Bishop of Swindon disappointed over vote on women bishop result

Bishop of Swindon, Dr Lee Rayfield

Bishop of Swindon, Dr Lee Rayfield

First published in News by

THE Bishop of Swindon said he felt ‘devastated’ when he heard that the vote to ordain women as bishops in the Church of England had been defeated.

The draft legislation failed to clear its final hurdle last night and although it was carried in the houses of bishops and clergy in the General Synod, it failed to gain the necessary two-thirds majority amongst lay members.

If six people had changed their vote from no to yes in the House of Lait, the legislation would have received the necessary two-thirds majority in all three houses of the General Synod.

The vote was billed as the biggest in the 20 years since the General Synod backed the introduction of women priests in 1992 and comes after 42 out of the 44 dioceses of the Church of England approved the legislation.

If the measure had received final approval, it would have gone to the Houses of Parliament before royal assent with the first female bishops on course to be appointed as early as 2014.

“Although I had been aware that the vote in the House of Laity was being projected as being very tight, I think I could not allow myself to imagine this happening,” said Bishop Lee.

“The plain fact is that this will not be understood by the majority of people in the country or our churches. “As a female colleague said to me, once again this sends out a signal that women are a problem for the Church. It confirms the perception that we live in a parallel universe, it demotivates church members and their leaders, and it locks us into further protracted wrangling and debates in which society at large has increasingly less interest.

“I feel deeply for our women clergy in the Diocese and further afield and recognise the pain this will bring.

“I believe we had reached a position where people with differing perspectives and needs could be respected and held together.

“Given what has already been done to achieve this I cannot see something much better being forthcoming in the future.

“We say the Church of England is ‘Episcopally led and synodically governed’. This result raises clear questions about that balance and the health of our structures.

“In following Jesus Christ the Church of England can expect to receive many wounds, but they feel so much more painful when they are self-inflicted.”

John Sentamu, the second most senior bishop in the Church, admitted it the result was ‘very disappointing’ but insisted the Church was not ‘dead’ and maintained that the principle of female bishops had been accepted.

Dr Sentamu said he was confident there would be women bishops in his lifetime, suggesting that revised legislation would receive the necessary support to be passed.

Comments (11)

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1:49pm Wed 21 Nov 12

house on the hill says...

So a bunch of deluded fantasists turned out to be sexist as well, who would have thought it! Lost touch with reality a long time ago clearly.
So a bunch of deluded fantasists turned out to be sexist as well, who would have thought it! Lost touch with reality a long time ago clearly. house on the hill
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Wed 21 Nov 12

I 2 Could B says...

Realistically, nobody but the Church themselves have any interest in this.

Have women priests, don't have women priests - it won't make any difference to the vast majority of people in this country who don't go to church and who have no real faith to speak of.

In fact, even the Church itself admits that without the rampant uncontrolled immigration of the last 15 years, there'd be virtually nobody in churches on a Sunday morning.
Realistically, nobody but the Church themselves have any interest in this. [p] Have women priests, don't have women priests - it won't make any difference to the vast majority of people in this country who don't go to church and who have no real faith to speak of. [p] In fact, even the Church itself admits that without the rampant uncontrolled immigration of the last 15 years, there'd be virtually nobody in churches on a Sunday morning. I 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

2:08pm Wed 21 Nov 12

house on the hill says...

I 2 Could be, that is sadly very true. but when you remember that the Catholic Church is so selfish and arrogant that it had to create its own state and bank so it didnt have to share its wealth with anyone else and lock away vast treasures in the Vatican Archives it is easy to see why more and more people are seeing through the hypocricy. Add to that the fact that the age of consent in Vatican City is 12 which is truly appalling and you wonder why anyone follows religion anymore.

The C of E was formed by the selfishness of Henry viii wanting a son and heir and the Pope wouldnt give him a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, so he broke away and forned his own Church so he could jump on Anne Bolyn instead. The more worrying thing is I doubt many people actually knew all that.
I 2 Could be, that is sadly very true. but when you remember that the Catholic Church is so selfish and arrogant that it had to create its own state and bank so it didnt have to share its wealth with anyone else and lock away vast treasures in the Vatican Archives it is easy to see why more and more people are seeing through the hypocricy. Add to that the fact that the age of consent in Vatican City is 12 which is truly appalling and you wonder why anyone follows religion anymore. The C of E was formed by the selfishness of Henry viii wanting a son and heir and the Pope wouldnt give him a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, so he broke away and forned his own Church so he could jump on Anne Bolyn instead. The more worrying thing is I doubt many people actually knew all that. house on the hill
  • Score: 0

2:42pm Wed 21 Nov 12

dc the 2nd says...

The C of E should get its tax breaks stopped until it follows the same discrimination laws as every other institution in the UK.

Remember 26 seats in the house of lords are reserved for Bishops, so this guarantees male candidates only. It also begs the questions as to why an organisation with gender discrimination built in should get seats at all.
The C of E should get its tax breaks stopped until it follows the same discrimination laws as every other institution in the UK. Remember 26 seats in the house of lords are reserved for Bishops, so this guarantees male candidates only. It also begs the questions as to why an organisation with gender discrimination built in should get seats at all. dc the 2nd
  • Score: 0

2:44pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Davey Gravey says...

