Women bishops: Amendments fall in marathon debate

by
15 July 2010

Reports by Glyn Paflin, Pat Ashworth, Bill Bowder, Ed Beavan, and Ed Thornton. Photos by Sam Atkins.

Reports by Glyn Paflin, Pat Ashworth, Bill Bowder, Ed Beavan, and Ed Thornton. Photos by Sam Atkins.

THE BULK of the General Synod sessions in York last weekend were given over to the debate on women bishops. The Synod first voted to take note of the report by the revision committee. It then debated a series of amendments to the Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordina­tion of Women) Measure

INTRODUCING the debate on Saturday, the Archdeacon of Ton­bridge, the Ven. Clive Mansell (Rochester), said that the revision com­mittee acknow­ledged that the clear proposals in the draft legislation were certainly not unanimously agreed. Its members had very differ­ing opinions, resulting in a report where a regular majority carried the day on most key decisions and a minority felt that their position was unprovided for in the outcome. The whole Synod must “face up to that fairly and squarely” and work through it as best they could.

Opinions within the committee differed not just on what provision should be made for those unable to accept women bishops, but on what model of episcopacy there should be.

The Archdeacon charted the devel­opments that had led to the recom­mendations. The draft legislation, he concluded, seemed to most of its members “clear, ecclesiologically ration­al, flexible, and appropriate”. For a minority of committee mem­bers, it was too narrowly drawn, “un­able to honour and encompass their position or give them what they be­lieve they need to survive and also to flourish”.

Committee members had worked with “integrity, insight, courtesy, pas­sion, and great commitment for the beliefs which they hold dear”.

The Archdeacon of Lewisham and Greenwich, the Ven. Christine Hard­man (Southwark), said that if the baptism of women and girls was the same as the baptism of men and boys, it should lead to the same parti­cipation in ministry in Christ. She said that everyone on the revision com­mittee sought the continued in­tegrity and well-being of the Church of England, and explored all the options together.

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She said that the issue of juris­diction was at the heart of the matter. Those who could not agree with women bishops required a male bishop ordained by a man who must not have participated in ordaining wo­men. This was a separate line of epis­copal succession. She said that such a system would be “at best a Church within a Church, and at worst a separate Church”.

She said that the draft legislation recognised the theological convic­tions of those who could not accept women in these orders, but “does not and cannot give everyone everything they want”. It did, however, offer com­munion, and recognised the apostolic Catholic ministry of the post-resurrection world where Jesus first called Mary. Having one diocesan bishop was the norm — as “no one can serve two masters.”

The Revd Jonathan Baker (Ox­ford) said that it was with regret that he invited the Synod not to take note of the report. His overriding reason was because he did not believe that “this draft legislation is fair for the Church of England”, and it would not allow the Church of England to stay together, as it had a “winner-takes-all” feel to it.

He said that he had been assured when he was ordained that the Church of England recognised wider Catholic consent, and this had been firmly embedded in the policy of the Church of England, but this draft legislation completely changed this.

He said that the idea of opting for a male bishop had never been what they were looking for. He said that this legislation would put a stop to their whole understanding of who they were.

He said that the idea of opting for a male bishop had never been what they were looking for. He said that this legislation would put a stop to their whole understanding of who they were.

The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Tony Baldry MP, said that it would be his task to steer the legislation through the House of Commons. In his constituency, many of the senior posts in the county were held by women. “I see no reason why, when there is a vacancy, the Bishop of Dorchester or the Bishop of Oxford should not be a woman. . . Let’s do it soon.” However, the Church of England was a broad Church.

The vote on the legislation on women bishops which would be presented to Parliament would be a free vote in which the views of in­dividual MPs mattered. The equality agenda now played strongly across all parties, and there were now a record number of women MPs. The difficult task of steering through the legisla­tion would be impossible “if there is a scintilla of a suggestion that women bishops are in some way second-class bishops”.

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The Bishop of Lincoln, Dr John Saxbee, said that the issue had in­volved many clashes of loyalty be­tween friends and colleagues, and now he found that he might “have to vote against my Archbishop — that is a serious matter”. He felt, however, that the revision committee had got the issue right, and the Archbishops’ amendments had not. “We want the ministry of women bishops to be wel­comed wholly, not partially, gradu­ally, or grudgingly.” The Code of Prac­tice was “a major step. . . There is a world of difference between ‘Be­cause I am a woman I have to do this’ and ‘Because I am a woman I will do this.’”

He could not countenance delay. “Justice delayed is a justice denied.” Instead, he called on the Synod to take the “radical steps” and “go for grace”. Grace was the underlying theology of the Draft Measure. “Send it to the dioceses without significant amendment.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury said that he had changed his mind about the ordination of women to the three historical orders of ministry. He could not recall a “Damascus-road moment”, but had found himself no longer concerned by the arguments against such ordination.

The change had not involved him in rethinking the Creeds, or scrip­tures, or tradition, or even his views about women. It seemed to be a con­sequence of what he thought about baptism and the new creation in Christ, and “unfinished business about Catholic consent”.

The arguments against such ordinations still made important points. “Winning an argument does not mean you can forget the argu­ment you have had.” Nor could you forget the people who held the opposite view. Those who disagreed were not another kind of Christian or another kind of believer. The division was not between those who had en­lightened or unenlightened attitudes to women. The ordination of women had not led to enlightened attitudes in some situations. The draft report did not need to be “a terminally di­visive piece of legislation”.

He hoped that there would no longer be a delay in bringing the legis­lation forward, but he was troubled by the reference, without qualifica­tion in the report, to the provision of a male bishop, which could mean that the disagreements had been reduced to disagreements about gender and nothing else.

The Archbishop of York’s and his amendment in no way minimised the Committee’s work, but was a way to say what they all said they wanted: “to receive and receive joyfully the episcopal ministry of women”, but at the same time to say that those who did not want that did not belong to a radically different world.

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Emma Forward (Exeter) spoke on behalf of “young traditionalists” who, like herself, believed that the theology of God’s Church was beyond equal rights. In ten years’ time, she would still need sacramental assurance. The report suggested that any ordained man would do, but that was to reduce the issue to one of male versus female. “Putting a man in my church to keep me happy is not it.”

In 30 years’ time, it would be im­possible to trace back the origins of who ordained whom. She urged the Synod not to take note of the report.

The Bishop of Beverley, the Rt Revd Martyn Jarrett (Northern Suffragans), said that the proposals would mean that many people could not continue as faithful members of the Church of England. The problem remained unresolved. There had been no movement on jurisdiction. The re­vision committee had “managed to savage the legislative groups”; par­ishes could ask for a male incumbent, but not ask that he should have been ordained by a male bishop. That was an impropriety to be avoided. A parish had no legal recourse if an invited male priest then invited a female priest to preside.

The revision committee had sought to obtain what it wanted by gradually excommunicating more and more people who could not accept the sacramental ministry offered to them. He urged: “Please recognise that traditional Catholics at least belong to the lifeblood of the Church.” The Bishop commended members of the revision committee who had genuinely tried to reach across the divide and make honour­able provision. Sadly, they had failed. Unless the Synod really believed it could make such provision at the amendment stage, it should decline to take note.

The Revd Jennifer Tomlinson (Chelmsford) emphasised that God had ordained her. She commended the report for giving the freedom to concentrate on God as the giver of grace: “If we focus on the gender of the one who ordained us, we may be distracted from the source of all ministry.” Some of the revision com­mittee had expressed concern that trac­ing the lineage would be divisive: more than that, it was deeply dam­aging to mission. She rejoiced to read that the theology of taint had gone from the proposed legislation.

Canon Chris Sugden (Oxford) reminded the Synod that it had voted for Transferred Episcopal Arrange­ments (TEA) in 2007, a vote that had not been revised but only “parked”. In 2008, TEA would have been passed if all votes had been taken into account, but failed on a vote by Houses when one House was against.

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In wider society, if minorities were not given legal provision, there “would be uproar”. He urged the Synod to take note of the report with further revision in mind.

The Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin (London) disagreed with the sugges­tion that this was an argument about Catholic consent, and said that this was a childish representation of the issue. She said that the great gift of the Church of England was that it was a body that held different views. If the Synod could not say an overwhelm­ing yes to women in the episcopate, then “maybe the Church is not quite grown up enough or, dare I say, ready to have women?”

She said that the C of E was not her Church or your Church, but God’s Church. Anything that looked like a wall or a two-tiered system should be revisited.

The Revd Jeffrey Stokoe (Shef­field) said that the report did not allow space for those who opposed women bishops to remain loyal Anglicans, and replaced it with “a dressed-up single-clause option”. He found the revision “disappointing for those who can’t accept the change on theological grounds”, and offered gender discrimination, and was flawed.

Elnora Mann (London) said that the Archbishops’ amendment offered a “lifeline” and gave her once again “hope in the power of the Holy Spirit”.

The Revd Dr Rosalyn Murphy (Blackpool) said the revision com­mittee had shown wisdom and restraint, and had not given in “to recommending a dual system and calling it equality”. She said that any legislation that would separate certain roles or diminish the authority of women bishops did not have “any place in this great Church”.

The Bishop of Bath & Wells, the Rt Revd Peter Price, said that the revision committee had followed due process, had followed precedent and not set it, and had followed principle. It had affirmed the way that the Church of England expressed its epis­copacy through collegial fellowship. It did not offer structural solutions. It was a matter of principle, because it recognised that this was a salvation issue. So many barriers were of hu­man making, not divine origin. “The report refuses to deny the very essence of the saving activity of God” to any group.

So women should be whole-heartedly and fully welcomed into the episcopate, while, with due pastoral diligence, such unity as could be maintained with those who disagreed was maintained.

The Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Revd Nicholas Reade, said that he longed for the day in which both groups could grow and flourish in the Church. “We will keenly make con­ces­sions to hold us together in one Church.” But there were “certain boundaries which cannot be crossed”. The revision committee “wants to take us on a journey we cannot make” — away from the pattern, faith, and order that had shaped the Anglican tradition. The revision committee “has taken us backwards over the last two years”.

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Margaret Tilley (Canterbury) said that the chasm could be bridged only by each side’s regarding the other as equally honoured and loyal An­glicans. The Synod had not yet reached a point where it seemed right both to members and to the Holy Spirit. There was so much expecta­tion, but saying no to taking note was not saying no to the consecration of women. As a woman and a licensed Reader, she encouraged the Synod not to take note.

John Ward (London) did not believe that legal solutions changed behaviour. Hiding behind legal pro­vision did not get results in the outside world. Women called to be bishops had gentleness of spirit and the ability to build bridges. Porous structures must be set up to enable structural provision for those who could not accept it, so that all could flourish.

The Bishop of Gibraltar in Eu­rope, Dr Geoffrey Rowell, said that part of his ordination vow was his allegiance to the Christian faith as the Church of England had received it. He was sorry that the revision com­mittee had not made sufficient pro­vision for a minority who witnessed to the faith of the majority with whom they shared apostolic ministry. Solemn promises had been given that they had an honoured place in the Church of England. “The Church binds itself before God to honour the promise.”

Part of the revision committee’s remit was the 1998 Lambeth Confer­ence resolution that both those who affirmed and those who opposed were loyal Anglicans. More work was needed to find a consensus.

The Synod voted to take note of the report, and went on to debate the Measure clause by clause.

THE Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, said that the steering committee hoped that the Synod would enable the Measure to be debated in the dioceses, and urged the Synod to resist all amendments.

Canon Simon Killwick (Man­chester) put forward two amend­ments with the Revd Simon Tillot­son (Canterbury), and urged the Synod to back their two amend­ments in order to move forward, otherwise they would be “stuck in a log-jam”. Their amendments would provide women bishops with equal authority to their male colleagues’, and make provision for those who opposed women bishops.

The plan to set up additional dio­ceses would be like a “fresh expression of dioceses”. The three Provincial Episcopal Visitors would be abolished and replaced with three alternative dioceses, to continue the line of male bishops. PCCs could opt into these additional dioceses. There would be no need for new cathedrals: cathed­rals could be shared as they were now: the Bishop of Beverley currently held services at York Minster. The ad­ditional dioceses would be repre­sented in the General Synod.

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He believed that this proposal offered “a way forward that gives equality and fairness, and would be lasting and durable, and will help to take forward the mission of the Church”. It would allow the Church of England to move away from the battlefield and pour all its energies into the mission of the Church.

The Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott (Canterbury), urged the Synod to resist these amendments completely. He questioned how in practice cathedrals would be shared, and said that the creation of non-geographical dioceses would damage the integrity of the common pattern of life in the Church of England, and “rather than uniting us will, in fact, lead to further disintegration”.

