Showing posts with label diocesan synods vote. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diocesan synods vote. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Opinions differ on the number of provinces who have adopted, suscribed to, acceded to (or whatever other term is used) the Anglican Covenant.  Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Office claims that eight provinces have adopted the covenant, while Simon Sarmiento at Thinking Anglicans suggests six.

Kearon does not explicitly say that the covenant was rejected in the dioceses in the Church of England.  He speaks simply of "today's news" and notes, "What next steps are taken by the Church of England is up to that Province."  Nor does Kearon mention that the Episcopal Church in the Philippines rejected the proposed covenant.   Despite the rejection of the covenant by "that province" (Church of England), the provinces in the Communion which have not yet declared their positions are encouraged to carry on with consideration of the covenant.

According to the text of the proposed covenant:
(4.1.6) This Covenant becomes active for a Church when that Church adopts the Covenant.
Now that the 'mother' church has rejected the covenant, I  wonder if the provinces that have already signed on are asking themselves, "Where do we go from here?"  The covenant states only the following:
(4.2.1) The Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and of the Primates' Meeting, or any body that succeeds it, shall have the duty of overseeing the functioning of the Covenant in the life of the Anglican Communion. 
There is no prescribed time limit for adopting the covenant, nor is there a requirement for a specific number of provinces to sign on before the document is in effect.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Blackburn: covenant accepted
Bishops: 2 for / 0 against / 0 abstentions
Clergy: 40 for / 7 against / 1 abstention
Laity: 33 for / 16 against / 1 abstention
Exeter: covenant accepted
Bishops: 3 for / 0 against / 0 abstentions
Clergy: 28 for / 8 against / 1 abstention
Laity: 30 for / 20 against / 2 abstentions
Guildford: covenant rejected
Bishops: 2 for / 0 against
Clergy: 14 for / 22 against / 1 abstention
Laity: 23 for / 18 against / 2 abstentions
Lincoln: covenant rejected
Bishops: 0 for / 3 against / 0 abstentions (corrected figures)
Clergy: 6 for / 28 against / 3 abstentions
Laity: 2 for / 34 against / 2 abstentions
Oxford: covenant rejected (some uncertainty in exact figures, apparently the tellers did not agree, but definitely lost in house of clergy)
Bishops: 3 for / 1 against
Clergy: 14 or 15 for / 36 or 38 against / 2 abstentions
Laity: 32 or 35 for / 24 or 29 against / 3 abstentions
Peterborough: covenant accepted
Bishops: 2 for / 0 against
Clergy: 22 for / 19 against / 1 abstention
Laity: 28 for / 13 against / 7 abstentions

Vote totals from Simon Kershaw at Thinking Anglicans.

"There was some confusion in the tally of Oxford's votes, which has made the update of the statistics difficult, because I had to decide how to include them. There is no doubt about the end result in Oxford: the Covenant proposal was defeated in the House of Clergy."
Bishops: 79.5% for, 14.1% against, 6.4% abstentions
Clergy: 45.7% for, 50.1% against, 4.3% abstentions
Laity: 48.6% for, 46.4% against, 5.0% abstentions

Overall: 48.1% for, 47.2% against, 4.7% abstentions
Overall (clergy and laity only): 47.3% for, 48.1% against, 4.7% abstentions
Percentages from Alan Perry at Comprehensive Unity.



LONDON – No Anglican Covenant Coalition Moderator, the Revd Dr Lesley Crawley, has issued the following statement on the defeat of the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant in the Church of England.

“With today’s results from the dioceses of Oxford and Lincoln, the proposed Anglican Covenant is now dead in the water in the Church of England. This also poses serious problems for the Covenant in other Provinces as it seems nonsensical to have the Archbishop of Canterbury in the second tier of the Anglican Communion and excluded from the central committees.

“When we launched the No Anglican Covenant Coalition 18 months ago, we were assured that the Anglican Covenant was an unstoppable juggernaut. We started as simply a band of bloggers, but we would like to thank the hundreds of supporters and our patrons for their dedication to promoting debate. The Covenant needed the approval of 23 diocesan synods, as of today, that result is no longer possible.

“Especially we would like to congratulate people in Diocesan Synods across the Church of England who, despite attempts in many dioceses to silence or marginalize dissenting voices, endeavoured to promote debate, ensuring that the Anglican Covenant was subjected to significant and meaningful scrutiny. We found, as the debate went on, that the more people read and studied the Covenant, the less they liked it.

