Women Bishops: Update

Thinking Anglicans has noted that earlier this month, two more Church of England synods (Blackburn and Southwell and Nottingham) voted in favour of the procedures approved at the general synod for the ordination of women bishops. That’s 27 synodal votes now completed, all in favour, with just 16 to come. That’s a clear majority already, and the measure will certainly return to the general synod in July.

The crucial question of course, is will it finally pass? The indications are, almost certainly yes.  At the last vote, the measure only just failed, because it narrowly missed the necessary two thirds majority in the house of laity.  The votes at the diocesan synods that have been completed, show that this time around, support in all dioceses, and across all three houses, is even stronger than it was in 2012.

A useful chart at Peter Owen summarises the votes for all dioceses – with the scheduled dates for those synods not yet held.  The total votes cumulative votes so far for each of the three houses are:

  • Bishops:  43  (96%)  in favour, 2 against.
  • Clergy: 1022 (90%) in favour, 91 against.
  • Laity: 1143 (92%)  in favour, 87 against.

Can there be any doubt that women bishops are finally on the way for English Anglicans?

For the record, women bishops have already been consecrated in:

  • Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Cuba
  • Ireland
  • Southern Africa
  • South India
  • United States

In addition, women bishops have been approved in principle, but none yet consecrated, in:

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Central America
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • North India
  • Philippines
  • Scotland
  • Sudan
  • Uganda
  • Wales

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