Do people still believe in such stupid fantasy? When are they going to wake up
Do people still believe in such stupid fantasy? When are they going to wake up Davey Gravey
  • Score: 0

2:59pm Wed 21 Nov 12

PJC says...

house on the hill wrote:
I 2 Could be, that is sadly very true. but when you remember that the Catholic Church is so selfish and arrogant that it had to create its own state and bank so it didnt have to share its wealth with anyone else and lock away vast treasures in the Vatican Archives it is easy to see why more and more people are seeing through the hypocricy. Add to that the fact that the age of consent in Vatican City is 12 which is truly appalling and you wonder why anyone follows religion anymore.

The C of E was formed by the selfishness of Henry viii wanting a son and heir and the Pope wouldnt give him a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, so he broke away and forned his own Church so he could jump on Anne Bolyn instead. The more worrying thing is I doubt many people actually knew all that.
Anyone who ever went to school ought to know that.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: I 2 Could be, that is sadly very true. but when you remember that the Catholic Church is so selfish and arrogant that it had to create its own state and bank so it didnt have to share its wealth with anyone else and lock away vast treasures in the Vatican Archives it is easy to see why more and more people are seeing through the hypocricy. Add to that the fact that the age of consent in Vatican City is 12 which is truly appalling and you wonder why anyone follows religion anymore. The C of E was formed by the selfishness of Henry viii wanting a son and heir and the Pope wouldnt give him a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, so he broke away and forned his own Church so he could jump on Anne Bolyn instead. The more worrying thing is I doubt many people actually knew all that.[/p][/quote]Anyone who ever went to school ought to know that. PJC
  • Score: 0

3:17pm Wed 21 Nov 12

PaulD says...

maybe all the clergy who didn't like the result ought to resign from their organisation and go and get proper jobs
maybe all the clergy who didn't like the result ought to resign from their organisation and go and get proper jobs PaulD
  • Score: 0

3:42pm Wed 21 Nov 12

The Real Librarian says...

Another nonsense decision from the COfE House of Lait, (Milk!)


If you are going to have female Vicars you have to have female Bishops at some point.


The CofE accepted the idea of women priests 20 years ago. That was a genuine ecumenical matter, this is just about fairness.

Its all moot to me 'cos I is an atheist, but what the believers need to ask themselves is this.

With all the stuff he, she or it has going on, do you really think God cares if the Vicar's genitals are internal or external?

Frankly, if he, she or it does worry about such details, its no advert for worshipin him, her or it!
Another nonsense decision from the COfE House of Lait, (Milk!) If you are going to have female Vicars you have to have female Bishops at some point. The CofE accepted the idea of women priests 20 years ago. That was a genuine ecumenical matter, this is just about fairness. Its all moot to me 'cos I is an atheist, but what the believers need to ask themselves is this. With all the stuff he, she or it has going on, do you really think God cares if the Vicar's genitals are internal or external? Frankly, if he, she or it does worry about such details, its no advert for worshipin him, her or it! The Real Librarian
  • Score: 0

4:13pm Wed 21 Nov 12

I 2 Could B says...

PJC wrote:
house on the hill wrote:
I 2 Could be, that is sadly very true. but when you remember that the Catholic Church is so selfish and arrogant that it had to create its own state and bank so it didnt have to share its wealth with anyone else and lock away vast treasures in the Vatican Archives it is easy to see why more and more people are seeing through the hypocricy. Add to that the fact that the age of consent in Vatican City is 12 which is truly appalling and you wonder why anyone follows religion anymore.

The C of E was formed by the selfishness of Henry viii wanting a son and heir and the Pope wouldnt give him a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, so he broke away and forned his own Church so he could jump on Anne Bolyn instead. The more worrying thing is I doubt many people actually knew all that.
Anyone who ever went to school ought to know that.
Well, anyone who went to school prior to about 1990, anyway.

And, of course, don't forget that there are now several million people living in the UK who've never spent a single second in a British schoolroom.
[quote][p][bold]PJC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: I 2 Could be, that is sadly very true. but when you remember that the Catholic Church is so selfish and arrogant that it had to create its own state and bank so it didnt have to share its wealth with anyone else and lock away vast treasures in the Vatican Archives it is easy to see why more and more people are seeing through the hypocricy. Add to that the fact that the age of consent in Vatican City is 12 which is truly appalling and you wonder why anyone follows religion anymore. The C of E was formed by the selfishness of Henry viii wanting a son and heir and the Pope wouldnt give him a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, so he broke away and forned his own Church so he could jump on Anne Bolyn instead. The more worrying thing is I doubt many people actually knew all that.[/p][/quote]Anyone who ever went to school ought to know that.[/p][/quote]Well, anyone who went to school prior to about 1990, anyway. [p] And, of course, don't forget that there are now several million people living in the UK who've never spent a single second in a British schoolroom. I 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

5:50pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Hmmmf says...

Whinging loser loses vote, whinges, shock. Omnipotent superbeing not available for comment, 'free will' probably to blame says agent.
Whinging loser loses vote, whinges, shock. Omnipotent superbeing not available for comment, 'free will' probably to blame says agent. Hmmmf
  • Score: 0

6:34pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Robh says...

Why do some women always expect to gatecrash male domains. They are always to try and jump on someone elses bandwagon.

If women want a different style of religion then get out there and see if it works. I honestly think that the majority of churchgoers do not want women bishops or even women priests.

What other changes do they want? Ms Christmas, Ms Fawkes, Ms Blobby. Was Jesus actually a man?
Why do some women always expect to gatecrash male domains. They are always to try and jump on someone elses bandwagon. If women want a different style of religion then get out there and see if it works. I honestly think that the majority of churchgoers do not want women bishops or even women priests. What other changes do they want? Ms Christmas, Ms Fawkes, Ms Blobby. Was Jesus actually a man? Robh
  • Score: 0

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