“Under Church of England procedures , this proposal to centralize Communion-wide authority in the hands of a small, self-selecting group cannot return to the agenda of General Synod for at least three years.

“We are seeing the momentum turning internationally as well. The Episcopal Church of the Philippines has officially rejected the Covenant, the opposition of the Tikanga Maori virtually assures that the Covenant will be rejected in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and we are seeing increasing opposition in other Provinces of the Communion.

“While today’s diocesan synod results are exciting and gratifying, we are well aware that there is still work to do. However, if the proposed Anglican Covenant does not stand up to scrutiny in the Church of England, we are confident that it will not stand up to scrutiny elsewhere.

“We hope that the Church of England will now look to bring reconciliation within the Anglican Communion by means of strengthening relationships rather than punitive legislation.”

Friday, March 23, 2012


Why not click over to Paul Bagshaw's post at Not the Same Stream to read his excellent advice writ large in LIVING COLOR on casting your vote on the covenant.  Best of all, Paul is English and not some ex-colonial interloper interfering in England's affairs.

Alas, the covenant is the affair of everyone who is a member of a church in the Anglican Communion.


Tomorrow, March 24, 2012, six diocesan synods in the Church of England will vote on whether to adopt the proposed Anglican Covenant.

  • Blackburn
  • Exeter
  • Guildford
  • Lincoln
  • Oxford
  • Peterborough

There are 12 dioceses yet to vote.

Dioceses for the Covenant to date: 12

Dioceses against the Covenant to date: 20

For the Covenant to succeed 11 more dioceses must vote in favor

For the Covenant to fail 2 more dioceses must vote against

Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with those who take counsel and vote on Anglican Covenant. Teach them in all things to seek first your honor and glory. Guide them to perceive what is right, and grant them both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
From the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church (edited).
Diarmaid MacCulloch is Professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford and Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford. He was knighted for his service to scholarship in January 2012.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Archbisop of Canterbury Rowan Williams

Bishop James Jones - Presidential Address - Diocesan Synod March 2012 from Diocese of Liverpool on Vimeo.

Six dioceses in the Church of England will vote on the proposed covenant this coming Saturday, March 24, 2012:
  • Blackburn
  • Exeter
  • Guildford
  • Lincoln
  • Oxford
  • Peterborough
I'm told the video by the Archbishop of Canterbury will be shown at synod in the Diocese of Lincoln before the vote on the proposed Anglican Covenant with no accompanying visual giving the opposing view.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Three out of five dioceses voting March 17 voted against the Anglican Covenant.  Two voted for.  

Chester For 
Bishops For: 3,  Against: 0,  Abstained: 0
Clergy   For: 22,  Against: 14,  Abstained: 5
Laity     For: 26,  Against: 23,  Abstained: 5
Ely  Against
Bishops For: 1,  Against: 0,  Abstained: 1
Clergy   For: 16,  Against: 23,  Abstained: 1
Laity     For: 19,  Against: 19,  Abstained: -
Liverpool  Against
Bishop James has spoken against the covenant in his presidential address before the covenant debate.  
Bishops For: 0,  Against: 2,  Abstained: 0
Clergy   For: 10,  Against: 26,  Abstained: 1
Laity     For: 8,  Against: 28,  Abstained: 5
Norwich For
Bishops For: 3,  Against: 0,  Abstained: 0
Clergy   For: 26,  Against: 10,  Abstained: 0
Laity     For: 19,  Against: 15,  Abstained: 1
St. Albans  Against
Bishops For: 2,  Against: 0,  Abstained: 0
Clergy   For: 21,  Against: 31,  Abstained: -
Laity     For: 17,  Against: 44,  Abstained: - 
Dioceses for the Covenant to date: 12
Dioceses against the Covenant to date: 20
For the Covenant to succeed 11 more dioceses must vote in favour
For the Covenant to fail 2 more dioceses must vote against
There are 12 dioceses yet to vote.
Dioceses voting next Saturday:
  • Blackburn
  • Exeter
  • Guildford
  • Lincoln
  • Oxford
  • Peterborough

After that, London votes on 29 March (Thursday) and Manchester on the 31st. Southwell and Nottingham vote on Thursday 12 April, Chichester on 21st, with Newcastle and York bringing up the rear on 28 April.

 My thanks to Paul Bagshaw at Not the Same Stream.  The information above is lifted from his blog.

