Following the defeat by General Synod of the women bishops legislation this afternoon the Church of England issued this press release.
General Synod Rejects Draft Legislation on Women Bishops
20 November 2012
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 so.
Speaking after the vote the Rt Revd Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, said: “A clear majority of the General Synod today voted in favour of the legislation to consecrate women as Bishops. But the bar of approval is set very high in this Synod. Two-thirds of each house has to approve the legislation for it to pass. This ensures the majority is overwhelming. The majority in the house of laity was not quite enough. This leaves us with a problem. 42 out of 44 dioceses approved the legislation and more than three quarters of members of diocesan synods voted in favour. There will be many who wonder why the General Synod expressed its mind so differently.
“The House of Bishops recognises that the Church of England has expressed its mind that women should be consecrated as bishops. There is now an urgent task to find a fresh way forward to which so many of those who were opposed have pledged themselves.”
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.
Exact voting figures will be found here.
via Thinking Anglicans.
Commentary added by Thinking Anglicans:
To clarify the statement “The vote in the House of Laity fell short of approval by six votes.”, if six members of the House of Laity had voted in favour instead of against, the vote would in that house would have reached the necessary two-thirds majority.
Also at Thinking Anglicans, is a series of useful posts summarizing the reactions from a wide range of sources:
Women Bishops Press Release (as above, with comments by TA readers)
More Responses to the Vote, Part 1, with responses to the vote by:
- Affirming Catholicism
- Inclusive Church
Press Coverage and Commentary updated Wednesday morning, with headlines from:
- Church in crisis as it turns its back on women bishops
- Campaigners for women bishops in despair as laity rejects reform
- Andrew Brown writes for Comment is Free: A long and boring suicide note
- Church among men-only stragglers over women bishops
- Lucy Winkett writes a disaster for the church I love
- Church’s final no to women bishops
- Damian Thompson writes the Church of England votes for civil war
- Tim Stanley blogs Church is paralysed by its conflicting obsessions of equality and consensus
- Beyond belief: Church is rocked by ‘no’ vote against women bishops plan
- Editorial A decision that leaves the Church in the past
- The paper’s founder and the First Church Estates Commissioner, Andreas Whittam Smith, writes that the vote was a profoundly emotional experience, and it ended in disaster
- Channel 4
and a link to CofE Media Briefing for today.
More Responses to the Vote, Part 2, with commentary from:
- Church of England Evangelical Council
- Statement from Chairman of Reform on Today’s Synod Vote
- Forward in Faith reacts to the defeat of the draft Measure
- Catholic Group on General Synod
- Emergency meeting for bishops as church reels from Synod vote (Ekklesia)
- Church vote rejects women bishops (bbc.co.uk)
- Church vote rejects moves to allow women bishops (standard.co.uk)
- Women Bishops: CoE Press Release; News Commentary (christianityandsexuality.org)
- Women bishops vote a ‘grim day’ (bbc.co.uk)
- UK News: Church bid for women bishops fails (walesonline.co.uk)
- Church of England rejects female bishops by six votes (religion.blogs.cnn.com)
- Church of England General Synod votes against women bishops despite late plea from next Archbishop of Canterbury (independent.co.uk)
- Church of England Refuses to Allow Female Bishops (nytimes.com)
- Church vote rejects women bishops (bbc.co.uk)
- Women Bishops draft measure rejected by General Synod (thinkinganglicans.org.uk)