Some voting figures from the House and College of Bishops
Francis Martin reports in the Church Times:
Bishops’ divisions over same-sex marriage exposed
Read the whole article if you possibly can, but it starts out:
A LARGE majority of C of E bishops support a move towards allowing priests to enter into same-sex marriage, and the immediate adoption of stand-alone services of blessing for same-sex couples, the Church Times can report.
The House of Bishops, however, voted to slow progress on both issues in a meeting earlier this month, in the face of conservative hostility. The outcome has prompted MPs to question the process of episcopal governance…
The report includes the following specific voting figures:
- Voting records suggest that the House held a vote on whether it was of one mind that the pastoral guidance should permit clergy to be in same-sex civil marriages, and that this was passed by 18 votes to 15 — though the House still voted to delay its publication for “further work”.
- Voting records seen by the Church Times show that a majority of 75 to 22 at the College of Bishops meeting in September supported a plan to approve the services under Canon B5A, which would have enabled their immediate use as an “experimental” service under the authority of the Archbishops.
At a meeting on 9 October, however, the House of Bishops opted to take a different route, and instead move straight to the full synodical process outlined in Canon B2. The College of Bishops had expressly voted against this, by a majority of 68 to 28. The decision to reverse this in the House was by a small margin: 19 in favour of the plan to proceed straight to B2, and 16 against.
The leader in the Church Times reports that the College of Bishops voting on the pastoral guidance was “72 to 26 to work on giving permission for clergy to enter same-sex marriages”. This leader is also recommended reading.