 Alan Perry at Comprehensive Unity crunched the numbers to give us the percentages.
Total figures for the 32 dioceses that have voted show the following breakdown:

Bishops: 80.7% for, 11.3% against, 8.1% abstentions
Clergy: 44.8% for, 50.7% against, 4.5% abstentions
Laity: 48.1% for, 47.0% against,  4.9% abstentions

Support continues to drop among the bishops. A majority of clergy is against the Covenant, and less than a majority of laity is for (though a slim plurality of laity is for).

Overall: 47.4% for, 47.8% against, 4.8% abstentions
Overall (clergy and laity only): 46.6% for, 48.7% against, 4.7% abstentions

A growing plurality of the overall vote is against the Covenant. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The No Anglican Covenant has issued a news release remarking on the status of Covenant voting in the Church of England and emphasizing that the Coalition is against the adoption of the Covenant but not opposed to the Anglican Communion. You can read a PDF version of the news release here. Below is reproduced the title and body of the news release.

LONDON – With more than half of English dioceses having voted, leaders of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition are cautiously optimistic. To date, a significant majority of dioceses have rejected the proposed Anglican Covenant. Coalition Moderator, the Revd Dr Lesley Crawley, welcomes the introduction of following motions at several recent synods emphasizing support for the Anglican Communion. Four dioceses have already passed following motions (Bath and Wells; Chelmsford; Worcester; Southwark) and a further six have following motions on the agenda (St Alban’s; Chester; Oxford; Guilford; Exeter; London).

“The more widely the Covenant is read and discussed, the more likely people are to see it as a deeply flawed approach to the challenges of the Anglican Communion in the 21st century,” said Crawley. “The introduction of following motions in several dioceses has emphasized what has been our position from the beginning: we oppose the Covenant because we love the Anglican Communion.”

“The proposed Covenant envisages the possibility that Provinces of the Communion may be barred from representing Anglicanism on certain councils and commissions with the clear implication that they are no longer sufficiently Anglican,” said Coalition Patron Bishop John Saxbee. “It is precisely this dimension of the Covenant which renders the Covenant itself un-Anglican.”

“Some have argued that the Covenant is necessary for ecumenical relations to indicate how Anglicans understand catholicity, even though this is already laid out in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral and the Declaration of Assent,” according to Coalition Patron Bishop Peter Selby. “The Covenant adds nothing to these other than a bureaucratic disciplinary regime which denies to Anglicanism a distinctiveness which ecumenical partners might come to appreciate or even envy.”

“I’m very disappointed that some Covenant supporters have tried to turn this into a contest about who loves the Communion more, like self-centred parents in some ugly divorce drama,” said Canadian Coalition member, the Ven Alan Perry. “Our position has always been that ‘No’ to the Covenant really is ‘Yes’ to the Communion. Companion diocese relationships came into being without the Covenant and will continue to exist, Covenant or no. Anglicans from around the world care about their Anglican brothers and sisters in places like Haiti or Zimbabwe, and we will continue to care about them with or without the proposed Anglican Covenant. Our current ecumenical relationships began long before the idea of an Anglican Covenant, and they will continue whether the Covenant is accepted or rejected. We are a family, and we shall continue to be a family regardless of what happens.”

To date, the proposed Anglican Covenant has been approved by ten dioceses of the Church of England (Lichfield; Durham; Europe; Bristol; Canterbury; Winchester; Sheffield; Bradford; Carlisle; Coventry) and rejected by 17 (Wakefield; St Edmundsbury and Ipswich; Truro; Birmingham; Derby; Gloucester; Portsmouth; Rochester; Salisbury; Leicester; Sodor and Man; Chelmsford; Hereford; Ripon and Leeds; Bath and Wells; Southwark; Worcester). Approval by 23 diocesan synods is required for the Covenant to return to General Synod for further consideration. Rejection by 22 dioceses would effectively derail approval of the Covenant by the Church of England.

