Synod hands women over to drafting group

02 November 2006

WOMEN BISHOPS cleared two more hurdles at the General Synod sessions in Yorklast weekend.

At the end of a two-hour debate on Saturday, the Synod voted that "admittingwomen to the episcopate in the Church of England is consonant with the faith ofthe Church as the Church of England has received it". The vote, by Houses, was:Bishops 31-9; Clergy 134-42; and Laity 123-68. The size of the opposition votein the laity was noticeable. The vote was deemed not to be Article 7 business.

On Monday, the Synod went on to consider how best to proceed. After thefailure of the House of Bishops to agree a plan to accommodate the views oftraditionalists, Synod was offered the option of appointing a drafting group tocome up with a new scheme. This it did readily. It also accepted twoamendments, which asserted that both sides in the debate were loyally Anglican,and that consecrated women had to be fully recognised throughout the Church ofEngland.

In its sessions, the Synod also relaxed regulations on where couples couldget married; argued for married peoples' tax credits; urged reductions in CO2emissions; voted in support of chaplains in FE colleges; looked at the state ofurban areas; and considered clergy pensions and discipline. On finance, itdebated the Church Commissioners' sale of the Octavia Hill estates; approved adraft budget; and accepted rises in fees for weddings and funerals.

For full Synod reports clickhere

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