CofE: Meeting of House of Laity – Leicester Cathedral Attempt to depose Dr Giddings on Friday Fails

THIRD UPDATE: This post updated with items on T19 after debate concluded in bold below

SECOND UPDATE: Audio of the Debate is now available to listen to here, can be downloaded here and the twitter feed is #HofLaity

UPDATE: Motion of No Confidence Fails: For – 47; Against – 80; Abstentions – 13.

From the CofE Media Office daily briefing for Friday, January 18th, 2013. This post will be updated during the day.

Meeting of the House of Laity on Friday January 18th

The documents relating to today’s meeting of the House of Laity at 1.30pm [9:30 am EST] are available here:

To listen online live go to:
Papers issued for the Meeting
Leicester Cathedral Lay Canon Stephen Barney’s Motion of no confidence in the Chair of the House of Laity [HL(13)01A]
Unedited transcript of Dr Giddings’s speech [HL(13)01B]

Background posts from T19:
(York Press) Leicester Cathedral Dean moved to York gives Interview, December 21, 2012 at 8:29 am
Leicester Cathedral Lay Canon Stephen Barney attempts to Depose Dr Giddings over women bishops December 21, 2012 at 8:40 am
Peter Ould Rebuts Leicester Cathedral Lay Canon Stephen Barney’s Deposition Attempt, December 21, 2012 at 9:11 am
Bishop Pete Broadbent Comments on Leicester Cathedral Lay Canon Stephen Barney’s Confidence Motion, December 21, 2012 at 11:37 am
The Rev John Richardson: How Much to Go After Philip Giddings?, January 15, 2013 at 6:09 am
AAC: Canon Chris Sugden on the CofE Laity Meeting on Friday, January 16, 2013 at 9:01 am
+Justin Welby’s Response to Leicester Cathedral Lay Canon Stephen Barney’s Attack on Dr Giddings, January 19, 2013 at 8:28 am
(Ang. C. Inst.) Andrew Goddard””Bishops and Civil Partnerships II: Still More Questions Than Answers, January 19, 2013 at 11:31 am
(Church Times) House of Laity bid to oust Philip Giddings fails, January 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm
(CEN) House of Laity Chair survives vote of no confidence, January 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm
CofE Lay Synod Member Sarah Finch Reports from the floor of the House of Laity debate, January 21, 2013 at 8:09 am
Cranmer on Leicester Cathedral Lay Canon Stephen Barney’s Daughter’s Report for Channel 4 News, January 21, 2013 at 8:14 am


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

18 comments on “CofE: Meeting of House of Laity – Leicester Cathedral Attempt to depose Dr Giddings on Friday Fails

  1. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Here are some of my thoughts today as this meeting is about to begin:

    There is now heavy snowfall in the South East and London and blizzard conditions. Airports in the South have been subject to closures/cancellations and there is severe road and rail disruption which is worsening – there have been 80 cancellations at Birmingham Airport The motoring organisations have advised against non-essential travel. A children’s choir event in Manchester due to take place this evening has been cancelled and most responsible organisations have made the same decision.

    The Church of England however, is steaming ahead with today’s meeting. Many members will not have been able to make it through the snow; Tim Hind, the deputy Chair of the House of laity has been unable to leave Somerset he tweets, and this will probably be the case for many members of Synod from rural areas. Those who do manage to get up to London, given the current conditions, may well get stuck on the way home, a serious matter for the many elderly members of the laity.

    But there are some determined angry people determined to push ahead with the witch hunt against the Chair of the House of Laity, including it appears some in Church House.

    Arun Arora tweets that the twitter hashtag being used for today’s meeting is #HofLaity.

    Taking Justin Welby’s Name in Vain and the future of Canterbury
    On 22nd December I made the following comment:

    Well, what a lot of real Stinkers there seem to be coming out of Leicester Cathedral.

    By the way:
    “His speech against the measure followed directly after Justin Welby’s and therefore I believe directly undermined what the Archbishop elect had said”

    Given that the principal complaint of Mr Barney against Dr Giddings is that he has undermined the Archbishop-designate; been disloyal to Justin Welby in some way, it is incumbent upon Justin Welby to promptly state that he does not regard this as disloyalty or undermining and disavow the use of his name in this complaint. Justin Welby so far appears to have shown himself as a man of principle in successfully arguing against the excessive interest rates charged to poor people by the loan sharks of ‘payday loans’.