From the No Anglican Covenant Coalition.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Final results for the day in: final update 13.57

Bath and Wells Against

Bishops For: 0, Against: 1, Abstained: 1
Clergy For: 17, Against: 22, Abstained: 1
Laity For: 18, Against: 23, Abstained: 1

Carlisle For

Bishops For: 2, Against: 0, Abstained: 0
Clergy For: 19, Against: 13, Abstained: 2
Laity For: 33, Against: 17, Abstained: 0

Coventry For

Bishops For: 2, Against: 0, Abstained: 0
Clergy For: 22, Against: 7, Abstained: 0
Laity For: 26, Against: 2, Abstained:

Ripon and Leeds Against

Bishops For: 2, Against: 0, Abstained: 0
Clergy For: 12, Against: 22, Abstained: -
Laity For: 8, Against: 17, Abstained: -

Southwark Against

Bishops For: 1, Against: 0, Abstained: 1
Clergy For: 10, Against: 27, Abstained: 2
Laity For: 21, Against: 32, Abstained: 0

Worcester Against

Bishops For: 2, Against: 0, Abstained: 0
Clergy For: 5, Against: 19, Abstained: -
Laity For: 6, Against: 22, Abstained: -


Dioceses for the Covenant to date: 10
Dioceses against the Covenant to date: 17


For the Covenant to succeed 13 more dioceses must vote in favour
For the Covenant to fail 5 more dioceses must vote against

There are 17 dioceses yet to vote.

Dioceses voting next Saturday:

St Albans

Results copied directly from Paul Basgshaw at Not the Same Stream.

The numbers are better than I hoped for. I would have considered 3 for and 3 against a good day. No proponent of the covenant can now say that there is a consensus favoring the document in the Church of England. And it's plain to see the bishops are either well out of touch with their flocks or extremely loyal to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Only in Bath and Wells and Southwark did bishops stand apart from Canterbury.

UPDATE: Alan Perry does the math for us at Comprehensive Unity.
Across all 27 dioceses, the votes by houses look like this:
Bishops: 82.0% for, 10.0% against, 8.0% abstentions
Clergy: 44.6% for, 50.8% against, 4.7% abstentions
Laity: 50.1% for, 45.2% against, 4.7% abstentions
Comparing against last week's figures, one can see that support is dropping in all houses, opposition is growing, and confidence is growing (judging by the declining number of abstentions) except in the House of Bishops.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Tomorrow six Church of England diocesan synods will meet to vote on whether to adopt the Anglican Covenant. The vote now stands at 13 dioceses against, and 8 dioceses for. Posted below are three videos which may be helpful to synod members who are as yet undecided as to how they will vote.

In the video, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams tells why he thinks the Anglican Covenant matters. I hope for a different outcome than the archbishop, that a majority of Church of England dioceses votes 'no' to the covenant.

Louie Crew, founder of Integrity, makes great good sense with a few, clear, well-chosen words as he cautions against probable punitive consequences of adopting the Anglican Covenant.

There are other ways forward, and I urge you if you have anything to do with this process, make sure that this Covenant is voted down.
Diarmaid MacCulloch is Professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford and Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford. He was knighted for his service to scholarship in January 2012.

I pray that God bestows the gift of wisdom on those who vote.

Note: The idea for the title of my post is from Kelvin Holdsworth at What's in Kelvin's Head?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


All right, I admit it: I am addicted to efforts to bring down the proposed Anglican Covenant (PAC) to a crushing defeat. I find the events in the Church of England quite exciting. Who would ever have thought there was a chance of defeating the covenant in the Archbishop of Canterbury's own church? I attribute no small part of the success in diocesan synods of the Church of England voting 'no' to the efforts of NACC, of which I am a part, though I make only the smallest of contributions. Please, even if you could not care less about the Anglican Covenant, bear with me through my craziness until I wear out or until we can say, 'Mission accomplished!'

You may be curious as to why I am intensely interested and involved in the PAC. What I foresee coming out of GC of the Episcopal Church in July is some type of resolution for 'further study' of the document, so why worry? (Not that we should take anyhing for granted!) A good many of our sisters and brothers in other churches in the communion do not favor adoption of the covenant. Especially now in England with diocesan synods voting, my intention with my numerous posts is to help my English friends and others around the communion as much as possible to achieve their goal. My poor efforts may not help at all, but I have to try to put out information to assist anyone involved in voting to make informed decisions about whether to vote for or against the PAC.

The heavy hitters amongst the proponents of the Anglican Covenant are fighting for the life of the covenant in the Church of England. The vote now stands at 13 diocesan synods voting against the covenant and 9 voting in favor. This coming Saturday, six diocesan synods will vote.
Ripon and Leeds

Bath and Wells




The members of synods have a choice on how to vote, or there would be no vote, but only theoretically according to the Anglican Communion Office, which wants the members to believe that there's only one right way to vote: in favor of adopting the PAC. Thus the ACO provides only pro-PAC material

Below is a round-up of links to posts around and about the internet giving reasons why the covenant should be defeated.