Caroline Spencer, a member of the revision committee, said that the creation of additional dioceses would mean that the broad nature of the Church of England would disappear. She said: “Those who sit at two tables can’t be at one table, and we would lose our shared experience.” She said of opponents of women bishops: “There will always be a place for them” at the table. The provisions in the draft legislation were real and “aim to help all to flourish”.

Mr Tillotson was concerned for the Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical wings, and did not believe that it was possible to keep everyone together in one diocesan synod. Bishops shaped the identity and theology of a diocese. The main Measure would reduce the two groups to the status of spectators, even more on the fringe.

The arrival of women bishops would be a huge step forward, but separate dioceses was the only way of keeping together: mission and co-operation flowed from goodwill and mutual respect. Anglicans had always respected conscience and must do so again: “We should not belittle the integrity and conscience of our brothers and sisters in Christ.” Even simultaneous jurisdiction would lack the accountability of a diocesan model. Putting disgruntled groups into existing dioceses was a recipe for disaster.

Bill Nicholls (Lichfield) spoke of the sense of rejection he had felt when refused the bread at a service in a Greek church. The ordinary congre­gation had clearly felt puzzlement and anguish. This must be what women were experiencing. “Recog­nise that we are the national Church, one Church.”

The Archdeacon of Plymouth, the Ven. Tony Wilds (Exeter), used the analogy of service chaplains, who didn’t have a licence from the diocesan bishop, but existed within a diocese. This was not an affront: they had their own bishops and structures and looked after people with their own particular need. The amend­ment was not proposing something “outrageous and threatening”. There were two other advantages: all bishops of existing dioceses would be treated exactly the same, and it would also help with the process of reception, on the Gamaliel principle. The degree of separation “would allow us all to be able to move forward more directly”.

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The Revd Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes (Durham and Newcastle Universities) spoke of the invidious effect of asking bishops whether they would or would not ordain women. She could appreciate even the logic of providing an ecclesial pedigree; but this amendment went too far. There was no theological reason for the “discredited and discreditable” theology of taint.

The Synod had been told that sacramental assurance meant “having a bishop who agrees with you about everything”. That was not the way it worked. It rested on the authority of the Church’s Ordinal. It was important as a Church to have theological integrity.

Fr Thomas Seville CR (Religious Communities, York) said that there was no question of taint. Catholic Anglicans “repudiate it completely”. One reason they took the view they did was that they wanted a form of episcopacy that was comple­mentary to the form of the epis­copacy of the majority and that could work with it.

The understanding of apostolic succession was not one of hands laid upon heads but of “a succession of faith and of charity”. It had been this understanding of apostolic succes­sion which had been key to advances in economics as a measure of apostol­icity across borders. Succession was about the succession of the Church. The proposed amendment enabled the maximum possibility of com­munion.

What was sacrosanct was the ability of bishops to be pastors and to work for mission. This amendment would enable this, and allow new shapes and new sizes of dioceses to be enabled. He gave a number of in­stances where bishops had “bits of their dioceses” that were not under their writ, and they did not complain. “Writ” was to do with control and management.

Gill Ambrose (Ely) said that she did not understand how asking some­one to give sacramental assurance could not be designated as to do with gender.

The Bishop of Chichester, Dr John Hind, did not think that the priestly promises made at ordination to maintain the faith of the Church were consistent with supporting women bishops. Those who opposed such a move, including him, believed it was not a matter of opinion, but of faithfulness to Jesus Christ and to their commitments to his Church. He affirmed that the only objections to take seriously were theological ob­jections, and these included issues of anthropology and ecumenism.

Bishops must be able to be re­garded as real bishops. Any provision for diversity challenged the ecclesial claims of the Church of England, and, despite its best efforts, the revision committee had not resolved these issues. It had not been able to do what it had been asked to do. Creating new dioceses, however, would allow those who objected to remain in the Church of England “without com­promise or fudge”. He urged the Synod to vote for the amendment.

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Dr Elaine Storkey (Cambridge) said that she was confused and felt a “funny feeling of denial”, as this amend­ment claimed it was not making women bishops second-class, and yet it was excluding them from the additional dioceses. She urged the Synod to “get real” and admit that underlying debates was the issue of gender and “deeply help positions of human anthropology”.

She questioned whether an under­standing that men and women were made in the image of God could be compatible with the issue of gender which she believed lay behind these amendments, and said she did not think it could.

Elizabeth Paver (Sheffield) sup­ported the amendment because it would honour the consciences of Anglo-Catholics and conservative Evangelicals in the Church. She said thousands of lay people were praying that the Synod would act lovingly and graciously so that their ministry would be recognised and fulfilled. Over the centuries, dioceses had been formed and dismantled, but now, not as in 1992 when women were ac­cepted into the priesthood, the views of those who disagreed were not being recognised.

A count of the whole Synod was called for, and the amendments for the creation of additional dioceses were put to the vote and lost: 134 for; 258 against; 8 abstentions.

INTRODUCING an amendment that he had tabled with Canon Killwick, the Revd Rod Thomas (Exeter) said that his heart had been lifted by the interim vote of the revision com­mittee in October 2009 in favour of the transfer of episcopal jurisdiction in key areas. He had felt oppression lifted at the prospect of being able to minister without being forced into arrangements that he was unable to accept. If a committee that had a majority who disagreed with him could allow his ministry to flourish, then he could value these, too. He had felt a new impetus for united mission, and shown what clear provision might do.

The guts of the amendment were in Clause 5, which specified the six areas where the jurisdiction of a complementary bishop would apply. The amendment was designed not to leave these to the uncertainty of a code.

Margaret Swinson (Liverpool) said that the committee would resist the amendment because it had sought to keep elements of the transfer of authority, but that it had become clear that it was not possible to form an agreement. The committee had simply not been able to agree on those elements that should be transferred and those that should be delegated. The amendment suggested that there could be even greater transfer of functions, including dis­cipline, ministerial review, and the spon­sorship of candidates for ordina­tion. “The proposals would strongly encourage us to work apart rather than together.” That was not in the best interests of the Church.

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Canon Killwick supported the amendment because statutory trans­fer could lead “to more in­tegrated co-existence in the diocese”. It also delivered equality, as it meant that both male and female bishops would have to have complementary bishops within their dioceses. The division of functions, although challenging Ca­th­olic thinking, could be a “bearable anomaly” for the greater good of bringing women into the episcopate.

Sister Anne Williams CA (Dur­ham) said that she had difficulties with women in the ordained min­istry, but she had worked as closely as she could with women in her diocese and other dioceses on mission. “But I knew there was a dividing line.” She could not join them in eucharistic ministry. For her, the key thing about the men-and-women debate was that at the Last Supper our Lord took 12 male disciples for the institution of the Lord’s Supper, but for his resur­rection appearances he chose first Mary Magdalene and the other wo­men, which was why she could be an evangelist.

She had been a great campaigner for the equal rights of women, “but for me this did not have anything to do with equality.” She was not against women bishops for others, but not at any price. “The price I do not want is that I have to leave the Church of England because there is no provision for me and for my friends, thousands of whom have written to me.”

The Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton, spoke against this amendment, and said that he saw little difference between this amend­ment and the previous one. He said that the Synod had been discussing systems of transfer for a long time and had always said, “No, this won’t work.”

The Revd Hugh Lee (Oxford) said that the Synod was “in an amazing place”, as in 1975 it had decided that it was pro both women bishops and women priests. He said that even the Anglican Church in Sudan had de­cided on this issue, and was appalled that “we have to have a Measure that says women can be ordained.” He predicted the Roman Catholic Church would have women priests in the next 100 years.

Dr Philip Giddings (Oxford) said that he had voted in favour of the ordination of women because it was part of a package that held together those in the Church who couldn’t accept it. At the time, the Church had made a “solemn undertaking” to ac­knowledge all positions, but he believed that the earlier vote had repealed that. He urged the Synod to vote for this amendment in a spirit of generosity.

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He said it was a reality that “‘we’re divided on this question in our understanding on the nature of episcopacy and authority.” This amendment was not perfect, but was the “most promising way forward”.

The Bishop of Willesden, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, reminded the Synod that this amendment was the place where the revision committee could not agree. He asked the Synod how far would it go to make provision for those “whose views you don’t understand or believe”. He himself did not believe in sacramental assur­ance (not theological) or male head­ship (not biblical), and could not understand why people held such views, but asked himself how far he would go to ensure that the people who held them were part of the way forward.

Also, what would the Synod do about genuine questions about juris­diction and pastoral care? What would arrangements be for comple­mentary bishops of whatever kind: would they be able to be bishops or would they be neutered, as the Provincial Episcopal Visitors had been?

Finally, he asked what the Synod would do to make sure that women were given a free run. “I want to see them on an equal footing, and I know legislation begins to undermine that,” he said. It might mean “screwing up your courage and voting for some­thing unpalatable”.

Sarah Finch (London) believed that the amendment represented hope for thousands of conservative Evangelical congregations across En­gland, who could look forward con­fidently to a secure and flourish­ing future in the Church of England. If it was defeated, these would leave, which would be tragic.

Professor Anthony Berry (Ches­ter) reflected on how his conscience stood with other people’s consci­ences. As an engineer brought up in a male world, he believed that to say this was not about gender was to run counter to anthropology, science, and culture. If the transfer option was approved, the Synod would not be building bridges, but undermining the institutional authority of the Church of England. “We are under­mining ourselves, stepping back­wards, crystallising ourselves out,” he said.

In parishes that voted for alterna-tive episcopal oversight, he estimated that 40 per cent would be happy to have the episcopal ministry of women: “it would be a mistake to ditch mono-episcopacy for mono-parochialism.” Professor Berry said it was a tragedy and a scandal to reject the orders and sacraments of or­dained women. They were expected to exhibit a generosity that they were not accustomed to receiving.

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Canon Giles Goddard (South­wark) said that the Church of England had always been a broad Church, ever since the reign of Elizabeth I. The challenge was how to maintain it with generosity, as the Church for the nation. How would it ensure that the disaffected and bemused millions had a place for worship and a community to belong to? The option agreed on by the revision committee was workable.

Opponents were catered for in the Measure, even those for whom pedi­gree was important — but by grace, not by law.

Helen Morgan (Guildford) said that the amendment “is a way of keeping us all together”. The Catholic wing was her spiritual home, and she did not want to see them leaving; for they, along with their Evangelical colleagues, brought great devotion, care, and biblical commitment to the Church. The Church would also become more monochrome and more politically correct if they were to leave. Already she had been told that some of the things she said “are not appropriate, dear”.

Tim Hind (Bath & Wells) said that, like everyone else in the Synod, he was a disciple of Jesus Christ, but he was also a disciple of Gamaliel. He did not think that the revision com­mittee’s report was unbalanced, and, unlike the amendment, it had gone through due process, and every member of the Synod had had the op­portunity to respond to it. The amendment would make things worse. “It is clearly a gender agenda.”

The amendment was voted on by Houses and lost in all three. Bishops: 10-28 with 2 recorded abstentions; Clergy: 52-124 with 3 recorded abstentions; and Laity: 73-118 with 4 recorded abstentions.

THE Archbishop of York, Dr Sen­tamu, moving the Archbishops’ amendment, said that it tried to reconcile the two sides of the debate, as previous attempts to solve the situation had been found wanting, and there was so much at stake for the unity of the Church of England.

He rejected criticism of their amendment as a “re-run” of what the Synod had already rejected, such as statutory transfer. It would not divest bishops of their episcopal functions, but their legal authority would be derived from the legislation itself. But he warned that “no arrangements will work unless there is a measure of goodwill all around.”

Dr Paula Gooder (Birmingham) thanked the Archbishops for their attempt to take the Synod forward, but nevertheless the steering commit­tee was firmly of the view that their amendment should be resisted. The committee had considered a form of “vesting”, but had found that would not work. It feared that a similar fate awaited the new proposal.

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It doubted the practicality of parallel jurisdictions. It was the case that archdeacons had parallel juris­dictions, but the problems would lie with its exercise, what would happen when the co-ordinating bishop and diocesan disagreed. It would look like either delegation or transfer of authority, depending on who had the greater say in the issue.

Her third concern was that the code of practice would be overloaded. “It is difficult to feel confident of the outworking of the proposals before seeing what the code of practice contains and whether, in reality, it could contain the weight being put upon it.”

The Bishop of Coventry, Dr Christopher Cocksworth, supported the Archbishops’ amendment because it fulfilled the apostolic mandate, with which the revision committee’s report ended, from the letter to the Eph­esians, to make every effort to maintain the bond of peace. It built on the work of the revision com­mittee, and addressed the problem that the revision committee did not address. “The amendment deals with the problem by removing it.”

Third, it did so by relying on the authority of the Church as being higher than that of its individual bishops: the jurisdiction would derive from a decision of the ecclesial body of the Church of England itself.

