Motion of no confidence in the Chair of the House of Laity
My reason for asking members of the House to debate this motion is that I do not have confidence in our Chair since:
His speech against the measure followed directly after Justin Welby’s and therefore I believe directly undermined what the Archbishop elect had said
Since it was against it did not support the views of the House of Bishops as a whole
Speaking as the Chair of our House his speech was instrumental in convincing some of the undecided members of the House to vote against
I believe the speech was therefore a significant contributor to the reputational damage the Church of England is already suffering at the hands of the press, which is also manifest in the comments of the Prime Minister, the emerging reports of withdrawal of financial support, the angry reaction of church members and the disbelief and ridicule expressed by many of our secular friends, all of which I believe will damage the mission of our church
The failure of the Measure is already giving momentum to the idea that the only likely solution now is a single clause Measure, which would result in a worse outcome for the minority groups than was on offer on Tuesday
I have always been one of the first to say that individuals must vote according to their consciences; however leaders have other responsibilities and accountabilities. I feel that if I am to support the leader of a group of which I am a member then that leader must show wise and good judgement and I do not believe that this has happened.
Canon Stephen Barney
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See also: Agenda for Meeting of House of Laity on January 18, 2013 and Unedited Transcript and Guardian: Female bishops: chair of house of laity faces vote of no confidence
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