LIVE Blog

The women bishop debate is set to reignite today, as the House of Laity meet to discuss a vote of no confidence in Chair Dr Philip Giddings. During the debate last year, that saw the measure to ordain women to episcopate voted down,  Dr Giddings said: “The diversity reflects not prejudice or simple refusal to change but solidly based on theological judgement.” He ended: “To press ahead regardless is the way to missional suicide and I cannot vote for that.” The House of Laity will discuss and vote on the future of their Chair, from 1:30pm and The Church of England Newspaper will be blogging throughout, bringing you all the news – as it happens.

15:45pm: Meeting is adjourned and members leave.

15:44pm: Business is concluded and they rise for a final prayer.

15:43pm: Giddings greatly appreciates the vote.  He hopes they can put this behind them and that they can work together.

15:42pm: The vote was for the motion to be lost.

15:41pm: Voting period has now ended.

15:40pm: They are now voting in whether they have confidence in Giddings and have one minute to do so.

15:39pm: Motion to pass is put to a vote.

15:38pm: Giddings quickly takes the stand in hopes of passing the motion.

15:37pm: Canon Stephen Barney again takes the stand to “absolutely oppose this motion to move to other business.” “These are serious matters, not to be dismissed lightly.”

15:35pm: She believe much more work is needed and she hopes with all the problems the house is dealing with, the members will move past the motion.

15:34pm: Miss Fay Wilson-Rudd has three minutes to speak.

15:32pm: If the motion is carried to move on to more business, then no confidence cannot be voted on.  It will then be voided.

15:30pm: “We are not here because the Measure failed.”  Barney wants  members to remember that.  He likes that Giddings is “passionate” about what he believes and they need that, but not as a chair.  He urges to vote for it.

15:27pm: Canon Stephen Barney disappointedly states, “There is a lack of trust” and sees this “as very sad.”  He is responding to Giddings speech and still questions this “better way” idea.

15:25pm:He finally states “The House must not decide whether it considers that I haver exercised that responsibility, on this and other issues, fairly and responsibly.”

15:23pm: He does not believe that it could be argued that he “disguised” his personal views.

15:22pm: Giddings has not changed his mind on his decision.

15:20pm: Giddings states,”We are all to make up our own minds” in defending his choice.

15:17pm:  “I said three things: that on behalf of the House I welcome +Justin as Archbishop-elect; I greatly appreciated the speech he had just made; but I did not agree with his conclusion about the Measure before us.”

15:15pm: Giddings begins speech and still insists on “find a better way.”

15:13pm: Oldham wants to hear a clear speech from Giddings to vote against it if he is prepared to say “I will vote for women bishops.”  The crowd reacts in laughter and someone remarks, “shut up.”  Apparently they believe he will not change his mind.

15:11pm: Point of order asking for Giddings to reply to the comments made. He has ten minutes after Mr. Gavin Oldham speaks.

15:09pm: Mrs. Vivienne Goddard says this “is a very sad day” and asks for people to vote against it.

15:06pm: Mrs. Madeleine Ratcliffe Holmes “felt totally shamed to be a member of the House of Laity” as she emotionally shared her feelings from Novembers’ events

15:04pm: Mr. John Shand sees a  “slippery road to self destruction.”  He does not want the house to destroy itself and urges to vote against the motion.

15:02pm: French goes down the line of how each level lacks confidence in the level beneath it, ultimately leading in the members lacking confidence in Giddings.

15:00pm: Mr. Philip French states that Giddings’ rejection asked for “a better way”; however, Giddings never ;labeled or explained this “better way.”

14:58pm: Miss Vasantha Gnanadoss supports voting against the motion.

14:56pm: Mrs. Mary Johnston wants members to consider Giddings and reject the notion.

14:51pm: Mr. Clive Scowen answers Storkey’s question of confidence with “yes.” He does indeed have confidence.

14:50pm:She sternly states members have the “Right to express” “lack of confidence” and calling this meeting.