The proposal was not without a scriptural and apostolic basis: the disciples had operated together perhaps in pairs. Nor was it without precedent in the history of the Church: the rise of the Cistercians in the 12th century and the rise of the mendicant orders were examples where the Pope had allowed their jurisdiction to run parallel to the jurisdiction of the diocesan. It created a genuine space in which they could flourish within the same space occupied by the diocese. “And we know that the present Pope is pre­pared to be similarly accommodat­ing.”

 Christina Rees (St Albans) appre­ciated the Archbishops’ intention, but urged the Synod to resist the amendment. The issue of authority was about the authority held in com­mon; the authority of leadership was properly a focus on and expression of the whole body. The amendment would create a two-track system, which the Synod had made clear it did not want — establishing in law a strand of episcopacy restricted to men and only to certain men.

 It would give legitimacy to two contradictory judgements on women bishops in which one did not recog­nise the validity and jurisdiction of the other. How different was that from mandatory transfer or delega­tion? It would render women clergy avoidable and optional. To make their ministry avoidable was a step too far.

 The Archbishop of Canterbury said that the Archbishops wished to test the Synod’s mind to help it move towards a constructive outcome. He acknowledged that feelings had run high in responding to the amend­ment. Some objections had been negative; some had been in “sinister terms”. He said that both Archbishops would be very disappointed if this was seen as “some sort of covert loyalty test”, and urged the Synod to scrutinise this amendment in the normal way.

 He said that the Archbishops had “responsibility to find the highest way of communion possible”. He said that no group saw their amendment before publication, and it was not a result of horse-trading, and neither was it a “long-framed plot” nor a “hasty response”.

 Co-ordinate jurisdiction did not take away any liberty of a bishop, and would allow a dissenting parish to choose the ministry of a bishop whose right to exercise ministry was guaranteed by the Synod. Referring back to a previous speaker, he said that a “seamless robe may be a coat of many colours”.

 The idea of the formation of a society had not been ruled out, which would give solidarity to minority groups. The legislation did not seek to answer every single question here. If there were issues between a diocesan and a nominated bishop, there would be the possibility of discussion under the diocesan scheme.

 He said this amendment did not introduce any complexities that were not already present, and did not sanction prejudice or discrimination, and did not distinguish between male and female bishops.

 He reiterated that both Arch­bishops were committed to the or­dination of women bishops, but some of the debates today had illus­trated the risks in excluding some, and they were “trying to show those who are in a minority their views are taken seriously”. The Archbishop asked who would lose if this amendment is lost. He replied that both he and the Archbishop of York had prayed “that it may be no one”.

 The Revd Professor John Barton (University of Oxford) said that there should be proper provision for those who could not accept women bishops. The Archbishops’ amend­ment would be one way of dealing with this, but at a “very high ecclesial cost”.

 Prebendary David Houlding (London) said simply: “This is it. It’s extraordinary that we should have arrived at that point.” He believed that, in passing the Archbishops’ amendment, the Synod would be recognising that all could stay together in the Church of England: “It is as serious as that. Be quite clear,” he warned. Did the Church belong together, or didn’t it? The argument had been very well rehearsed. But it was one Church — “We can’t write off the history since 1993: it’s where we are.”

 The amendment did not solve all the problems, but here was “real hope for all of us . . . for my friend Chris­tina Rees just as for me, recognising that within our polity is something that still links us with the universal Church; about faith and order and the way we can move forward together. Consider if you vote No what you will be doing,” he pleaded.

 The Church of England was his home, Prebendary Houlding said. “I want the Church to be big enough to accommodate me, even me.”

 The Bishop of Bradwell, the Rt Revd Laurie Green (Chelmsford), said that voting against the Arch­bishops was not a pleasant experience but something he did with a heavy heart: “It has not been pleasant to be a bishop who ordains women in our Church.” The amendment sought to offer some sort of legislation and legal answer for the dilemma, and for this he was grateful. But it left the Synod not knowing which aspect of epis­copacy would be hived off.

 When a new woman bishop appeared in a Church of England procession, would a child ask, as in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, “Does the amendment leave the new bishop with all that a bishop should have, or less than a bishop should have or be? Has she got all the episcopal bits?” The crowds outside the Church, even in the High Court of Parliament, would “gasp in amazement”. No one was happy to vote against the Archbishops, but, if the amendment was passed, “we will have bits of bishops all over the shop.”

 Dr Christina Baxter (Southwell & Nottingham) supported the amend­ment. She had been a long-time supporter of the ordination of women and had, up to now, resisted anything that would inhibit the ministry of women. But it was also right to make space for those who could not accept the ministry of women in whichever order.

 Was it practical to work alongside one another? “We do,” she said. When ministry was strongest, teams were strongest. It was good for bishops to work collaboratively. It was up to the House of Bishops. “We can pray for you, and we can help you, but it is your responsibility.”

 Jacqueline Humphreys (Bristol), a lawyer, said that she took a pragmatic approach, which was why the amend­ment troubled her. The revision com­mittee was not quite sure what this amendment was doing. “Good legislation is clear. They may not like it, but they know what they are getting and can plan their lives.”

 The Archdeacon of Berkshire, the Ven. Norman Russell (Oxford), said that he was a supporter of the ordina­tion of women to be episcopate, but only if adequate provision was made for those who were not in support of it.
 If the Synod said that the price of the ordination of women to the epis­copate was the sacrifice of the Catholics and the traditional Evan­gelicals within the Church, then “May God have mercy on us all.”

 The Catholic tradition had given hope to the very poor and the down­trodden in society; and the tradi­tional Evangelicals, such as William Wilberforce, had challenged the complacency of the day. “The hand cannot say to the foot, I have no need of you. Yes, let us have women bishops, but in a way that is honour­ing to the Lord.”

The Archdeacon of Northamp­ton, the Ven. Christine Allsopp (Peter­borough), thanked the revision committee for its work, but said that the resultant legislation “demands considerable concessions from many of us who would have preferred simpler legislation”. She had been “dismayed by the last-minute inter­vention by the Archbishops”. She did not believe their amendment was good news. “It does not feel like good news for women clergy.”

 “It takes us back to statutory trans­fer by another name.” It was also damaging to male and female bishops. “They will have authority until they are required under this amendment to give it away.”

Dr Sentamu said that the Archbishop of Canterbury and he already shared a co-ordinating metro­politan authority. Co-ordinate jurisdiction “is already there in our blood”. The amendment “shall not divest the bishop of any of his or her functions — in your words, all the episcopal bits are there”. The code of practice would provide guidance when bishops could not agree, and the code was already in the Draft Measure. “Difficulties will be worked out through discussion. Why assume that things will be difficult?”

The amendment was a response to those, like himself, who wanted women bishops, but had within their diocese those who did not. “I believe it is better to do it through perform­ance of law than any other way. We are not creating anything new.” The language might be different, but “the grace of God can give you new words that you never thought of.”

Canon Celia Thomson (Glou­cester) said that she spoke reluctantly against the Archbishops’ amendment, as it was the source of sadness and dismay among ordained women she knew, not just women in Gloucester, but several women clergy who wrote to the Archbishops to express their disapproval.

The amendment undermined the work of the revision committee, and the whole nature of episcopacy in the Church of England, and was flying bishops by another name. It sent out a damaging message about the Church, which would be seen to discriminate against women by law, and it would damage the mission of the Church of England. “If and when women become bishops, they must be allowed to be bishops.” The Church could not be seen to have two tiers of bishops. She urged the Synod to oppose the amendment, and said that women might not want to serve as bishops under these circumstances.

The Revd Charles Marnham (London) said that the Synod did not want to marginalise those who could not accept women bishops, and the strength of the Church of England was holding together despite its differ­ences. Not accommodating those who opposed women bishops would damage the Church, and potential ordinands would ask: “Do we have a future in the Church of England?”

He said that it was important to avoid the impression that women bishops would have limited authority, and the Archbishops’ amendment of shared episcopacy addressed this concern.

Dr Gooder, for the revision com­mittee, expressed concern that Synod had had very different interpretations of the amendment and its outwork­ing, whether it was practical, and what it would look like.

Kathryn Campion-Spall (South­wark) was dismayed at the amend­ment, feeling that delegation of episcopal function was as far as she could go. Anything more pushed integrity and the Church to breaking point.

John Freeman (Chester) described from the chairman as a “chair’s salvation” for his frequent calls for a motion for closure, urged support for the amendment because it “cuts the Gordian knot we have before us”. In the end, nobody might be the loser. “I trust that this is the thing,” he told the Synod.

The amendment was put to the Synod, and a vote by Houses was required. The House of Bishops voted 25 in favour, 15 against. The House of Clergy voted 85 in favour, 90 against, with 5 recorded abstentions. The House of Laity voted 106 in favour, 86 against, with 4 recorded abstentions. The amendment was therefore lost.
 
AFTER the loss of the amendment there was an attempt to postpone further debate. Mr Baker wanted to bring a procedural motion for the Synod to adjourn the debate until Monday morning. It was in “a re­markable place”. Did it need to seize the moment and have a real period for reflection and prayer? The steer­ing committee urged the Synod to “hold its nerve” and carry on: other­wise an hour would be wasted. Mem­bers should stay calm and get on with the business.
 Gavin Oldham (Oxford) believed the country would not understand, and supported the call for adjourn­ment.

The Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd John Goddard (Northern Suf­fra­gans), told the Synod: “I am now gutted. I am not saying this is the end of the line, but I have to tell you I am in no mood to be able to bend my mind around [the next set of amend­ments] on this now.”

Robert Key (Salisbury) said that this was an inappropriate moment to have an emotional break, and Synod should get back to the matter in hand: “We shouldn’t just go off in a huff.”

The Synod adjourned for ten minutes and then resumed debate, minus most if not all members of the Catholic Group, who had left to consult together.
 
THE Bishop of Salisbury, Dr David Stancliffe, spoke to his amendment, which would restrict delegation of episcopal functions to sacraments and other divine services by removing the clause that referred to pastoral care of clergy and parishioners.

There was no real or practical reason why a diocesan bishop should delegate pastoral care: he was responsible for everyone in the diocese. “The bishop is the bishop. To delegate pastoral care undermines trust.” Mistrust would be per­manently institutionalised in the legislation: “We must show the wider community that we do things differ­ently.” The clause proposed giving away the very importance of what held the Church together: a commit­ment to always act in everyone’s best interests.

The Dean of Leicester, the Ven. Vivienne Faull, urged the Synod to resist this amendment. The offer was too narrow. The thinking of the past nine years had recognised the need to hold together the sacramental and pastoral roles of the bishops. The episcopal role had its roots in Jesus’s command to Peter, “Feed my sheep.” The amendment fell.

Kevin Carey (Chichester) spoke to his amendment, which sought to provide for the support of clergy and laity in parishes that had not issued a Letter of Request. It was a “modest amendment”, a “small matter of justice”.

Tom Sutcliffe (Southwark) brought an amendment that would set up a Review Commission to re­view arrangements for male bishops. It was a safety-valve mechanism that did not constrain the power of bishops, whether male or female. It would create a moral force to con­sider how life in traditional parishes was working out.

Dean Faull urged the Synod to resist both these amendments, and they both fell.

The business was adjourned until Monday.
 
ON MONDAY MORNING, the Arch­bishop of Canterbury gave an unscheduled presidential reaction to the result of the debate on Saturday, prompted, he said, by the many conversations that he had had with people of different views.

He wanted to encourage the Synod to complete the business in York, to avoid the temptation at such a time of stress and difficulty to drop it into the “Too Difficult” basket. Further referral to the revision committee would not help, he believed. It needed the dioceses now to give it their wisdom and thought. The House of Bishops would promptly set in hand the work on a draft code of practice, which would be available for debate when legislation returned in about 18 months’ time. That would begin the final phase of a long and complex process.

The Archbishop acknowledged regret that the amendment that he and Dr Sentamu had put forward had not been accompanied by an illus­trative code of practice; but time had not been on their side. There was a wish now to proceed with a code of practice that could enshrine the best possible provision in the light of what had been seen and heard and the vote taken.

The Synod should also be aware that the next phase would help the dioceses to shape following motions. There was work to be done, and prayer was needed.
 The Archbishops would obviously have liked the Synod to pass their amendment, he said, to laughter. But, he said, he would like to encourage those who had been disappointed by the outcome not to see it as the end of the road. This was the middle of a process of discernment and service to one another — focus on that, he said. It meant working for those who would be taking different decisions, different paths.

The vote had illustrated that the Synod remained committed to seeing women bishops for the flourishing of the Kingdom. It was com­mitted by a majority to the maximum generosity that could be consistently and coherently exercised for the con­science of minorities. The two goals of holding together in a desperately difficult situation and seeing it in terms of service “may give us all a sense that we have something to work for in this process”.

