Synod backs move towards women Bishops

The diocesan synod gave overwhelming support to the move towards women bishops at its meeting on Saturday.

Lay members of the synod, which met in St Jude’s Church, Mapperley, on Saturday, voted 29 to 1 in favour of the idea.

Clergy at the meeting backed the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and ordination of Women) Measure by 29 votes to two.

Pam Bishop, who is chair of the House of Laity and sits on General Synod, said there was “fundamental goodness” in the proposal.

“This is 2014, the 20 year anniversary of women being ordained to the priesthood … this is not unchartered territory. Women priests speak about their vocational call and we cannot ignore that. Twenty years of prayerful discernment has come to this point.”

She said there was a call from young people in the Church to “get on with it”.

The Very Revd John Guille, Dean of Southwell, said: “This legislation is way overdue and we should give it our overwhelming support. Those who cannot give it your support, I hope you continue to journey with us.”

The legislation will be considered by General Synod in July.

The annual review and summary of financial statements for 2013 were presented to the meeting by Michael Arlington, chair of the finance committee, and David Meredith, director of finance for Southwell and Nottingham.

Read the synod minutes

The meeting heard that overall there was a surplus of £87,000 on the budget, mainly due to staff savings.

Mr Arlington was asked if the diocese could be sure that none of its investments were connected to lenders such as Wonga; he replied that the investment managers were required to work within the ethical guidelines set by the Church of England.

The report was accepted and approved by synod.

Diocesan Chief Executive Nigel Spraggins reported on the search for a new bishop and said a series of public consultation events had been very well attended, with church people and other interested parties discussing the qualities needed in our next leader.

Synod also received a report on the 18 months of work carried out for 2020 Mission deployment, which sets out guidelines for the number and placements of paid-for clergy  and lay posts.

At the outset if was decided that numbers would be maintained at the figures for 2012 in the faithful expectation of growth and in keeping with the diocesan mission statement: Joining together in the transforming mission of God.