17/03/2012

Covenant vote overview

Alan Perry's figures and commentary:

After today's voting:
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 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
Note that a growing plurality of the overall vote is against the Covenant.
My comment: as a measure of voters' views this is still very close; thankfully the outcome is not close (12 Dioceses to 20).

I wonder whether this will provoke some reconsideration of voting structures as a proxy for the views of the Church. Though anyone who tugs at that thread will quickly unravel a whole hornets' nest of problems (to mix metaphors). Might be interesting, though.

3 comments:

  1. So Paul let's begin at the beginning by thanking you for your speedy issuing of the results. Whilst out shopping (window only) I was able almost minute by minute too be kept to date by the site. Excellent work and I suppose you'll have another Saturday in next week. Hopefully the last two synod 'no' votes needed will come in then.

    Thanks also for the running percentage total, apart from being close, there is a majority against (forget the bishops for the moment) but even so it is surely inconceivable that such a profound change in the way in which the Communion is governed could be accepted with such a divided mandate. It's ironic that the ordinate of women etc requires a two thirds vote in three houses where the Covenant seem to require only a simple majority.

    However, now that Rowan Williams has jumped ship there really is no reason to go on with what was essentially his baby although not his original idea. It'll be interesting to see if any more of the slowing growing number of bishop 'break rank' and vote according to principle rather than as a sort of collegial statement.

    My reflection is that now post Rowan as it were, the division in voting is veering towards evangelicals for the Covenant and effectively anti - gay and the rest against and effectively pro - gay. But...as ever the Church of England is too complex to categorise easily.

    Alas, I think it'll be Chartres for Archbishop for the next short term of four years as the English Establishment will push hard for him. Last time around he told the Telegraph that he would ordain women 'as the office required it' he may say the same again. Otherwise, he's not very much interested in the Anglican Communion and used to say as much when he was Runcie's chaplain.

    Perhaps, and perhaps, that might be for the best just leave everything alone for a while, no more initiatives, let everything settle down and let us all stay more or less in communion. That's a better model for Anglicanism than any covenantal scheme.

    Lastly, once Rowan is safely treading the manicured lawns alongside the Cam in Magdalene College gardens, will he then renege on his reneging that he did as Archbishop and return to his original position of being sympathetic to the gay world and even kiss and make up with his much abused old friend Jeffrey John?

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    Replies
    1. Concerned Anglican,

      Thank you for your comment - I trust the shopping was successful even if 'window only'.

      I think the announcement of Rowan's departure might play both ways: to strengthen those who believe the Covenant would be a fitting legacy for him and, as you suggest, vote with less constraint. I see Ruth Gledhill said the Covenant vote was probably a factor in the timing of his departure, perhaps to avoid it looking like he was resigning because of defeat.

      As to Rowan's future, we can only imagine how the last 13 years will have changed him, his faith and his attitudes.

      I don't think he ever became homophobic, or averse. I think he set aside his personal views and committed himself to being the leader of the worldwide Communion - and that meant hearing (and embodying) the weight of socially conservative views from the majority of provinces round the world. What he seems unwilling or unable to do has been to ensure that the positive, theological, value of unity-in-diversity was kept at the heart of the Communion.

      To be fair, I don't know anyone else would have done better in an intractable clash of culture and faith.

      The limit of Anglican comprehensiveness has always been that it cannot cope with Puritans (viz, the Great Ejection and, from the other end of the scale, the Non-jurors). Until recently it looked as though the Puritans had a chance of running the show - now it looks like they've gone, and just forgotten to tell anyone.

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  2. Paul your reflections are good. Vis:

    1. Puritans and Anglicans have an uncomfortable relationship as history shows
    2. Rowan's done what he thought was best, putting unity above all else
    3. In a few years time he may revert to his old liberal and slightly incomprehensible self
    & for good measure
    4. The next Archbishop will almost certainly be Chartres of London as 'they' will want a conservative but not Sentamu who is too right wing. Already discussion is taking place about extending his time beyond seventy as he's currently 65ish. It is daft that we retire our clergy at 70 anyway.

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