General Synod votes against women bishops

First published in News

THE Church of England was plunged into turmoil tonight after legislation introducing the first women bishops failed to clear its final hurdle at the General Synod.

The draft measure was carried in the houses of bishops and clergy of the General Synod but failed to gain the necessary two thirds majority amongst the lay members of the General Synod.

The House of Bishops voted 44 in favour, with three against and two recorded abstentions. In the House of Clergy, 148 voted in favour, 45 against and there were no abstentions.

But in the House of Laity, 74 voted against, compared to 132 in favour with no abstentions.

The result will be seen as a major blow to the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, who launched a campaign in favour of a yes vote last month.

The incoming Archbishop of Canterbury, and present Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Justin Welby, also urged the General Synod to give the legislation the necessary majority.

The vote comes after a series of speakers opposed giving final approval to the legislation.

Canon Simon Killwick, a vicar in Moss Side, Manchester, chairman of the Catholic Group in the General Synod, urged members to vote against the legislation.

"I do not believe that this draft legislation will be good for the Church of England," he said.

"We are all desperate to move on from the sad infighting of the last few years - but this legislation does not provide a clear way forward."

Comments (6)

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6:47pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Voice-of-reality says...

Fantastic news. Moreover, that it is the laity that voted against shows that the majority of practicising members of the church do not want women bishops. That some 900 parishes would also have voted out of the new system again underlines the extent to which it is the 'happy clappy' element that is out of touch. As to what happens next - let those who want women bishops form another new age church and let the rest of us get on with proper ministry.
Fantastic news. Moreover, that it is the laity that voted against shows that the majority of practicising members of the church do not want women bishops. That some 900 parishes would also have voted out of the new system again underlines the extent to which it is the 'happy clappy' element that is out of touch. As to what happens next - let those who want women bishops form another new age church and let the rest of us get on with proper ministry. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: -3

7:45pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Thomas Atkins says...

What's wrong with women bishops??
What's wrong with women bishops?? Thomas Atkins
  • Score: 1

11:11pm Tue 20 Nov 12

IanfromCrook says...

To allow women vicars yet deny them becoming bishops is a contradiction. Either they are equally possible or neither. Why believers are leaving the church. Not so much this issue rather hypocrisy and politicisation of the organisation.
To allow women vicars yet deny them becoming bishops is a contradiction. Either they are equally possible or neither. Why believers are leaving the church. Not so much this issue rather hypocrisy and politicisation of the organisation. IanfromCrook
  • Score: 0

11:54pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Longbowman666 says...

Once again the 'This is the Word of God and it can't be shown to be anything else' brigade of the C of E laiety have shown just how out of touch with the real world they are. Having watched some of the comments of these people it seems to me that they are just as bad as any other fanatic - and just as mad. Lets face it, so you don't want to allow women to be Bishops, yet you expect folks to believe without question (or proof) that a person walked on water and that a burning bush spoke! Why? Because its written in this big book that's come down the ages, and has been revised and rewritten many, many times!

Not only that, but they absolutely refuse to see that the Bible, whilst being a religious document, is also a historical one, giving an insight into the social and political structure of nearly 2,000 years ago - a time when men were at the head of most things. Which of course is why the Bible was written by men, because only men could do such a thing in their society. So somehow, all these years later, that social attitude becomes accepted as being the 'Word of God'?

For my part I couldn't care less if a Bishop is a man, a woman or someone who is sky blue with pink spots on - what matters to me is whether or not they are sincere in their calling and in their actions - isn't that the real truth behind what Jesus is supposed to have taught?

As a man I'm ashamed of such a bigoted and sexist decision, with the consolation of knowing that just as with the vote, whether or not the C of E like it, the younger generation will succeed the older one, and they are used to equality and will no doubt demand it - and will get it!
Once again the 'This is the Word of God and it can't be shown to be anything else' brigade of the C of E laiety have shown just how out of touch with the real world they are. Having watched some of the comments of these people it seems to me that they are just as bad as any other fanatic - and just as mad. Lets face it, so you don't want to allow women to be Bishops, yet you expect folks to believe without question (or proof) that a person walked on water and that a burning bush spoke! Why? Because its written in this big book that's come down the ages, and has been revised and rewritten many, many times! Not only that, but they absolutely refuse to see that the Bible, whilst being a religious document, is also a historical one, giving an insight into the social and political structure of nearly 2,000 years ago - a time when men were at the head of most things. Which of course is why the Bible was written by men, because only men could do such a thing in their society. So somehow, all these years later, that social attitude becomes accepted as being the 'Word of God'? For my part I couldn't care less if a Bishop is a man, a woman or someone who is sky blue with pink spots on - what matters to me is whether or not they are sincere in their calling and in their actions - isn't that the real truth behind what Jesus is supposed to have taught? As a man I'm ashamed of such a bigoted and sexist decision, with the consolation of knowing that just as with the vote, whether or not the C of E like it, the younger generation will succeed the older one, and they are used to equality and will no doubt demand it - and will get it! Longbowman666
  • Score: 0

12:48am Wed 21 Nov 12

ace38 says...

I am delighted that the synod has rejected women bishops. It is a tradegy that women priestesses where allowed.
I am delighted that the synod has rejected women bishops. It is a tradegy that women priestesses where allowed. ace38
  • Score: 0

8:54am Wed 21 Nov 12

RobAycliffe says...

I'm sure the Synod is composed of good, spiritual people who prayed long and hard for guidance before casting their vote. Therefore this must be the will of God.

Sorry, he just doesn't like women.
I'm sure the Synod is composed of good, spiritual people who prayed long and hard for guidance before casting their vote. Therefore this must be the will of God. Sorry, he just doesn't like women. RobAycliffe
  • Score: 0

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