Today's synod result re women bishops

I'm heaving a small, but slightly confused sigh of relief over the outcome of voting in General Synod this afternoon about the women bishops' draft legislation. 

Thanks to Thinking Anglicans for publishing the text of the motion that was passed late this afternoon after about 3 hours of debate. Here it is:

Item 13 (as amended by item 35) 
That this Synod, 
(a) noting the significant support the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure has received in the Houses of Bishops, Clergy and Laity of diocesan synods, and 
(b) desiring that the draft Measure be returned to the Synod for consideration on the Final Approval Stage substantially unamended so that it can be seen if the proposals embodied in it in the form in which it has been referred to the dioceses can attain the level of support required to achieve Final Approval, request the House of Bishops in the exercise of its power under Standing Order 60(b) not to amend the draft Measure substantially.

I'm now awaiting the interpretation.
I think I know what this means, but I could be wrong.

I think it means that the House of Bishops would be very silly to attempt a substantial amendment of the draft Measure, especially after 42 of 44 of the dioceses supported it and now General Synod is asking the House of Bishops not to amend it substantially.

On the other hand, what does 'substantially' mean?
And who knows what the Bishops will do with this?
Are we in for yet more C. of E. fudge?

What do you think happened today? In plain English?


  1. Best that we could do. Now need to tell Bishops that we want no compromise or fudge about episcopacy. Or if their amendments are substantial they will have to
    Go back to the diocese. Watch carefully the Ordinariate too

  2. After you with the fudge... "Substantially" is quite a word. I'd expect a few more amendments come July.

  3. I a simple man of great faith and I think its about time that synod got off its ****** and started blessing the church with women bishops I am convinced that our ladies are blessed with holiness and the love of Jesus I suggest that He is laughing at your silly human antics and weeping at the same time. I know several lady vicars and they shine with the face of Our Lord.


  4. Thanks for the comments.
    ArchdeaconKaren - You're probably right that it's the best you (General Synod) could do in the circumstances. Can't understand who is to decide if any Bishops' amendments are substantial? July General Synod?
    Archdruid Eileen - I find the vagueness of 'substantially' worrying. I can recommend an excellent fudge shop in Edinburgh if your supplies need replenishing. Do the Beaker Folk have a ritual for 'passing the fudge' which all must share except those who don't believe fudge can or should be passed?
    Lionel - bless you for your faith and encouragement. What will all this look like in 200 years?

  5. As one of the Deanery Synod that promoted the motion to Diocesan Synod that got on the agenda of General Synod...the word 'substantially' in this context is a decent legal term, apparently that (without illegally limiting the House of Bishops) fires a shot across thier bows and says 'This is what was voted for nationally - if you change it, then everyone will have to be consulted again - and think of the consequences'. The real conflict is between what the majority of bishops believe in their hearts to be the best way forward and their loyalty to the Archbishops who are trying to appease the Taliban anti-women-bishop front.

  6. Anonymous - yes I see that 'substantially' in this context is 'a decent legal term' - but I assume it can still be argued over - and that's what worries me. I think it would be a disaster for the C.of E. if everyone had to be consulted again. It would be saying to the Dioceses - 'we asked your views but we didn't like them so we're asking you to think again'. Although I don't agree with the 'anti-women-bishop front' I would not equate them with 'the Taliban' as you seem to do.


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