Synod elections: closing date for votes approaches

by
29 September 2010

by Ed Thornton. Voting in the General Synod elections closes next week.

THE race to be elected to the General Synod enters its final phase this week. Voting in the dioceses closes next Friday, 8 October.

Some dioceses have reported an increase in the number of candidates. The women-bishops legislation, which will be considered for final approval in the next quinquennium, is cited as a reason.

In Gloucester diocese, 11 can­didates are standing for three places in the House of Laity, and seven can­didates for four places in the House of Clergy. Five years ago, there were only six lay candidates, and four clerics stood unopposed. The diocese is run­ning a blog on which questions can be posted for candidates to answer. The diocesan secretary, Kevin Brown, said the idea was developed when tra­di­tional hustings were not well attended.

In Durham, eight clergy and eight laity are standing for the four places in each House. Five years ago, the num­bers were seven and five respectively.

In Bristol, where nine candidates are chasing three laity places, and four clergy candidates are competing for three House of Clergy places, online hustings have been held. Each can­didate has been asked to produce a traditional election manifesto, as well as record a three-minute video address, which electors have been able to watch on the diocesan website. They have also been able to listen to hustings debates online.

“Candidates were able to answer more questions and more fully than at any General Synod hustings event I’ve been to,” said the Ven. Alan Hawker, the retiring Archdeacon of Malmes­bury, who chaired the hustings. “The Church of England is facing major issues in the next five years, and it’s vital that electors know what can­didates think about them.”

Various pressure groups have been encouraging sup­porters to stand. Sally Barnes, spokeswoman for Women and the Church (WATCH), said: “There are a large number of can­didates standing who are in favour of the legislation being put to them [regarding women bishops].”

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The Revd Clare Herbert, the cam­paign co-ordinator for Inclusive Church, said its work, along with that of WATCH, “has given rise to larger numbers of lay people standing who are very concerned about the women bishops issue and feel it is on a knife edge”.

Canon Chris Sugden, director of Anglican Mainstream, who is stand­ing for re-election, said: “We have en­couraged one or two people to stand, but in no sense is it a slate. Like any­body, we are keen to encourage people who we think will make a con­tribution.”

The Revd Paul Dawson, spokes­man for Reform, said: “We have en­couraged lay and clergy to stand; and will be praying for them to be elected.”

Martin Dales, of the Catholic Group on Synod, said: “There is no less of a heart in the grouping for these elections. They will stand by the fact that this [the women-bishops legislation] is synodical business so there is still a lot of work to be done, and if they are not in there, they can’t be in that process.”

Robin Hall, 31, who is standing for the first time as a lay candidate in Southwark, said: “I feel strongly that, with women bishops, it is time for us to implement what was agreed at Synod in July. I’m keen to ensure that those measures are implemented.”

Elections for the 378 Synod places are taking place under the Single Transferable Vote system of propor­tional representation, which allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. The House of Clergy is voted in by clerics and the House of Laity by deanery synod represent­atives.

Suffragan bishops vote for their own representatives. Each diocese can elect only one archdeacon, who can be voted in as part of it’s clergy vote.

The Channel Islands, which is an­nexed to, but not part of, Winchester diocese, has already elected its own representatives on to Synod. David Robilliard, lay representative for Guern­sey, and Jane Bisson, lay repres­entative for Jersey, were re-elected unopposed. The Very Revd Bob Key, Dean of Jersey, will represent Channel Islands clergy.

Letters

Women-bishops timetable set out
by Ed Beavan

THE General Synod is likely to con­sider final approval for women bishops in July 2012, if a majority of diocesan synods backs the draft legislation referred to them by the General Synod in York in July.

Letters

Women-bishops timetable set out
by Ed Beavan

THE General Synod is likely to con­sider final approval for women bishops in July 2012, if a majority of diocesan synods backs the draft legislation referred to them by the General Synod in York in July.

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All 44 dioceses were this week issued with a series of documents to assist them in their forthcoming debates and votes on the draft legislation on women in the epis­copate.

All 44 dioceses were this week issued with a series of documents to assist them in their forthcoming debates and votes on the draft legislation on women in the epis­copate.

The C of E circulated the docu­ments to diocesan secretaries and General Synod members, and dioceses have until 14 November next year to debate and return their decision on the legislation, which caused heated and emotional scenes when discussed at the York Synod.

The C of E circulated the docu­ments to diocesan secretaries and General Synod members, and dioceses have until 14 November next year to debate and return their decision on the legislation, which caused heated and emotional scenes when discussed at the York Synod.

Under Article Eight of the constitution of the General Synod, in order for the legislation to receive final approval from the General Synod, it needs to be approved by a majority of diocesan synods.

Under Article Eight of the constitution of the General Synod, in order for the legislation to receive final approval from the General Synod, it needs to be approved by a majority of diocesan synods.

The business committee of the General Synod has asked diocesan synods to consider the motion: “That this Synod approve the proposals embodied in the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and in draft Amending Canon No. 30.”

The business committee of the General Synod has asked diocesan synods to consider the motion: “That this Synod approve the proposals embodied in the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and in draft Amending Canon No. 30.”

This motion must be voted on as a single motion without amend­ments, to allow the General Synod to make an exact comparison between the voting in the different dioceses.

This motion must be voted on as a single motion without amend­ments, to allow the General Synod to make an exact comparison between the voting in the different dioceses.

Diocesan synods are asked to vote in houses; and the exact number of those voting for and against, and any abstentions should be recorded.

Diocesan synods are asked to vote in houses; and the exact number of those voting for and against, and any abstentions should be recorded.

The business committee “strongly encourages” dioceses to consult deanery synods and to disseminate information to them, even though their votes are not formally part of the reference process.

The business committee “strongly encourages” dioceses to consult deanery synods and to disseminate information to them, even though their votes are not formally part of the reference process.

If a majority of diocesan synods approves the draft legislation, it is likely to return to General Synod in February 2012 for final drafting, which would mean that the final approval stage, which requires a two-thirds majority in each house, could be reached by July 2012.

If a majority of diocesan synods approves the draft legislation, it is likely to return to General Synod in February 2012 for final drafting, which would mean that the final approval stage, which requires a two-thirds majority in each house, could be reached by July 2012.

If approved, it would then go to Parliament for consideration by the Ecclesiastical Committee and each House.

If approved, it would then go to Parliament for consideration by the Ecclesiastical Committee and each House.

The draft Measure requires the House of Bishops to produce a code of practice, but this cannot be formally drawn up or laid before Synod for approval until after the legislation has received Royal Assent.

The draft Measure requires the House of Bishops to produce a code of practice, but this cannot be formally drawn up or laid before Synod for approval until after the legislation has received Royal Assent.

The membership of a group established under the auspices of the House of Bishops to prepare the draft code of practice is to be announced shortly.

The membership of a group established under the auspices of the House of Bishops to prepare the draft code of practice is to be announced shortly.

The documents can be viewed at http://www.cofe.anglican.org/about/gensynod/article8ref/

 

The documents can be viewed at http://www.cofe.anglican.org/about/gensynod/article8ref/

 

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