The Archbishop received pro­longed applause.
 
WITH THAT, the debate resumed. The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, said that the steering committee had been en­trusted by the Synod with managing the Measure through its various stages. The Synod would that day proceed clause by clause and amend­ment by amendment, and he would advise the Synod to resist procedural motions that would jeopardise that. “Nothing is agreed till everything is agreed.” That was likely to be two years away.

Geoffrey Tattersall (Manchester) moved that Clause 2 (Duty of a diocesan bishop to make arrange­ments) stand part of the Measure. He said that the revision committee had carefully considered many submis­sions on legislation in its simplest statutory form, but ultimately the committee had become convinced that the present draft provided better for the Church. If the code of prac­tice was not included at this stage, then it would be left for the House of Bishops to draw up, and the Synod could have no influence over that. It could be used as a Trojan horse to include almost anything, and would not induce trust.

The Revd Hugh Lee (Oxford), in a point of order, challenged Mr Tatter­sall’s understanding that the debate had been called so as to delete the whole of the code of practice. Mr Tattersall agreed that “I got it wrong.”

Canon Robert Cotton (Guild­ford) spoke of this time as a process of spiritual discernment, and it required honourable listening. It would be unfair to characterise the debates of Saturday and today in terms of winners and losers. It was not the time to ask those who were already disappointed to accept something even more unpalatable, but it was a time that required courageous speaking. “The Synod seems to be dis­cerning that the revision committee has got it right.”

Its proposals were “a very signi­ficant compromise: their elegant, balanced, and spacious solution is still hard to accept.”

The Revd Professor Richard Burridge (Universities) said that Clause 2 was an attempt to provide for those who could not accept women in the episcopacy, “but it goes way beyond what many of us would accept”.

On Saturday, they had been told this clause was not enough; “so who is it satisfying? It goes too far for us and not far enough for others.” Why not get rid of it? The reason was that it could be an Anglican via media. Women would be able to be bishops, and those who could not accept it would have provision made for them.

April Alexander (Southwark) said it was important to recognise that Clause 2 represented sacrifice to be made by all women in the Church, showing the same generosity and grace that had been seen up to now. The Second Church Estates Commis­sioner had shown that the political landscape had changed since the election, that “we are further and further away from Government and Parliament in these matters.”

The Church’s privileged position could be at risk if it continued to opt out of the law of the land. The guar­anteed place of bishops in the House of Lords was no longer certain. Women in the episcopate would lead to “an enormously enhanced House of Bishops”.

The Archdeacon of Berkshire, the Ven. Norman Russell (Oxford), thought himself probably the only Synod member to have been stoned by Roman Catholic teenagers as he went through the Bogside. Northern Ireland had a tendency to push things to their limit in a divided community, but an attractive feature of English life was a culture of restraint that had been largely shaped by the C of E, scripture, and the BCP.

That culture of restraint and decency needed to be rediscovered. He hoped for a continuance of look­ing for ways of consecrating bishops but allowing space for those who believed otherwise rightly or wrongly. To throw out Clause 2 would be “to kick those who may feel they have already been kicked very hard over the last three days”.

Canon Debbie Flach (Europe) was personally opposed to Clause 2 but would urge Synod to vote for it. Women clergy were accustomed to being “gracious”: “Mitregate”, which had occurred before this Synod, had shown what it would be like for the first women bishops in the Church of England.

Clause 2 enshrined a disbelief in the validity of women’s consecration, and would require lawfully conse­crated people to remove their min­istry if a PCC asked them to on unspecified grounds of theological conviction. She was fed up with being portrayed as not making concessions. Clause 2 extended the hand of friend­ship. Vote for it, she urged.

The Bishop of Durham, Dr Tom Wright, delighted the Synod with his account of his taxi-driver’s view: “If God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, everything else is rock’n’roll, innit?” Some things were utterly fun­da­­mental, and some were not. That didn’t mean that nothing else mat­tered: it had to be kept in pro­portion to discern when Church-dividing issues came and when they didn’t.

The Bishop reiterated that he wanted to see women bishops for biblical and theological and not just pragmatic reasons. He was convinced that the proper application of the Pauline adiaphora to welcome one another, of all being gracious all of the time.

Everyone needed to bear with those with whom they radically disagreed and have the theological debates: “we still haven’t had them.” He would have preferred to go for the single clause, but that wasn’t possible. He concluded: “The day the Church ceases to say we obey God rather than humanity, we cease to be the Church.”

Professor Anthony Thisel­ton (Southwell & Nottingham) was per­plexed at the minimal part the Bible had played in the debate. He cited the apostle Paul, who had been constantly humiliated and abused, but had nowhere said that his authority was “demeaned”. He was puzzled by the nation that collab­orative ministry demeaned the person who exercised it. The Arch­bishops’ amendment had had moral, if not legal, authority.

The Revd Paul Perkin (South­wark) told the Synod that his Charismatic church in London had women on the staff. For theological reasons, however, these women did not see their roles leading to a full leadership role in the church or in the diocese.

Having grown up in a traditional Catholic setting, and having made a personal Christian commitment in a conserva­tive Evangelical context at university, he was now in a Charis­matic tradi­tion, part of the New Wine network and the HTB group of churches. Those networks were divided over the issue of women bishops, he said. Failure to make provision for those in those networks who needed it would be deeply divis­ive. “I would be deeply ashamed to be part of a Church that did not make pro­vision for those traditions,” he said.

The Revd Caroline Ralph (Exeter) told the Synod that she could not exercise her ministry fully without women bishops. She said that she felt as if she had been invited into a stadium game being played, but was forced to sit in the cheap seats. Clause 2 contained provision for those with different views from hers, she said, and she made such concessions gladly.

The Revd Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes (Durham) urged the Synod to consider how much this Measure was asking of ordained women. Even though she feared that she would be disappointing women, she said that she had come to the conclusion that she would support Clause 2, and also that, in order to build trust, she would not move the amendment standing in her name. [This amendment put a 40-year expiry date on the provisions for opponents.]

The Bishop of Kingston (South­wark), the Rt Revd Richard Cheet­ham, told the Synod that the Church of England’s breadth was a “splendid thing” that was “more than worth preserving”. One week ago, he had ordained two conservative Evangel­ical curates in a separate service, because they didn’t want to be or­dained alongside female colleagues.

Nevertheless, he said, the Church’s breadth “cannot be preserved at any price”. The general mind of the Church of England had been to ordain women, he said, but it seemed that the assumption was that it was possible to cater for all views without falling into incoherence. “That circle cannot be squared. We have to make a choice: we can either go in the direction the revision committee has provided us or not.”

The Archdeacon of Colchester, the Ven. Annette Cooper (Chelms­ford), said that she had become convinced that the kind of provision included in the Measure would help hold the Church together. “Other parishes have told me this provision will help them immensely,” she said.

The Synod voted that Clause 2 stand part of the Measure.
 
Professor Anthony Berry (Chester) moved an amendment to the require­ment for a PCC to consult with “other persons” before issuing a letter of request; his amendment extended that to “the persons whose names are entered on the church electoral roll of the parish”. It would be unreasonable, he said, for the PCC’s decision to be made on the basis of “sloganry”.

The revision committee resisted the amendment and it fell.
 
Gerald O’Brien (Rochester) intro­duced an amendment that, he said, would require all parishes to be treated equally when they decided whether to resolve to pass a letter of request. Parishes needed to decide to which integrity they wanted to belong, but the Measure, as it stood, required that parishes that wanted one integrity were required to do various things, while if they were of the other integrity they did not need, for instance, to provide sufficient notice of the meeting, or ensure sufficient attendance, or about the need to vote, or even have a meeting at all. He wanted the same conditions to apply to parishes of both integ­rities.

The amendment was resisted by the standing committee, who believed that letters of request would be the exception rather than the rule. It was also opposed by Tim Hind (Bath & Wells), Jacqueline Humphreys (Bris­tol), the Revd Johannes Arens (Ripon & Leeds), and Canon Andrew Nunn (Southwark), but supported by Helen Morgan (Guildford) and Pru­dence Dailey (Oxford).

The amendment was put to the vote and lost.
 
Mr Lee had put down an amendment whose effect would be that those involved in the appointment of an incumbent or priest-in-charge would also be able to take into account whether a parish had not issued a letter of request, and they were free to consider either a male or a female: that is, affirm that a parish was gender-free. The default position should be that no parish should have to consider it if no one had asked for it.

The steering committee considered that this amendment muddied the waters about what was normal and what exceptional. The norm applied unless the exception was in place: “Let’s keep it simple.”

Mr Lee’s amendment fell.
 
The Revd Pete Hobson (Leicester) moved an amendment that related to the “unusual” provision that the quorum at a PCC meeting discussing a letter of request would be doubled from one third to two-thirds. The nor­mal simple majority would not apply. This was unreasonable, un­neces­sary, and unfair.

If the quorum was considered too low in general, then this should be addressed through the Church Representation Rules. It betrayed an unreasonableness, and a lack of gen­erosity — “an extra barrier just because we can”. Voting on such a matter would be contentious, and members would come by virtue of that.

The steering committee wanted to defend the principle that a decision of this magnitude required a higher than usual number to be present, although it acknowledged a loophole.

Dr Brian Walker (Winchester) urged the Synod to reject the amend­ment, and took as an example a PCC of five members in a benefice. It would be unacceptable for the issuing of a letter of request to rest on one person.

The Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin (London) said that this issue had been regarded as mega-important for the past 40 years. “So don’t pretend this is an ordinary PCC meeting.” It was important that there was a real, strong majority when such a decision was made.

Robin Lunn (Worcester) said that the requirement of a greater quorum was “a piece of bureaucracy”. Keep things simple and support the amendment, he urged.

Canon Alan Hargrave (Ely) be­lieved that decisions of great im­portance needed a higher bar than the simple majority of those who turned up to a PCC meeting.

The Revd Dr Rob Munro (Ches­ter) was not clear why this could not be referred to in a code of practice. It was ill-advised.

Voting on the amendment was 128 for, 239 against, with 5 recorded abstentions. It was therefore lost.
 
Clive Scowen (London) spoke on his amendment seeking to modify the revision committee’s proposal that a minority on a PCC cannot frustrate the will of the majority by not turning up to a meeting. “Imagine a PCC of 17 members, 11 of whom want to agree a letter of request, and six of whom do not. Clause 310 and 311 provide that those six can prevent the will of the majority being imple­mented — not by participating in the debate and trying to persuade others, but just by staying at home. That cannot be right or fair.” An absolute majority voting for a resolution should suffice, he said.

The amendment was carried.
 
Mr O’Brien moved his second amendment. He questioned why an incumbent should have the right to veto a PCC’s majority decision. He offered one example of a PCC that voted not to issue a letter of request, despite pleas from the incumbent to do so. In such a case, the incumbent could not veto the PCC’s decision. However, when the PCC voted in favour of issuing a letter of request, the incumbent could veto the decision if he or she were not in favour. “Why should an incumbent get a veto at all?”

Paul Benfield (Blackburn), also speaking in favour of the amend­ment, said that the Church prided itself on involving the laity in decision-making, but, in the case of an incumbent having a veto, the wishes of the laity were ignored.

Dr Philip Giddings (Oxford) spoke in favour of removing the veto. It was best, he said, for the incumbent to convey his or her views directly to the Bishop rather than frustrating the communication of the views of the laity.

Kevin Carey (Chichester) opposed the amendment. He said he could “hear the rasp of moving goalposts” as those who demanded special pro­vision on women bishops, a Measure passed by a majority at the Synod, said that to resist this amendment would be undemocratic.

The Revd Eva McIntyre (Wor­cester) said that she held her cure of souls with her Bishop, and described how, during the swine-flu alert last year, her congregations had not wanted her to withdraw the chalice. “They were very vocal. My two con­gregations became more and more agitated and more and more vocal.” Finally, one person had told her that she would have to choose between her loyalty to them and her loyalty to her Bishop; at which point she had referred to the oath of canonical obedience, and in this she had been supported by her NSM. PCCs relied on their incumbents to understand complexities.

The Revd Jennifer Tomlinson (Chelms­ford) suggested that, if the PCC of a church with a female in­cumbent changed its mind and wanted a letter of request, it would put the nominating bishop in an al­most impossible situation.

The Revd Dr Rosalyn Murphy (Archbishops’ Council) said that the high respect she had for episcopacy meant that, unless a bishop called her to do something that was an overt sin, she would always walk alongside him. “Please do not require us to be at odds with our bishop.”

