Diocesan Synod vote in favour of women bishop's legislation.

Diocesan Synod vote in favour of women bishop's legislation.

Diocesan Synod has voted in favour of General Synod’s draft proposals for the legislation on women bishops. Following a thorough debate at Saturday’s meeting at the Hope Academy, Newton-le-Willows synod voted as follows

House of Bishops  For 2;    Against 0;    Abstentions 0
House of Clergy    For 40;  Against 8;    Abstentions 0
House of Laity       For 26;  Against 12;  Abstentions 2

Synod also voted against a following motion which stated that

Synod (i) desires that all faithful Anglicans remain and thrive together in the Church of England

(ii) 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 who are unable to accept the ministry of women bishops are able to receive Episcopal oversight from a bishop with authority (i.e. ordinary jurisdiction) conferred by the Measure rather than by delegation from a Diocesan Bishop.

The results of these votes will be passed on to the Church of England’s General Synod.

Most diocesan synods around the country have approved the draft legislation which expected to return to General Synod for debate in February 2012.

Speaking in his Presidential Address after the vote Bishop James urged Synod to see the vote in a wider context of “our relationship with society and its impact on the Mission of God”. The bishop affirmed that all parts and traditions within the Church of England are committed to the Mission of God but stated “While recognising the current difference of conviction between the church and society on the position of women in leadership we need to ask prayerfully about our relationship with the world.” Bishop James has regularly spoken of the urgent need for the church to grow numerically and in its capacity to serve the local community.

Bishop James also stated “I am painfully aware of the discomfort and dislocation that the debate and the final decision are having on all parts of the Body and especially those who fear they will be abandoned”.