...shamelessly nicked from Bishop Alan's blog...
Whilst the synod vote on women bishop's failed to reach the overall 2/3 majority of all three 'houses' and despite the profound sadness so many feel, on reflection perhaps we should consider the outcome may be for the best? Whatever the result yesterday evening there would have been no winners as such, even staunch objectors to the introduction of women bishops concede that there will come a time when women are appointed so. But at what cost would it be if the vote went through yesterday?
Personally I am totally in favour of bishops, regardless ;-) I was also taken by surprise at the depth of sadness I felt when the result was read out. But what I cannot endorse is the idea that we cannot be one in communion when served by a woman. And if the vote had gone through, as has been so more eloquently been expressed by most commentators, it would have enshrined in law that there should be provision BY A MAN for those that objected on theological grounds.
Now I know there are some that are sincere in that belief, however, listening to the live stream from Synod yesterday it was revealing how many that hold that view see it as a 'right', a personal preference for which a theological objection has been tailored. It was also made abundantly clear that advocates of the no vote felt this 'provision' had not been fully documented. I am unsure whether the church (in this case, read C of E) and Bishops in the House of Lords will have legitimate or legal standing to comment authoritatively on other matters whilst condoning the discrimination that is still rife and would have been formalised.
So yesterday has produced a mixed message. On one hand there was an overwhelming majority to accept women bishops, on the other hand the church has not moved any further forward. On one hand the Bishops and Clergy do seem to be more of one mind and yet on the other it would appear the House of Laity do not proportionately represent the rest of us. Furthermore whilst the clergy will feel the laity are a waste of space (see Twitter last night!!!) without us there is no church?
And the best moment during the debate? When the Bishop of Leicester attempted to bring some Christlike perspective with this comment during his speech: "Will this chamber be as full for the Living Wage debate tomorrow. Will the queue for the public gallery be as long?"
There is always hope...