Dr Elaine Storkey (Ely) said she believed in the significance of the laity. Nevertheless, she had been in churches full of articulate people who knew what they wanted and how to get it, in which the priest was isolated and almost eliminated. “I know how emotions and pressures can rise.” Having been there and part of that, she wanted to resist the amendment.

The amendment was put to the vote, and a vote by Houses was required: Bishops: 2 for, 34 against, 3 recorded abstentions; Clergy: 35 for, 136 against, 8 recorded abstentions; Laity: 85 for, 104 against, and 7 abstentions. It was therefore lost in all three Houses.
 
Dr Brian Walker (Winchester) moved an amendment that provided that the Bishop would be provided with the information necessary to carry out his or her duty. The steering committee welcomed the amend­ment, which was carried.
 
Canon Cotton then withdrew his notice to speak against letting Clauses 3 (Parish requests) and 4 (Benefices in the patronage of the Crown etc.) of the Measure stand.

Clause 3 as amended was carried, as were Clauses 4, 5 (Code of practice), and 6 (Duty to have regard to code of practice).
 
Mr Tattersall warned that the conse­quences of not agreeing to Clause 7 (Equality Act exceptions), which had been introduced in order to comply with the Equality Act, would be that the Measure could be found to be in conflict with that legislation, and so would be “legally deficient”. The Equality Act had been drawn more narrowly than the Equality Bill had originally been drawn; so the new legislation was necessary to prevent any possible conflict with the Act, the committee had been advised.

Robert Key (Salisbury) had given notice that he wanted to speak against Clause 7. He said that the Bishop of Durham was, “of course, wholly wrong: the Church of England cannot act wholly in its own interest.” God spoke not just to the Synod, but also to Parliament. The evidence he had seen was that Clause 7 was not a proportionate and reasonable approach and his view was that it would fail in the courts. The law of the land would apply to everyone except Christians.

The Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament had to ensure that the Church respected the constitutional rights of all the population.

Jonathan Redden (Sheffield) said that he had “rarely heard such nonsense” as Mr Key had spoken. The House of Commons had no right to “browbeat or bulldoze us into certain decisions”. The Church should be allowed to do things right under God. Continue to support this particular clause, he urged.

Canon Simon Killwick (Man­chester) observed that one person’s compromise was another person’s coalition, and there were probably many contortions in the Palace of Westminster. Clause 7 was trying to achieve something for the Church of England which was enjoyed by Roman Catholics, Muslims, Ortho­dox Churches, and others. “If it’s all right for them, why not for us?”

The Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, said that the law of the land had always allowed the possibility for people of conscience to dissent. The lawyers had warned that without Clause 7, subsections 1, 3, and 5 of Clause 2 would be against the Equal­ity Bill.

The Revd Stephen Coles (London) called on the Church’s dialogue with Government to be made more public. The Synod’s failure to discuss this was having a negative effect on the Church’s ministry and mission, and the public increasingly perceived it as misogynist and homophobic.

The Revd Stephen Trott (Peter­borough) said that the Church of England had to decide “whether we or another body decide what is Christian doctrine and discipline”.

The Synod voted that Clause 7 stand part of the Measure, and then also Clauses 8 (Interpretation), 9 (Consequential amendments), and 10 (Repeals).
 
Introducing a further amendment, Mr Benfield said that, whatever arrange­ments were made, they needed to be a permanent solution, not revisited every few years. His amend­ment would ensure that, if the General Synod wished to alter things, it could done only with a two-thirds majority in all three Houses. Those who had difficulties accepting the legislation could be assured it would not be set aside lightly.

The steering committee resisted the amendment: such a special majority was neither necessary, justi­fied, nor appropriate: “We really have to start trusting each other rather than relying on provision of the law.”

Mrs Morgan said that she was all for trust, but trusted purple a lot more when there was a contract. But Canon Hargrave urged the Synod to resist the amendment if they wanted a level playing-field.

Timothy Cox (Blackburn) did not agree that the Measure would create a level playing-field: quite the opposite. He did not believe the assurance that it would not be altered.

Susan Cooper (London) argued against the amendment. If there was always the need for a two-thirds majority, it would be very hard to make things more comfortable for people.

Mr Scowen said that this proposal was not an innovation: it was exactly similar to what was in the 1993 Measure, and would carry forward a simple measure of assurance. If everyone agreed that tinkering was needed, a two-thirds majority might not be needed.

Justin Brett (Oxford), who blogs as “the dodgy liberal”, said that he would be delighted to have women bishops, but said that, if the Church was going to have that, it had to be sure that “actually what we do is going to work. . . If what eventually is going to work is what we need, the major­ities will be irrelevant, because we will never need to go back there.”

Mr Brett said that, if a two-thirds majority provided a safer place for people to be, then he could live with that.

Mr Coles asked why paragraphs 354 and 355 of the report concerning this amendment had been with­drawn. “What has changed to make it necessary to bring back an amend­ment that has been withdrawn?”

The Revd Moira Astin (Oxford) also argued that the Synod should make it “hard to change this”. The Bishop of Blackburn (the Rt Revd Nicholas Reade) said that “not to entrench this would not demonstrate good faith on the part of Synod”. But James Humphery (Salisbury) said that, if the Synod was requiring a two-thirds majority to pass the Measure in the first place, it was illogical to require only 50 per cent to remove it.

The Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd John Goddard, supported the amendment, noting that in Canada promises were given and changed very quickly. He said it would give a seriousness to what was agreed.

Caroline Spencer (Canterbury) said that when she had spoken earlier at Synod about a wide and hospitable table, somebody had told her: “You can lay the table, but nobody will come to sit at it, because there is nothing on the plate.” “We should go with this generosity, and vote with this amendment,” she said.
 The Synod voted for the amend­ment by 287 to 78, with 24 absten­tions.
 
Mr Benfield then asked the Synod to consider the cases of financial hard­ship arising for those who resigned as a result of the legislation allowing for women bishops. “The Church should be ready to deal with hardship. Without legislation, it is difficult to see how the Church of England could deal with it. It will have no power to make payments without legislation.”

 The steering committee resisted the amendment, saying that the revision committee was not per­suaded that financial provision should be part of the overall package.

Prebendary David Houlding (London) reminded the Synod that, while the ordination of women was now the norm, it had also affirmed that it was not mandatory to hold that position. “Do not be beguiled. What we have before us in this Measure, and especially in Clause 2, does not in any way provide for people like myself who hold the position I do.”

He said that this was a “moment of real crisis” for people like himself, and that there was real hardship going on for people opposed to women bishops, not just financial. He urged the Synod to uphold the “honourable doctrine” of reception. “It doesn’t mean orders of women are invalid; it does mean there is an element of doubt within the universal Church about the appropriateness of this position at this moment in time.”

Prebendary Houlding said that, without the principle of reception, the Church was doomed. “The plates are on the table, and there are only scraps left. I am beginning to starve.”

Canon Simon Butler (Southwark) said that promises should be kept and honoured, but they should not keep promises that they could not keep.

The Bishop of Chichester, Dr John Hind, said that it was a matter of natural justice. He quoted John Henry Newman’s final sermon as an Anglican, “The Parting of Friends”, in which he spoke of the Church’s children being ignored. Some would now feel that they could not stay any longer. “We must make proper provision for them.”

Archdeacon Russell, speaking as a Prolocutor, said that, if the Measure went through, it would have effect­ively changed the terms and condi­tions of service for Anglo-Catholic clergy in a way that did not make it possible for them to stay in the Church of England. They were “in the general territory of constructive dismissal”.

Canon Gordon Oliver (Rochester) said that some provision may need to be made, “but not by Measure”. It would be seen as a “scandal in the par­ishes and dioceses of the Church of England if provision by Measure was made”. They were only halfway through the process: there was still much to learn from the parishes and dioceses.

Sue Slater (Lincoln) said that priests ordained after 1994 knew that they were in a Church that ordained women. The Church expected them to work with their colleagues. To people still talking about being “forced out”, she would say: “You have seen this choice coming for many years. We have the responsibility to act responsibly as trustees, and not to sign blank cheques.”

Joanna Monckton (Lichfield) was worried about young ordinands, those ordained after 1993, who knew they were promised an honoured place and would always be able to min­ister: “We cannot ignore the hardship this will bring to them.”

The steering committee acknow­ledged that genuine cases of hardship might arise. It recommended that the House of Bishops, the Archbishops’ Council, and the dioceses should consider in good time where genuine needs needed to be met — but not in legislation.

The Bishop of Beverley, the Rt Revd Martyn Jarrett (Northern Suffragans), said it had been made clear to him in 1992 that he had an assured future in the Church of England. His Archbishop and dio­cesan bishop had made it clear that he was to restore Catholic morale, and foster and encourage Catholic vocations. He had tried to do both well: was Mrs Slater suggesting that he should have read the writing on the wall? His honoured place in the Church of England “has been taken away by promises we have failed to keep”.

Diana Taylor (Bath & Wells) had asked at a local farmers’ gathering whether anyone would object to a woman being a bishop. She was told, no. “I can’t tell them that this Measure will not pass without financial provision.”

Canon Giles Goddard (South­wark) agreed that everyone should be generous, but was concerned that passing the amendment would open the Synod up to not being able to pass the Measure as a whole.

Mr Trott hoped that there would be no need for such provision, but it was clear that there would be a number of people leaving. The issue was about those who had committed themselves to the service of the Church, on a modest stipend, with tied housing: “It’s hard, if you leave the C of E, to find another C of E to work for.” The net cost would actually be a gain, as the Church would no longer be paying stipend or providing pension contributions. It was not a big thing to ask for.

Mr Benfield said it was difficult to see how the clergy would fare if they had to stay against their conscience. “Do we really want priests in the Church of England who are going to be acting against their conscience?” The discussion was about members of the family. This was a time to be generous.

Dr Sentamu confirmed that the House of Bishops and the Arch­bishops’ Council had not looked at the hardship issue, as one speaker had asked. He reiterated the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury, about waiting on the Lord and serving one another. He suggested that the Measure should go to the dioceses to be looked at as it was.

The Synod voted overwhelmingly against the amendment.
 
The Synod voted that Clause 11 (Citation, commencement, and ex­tent), Schedules 1-4, and the Long Title stand part of the Measure.
 
Canon Simon Killwick (Manchester) then asked, under Standing Order 58, that the whole matter be sent back to the revision committee for further work. Saturday’s debate showed that the draft Measure was not yet in a form that was wanted by the majority of the Synod, the majority of Bishops and Laity, or the two Archbishops. The Measure as it now stood was, on the basis of Saturday’s vote, unlikely to be finally approved when it re­turned to the Synod.

He questioned whether the Synod, knowing that the Draft Measure could “trundle around the dioceses for two years and then fail when it comes back”, might not prefer to spend more time on it now rather than face more delays later.
 To recommit it for further revision need not take a long time. But the time spent at this stage could mean that the Synod could see women bishops in two or three years’ time rather than in five years’ or more.

Mr Tattersall said that Canon Killwick was trying to revisit a decision of the Synod: “that is not a good thing.” The Archbishops had not wanted their amendment to lead to a further revision stage. Further delay would not be helpful.
Canon Chris Sugden (Oxford) moved a motion for a ten-minute ad­journment to allow people to consult on such a serious issue.

Mr Tattersall said that the Synod should keep its nerve.

Dr Storkey said that she did not believe that there was any need to spend more time on the draft legis­lation. The proposal for delay came from the group that had sought to undermine them at every stage, she said. “Let us not delay any more.”

The Bishop of Willesden, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent (Southern Suf­fragans), said: “Stick to the process.” They would look “seriously stupid”, he said, if they had voted on some­thing, used their procedures properly, and then “sent it back for another go. We would look absolutely idiotic.”

Dr Giddings asked what would people say to their diocesan synod when they tried to explain what had been decided.

Christina Rees (St Albans) said that the dioceses were waiting. “I do not know what I would say to my diocesan synod if we did not carry on.”

The vote was put: 102 in favour; 293 against, and 12 abstentions.

The revision stage was concluded.
 
The Archbishop of York rose to con­gratulate Professor Michael Clarke for his chairmanship, and the Synod responded with sustained applause. Professor Clarke said that the Synod “can hold its head high”. The Church “would be proud of the way it has conducted itself”. He asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to pray for what lay ahead at the next stage of the journey.

In prayer, Dr Williams com­mended to God all that had been done and would be done in the months ahead. “We recognise that we have injured or walked away from one another. We thank you also for trusting us as the Body of your Son, entrusting us with his mission in the world.”

 

The Bishop of Coventry, Dr Christopher Cocksworth, supported the Archbishops’ amendment because it fulfilled the apostolic mandate, with which the revision committee’s report ended, from the letter to the Eph­esians, to make every effort to maintain the bond of peace. It built on the work of the revision com­mittee, and addressed the problem that the revision committee did not address. “The amendment deals with the problem by removing it.”

