It was not the “hell-for-leather gallop” suggested by one member. The General Synod, none the less, set a brisk pace for the passage of the women-bishops legislation on Tuesday. As a result, the way was opened for a woman to be appointed a bishop “in the early months of next year”, the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff (above), said after the debate.
The Synod was swift in its own proceedings. Comfortable majorities were secured for both the draft Declaration from the House of Bishops and the draft procedure for the resolution of disputes, with few queries from the floor.
The Draft Measure and Draft Amending Canon were both revised quickly – in full Synod, without a revision-committee stage. Amendments concerning the Equality Act fell, after reassuring speeches that parish representatives and patrons would have enough protection against claims under this legislation.