The November 2 edition of The Living Church is available online to registered subscribers. This issue features a cover essay by Colin Podmore on how the Church of England’s General Synod came to approve admitting women to the episcopate:
In November 2012 legislation for women to be bishops in the Church of England failed to receive final approval; 132 members of the General Synod’s House of Laity voted in favour, 74 against (six fewer than the necessary two-thirds). But in July 2014 new legislation passed comfortably — by 152 to 45 (with five recorded abstentions).
What had happened? Had 20-odd lay members changed their minds about women’s ordination? Were members swayed — on either occasion — by powerful speeches?
No. For many years, less than onethird of the House of Laity has been opposed in principle. The former legislation was defeated because a small number who support women in the episcopate judged its terms unacceptable. In July 2014 the Catholic Group signalled that it was content with the new package, and encouraged those who could in conscience vote in favour to do so. On both occasions those in touch with the swing voters knew well in advance what the outcome would be, even if the legislation’s supporters did not.
PB: Provisional Roles Help Women
From the Pulpit
Sanctified Wealth | By Christopher Wells
Blood on My Hands
Being a Hunter and a Christian Clergyman
By Will Brown
Being Christian by Rowan Williams
Review by Paul A. Nesta
Women as Bishops
Rescuing Breadth and Diversity in England
By Colin Podmore
Bishop Stephen Sykes
Demanding and Endearing
By Rowan Williams
People & Places