Tuesday, 6 September 2011

News at home and abroad

This first fortnight back at work is pretty non-stop for me, and I have been vaguely aware of not being able to comment on new developments concerning the Anglican Covenant or the diocesan voting on women bishops.
There has been  more news from NZ ; this weekend both Auckland and Waiapu (East Coast North island) diocesan synods passed similar motions declining to support Clause 4 of the Covenant  and declaring that they saw no impediment to the ordination of someone in a commited same-sex relationship.
The two motions were passed by two thirds majorities in Auckland, and by 90% plus in Waiapu. You can read some analyis of the developments in New Zealand on Lesley's blog here and also an  article from the conservative Andrew Goddard suggesting that a reform of the instruments of Communion is needed to enable Clause 4 to be effective. I assume here that he would like to see the instruments have greater power to discipline and exclude - although he doesn't say as much. It seemed to sit rather uneasily alongside the news from NZ that indicates that TEC is far from being alone and isolated in its views.

  I have no idea whether the Church of England will support the Covenant. I have a hunch that we may, largely because not to do so might be perceived as an act of disloyalty to Rowan Williams.  I could well be wrong though - I hope I am. On another key issue, that of women bishops, matters seem to be proceeding apace. Worcester has just become the 12th Diocesan Synod to vote in favour of the Article 8 Women Bishop's legislation. However, a majority of diocesan synods must vote in favour. There are 44 dioceses so 23 favourable votes are required, meaning 11 dioceses must still vote in favour. Furthermore, it seems likely that in some Diocesan Synods a "following motion" will be proposed asking for even more provision for women bishops. The Church of England Evangelical Council has formulated one such motion. If the House of Bishops amends the legislation it will have to go back around the dioceses for debate and voting again, before coming back to General Synod for final approval. The most likely result, based on past voting patters,  is that General Synod will reject the amended legislation - although we do now have a different synod from when the addtional provision for those who will not accept women bishops was so resoundingly rejected.
The Worcester vote was by massive majorities in all 3 houses. (ie one cleric against and one abstaining and 3 laity against.)


  1. Pleased to note the recent Worcester Diocesan Synod vote result, but there's still a long way to go on this consultation process through Diocesan Synods. There are 44 dioceses in the Church of England and only 13 have voted so far.The next two months will see the rest voting, with the last several on 12 November. When the legislation returns to General Synod (probably July 2012)a 2/3 majority is required in each of the 3 houses for it be approved.

  2. I suspect it is going to drag on for ever, Nancy!

  3. I will be quite happy for a woman Bishop to officiate at my funeral after the vote is finally decided in 2090.

  4. I hadn't realised you were only ten years old! Are they ordaining children now, Fr Oder?