Third, it did so by relying on the authority of the Church as being higher than that of its individual bishops: the jurisdiction would derive from a decision of the ecclesial body of the Church of England itself.

The proposal was not without a scriptural and apostolic basis: the disciples had operated together perhaps in pairs. Nor was it without precedent in the history of the Church: the rise of the Cistercians in the 12th century and the rise of the mendicant orders were examples where the Pope had allowed their jurisdiction to run parallel to the jurisdiction of the diocesan. It created a genuine space in which they could flourish within the same space occupied by the diocese. “And we know that the present Pope is pre­pared to be similarly accommodat­ing.”

 Christina Rees (St Albans) appre­ciated the Archbishops’ intention, but urged the Synod to resist the amendment. The issue of authority was about the authority held in com­mon; the authority of leadership was properly a focus on and expression of the whole body. The amendment would create a two-track system, which the Synod had made clear it did not want — establishing in law a strand of episcopacy restricted to men and only to certain men.

 It would give legitimacy to two contradictory judgements on women bishops in which one did not recog­nise the validity and jurisdiction of the other. How different was that from mandatory transfer or delega­tion? It would render women clergy avoidable and optional. To make their ministry avoidable was a step too far.

 The Archbishop of Canterbury said that the Archbishops wished to test the Synod’s mind to help it move towards a constructive outcome. He acknowledged that feelings had run high in responding to the amend­ment. Some objections had been negative; some had been in “sinister terms”. He said that both Archbishops would be very disappointed if this was seen as “some sort of covert loyalty test”, and urged the Synod to scrutinise this amendment in the normal way.

 He said that the Archbishops had “responsibility to find the highest way of communion possible”. He said that no group saw their amendment before publication, and it was not a result of horse-trading, and neither was it a “long-framed plot” nor a “hasty response”.

 Co-ordinate jurisdiction did not take away any liberty of a bishop, and would allow a dissenting parish to choose the ministry of a bishop whose right to exercise ministry was guaranteed by the Synod. Referring back to a previous speaker, he said that a “seamless robe may be a coat of many colours”.

 The idea of the formation of a society had not been ruled out, which would give solidarity to minority groups. The legislation did not seek to answer every single question here. If there were issues between a diocesan and a nominated bishop, there would be the possibility of discussion under the diocesan scheme.

 He said this amendment did not introduce any complexities that were not already present, and did not sanction prejudice or discrimination, and did not distinguish between male and female bishops.

 He reiterated that both Arch­bishops were committed to the or­dination of women bishops, but some of the debates today had illus­trated the risks in excluding some, and they were “trying to show those who are in a minority their views are taken seriously”. The Archbishop asked who would lose if this amendment is lost. He replied that both he and the Archbishop of York had prayed “that it may be no one”.

 The Revd Professor John Barton (University of Oxford) said that there should be proper provision for those who could not accept women bishops. The Archbishops’ amend­ment would be one way of dealing with this, but at a “very high ecclesial cost”.

 Prebendary David Houlding (London) said simply: “This is it. It’s extraordinary that we should have arrived at that point.” He believed that, in passing the Archbishops’ amendment, the Synod would be recognising that all could stay together in the Church of England: “It is as serious as that. Be quite clear,” he warned. Did the Church belong together, or didn’t it? The argument had been very well rehearsed. But it was one Church — “We can’t write off the history since 1993: it’s where we are.”

 The amendment did not solve all the problems, but here was “real hope for all of us . . . for my friend Chris­tina Rees just as for me, recognising that within our polity is something that still links us with the universal Church; about faith and order and the way we can move forward together. Consider if you vote No what you will be doing,” he pleaded.

 The Church of England was his home, Prebendary Houlding said. “I want the Church to be big enough to accommodate me, even me.”

 The Bishop of Bradwell, the Rt Revd Laurie Green (Chelmsford), said that voting against the Arch­bishops was not a pleasant experience but something he did with a heavy heart: “It has not been pleasant to be a bishop who ordains women in our Church.” The amendment sought to offer some sort of legislation and legal answer for the dilemma, and for this he was grateful. But it left the Synod not knowing which aspect of epis­copacy would be hived off.

 When a new woman bishop appeared in a Church of England procession, would a child ask, as in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, “Does the amendment leave the new bishop with all that a bishop should have, or less than a bishop should have or be? Has she got all the episcopal bits?” The crowds outside the Church, even in the High Court of Parliament, would “gasp in amazement”. No one was happy to vote against the Archbishops, but, if the amendment was passed, “we will have bits of bishops all over the shop.”

 Dr Christina Baxter (Southwell & Nottingham) supported the amend­ment. She had been a long-time supporter of the ordination of women and had, up to now, resisted anything that would inhibit the ministry of women. But it was also right to make space for those who could not accept the ministry of women in whichever order.

 Was it practical to work alongside one another? “We do,” she said. When ministry was strongest, teams were strongest. It was good for bishops to work collaboratively. It was up to the House of Bishops. “We can pray for you, and we can help you, but it is your responsibility.”

 Jacqueline Humphreys (Bristol), a lawyer, said that she took a pragmatic approach, which was why the amend­ment troubled her. The revision com­mittee was not quite sure what this amendment was doing. “Good legislation is clear. They may not like it, but they know what they are getting and can plan their lives.”

 The Archdeacon of Berkshire, the Ven. Norman Russell (Oxford), said that he was a supporter of the ordina­tion of women to be episcopate, but only if adequate provision was made for those who were not in support of it.
 If the Synod said that the price of the ordination of women to the epis­copate was the sacrifice of the Catholics and the traditional Evan­gelicals within the Church, then “May God have mercy on us all.”

 The Catholic tradition had given hope to the very poor and the down­trodden in society; and the tradi­tional Evangelicals, such as William Wilberforce, had challenged the complacency of the day. “The hand cannot say to the foot, I have no need of you. Yes, let us have women bishops, but in a way that is honour­ing to the Lord.”

The Archdeacon of Northamp­ton, the Ven. Christine Allsopp (Peter­borough), thanked the revision committee for its work, but said that the resultant legislation “demands considerable concessions from many of us who would have preferred simpler legislation”. She had been “dismayed by the last-minute inter­vention by the Archbishops”. She did not believe their amendment was good news. “It does not feel like good news for women clergy.”

 “It takes us back to statutory trans­fer by another name.” It was also damaging to male and female bishops. “They will have authority until they are required under this amendment to give it away.”

Dr Sentamu said that the Archbishop of Canterbury and he already shared a co-ordinating metro­politan authority. Co-ordinate jurisdiction “is already there in our blood”. The amendment “shall not divest the bishop of any of his or her functions — in your words, all the episcopal bits are there”. The code of practice would provide guidance when bishops could not agree, and the code was already in the Draft Measure. “Difficulties will be worked out through discussion. Why assume that things will be difficult?”

The amendment was a response to those, like himself, who wanted women bishops, but had within their diocese those who did not. “I believe it is better to do it through perform­ance of law than any other way. We are not creating anything new.” The language might be different, but “the grace of God can give you new words that you never thought of.”

Canon Celia Thomson (Glou­cester) said that she spoke reluctantly against the Archbishops’ amendment, as it was the source of sadness and dismay among ordained women she knew, not just women in Gloucester, but several women clergy who wrote to the Archbishops to express their disapproval.

The amendment undermined the work of the revision committee, and the whole nature of episcopacy in the Church of England, and was flying bishops by another name. It sent out a damaging message about the Church, which would be seen to discriminate against women by law, and it would damage the mission of the Church of England. “If and when women become bishops, they must be allowed to be bishops.” The Church could not be seen to have two tiers of bishops. She urged the Synod to oppose the amendment, and said that women might not want to serve as bishops under these circumstances.

The Revd Charles Marnham (London) said that the Synod did not want to marginalise those who could not accept women bishops, and the strength of the Church of England was holding together despite its differ­ences. Not accommodating those who opposed women bishops would damage the Church, and potential ordinands would ask: “Do we have a future in the Church of England?”

He said that it was important to avoid the impression that women bishops would have limited authority, and the Archbishops’ amendment of shared episcopacy addressed this concern.

Dr Gooder, for the revision com­mittee, expressed concern that Synod had had very different interpretations of the amendment and its outwork­ing, whether it was practical, and what it would look like.

Kathryn Campion-Spall (South­wark) was dismayed at the amend­ment, feeling that delegation of episcopal function was as far as she could go. Anything more pushed integrity and the Church to breaking point.

John Freeman (Chester) described from the chairman as a “chair’s salvation” for his frequent calls for a motion for closure, urged support for the amendment because it “cuts the Gordian knot we have before us”. In the end, nobody might be the loser. “I trust that this is the thing,” he told the Synod.

The amendment was put to the Synod, and a vote by Houses was required. The House of Bishops voted 25 in favour, 15 against. The House of Clergy voted 85 in favour, 90 against, with 5 recorded abstentions. The House of Laity voted 106 in favour, 86 against, with 4 recorded abstentions. The amendment was therefore lost.
 
AFTER the loss of the amendment there was an attempt to postpone further debate. Mr Baker wanted to bring a procedural motion for the Synod to adjourn the debate until Monday morning. It was in “a re­markable place”. Did it need to seize the moment and have a real period for reflection and prayer? The steer­ing committee urged the Synod to “hold its nerve” and carry on: other­wise an hour would be wasted. Mem­bers should stay calm and get on with the business.
 Gavin Oldham (Oxford) believed the country would not understand, and supported the call for adjourn­ment.

The Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd John Goddard (Northern Suf­fra­gans), told the Synod: “I am now gutted. I am not saying this is the end of the line, but I have to tell you I am in no mood to be able to bend my mind around [the next set of amend­ments] on this now.”

Robert Key (Salisbury) said that this was an inappropriate moment to have an emotional break, and Synod should get back to the matter in hand: “We shouldn’t just go off in a huff.”

The Synod adjourned for ten minutes and then resumed debate, minus most if not all members of the Catholic Group, who had left to consult together.
 
THE Bishop of Salisbury, Dr David Stancliffe, spoke to his amendment, which would restrict delegation of episcopal functions to sacraments and other divine services by removing the clause that referred to pastoral care of clergy and parishioners.

There was no real or practical reason why a diocesan bishop should delegate pastoral care: he was responsible for everyone in the diocese. “The bishop is the bishop. To delegate pastoral care undermines trust.” Mistrust would be per­manently institutionalised in the legislation: “We must show the wider community that we do things differ­ently.” The clause proposed giving away the very importance of what held the Church together: a commit­ment to always act in everyone’s best interests.

The Dean of Leicester, the Ven. Vivienne Faull, urged the Synod to resist this amendment. The offer was too narrow. The thinking of the past nine years had recognised the need to hold together the sacramental and pastoral roles of the bishops. The episcopal role had its roots in Jesus’s command to Peter, “Feed my sheep.” The amendment fell.

Kevin Carey (Chichester) spoke to his amendment, which sought to provide for the support of clergy and laity in parishes that had not issued a Letter of Request. It was a “modest amendment”, a “small matter of justice”.

Tom Sutcliffe (Southwark) brought an amendment that would set up a Review Commission to re­view arrangements for male bishops. It was a safety-valve mechanism that did not constrain the power of bishops, whether male or female. It would create a moral force to con­sider how life in traditional parishes was working out.

Dean Faull urged the Synod to resist both these amendments, and they both fell.

The business was adjourned until Monday.
 
ON MONDAY MORNING, the Arch­bishop of Canterbury gave an unscheduled presidential reaction to the result of the debate on Saturday, prompted, he said, by the many conversations that he had had with people of different views.

He wanted to encourage the Synod to complete the business in York, to avoid the temptation at such a time of stress and difficulty to drop it into the “Too Difficult” basket. Further referral to the revision committee would not help, he believed. It needed the dioceses now to give it their wisdom and thought. The House of Bishops would promptly set in hand the work on a draft code of practice, which would be available for debate when legislation returned in about 18 months’ time. That would begin the final phase of a long and complex process.

The Archbishop acknowledged regret that the amendment that he and Dr Sentamu had put forward had not been accompanied by an illus­trative code of practice; but time had not been on their side. There was a wish now to proceed with a code of practice that could enshrine the best possible provision in the light of what had been seen and heard and the vote taken.

The Synod should also be aware that the next phase would help the dioceses to shape following motions. There was work to be done, and prayer was needed.
 The Archbishops would obviously have liked the Synod to pass their amendment, he said, to laughter. But, he said, he would like to encourage those who had been disappointed by the outcome not to see it as the end of the road. This was the middle of a process of discernment and service to one another — focus on that, he said. It meant working for those who would be taking different decisions, different paths.

