CofE General Synod – Links


This post will be updated regularly – Last updated November 28th at 4:00 PM GMT, 11:00 AM Eastern. Links to all T19 posts to do with this topic are here

UPDATE Wednesday 28th
Joint Press Statement From The Chairmen Of The Catholic Group And Reform
CofE: Statement on the Conclusion of the Meeting of the Archbishops’ Council November 2012
Dr Robert Morris: Women as bishops: should Parliament intervene? – legal analysis of relationship of church and state
Peter Ould: The Dys-Established Church
[There is a great deal of heat being generated at the moment in the aftermath of Synod, but not much light, so updates here will be selective]
Result of Women Bishops Vote was:

Bishops: For 44; Against 3; Abstained 2 – Passed in this house
Clergy: For 148; Against 45; Abstained 0 – Passed in this house
Laity: For 132; Against 74; Abstained 0 – Failed in this house

The Measure not having been approved by a 2/3 majority in each of the three houses, failed. Listen to Audio Part 1 and Part 2 and Vote

[See below for full details of Synod debates, reaction and Audio links where the debates can be listened to again]


[Update Friday 23rd – Veteran ex-Minister, Member of Parliament and Synod Frank Field says his advice to Reformers to take account of and deal with needs of objectors was ignored and led to failure of Women Bishops measure, and Bishop Tom Wright criticises ‘get with the program’ as a basis for church decision-making.

[Update Thursday 22nd – new items today include: press and other coverage from the last day of Synod yesterday; a Summary report from the Church Media Department; and see also the report from the Second Church Estates Commissioner to Parliament today and the ensuing debate]

Frank Field MP says Failure down to Reformers not meeting objections, against his advice – for UK readers only, the Newsnight interview with Frank Field can be watched here from 27 until 35 minutes in
Bishop Tom Wright: It’s About the Bible, Not Fake Ideas of Progress
The Atlantic: The Church of England Still Won’t Allow Female Bishops: Good for Them

For more UK Press coverage see Church of England Briefing, Anglican Mainstream and Thinking Anglicans

There is a pretty wide coverage of UK press articles from the Church of England here
Also press and other reaction is available on Anglican Mainstream and Thinking Anglicans

Telegraph: Editorial: Leave the Church Be and David Cameron is bullying the Church over women bishops, just as he will do over gay marriage; also Cranmer Mr Speaker ‘guides’ Labour MPs on Church of England equality

Sir Tony Baldry, Second Church Estates Commissioner in Parliament, answered a Parliamentary Question today and there was an ensuing debate in the House of Commons which can be watched here and the Hansard transcript is here and see also this BBC Report [h/t Thinking Anglicans]

Archbishop of York
Archbishop Wabukala of Kenya and Chairman of GAFCON
Church of England Evangelical Council
Church Society Together 4Ward campaign
Evangelical Alliance
Forward in Faith
The Catholic Group in Synod
Society of St Wilfred and St Hilda bishops

Affirming Catholicism


The Church of England General Synod took place between Monday November 19th and Wednesday November 21st 2012. Tuesday 20th was set aside for The Women Bishops debate. Synod agreed to meet next in 2013 on 5-9 July and 18-20 November.

You can listen to the live Audio stream here, and here are links to the Timetable, Agenda, and Papers. Summary Reports of each day’s business are available here and audio podcasts of the debates and votes here

Other Reports: Evangelicals Now – [Church Society], Thinking Anglicans, Anglican Mainstream, Church Times

Tweets: Main link for Synod is #Synod. Other tweets worth following may include:Church of England, Church Times, +Pete Broadbent and Ruth Gledhill [Times]

Wednesday Outline Agenda:
8:30 AM [London, 3:30 AM Eastern – not broadcast] Emergency House of Bishops Meeting
9.30 AM [London, 4:30 AM Eastern] Worship
Archbishop of Canterbury’s Presidential Statement on Yesterday’s Women in the Episcopate Vote and Audio
Diocesan Synod Motion: Southwell and Nottingham: Amendment to Canon B 12 and Regulations [GS1881A and GS1881B Distribution of Holy Communion] Audio of Debate
Private Member’s Motion: John Freeman: Living Wage [GS1882A and GS1882B Payment of by church bodies] Audio of Debate
Dates of groups of sessions in 2013

2.30 PM [London, 9:30 AM Eastern] Farewells
Youth unemployment [GS1883 and I am one in a million leaflet] Audio to this point
Farewell to the Archbishop of Canterbury Audio for the rest of the afternon session
Contingency business: Report of the Standing Orders Committee [GS 1884]

Wednesday Session Report – Audio for the debates can be listened to on the links above.


Vote Result on Motion 501 to approve Women Bishops in the Church of England under the current proposed provision:

Bishops: For 44; Against 3; Abstained 2 – Passed in this house
Clergy: For 148; Against 45; Abstained 0 – Passed in this house
Laity: For 132; Against 74; Abstained 0 – Failed in this house

The Measure not having been approved by a 2/3 majority in each of the three houses, fails. The consequential following motions 502 and 503 were not debated.

