Synod Live Again

July 10, 2010 § 1 Comment

Women Bishops as they happen!

9.45. ++Sentamu giving a Presidential Address about the recovery of the nation. “Medicine is to health what fire prevention is to forest management.” Concentrate on the good, not outcomes like profit. 10.10. All about Psalm 15. How to lend money at interest without lending money at interest. And we were introduced to the Chocolate Trinity.

10.12. Here we go on Women Bishops.

10.20. Clive Mansell, Chair of the Steering Committee. “This has not been an easy time for the Revision Committee”. He’s not wrong. Wants us at least to Take Note of the Report. Lots and lots of applause. Perhaps we will be ok.

10.32. Christine Hardman on the Single Clause: no one can serve two masters. Lots of applause.

10.34. Jonathan Baker – St Stephens House. Also on the Revision Committee. Asking us not to take note. Let’s see how much applause he gets. It’s not about Gender. It’s about ‘Sacramental Assurance’. But isn’t that about the gender of the sacramental minister? Not as much applause as the others, but enough to make the day interesting.

10.42. Tony Baldry MP. Get on with it now! But let’s keep people in the church. Parliament has a massive equality agenda and stuff could fail if legislation makes women Bishops look second class. Wow. Massive applause.

10.47. John Saxbee, Bishop of Lincoln. Let’s welcome women bishops warmly. He will vote against his Archbishop. Wow again. Let’s give grace a chance.

10.51. Rowan on his feet. Does not believe that different understandings about women’s ministry are defining of other theological divides. We share language and then come to different conclusions. Women Bishops need not split the C of E. He doesn’t like the simple reference to ‘a male Bishop’. It is about more than gender. But doesn’t say what.

10.58. Emma Forward (26). The theology of the church goes beyond equal rights. But she develops the ‘male’ business. She needs a man ordained by a man, and so on throughout history.

11.05. Bishop of Beverley. If this goes through you will unchurch us.

11.06. Jenny Tomlinson. Who ordained us? God did. At last! (I say…). It’s not about lineage. Get rid of the theology of taint. Assurance is about confidence in Christ.

11.10. Chris Sugden makes an interesting point that most Synod votes have agreed the principle of transfer rather than delegation.

11.12. Rose Hudson-Wilkin. Catholic consent is ‘childish’. Let’s grow up. There is no need to build a wall. Resist the two tier solution.

11.17. I need a coffee. Mercifully cloudy outside. Swans swimming serenely. But horrid little black insects like my shirt.

11.45. Blissfully drinking coffee – looks like we are about to take note. In we go.

11.52. We have, overwhelmingly, taken note of the Revision Committe’s report. Phew. On to the ‘leggislation’ (as the Bishop of Beverley would pronounce it).

11.58. Our Chairman, Professor Clarke, calls us to take this profoundly rather than fatuously.

12.05. Got through the first clause. Now to the big amendments about making legal provision. A vital hour in the C of E’s life begins. First amendment about the creation of new dioceses is being debated. There’s a big block of traditionalists sitting together who will ensure that their amendments get debated.

12.30. Miranda Threlfall-Holmes makes clear that ‘Sacramental Assurance’ is about ensuring not just that your Bishop is male, but also that he is untainted by touching a woman, and also is in complete agreement with you.

12.35. Fr Thomas tries to say it isn’t, and talks about apostolicity. But still says there needs to be separation.

12.45. Elaine Storkey names it. Of course it is about gender! We have declined the first amendment. No separate dioceses. 134 wanted it. 258 did not. 8 abstentions.

2.30. On we go with next amendment – about transfer of powers. Rod Thomas is moving it.

2.40. Maggie Swinson, for the Steering Committee, puts Chris Sugden to context. Synod has not previously voted for ‘this kind’ of transfer. We are now debating the amendment.

2.46. Simon Killwick clarifies the ‘gender’ matter. It’s that maleness is not enough. There has to be the right kind of maleness.

3.05. Pete Broadbent has described a version of monepiscopacy (everything derives from the bishop) as ‘ecclesiastical stalinism’. And any bishop in a parish needs to be a bishop. Good speech saying we might have to vote for something unpalatable.

3.10. Sarah Finch has threatened that lots of conservative evangelical congregation will leave and so will their money.

3.16. Tony Berry. If you ditch monepiscopacy you get monoparochialism. 3.30. Voting on the amendment. Bishops.

For 10 Against 28. Abs 2 Clergy. For 52 Against 124. Abs 3 Laity For 78, Against 118. Abs 4. Lost in all three.

A lovely, and almost unprecedented 10 min break.

3.45. Archbishop of York moves his and Cantuar’s amendment.Trying again. +Coventry is for the Amendment. Christina Rees is not. Here we go – this is the heart of the debate.

++Rowan speaking. “Even a seamless robe may be a coat of many colours”.

4.15 John Barton has just made a clever speech saying that the practicalities of delegation (rather than law) will be fine, unless the very idea of delegation by a woman bishop cannot be countenanced. Spot on.

4.20 David Houlding has pressed the nuclear button. This is it! The amendment saves us. Voting against it splits the church. Very emotional.

4.25. +Bradwell will vote against his Archbishop. Christina Baxter is for it, but with a good code of practice.

4.45 Christine Allsop speaks powerfully against the amendment.

4.47 ++Sentamu on his feet again. These speeches can go either way. He is felt (by Pete Broadbent) to have introduced new material in his speech, and wants comment by the Steering Committee.

5.00. Not sure how this will go. Close though. Some powerful speeches against the amendment. The Steering Committee think it is capable of too much differing interpretations.

Just about to vote by houses.
The Amendment has been lost because it has been lost in the house of clergy – even though a majority voted for it.

Bishops: 25 For. 15 Against. 0Abs.
Clergy. 85 For. 90 Against. 5Abs
Laity. 106 For. 86 Against. 4 Abs

We are being invited to adjourn for a bit.

No adjournment, but the Catholics and Evangelicals are devastated. Lots now out of the chamber.

The Archbishops said their amendment was not a loyalty test, but lots of people are baffled that the vote could go against them.

5.30. +Sarum says ‘ceding pastoral care gives airspace to the dream of impossible purity’. He doesn’t want the Bishop to delegate pastoral care.

No appetite for his amendment, or the next one. Rather stunned feel here. There will be a sense of huge injustice that the simple majority supported the Archbishops but that the vote was lost in only one house. What a shame that all the emotion and theology got loaded into that one amendment – but that’s what happens.

We are now adjourned, with Clause 2 unamended.

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§ One Response to Synod Live Again

  • Sue Wallace says:

    Thanks for the summary. So there we go. Don’t know what to think really. Hope we don’t lose too many good people as a result.

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