The vote had illustrated that the Synod remained committed to seeing women bishops for the flourishing of the Kingdom. It was com­mitted by a majority to the maximum generosity that could be consistently and coherently exercised for the con­science of minorities. The two goals of holding together in a desperately difficult situation and seeing it in terms of service “may give us all a sense that we have something to work for in this process”.

The Archbishop received pro­longed applause.
 
WITH THAT, the debate resumed. The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, said that the steering committee had been en­trusted by the Synod with managing the Measure through its various stages. The Synod would that day proceed clause by clause and amend­ment by amendment, and he would advise the Synod to resist procedural motions that would jeopardise that. “Nothing is agreed till everything is agreed.” That was likely to be two years away.

Geoffrey Tattersall (Manchester) moved that Clause 2 (Duty of a diocesan bishop to make arrange­ments) stand part of the Measure. He said that the revision committee had carefully considered many submis­sions on legislation in its simplest statutory form, but ultimately the committee had become convinced that the present draft provided better for the Church. If the code of prac­tice was not included at this stage, then it would be left for the House of Bishops to draw up, and the Synod could have no influence over that. It could be used as a Trojan horse to include almost anything, and would not induce trust.

The Revd Hugh Lee (Oxford), in a point of order, challenged Mr Tatter­sall’s understanding that the debate had been called so as to delete the whole of the code of practice. Mr Tattersall agreed that “I got it wrong.”

Canon Robert Cotton (Guild­ford) spoke of this time as a process of spiritual discernment, and it required honourable listening. It would be unfair to characterise the debates of Saturday and today in terms of winners and losers. It was not the time to ask those who were already disappointed to accept something even more unpalatable, but it was a time that required courageous speaking. “The Synod seems to be dis­cerning that the revision committee has got it right.”

Its proposals were “a very signi­ficant compromise: their elegant, balanced, and spacious solution is still hard to accept.”

The Revd Professor Richard Burridge (Universities) said that Clause 2 was an attempt to provide for those who could not accept women in the episcopacy, “but it goes way beyond what many of us would accept”.

On Saturday, they had been told this clause was not enough; “so who is it satisfying? It goes too far for us and not far enough for others.” Why not get rid of it? The reason was that it could be an Anglican via media. Women would be able to be bishops, and those who could not accept it would have provision made for them.

April Alexander (Southwark) said it was important to recognise that Clause 2 represented sacrifice to be made by all women in the Church, showing the same generosity and grace that had been seen up to now. The Second Church Estates Commis­sioner had shown that the political landscape had changed since the election, that “we are further and further away from Government and Parliament in these matters.”

The Church’s privileged position could be at risk if it continued to opt out of the law of the land. The guar­anteed place of bishops in the House of Lords was no longer certain. Women in the episcopate would lead to “an enormously enhanced House of Bishops”.

The Archdeacon of Berkshire, the Ven. Norman Russell (Oxford), thought himself probably the only Synod member to have been stoned by Roman Catholic teenagers as he went through the Bogside. Northern Ireland had a tendency to push things to their limit in a divided community, but an attractive feature of English life was a culture of restraint that had been largely shaped by the C of E, scripture, and the BCP.

That culture of restraint and decency needed to be rediscovered. He hoped for a continuance of look­ing for ways of consecrating bishops but allowing space for those who believed otherwise rightly or wrongly. To throw out Clause 2 would be “to kick those who may feel they have already been kicked very hard over the last three days”.

Canon Debbie Flach (Europe) was personally opposed to Clause 2 but would urge Synod to vote for it. Women clergy were accustomed to being “gracious”: “Mitregate”, which had occurred before this Synod, had shown what it would be like for the first women bishops in the Church of England.

Clause 2 enshrined a disbelief in the validity of women’s consecration, and would require lawfully conse­crated people to remove their min­istry if a PCC asked them to on unspecified grounds of theological conviction. She was fed up with being portrayed as not making concessions. Clause 2 extended the hand of friend­ship. Vote for it, she urged.

The Bishop of Durham, Dr Tom Wright, delighted the Synod with his account of his taxi-driver’s view: “If God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, everything else is rock’n’roll, innit?” Some things were utterly fun­da­­mental, and some were not. That didn’t mean that nothing else mat­tered: it had to be kept in pro­portion to discern when Church-dividing issues came and when they didn’t.

The Bishop reiterated that he wanted to see women bishops for biblical and theological and not just pragmatic reasons. He was convinced that the proper application of the Pauline adiaphora to welcome one another, of all being gracious all of the time.

Everyone needed to bear with those with whom they radically disagreed and have the theological debates: “we still haven’t had them.” He would have preferred to go for the single clause, but that wasn’t possible. He concluded: “The day the Church ceases to say we obey God rather than humanity, we cease to be the Church.”

Professor Anthony Thisel­ton (Southwell & Nottingham) was per­plexed at the minimal part the Bible had played in the debate. He cited the apostle Paul, who had been constantly humiliated and abused, but had nowhere said that his authority was “demeaned”. He was puzzled by the nation that collab­orative ministry demeaned the person who exercised it. The Arch­bishops’ amendment had had moral, if not legal, authority.

The Revd Paul Perkin (South­wark) told the Synod that his Charismatic church in London had women on the staff. For theological reasons, however, these women did not see their roles leading to a full leadership role in the church or in the diocese.

Having grown up in a traditional Catholic setting, and having made a personal Christian commitment in a conserva­tive Evangelical context at university, he was now in a Charis­matic tradi­tion, part of the New Wine network and the HTB group of churches. Those networks were divided over the issue of women bishops, he said. Failure to make provision for those in those networks who needed it would be deeply divis­ive. “I would be deeply ashamed to be part of a Church that did not make pro­vision for those traditions,” he said.

The Revd Caroline Ralph (Exeter) told the Synod that she could not exercise her ministry fully without women bishops. She said that she felt as if she had been invited into a stadium game being played, but was forced to sit in the cheap seats. Clause 2 contained provision for those with different views from hers, she said, and she made such concessions gladly.

The Revd Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes (Durham) urged the Synod to consider how much this Measure was asking of ordained women. Even though she feared that she would be disappointing women, she said that she had come to the conclusion that she would support Clause 2, and also that, in order to build trust, she would not move the amendment standing in her name. [This amendment put a 40-year expiry date on the provisions for opponents.]

The Bishop of Kingston (South­wark), the Rt Revd Richard Cheet­ham, told the Synod that the Church of England’s breadth was a “splendid thing” that was “more than worth preserving”. One week ago, he had ordained two conservative Evangel­ical curates in a separate service, because they didn’t want to be or­dained alongside female colleagues.

Nevertheless, he said, the Church’s breadth “cannot be preserved at any price”. The general mind of the Church of England had been to ordain women, he said, but it seemed that the assumption was that it was possible to cater for all views without falling into incoherence. “That circle cannot be squared. We have to make a choice: we can either go in the direction the revision committee has provided us or not.”

The Archdeacon of Colchester, the Ven. Annette Cooper (Chelms­ford), said that she had become convinced that the kind of provision included in the Measure would help hold the Church together. “Other parishes have told me this provision will help them immensely,” she said.

The Synod voted that Clause 2 stand part of the Measure.
 
Professor Anthony Berry (Chester) moved an amendment to the require­ment for a PCC to consult with “other persons” before issuing a letter of request; his amendment extended that to “the persons whose names are entered on the church electoral roll of the parish”. It would be unreasonable, he said, for the PCC’s decision to be made on the basis of “sloganry”.

The revision committee resisted the amendment and it fell.
 
Gerald O’Brien (Rochester) intro­duced an amendment that, he said, would require all parishes to be treated equally when they decided whether to resolve to pass a letter of request. Parishes needed to decide to which integrity they wanted to belong, but the Measure, as it stood, required that parishes that wanted one integrity were required to do various things, while if they were of the other integrity they did not need, for instance, to provide sufficient notice of the meeting, or ensure sufficient attendance, or about the need to vote, or even have a meeting at all. He wanted the same conditions to apply to parishes of both integ­rities.

The amendment was resisted by the standing committee, who believed that letters of request would be the exception rather than the rule. It was also opposed by Tim Hind (Bath & Wells), Jacqueline Humphreys (Bris­tol), the Revd Johannes Arens (Ripon & Leeds), and Canon Andrew Nunn (Southwark), but supported by Helen Morgan (Guildford) and Pru­dence Dailey (Oxford).

The amendment was put to the vote and lost.
 
Mr Lee had put down an amendment whose effect would be that those involved in the appointment of an incumbent or priest-in-charge would also be able to take into account whether a parish had not issued a letter of request, and they were free to consider either a male or a female: that is, affirm that a parish was gender-free. The default position should be that no parish should have to consider it if no one had asked for it.

The steering committee considered that this amendment muddied the waters about what was normal and what exceptional. The norm applied unless the exception was in place: “Let’s keep it simple.”

Mr Lee’s amendment fell.
 
The Revd Pete Hobson (Leicester) moved an amendment that related to the “unusual” provision that the quorum at a PCC meeting discussing a letter of request would be doubled from one third to two-thirds. The nor­mal simple majority would not apply. This was unreasonable, un­neces­sary, and unfair.

If the quorum was considered too low in general, then this should be addressed through the Church Representation Rules. It betrayed an unreasonableness, and a lack of gen­erosity — “an extra barrier just because we can”. Voting on such a matter would be contentious, and members would come by virtue of that.

The steering committee wanted to defend the principle that a decision of this magnitude required a higher than usual number to be present, although it acknowledged a loophole.

Dr Brian Walker (Winchester) urged the Synod to reject the amend­ment, and took as an example a PCC of five members in a benefice. It would be unacceptable for the issuing of a letter of request to rest on one person.

The Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin (London) said that this issue had been regarded as mega-important for the past 40 years. “So don’t pretend this is an ordinary PCC meeting.” It was important that there was a real, strong majority when such a decision was made.

Robin Lunn (Worcester) said that the requirement of a greater quorum was “a piece of bureaucracy”. Keep things simple and support the amendment, he urged.

Canon Alan Hargrave (Ely) be­lieved that decisions of great im­portance needed a higher bar than the simple majority of those who turned up to a PCC meeting.

The Revd Dr Rob Munro (Ches­ter) was not clear why this could not be referred to in a code of practice. It was ill-advised.

Voting on the amendment was 128 for, 239 against, with 5 recorded abstentions. It was therefore lost.
 
Clive Scowen (London) spoke on his amendment seeking to modify the revision committee’s proposal that a minority on a PCC cannot frustrate the will of the majority by not turning up to a meeting. “Imagine a PCC of 17 members, 11 of whom want to agree a letter of request, and six of whom do not. Clause 310 and 311 provide that those six can prevent the will of the majority being imple­mented — not by participating in the debate and trying to persuade others, but just by staying at home. That cannot be right or fair.” An absolute majority voting for a resolution should suffice, he said.

The amendment was carried.
 
Mr O’Brien moved his second amendment. He questioned why an incumbent should have the right to veto a PCC’s majority decision. He offered one example of a PCC that voted not to issue a letter of request, despite pleas from the incumbent to do so. In such a case, the incumbent could not veto the PCC’s decision. However, when the PCC voted in favour of issuing a letter of request, the incumbent could veto the decision if he or she were not in favour. “Why should an incumbent get a veto at all?”

Paul Benfield (Blackburn), also speaking in favour of the amend­ment, said that the Church prided itself on involving the laity in decision-making, but, in the case of an incumbent having a veto, the wishes of the laity were ignored.

Dr Philip Giddings (Oxford) spoke in favour of removing the veto. It was best, he said, for the incumbent to convey his or her views directly to the Bishop rather than frustrating the communication of the views of the laity.

Kevin Carey (Chichester) opposed the amendment. He said he could “hear the rasp of moving goalposts” as those who demanded special pro­vision on women bishops, a Measure passed by a majority at the Synod, said that to resist this amendment would be undemocratic.

The Revd Eva McIntyre (Wor­cester) said that she held her cure of souls with her Bishop, and described how, during the swine-flu alert last year, her congregations had not wanted her to withdraw the chalice. “They were very vocal. My two con­gregations became more and more agitated and more and more vocal.” Finally, one person had told her that she would have to choose between her loyalty to them and her loyalty to her Bishop; at which point she had referred to the oath of canonical obedience, and in this she had been supported by her NSM. PCCs relied on their incumbents to understand complexities.

The Revd Jennifer Tomlinson (Chelms­ford) suggested that, if the PCC of a church with a female in­cumbent changed its mind and wanted a letter of request, it would put the nominating bishop in an al­most impossible situation.