14:48pm: Dr. Elaine Storkey reminds members that is about “confidence” in him and whether that confidence will grow and continue.  It’s almost a question of loyalty.

14:46pm: She encourages to vote against the motion.

14:45pm: Mrs. Joanna Monckton is “shocked” and “ashamed” by the call of this meeting.

14:43pm: She urges members to support the motion because they don’t need “a better way”, but a “fresh start.”

14:42pm: Mrs. Jennifer Humphreys thinks “The House of Laity needs a fresh start.”

14:40pm:  Professor Glynn Harrison examines Giddings acknowledging a majority view, but went with a minority view.

14:36pm: Townsend (who is a mere young whippersnapper as the youngest member in his twenties) who says in order to find a solution, the members need to understand three items: Focus of unity, absolutely committed to finding a solution, and finding credibility.

14:35pm: Mr. James Townsend acknowledges there is a problem since they are standing in the way of the church and “we” must find a solution.

14:33pm: Giddings might have been “flattered” according to Brigadier Ian Dobbie, and Giddings raises his brow and finally cracks a smile.

14:31pm: Mrs. Frances Wood states, “all wise leaders must learn to step back” and she stated he undermined the archbishop.  Giddings shook his head.

14:27pm: Mr. Thomas Sutcliffe states, “In 1992, we heard a 20 minute by…David Silk profoundly opposing woman priest…” He wants members to consider what will happen.

14:24pm: She states, “I leave you with those comparisons to make your own conclusions” when considering no confidence.

14:22pm: Sister Anita Smith OHP begins her speech with a scripture.

14:21pm: Canon Phillip Blinkhorn is voting against the motion and urges others to do the same.

14:19pm: She begs the question, “…Can we rely on him and trust him to act as a chair for the good of the whole house?” “Sadly, I do not believe we can.”

14:16pm: According to Rees, when Giddings wrote to the Times about a controversial issue, he signed as the House of Laity; however, his view did not cover everyone’s opinion.  He was not held accountable.

14:13pm: Mrs. Christina Rees, a huge supporter of women bishops, speaks on Giddings.

14:10pm: Miss Prudence Dailey wants the members to ponder whether a motion of no confidence is the right choice.  She says that if you do not see him fit, then do no vote him to stay.

14:07pm: The Chair of the Sitting imposes a three minutes limit on speeches.

14:07pm: He says ‘we managed to stand together’ and they don’t have the right to break the church.

14:05pm:Mr. Robert Key states ‘you forfeit the right of the trust and respect of the house” when you enter a debate.  Should expect impartiality.

14:02pm: He says the motion undermines free speech and he does not support it.

14:00pm: Mr. Andreas Whittam Smith does not like the church being punitive.

13:56pm: Mr. Timothy Allen’s confidence in Giddings was undermined in 2003 at first and then again during the veto on women bishops.  He hopes Giddings will resign.

13:50pm: Mrs. Debrah McIssac urges the members to vote against the notion.

3:47pm: The Chair of the Debate asks the members not to debate the topic of women bishops.

13:44pm: He begs two points, “Are you confident that Dr. Giddings is fairly representing your views when he is representing the House of Laity in the various meetings where he is, as the chair of the house of Laity, your spokesman?” and “Specially do you think our chair’s role in the debate on the Measure in November is something you want to support.”

13:35pm: Charles George introducing the Measure. Tim Hind, Vice Chair, sends apologies for not being able to attend. 81 requests to speak. Many will not be called. Mr George making his position clear – he will not vote in this vote as he does not in any as an ‘Ecclesiastical Judge’.

13:32 Members have been congratulated for making the session despite the weather.

13:30: Dr Philip Giddings has taken his seat at the front of the Chamber. Synod now standing for prayers.

13:20pm: Members of the Laity are beginning to take their seats.  Session will begin in ten minutes.

11:20am: The Church of England has announced the hashtag will be #HofLaity for this afternoon’s proceedings.