    If +Justin Welby remains silent and does not have the guts to speak up now to clear up the misuse of his name and speech by Mr Barney to attack Dr Giddings, then perhaps we will have to conclude that he too is a Stinker.

    What about it Justin Welby? Why haven’t we heard from you? Cat got your tongue?

    Well, there has been silence from Justin Welby on this matter since then. He has been vocal on a number of subjects, but apparently does not object to the complaint made against Dr Giddings on the basis that Dr Giddings took a different line to +Justin or is just content to not speak out.

    What is it Bishop Welby? Are you as unprepared to speak out on this travesty, or timid to get involved? Your name is being used in aid of this witch hunt. Have you any backbone or principle, or are you going to show yourself to be a craven stinker, just like your predecessor?

    We needed to hear from you Bishop Welby, and we will have to draw our own conclusions.

    There are some who think that Dr Giddings position is at stake today, albeit in a non-binding and irregular procedure which has just been invented [a vote of no confidence] in the way we have become familiar with from the American TEC church.

    In fact what is happening is somewhat larger. We are seeing the arrival of the litigation and intimidation tactics of the US Presiding Bishop making an appearance in England, just like the disciplinary action being taken against nine bishops for speaking out for the polity of the Episcopal Church. What is at issue today is whether the decency of the remaining laity will be reasserted today, or if we are going down the route we have watched TEC take. The Communion is watching and today, like the Bishops in Civil Partnerships decision will determine whether Canterbury and the Church of England is to have a central role in the future direction of the Communion or whether like TEC and ACoC it is to be sidelined.

    Prayers for today’s meeting and a return to decency and common sense.

  2. Katherine says:

    Many thanks to Fr. Harmon and to Pageantmaster for this medium to get the news about this disgraceful effort. I second the prayer “for today’s meeting and a return to decency and common sense.”

  3. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Thanks Katherine. It is altogether disgraceful. I am not sure how many actually managed to make it to this meeting.

    I was originally somewhat suprised by seeing that this ‘no confidence’ vote was being brought by Canon Stephen Barney in the house of laity. What was apparently the involvement of someone supposedly ordained in the affairs of the House of Laity?

    It turns out that Stephen Barney is NOT ordained. He is a ‘lay canon’ a non-ordained position in Leicester Cathedral. Stephen Barney can of course call himself anything he likes, but to use the title ‘Canon’ before his name in correspondence is rather like someone holding a feudal lordship of a manor passing himself off as a peer of the realm by writing under the title ‘Lord’ so-and-so. It is rather naff of Stephen Barney.

    Peter Ould and Bishop Broadbent have both dealt with the vindictive and illogical complaints of Stephen Barney. But there is more. Stephen Barney is a lay canon under the deans of Leicester Cathedral, home of all things gay and wacky.

    Leicester is a deprived area of poverty, crime, and large non-Christian immigrant communities. It is a place of great need and desperate people. In those circumstances, one would have expected the Cathedral perhaps to be bringing hope and evangelisation in the name of Christ. Well, sadly one would be wrong. Leicester Cathedral’s deans and chapter spend their time not running Alpha courses, or informing people about Christ, but instead in promoting interfaith events and gay rights.

    The prior dean under whom Barney worked is Vivienne Faull, a battler for women bishops and promoter of gay inclusion at senior levels in the CofE, so much so that she has become a patron of Changing Attitude. These seem to be the qualities which have qualified her for promotion to Dean of York where she has already been campaigning, as she has in her appointment by the House of Bishops to the legislative group set up to bring new proposals on women bishops to Synod along with two more women, when the groups who are being discussed who have other views have been marginalised on that committee. It is unsurprising then that the acting Dean of Leicester Cathedral spends his time with what appears to be an obsessive personal interest in pushing for gay rights, partnered gay priests and liturgies for them in the church. Such is the set up at Leicester Cathedral, and what seems to be the background to ‘Lay Canon’ Barney’s efforts. His call has been taken up by many who are of a similar view on both women bishop and gay bishops. Leicester we also know as the home of Bishop Tim Stephens, retiring not only from the church, but long retired from being able to articulate a cogent belief in God.

