithSimon Sarmiento Recent comment authors
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Simon Sarmiento
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So quite a large number of changed votes.

Nevertheless 21% of the House of Laity remains opposed. This percentage is surely not representative of the views of the aggregation of the Deanery Synods laity membership that is the HoL GS electorate, let alone representative of the aggregation of all the electoral rolls of the parishes of the Church of England, who in turn elect Deanery Synod members, and which might loosely be considered to be the “membership” of the CofE for the purposes of this discussion.

Father Ron Smith
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Your remark, Simon, is surely indicative that most lay members of Synods are political activists, rather than open-minded members of congregations.
This may say something about the unwillingness of most lay people to ‘rock the boat’ by becoming involved in Church politics.

Peter
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Peter

I can also think of people who voted for a particular lay member of GS. In the personal statement she stated that she supported women’s ministry, but has consistently voted against women ministering as Bishops. The people I know who voted for her will not do so again. It all depends on what she mean by “women’s ministry” – it can be a slippery phrase in some hands.

robert ian williams
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robert ian williams

Thats the crux of the matter, Simon. The Church of England has a governing body which is neither democratically representative of clergy or people. If it was, there would have been no need for the Bishops declaration, which effectively de facto creates a church within a church! Without synod reform, there will be no shift on the gay issue, as the growing conservative evangelicals ( split on divorce and women, but not on this ) will persistently block it.