Diocesan Synod votes on Women in the Episcopate
The Synod debate continued for two hours and was chaired by the Bishop of Thetford. The Revd Canon Steven Betts introduced and moved the motion which is being considered in all the dioceses of the Church of England. It read:-
"That this Synod approve the proposals embodied in the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and in draft Amending Canon No. 30"
The Synod voted in favour. The voting figures were:-
House of Bishops: In favour-3; Against-0; Abstentions-0;
House of Clergy: In favour-33; Against-12; Abstentions-2;
House of Laity: In favour-31; Against-11; Abstentions-0
The Revd Robert Parsonage then introduced and moved a following motion:-
"This Synod desires that all faithful Anglicans remain and thrive together in the Church of England and therefore calls upon the House of Bishops to bring forward amendments to the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure to ensure that those unable on theological grounds to accept the ministry of women bishops are able to receive episcopal oversight from a bishop with authority (ie. ordinary jurisdiction) conferred y the Measure rather than by delegation from a Diocesan Bishop."
The Synod voted not to accept the motion. The voting figures were:-
House of Bishops: In favour-0; Against-1; Abstentions-2
House of Clergy: In favour-21; Against-22; Abstentions-3
House of Laity: In favour-17; Against-24; Abstentions-1
The Bishop of Norwich spoke in the debate and his speech can be read below.
The voting figures for the Diocesan Synod will be sent to the General Synod which will be voting on the legislation to move forward the consecration of women as bishops in July 2012. Should the legislation be passed at general Synid, it would then need to be approved by Parliament and the first women bishop could be ordained by 2014.