    It is what it is, a witch-hunt on an invented procedure and cobbled together motion. I do take heart though that many liberals are also pretty appalled by these tactics. Be in no doubt, if today’s vote passes, the rancour and division will be seen looking back as a key point in the downward path taken by the Church of England.

    Will we go the way of TEC with the same sort of Trotskyist entryist tactics we are seeing coming out of all gay, all day, Leicester Cathedral and its fellow travellers?

    May the decent laity who I have confidence in show what they are made of and keep our church on an even keel notwithstanding the increasing attempts to send us off the deep end like TEC.

  4. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Gavin Oldham trying to blackmail Giddings and house. Uproar in response. They don’t like it.

    Dr Giddings now speaking to close the debate. Gracious.

  5. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Important: Giddings says wrote to Bishop Welby to offer apology. Welby responded [rough note with not all of it]:
    Never crossed my mind you were in any way discourteous ir inappopriate…need to be able to disagree, as you are able to aisagree. So +Justin has spoken. Welby has done the right thing. Well done.

  6. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Giddings also responds on criticism of his role as convenor of Anglican Mainstream. Says AM has no position on Women Bishops but does have a position on accomodating dissenters from women bishops.

    Giddings has not disguised or hidden his view. Qu for house is is the role of chair and vice chair of house to remain silent or to speak to represent whole of laity in a way that helps church to unite behind policy. Qu for house if he has exercised role responsibly. Much applause. Now reply from Barney.

  7. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Barney: Does not believe he has been uncharitable or unChristian. Then launches into criticism of Giddings.


  8. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Motion from woman member of HOL to pass to next business – ie no confidence motion will not be voted on and cannot in usual circumstances be brought forward again in this Synod term. Would avoid a vote on the motion. Now being spoken on.

  9. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Barney opposes this – says a wrecking motion, wants to vote. Giddings now says qu on paper needs to be answered – need to know answer to no confidence motion here. Chair puts the motion to pass to new business to the house: procedural motion is overwhelmingly lost – moves to main no confidence vote. Orders a division of house rather than show of hands.

  10. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Vote on no confidence motion in Dr Giddings:
    For: 47
    Against: 80
    Motion is lost

    Dr Giddings thankful for vote of confidence, but will continue in office, but will take note of substantial minority view and discuss what is expected of us.

    Hopes and prays can put behind us and work for God’s mission in this country and says he would like house to say the Lord’s Prayer today.

    Chair closes meeting with Lord’s Prayer, and the Grace.

  11. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Faith in House of Laity restored. Welby turned to also, though very late indeed, but at least eventually did the right thing. All is well and for the moment we are not heading lemming like over the cliff following the American TEC. What a contrast in the speeches and outcome from General Convention!

    Much gnashing of teeth no doubt in Leicester, WATCH and Changing Attitude as they are sent packing. And of course the ‘Open Evangelical’ Gavin Oldham and his disgraceful blackmail attempt which backfired massively.

    Bravo House of Laity. Bravo Dr Giddings.

  12. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Archbishop Cranmer ‏tweets:

    @His_Grace: Let us *not* now have a witch-hunt against Canon Stephen Barney as a result of his motion failing. But he does owe the church £38k

  13. English Jill says:

    And Bravo Pageantmaster!

  14. Katherine says:

    Well done, English laity! And well done, Pageantmaster! WHAT was the blackmail attempt? This was ugly enough, it seems to me.

  15. Katherine says:

    I can’t find a report on what Gavin Oldham did today, but [url=] here [/url] “Archbishop Cranmer” reports on a nasty letter Oldham sent around to Synod members equating opposition to female bishops with support for slavery, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and national socialism. I am glad such a large number of members have voted against such tactics.

  16. The_Elves says:

    Recorded Audio of the debate may now be listened to here

  17. Sarah says:


    I am pleasantly surprised.

    What complete dolts the revisionist activists look now. Whiny and petulant and entitled.

  18. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    Sadly I have seen these patterns of strident false witness and railroading not be unique to revisionist activists.