Diocesan Synod votes for amendment to Clause 5 of the Draft Bishop and Priests Measure to be ‘reconsidered’

Following an emergency debate on an amendment made by the House of Bishops to the Draft Measure relating to the consecration of women as bishops, Canterbury Diocesan Synod voted in favour of calling on ‘the House of Bishops to reconsider the amendment to Clause 5 of the Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure’, at its meeting on Wednesday 4 July.

The motion was brought to Diocesan Synod by the House of Laity; General Synod representative, David Kemp spoke to the motion. After detailing the history of the measure for the consecration of women as Bishops which was endorsed by 42 of the 44 Dioceses, including Canterbury Diocese in 2011, David Kemp described the two amendments to the measure. The first amendment, David said, was a non-controversial clarification of language, but the second amendment, which was made to provide more confidence to churches unable to accept women bishops, altered the original measure to such an extent that in David’s opinion, it would now be impossible for General Synod to approve it. General Synod are due to take a final vote on the women bishops Measure at its meeting in York on Monday 9 July.

David, who pointed out that the House of Bishops were entitled to amend the Measure and that they had done so with ‘good intentions’, said that there were no opportunities for the amendments to be properly scrutinised. He said that only the original measure had a chance of approval by General Synod and yet the only version they would be able to vote on, was the Measure with the controversial amends. Remarking that a period of reflection and prayer is required before General Synod should vote on the Measure, he commented: “In this atmosphere it is hard for us to hear each other clearly.”

After a debate, members of Diocesan Synod voted in favour of the motion: For: 64, against: 8, with 5 abstentions.

Ends

Further information from:

Emily Shepherd, Director of Communications, Canterbury Diocese 01227 459 401, 07876 210 446, eshepherd@diocant.org

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