The Revd Dr Rosalyn Murphy (Archbishops’ Council) said that the high respect she had for episcopacy meant that, unless a bishop called her to do something that was an overt sin, she would always walk alongside him. “Please do not require us to be at odds with our bishop.”

Dr Elaine Storkey (Ely) said she believed in the significance of the laity. Nevertheless, she had been in churches full of articulate people who knew what they wanted and how to get it, in which the priest was isolated and almost eliminated. “I know how emotions and pressures can rise.” Having been there and part of that, she wanted to resist the amendment.

The amendment was put to the vote, and a vote by Houses was required: Bishops: 2 for, 34 against, 3 recorded abstentions; Clergy: 35 for, 136 against, 8 recorded abstentions; Laity: 85 for, 104 against, and 7 abstentions. It was therefore lost in all three Houses.
 
Dr Brian Walker (Winchester) moved an amendment that provided that the Bishop would be provided with the information necessary to carry out his or her duty. The steering committee welcomed the amend­ment, which was carried.
 
Canon Cotton then withdrew his notice to speak against letting Clauses 3 (Parish requests) and 4 (Benefices in the patronage of the Crown etc.) of the Measure stand.

Clause 3 as amended was carried, as were Clauses 4, 5 (Code of practice), and 6 (Duty to have regard to code of practice).
 
Mr Tattersall warned that the conse­quences of not agreeing to Clause 7 (Equality Act exceptions), which had been introduced in order to comply with the Equality Act, would be that the Measure could be found to be in conflict with that legislation, and so would be “legally deficient”. The Equality Act had been drawn more narrowly than the Equality Bill had originally been drawn; so the new legislation was necessary to prevent any possible conflict with the Act, the committee had been advised.

Robert Key (Salisbury) had given notice that he wanted to speak against Clause 7. He said that the Bishop of Durham was, “of course, wholly wrong: the Church of England cannot act wholly in its own interest.” God spoke not just to the Synod, but also to Parliament. The evidence he had seen was that Clause 7 was not a proportionate and reasonable approach and his view was that it would fail in the courts. The law of the land would apply to everyone except Christians.

The Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament had to ensure that the Church respected the constitutional rights of all the population.

Jonathan Redden (Sheffield) said that he had “rarely heard such nonsense” as Mr Key had spoken. The House of Commons had no right to “browbeat or bulldoze us into certain decisions”. The Church should be allowed to do things right under God. Continue to support this particular clause, he urged.

Canon Simon Killwick (Man­chester) observed that one person’s compromise was another person’s coalition, and there were probably many contortions in the Palace of Westminster. Clause 7 was trying to achieve something for the Church of England which was enjoyed by Roman Catholics, Muslims, Ortho­dox Churches, and others. “If it’s all right for them, why not for us?”

The Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, said that the law of the land had always allowed the possibility for people of conscience to dissent. The lawyers had warned that without Clause 7, subsections 1, 3, and 5 of Clause 2 would be against the Equal­ity Bill.

The Revd Stephen Coles (London) called on the Church’s dialogue with Government to be made more public. The Synod’s failure to discuss this was having a negative effect on the Church’s ministry and mission, and the public increasingly perceived it as misogynist and homophobic.

The Revd Stephen Trott (Peter­borough) said that the Church of England had to decide “whether we or another body decide what is Christian doctrine and discipline”.

The Synod voted that Clause 7 stand part of the Measure, and then also Clauses 8 (Interpretation), 9 (Consequential amendments), and 10 (Repeals).
 
Introducing a further amendment, Mr Benfield said that, whatever arrange­ments were made, they needed to be a permanent solution, not revisited every few years. His amend­ment would ensure that, if the General Synod wished to alter things, it could done only with a two-thirds majority in all three Houses. Those who had difficulties accepting the legislation could be assured it would not be set aside lightly.

The steering committee resisted the amendment: such a special majority was neither necessary, justi­fied, nor appropriate: “We really have to start trusting each other rather than relying on provision of the law.”

Mrs Morgan said that she was all for trust, but trusted purple a lot more when there was a contract. But Canon Hargrave urged the Synod to resist the amendment if they wanted a level playing-field.

Timothy Cox (Blackburn) did not agree that the Measure would create a level playing-field: quite the opposite. He did not believe the assurance that it would not be altered.

Susan Cooper (London) argued against the amendment. If there was always the need for a two-thirds majority, it would be very hard to make things more comfortable for people.

Mr Scowen said that this proposal was not an innovation: it was exactly similar to what was in the 1993 Measure, and would carry forward a simple measure of assurance. If everyone agreed that tinkering was needed, a two-thirds majority might not be needed.

Justin Brett (Oxford), who blogs as “the dodgy liberal”, said that he would be delighted to have women bishops, but said that, if the Church was going to have that, it had to be sure that “actually what we do is going to work. . . If what eventually is going to work is what we need, the major­ities will be irrelevant, because we will never need to go back there.”

Mr Brett said that, if a two-thirds majority provided a safer place for people to be, then he could live with that.

Mr Coles asked why paragraphs 354 and 355 of the report concerning this amendment had been with­drawn. “What has changed to make it necessary to bring back an amend­ment that has been withdrawn?”

The Revd Moira Astin (Oxford) also argued that the Synod should make it “hard to change this”. The Bishop of Blackburn (the Rt Revd Nicholas Reade) said that “not to entrench this would not demonstrate good faith on the part of Synod”. But James Humphery (Salisbury) said that, if the Synod was requiring a two-thirds majority to pass the Measure in the first place, it was illogical to require only 50 per cent to remove it.

The Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd John Goddard, supported the amendment, noting that in Canada promises were given and changed very quickly. He said it would give a seriousness to what was agreed.

Caroline Spencer (Canterbury) said that when she had spoken earlier at Synod about a wide and hospitable table, somebody had told her: “You can lay the table, but nobody will come to sit at it, because there is nothing on the plate.” “We should go with this generosity, and vote with this amendment,” she said.
 The Synod voted for the amend­ment by 287 to 78, with 24 absten­tions.
 
Mr Benfield then asked the Synod to consider the cases of financial hard­ship arising for those who resigned as a result of the legislation allowing for women bishops. “The Church should be ready to deal with hardship. Without legislation, it is difficult to see how the Church of England could deal with it. It will have no power to make payments without legislation.”

 The steering committee resisted the amendment, saying that the revision committee was not per­suaded that financial provision should be part of the overall package.

Prebendary David Houlding (London) reminded the Synod that, while the ordination of women was now the norm, it had also affirmed that it was not mandatory to hold that position. “Do not be beguiled. What we have before us in this Measure, and especially in Clause 2, does not in any way provide for people like myself who hold the position I do.”

He said that this was a “moment of real crisis” for people like himself, and that there was real hardship going on for people opposed to women bishops, not just financial. He urged the Synod to uphold the “honourable doctrine” of reception. “It doesn’t mean orders of women are invalid; it does mean there is an element of doubt within the universal Church about the appropriateness of this position at this moment in time.”

Prebendary Houlding said that, without the principle of reception, the Church was doomed. “The plates are on the table, and there are only scraps left. I am beginning to starve.”

Canon Simon Butler (Southwark) said that promises should be kept and honoured, but they should not keep promises that they could not keep.

The Bishop of Chichester, Dr John Hind, said that it was a matter of natural justice. He quoted John Henry Newman’s final sermon as an Anglican, “The Parting of Friends”, in which he spoke of the Church’s children being ignored. Some would now feel that they could not stay any longer. “We must make proper provision for them.”

Archdeacon Russell, speaking as a Prolocutor, said that, if the Measure went through, it would have effect­ively changed the terms and condi­tions of service for Anglo-Catholic clergy in a way that did not make it possible for them to stay in the Church of England. They were “in the general territory of constructive dismissal”.

Canon Gordon Oliver (Rochester) said that some provision may need to be made, “but not by Measure”. It would be seen as a “scandal in the par­ishes and dioceses of the Church of England if provision by Measure was made”. They were only halfway through the process: there was still much to learn from the parishes and dioceses.

Sue Slater (Lincoln) said that priests ordained after 1994 knew that they were in a Church that ordained women. The Church expected them to work with their colleagues. To people still talking about being “forced out”, she would say: “You have seen this choice coming for many years. We have the responsibility to act responsibly as trustees, and not to sign blank cheques.”

Joanna Monckton (Lichfield) was worried about young ordinands, those ordained after 1993, who knew they were promised an honoured place and would always be able to min­ister: “We cannot ignore the hardship this will bring to them.”

The steering committee acknow­ledged that genuine cases of hardship might arise. It recommended that the House of Bishops, the Archbishops’ Council, and the dioceses should consider in good time where genuine needs needed to be met — but not in legislation.

The Bishop of Beverley, the Rt Revd Martyn Jarrett (Northern Suffragans), said it had been made clear to him in 1992 that he had an assured future in the Church of England. His Archbishop and dio­cesan bishop had made it clear that he was to restore Catholic morale, and foster and encourage Catholic vocations. He had tried to do both well: was Mrs Slater suggesting that he should have read the writing on the wall? His honoured place in the Church of England “has been taken away by promises we have failed to keep”.

Diana Taylor (Bath & Wells) had asked at a local farmers’ gathering whether anyone would object to a woman being a bishop. She was told, no. “I can’t tell them that this Measure will not pass without financial provision.”

Canon Giles Goddard (South­wark) agreed that everyone should be generous, but was concerned that passing the amendment would open the Synod up to not being able to pass the Measure as a whole.

Mr Trott hoped that there would be no need for such provision, but it was clear that there would be a number of people leaving. The issue was about those who had committed themselves to the service of the Church, on a modest stipend, with tied housing: “It’s hard, if you leave the C of E, to find another C of E to work for.” The net cost would actually be a gain, as the Church would no longer be paying stipend or providing pension contributions. It was not a big thing to ask for.

Mr Benfield said it was difficult to see how the clergy would fare if they had to stay against their conscience. “Do we really want priests in the Church of England who are going to be acting against their conscience?” The discussion was about members of the family. This was a time to be generous.

Dr Sentamu confirmed that the House of Bishops and the Arch­bishops’ Council had not looked at the hardship issue, as one speaker had asked. He reiterated the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury, about waiting on the Lord and serving one another. He suggested that the Measure should go to the dioceses to be looked at as it was.

The Synod voted overwhelmingly against the amendment.
 
The Synod voted that Clause 11 (Citation, commencement, and ex­tent), Schedules 1-4, and the Long Title stand part of the Measure.
 
Canon Simon Killwick (Manchester) then asked, under Standing Order 58, that the whole matter be sent back to the revision committee for further work. Saturday’s debate showed that the draft Measure was not yet in a form that was wanted by the majority of the Synod, the majority of Bishops and Laity, or the two Archbishops. The Measure as it now stood was, on the basis of Saturday’s vote, unlikely to be finally approved when it re­turned to the Synod.

He questioned whether the Synod, knowing that the Draft Measure could “trundle around the dioceses for two years and then fail when it comes back”, might not prefer to spend more time on it now rather than face more delays later.
 To recommit it for further revision need not take a long time. But the time spent at this stage could mean that the Synod could see women bishops in two or three years’ time rather than in five years’ or more.

Mr Tattersall said that Canon Killwick was trying to revisit a decision of the Synod: “that is not a good thing.” The Archbishops had not wanted their amendment to lead to a further revision stage. Further delay would not be helpful.
Canon Chris Sugden (Oxford) moved a motion for a ten-minute ad­journment to allow people to consult on such a serious issue.

Mr Tattersall said that the Synod should keep its nerve.

Dr Storkey said that she did not believe that there was any need to spend more time on the draft legis­lation. The proposal for delay came from the group that had sought to undermine them at every stage, she said. “Let us not delay any more.”

The Bishop of Willesden, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent (Southern Suf­fragans), said: “Stick to the process.” They would look “seriously stupid”, he said, if they had voted on some­thing, used their procedures properly, and then “sent it back for another go. We would look absolutely idiotic.”

Dr Giddings asked what would people say to their diocesan synod when they tried to explain what had been decided.

Christina Rees (St Albans) said that the dioceses were waiting. “I do not know what I would say to my diocesan synod if we did not carry on.”

The vote was put: 102 in favour; 293 against, and 12 abstentions.

The revision stage was concluded.
 
The Archbishop of York rose to con­gratulate Professor Michael Clarke for his chairmanship, and the Synod responded with sustained applause. Professor Clarke said that the Synod “can hold its head high”. The Church “would be proud of the way it has conducted itself”. He asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to pray for what lay ahead at the next stage of the journey.

In prayer, Dr Williams com­mended to God all that had been done and would be done in the months ahead. “We recognise that we have injured or walked away from one another. We thank you also for trusting us as the Body of your Son, entrusting us with his mission in the world.”

 

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