Ann Fontaine at What the Tide Brings In responds to Gregory Cameron's defense of the covenant at Fulcrum.

Benny Hazlehurst at Benny's Blog:
For example, I live in an area of Salisbury diocese where our local Bishop, Graham Kings, is vociferously in favour of the Covenant. He has devoted much time and effort in writing, speaking and arguing for it - yet in this same diocese our new Diocesan Bishop voted against the Covenant in Diocesan Synod, as did Graham Kings predecessor, Bishop Tim Thornton in his diocese of Truro.
Laura at Lay Anglicana:
But I have another suggestion. The most exciting spectator sport on offer this Saturday, 10 March 2012, is the Pro Anglican Covenant v Anti Anglican Covenant encounter being played out in another six diocesan synods across the land. These are exceptional times we live in – it has been said (rather rudely) that a deanery synod is a collection of people waiting to go home, and I have not heard that diocesan synods are any more gripping. But, if you have any imagination at all, this contest should have you on the edge of your seats with excitement.
Tobias Haller at In a Godward Direction:

with apologies to Lewis Carroll. I mean, serious apologies...

'Twas britigg, and the slithy coves
Did gyre and wimple in the nave;
All mimsy were the piscophobes
As the Pre-Lates misbehave.
You know you want to read the rest.

The No Anglican Covenant Coalition website provides a wealth of material advocating for rejection of the PAC, but, for the sake of balance, provides quotes and links for material in favor of the PAC. which is more than I can say for the ACO.

My suggestions to any involved in the process are:
Read the text of the PAC.

Read both pro and con arguments.

Make up your own mind as to whether the covenant is the solution to the disagreements in the Anglican Communion.

Vote accordingly.

Monday, February 27, 2012


The Dioceses of Sheffield and Winchester voted to adopt the Anglican Covenant. The count is now 7 CofE dioceses voting in favor of the covenant and 10 voting against.

My dream is for the Church of England to kill off the covenant, and then the rest of us in the Anglican Communion can forget about the pernicious document and stop talking about it.

H/T to Simon Sarmiento at Thinking Anglicans.

Cartoon by MadPriest.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


From the No Anglican Covenant Coalition:

Church of England
General Synod voted 24 November 2010 to send the Covenant to diocesan synods. If a majority of synods , the question will be brought back to General Synod for a final vote.
Diocesan votes in favor of adopting the Covenant:


Diocesan votes against adopting the Covenant:

St Edmundsbury & Ipswich
(Added as per votes taken today)

Since the Anglican Communion Office sends out only pro-Covenant material, our like-minded brothers and sisters in England (with a little help from their friends in other churches of the Communion) are working double time to assure that as many dioceses as possible receive material presenting the argument against the adoption of the Covenant. It seems that when the delegates to diocesan synods hear both sides of the argument, they are more likely to vote against adoption of the Covenant.

That the ACO uses its resources to present only one side of the matter in question seems not right, if the goal is a fair assessment of the sentiments of the church at large as to whether the adoption of the Covenant would be a good thing. The materials that go out to the churches of the Anglican Communion from the ACO demonstrate the same lack of balance.
"A Short Introduction” also attempts to give a more balanced view of the Covenant than is available elsewhere. As our Convenor for the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Revd. Canon Hugh Magee, has said, “Many people have complained that the official study material from the Anglican Communion Office has lacked balance and has failed to take seriously the concerns of Covenant critics.”
Further news from the NACC:
"PROFESSOR MARILYN McCORD ADAMS APPOINTED AS COALITION’S FOURTH PATRON LONDON – The Revd Dr Lesley Crawley, Moderator of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition, and Dr Lionel Deimel, the Coalition’s Episcopal Church Convenor, have announced the appointment of Professor Marilyn McCord Adams as a Patron of the Coalition. Professor McCord Adams joins Bishops John Saxbee and Peter Selby, and Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch whose appointments were announced previously." (My emphases)

McCord Adams is Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. From 2004 to 2009, she was Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University and Residentiary Canon at Christ Church, Oxford. She also served as a member of the Church of England General Synod at the time when the Anglican Covenant was being developed.
We win some, and we lose some. What happens if the results of the votes in diocesan synods in the Church of England come down with a majority against adoption?

UPDATE: Today four Church of England dioceses voted against adoption of the Covenant. My cup runneth over!

UPDATE 2: Thinking Anglicans posted the vote totals for the four dioceses.