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Norwich says ‘yes’ October 21, 2011

Posted by charleswread in Uncategorized.
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And now, live from Norwich, it’s the quiz of the week…
Well actually it’s not, but I drive past the Anglia TV studios every day and can’t help thinking of that iconic intro to The Sale of the Century! The real news from Norwich is that Norwich diocese voted in favour of the women bishops legislation and against a following motion at diocesan synod last week. The figures were:
Bishops: 3 in favour, none against and no abstentions
Clergy: 33 for, 12 against and 2 abstentions
Laity: 31 for, 11 against – no abstentions

So like most dioceses we are in favour by huge majorities. However, the following motion voting was closer:
Bishops: none in dfavour, 1 against and 2 abstaining
Clergy: 21 for, 22 against and 3 abstaining
Laity: 17 for, 24 against and 1 abstention

Most dioceses which voted on this (and not all have done in the process so far) have rejected it by bigger margins. Why is Norwich different?

Someone told me afterwards that they thought we had a lot of conservative evangelicals on our synod, which may be true. However, I wonder if something else is not at play here? We are a very happy and harmonious diocese and only have 2 parishes with Extended Episcopal Oversight (Resolution C / PEV / ‘flying bishops’), so I wonder if people were sympathetic to the idea of “more provision for those opposed” because thay have not seen how damaging and divisive such things can be? In the north, I have seen some clear examples of people using the PEV / Act of Synod provision to pretend to be a church within a church. We have not had that here. I am opoosed to the following motion because it would lead to greater division (and make women bishops and male bishops who ordain women) into second class bishops. The Code of Practice provision is as far as I can in conscience go.