The Archbishop of York informed Synod that the issue may not be considered again in the duration of the life of this Synod until 2015; unless named officials of Synod decide otherwise

Afternoon Session Vote Report from the Church of England Media Center here and Audio of the Afternoon debate and vote may be listened to again here

Morning Session Report and Morning Session Audio

Tuesday Press Coverage
The Church of England has a useful roundup of today’s UK press coverage here

Tuesday Agenda
Holy Communion [Sermon by the Archbishop of Canterbury Audio]
Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and Draft Amending Canon No.30
501 Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure (GS 1708D) ”“ Draft Measure for Final Approval (resumed debate)
502 Draft Amending Canon No. 30 (GS 1709C) ”“ Draft Amending Canon for Final Approval
503 Draft Petition for Her Majesty”Ÿs Royal Assent and Licence (GS 1709E) ”“ for Adoption
[See also Reconsideration of Clause 5(1)(c) by the House of Bishops (GS1708-09ZZZ)]

Summary Report and all Audio files
Worship and formal business [Greeting by the Archbishop of Canterbury] Report by the Business Committee Audio
Anglican Consultative Council meeting: presentation and questions Audio
Anglican Communion Covenant: Report on the Reference to Dioceses Audio
Questions Audio

The links and reports from the last Synod in February are here


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

9 comments on “CofE General Synod – Links

  1. The_Elves says:

    This post has been updated above with results of the Women Bishops vote which failed in the House of Laity

    BBC Report

  2. The_Elves says:

    Report from the Church of England Media office:
    [blockquote]The General Synod of the Church of England has voted to reject the draft legislation to allow women to become bishops.

    Under the requirements of the Synod the legislation required a two-thirds majority in each of the three voting houses for final draft approval. Whilst more than two thirds voted for the legislation in both the House of Bishops (44-03) and the House of Clergy (148-45), the vote in favour of the legislation in the House of Laity was less than two-thirds (132-74). The vote in the House of Laity fell short of approval by six votes.

    In total 324 members of the General Synod voted to approve the legislation and 122 voted to reject it.

    The consequence of the “no” vote of terminating any further consideration of the draft legislation means that it will not be possible to introduce draft legislation in the same terms until a new General Synod comes into being in 2015, unless the ‘Group of Six’ (the Archbishops, the Prolocutors and the Chair and Vice Chair of the House of Laity) give permission and report to the Synod why they have done
    The House of Bishops of the Church of England will meet at 08.30am on Wednesday morning in emergency session to consider the consequences of the vote

  3. Teatime2 says:

    Wow, I’m surprised! Was this expected? Does it have anything to do with the new resident at Lambeth Palace, even though he said he supports female bishops?

  4. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    Perhaps the English laity are noting the bad(for the most part) TEC example, and voting accordingly.

    When you look at the breakdown of bishop-clergy-lay vote when it comes to traditionalism, it reminds me of the giggle-inducing thing that Archbishop Yong Ping Chung said at Hope/Future in 2005(paraphrased): “I’m so glad my Faith was formed BEFORE I went to theological school”… 🙂

  5. MichaelA says:

    Teatime2, probably many people feel as you do, but that is at least partly a result of the very one-sided reporting of the issue by media and by those in Church of England who favour women bishops. In fact there was good reason to expect that this might be the result.

    For example, this draft measure in various forms has been voted on by General Synod in the past, as part of the process of consideration and approval, and it never at any time achieved 2/3 votes in the House of Laity. No-one ever explained why they were so certain it was going to achieve 2/3 this time around.

    Also, much is made of the fact that 42 out of 44 dioceses passed the measure as a preliminary step. What is not mentioned is that the largest and most successful diocese (London) was one of those opposed. What is also not mentioned is that 10 of the approving dioceses passed “following motions”. In other words, they didn’t approve it in its actual form, but only with greater protections for those opposed to women bishops.

    Then there was the “straw in the wind” of the bishops deciding unilaterally a few months ago to change the draft measure to add more protection for the traditionalists. Since the bishops are overwhelmingly in favour of women-bishops and don’t particularly care for traditionalists, the most likely reason for this was that they had counted the numbers in Synod and realised that the measure might not pass.

    It was a near thing, but perhaps not as much as some would like to spin it. There were 9 abstentions – it would not have helped if any of these abstainers had changed their vote to a “yes”, but of course changing to a “no” would have made it much harder. In order to pass, the measure needed (a) 6 of the 74 “no” voters to change their vote to a “yes”, and (b) none of the abstainers to change to a “no”.

    Re your first question, no, probably Justin Welby had nothing to do with this. The vast majority of bishops in CofE are in favour of women bishops, and +Welby is just one of that crowd. But this points to a major problem in CofE – the many large and growing evangelical churches have no representation among the bishops, yet they cannot be ignored because they are largely keeping the CofE alive.

  6. Cennydd13 says:

    My sense is that, while most of the bishops favor women in the episcopate, they know they’re walking in dangerous territory where the laity do not favor women bishops, and it is the laity whose numbers comprise most of the Church. If I were one of those bishops, I would rather not cause offense among the flock for fear of losing them.

  7. stjohnsrector says:

    Could you imagine if legislation had to pass by a 2/3 in 3 different houses in our General Convention? Of course, they could do like happened in ECUSA, when it failed to pass by simple majority the attempted ordination of women in 1973, and the disobedient just did it anyway in 1974. By 1976 there were so many running around as priests that they decided to make it permissive, which of course is now mandatory.

  8. MichaelA says:

    I am still stunned, not by the result of the vote, but that supporters of women bishops for so long repeated the mantra “42 out of 44 dioceses passed the motion so we are going to win with an overwhelming majority”. I can’t remember a single liberal commentator who pointed out the obvious:

    Diocesan synods work on a simple majority. General Synod needs a 2/3 majority for this measure. Even if results could be easily translated from one to the other (they can’t, but that’s another story), it should be obvious to everyone who has completed grade school that the measure could pass each of the 44 diocesan synods and yet easily fail at General Synod.

    If you then consider that in two of the dioceses (including the largest) the measure didn’t even get 50% support, and that in 10 others the diocesan synod passed a “following motion” (i.e. a desired amendment), its difficult to understand why anyone thought this was a done deal.