We are delighted to be able to announce that the keynote speaker for our 2012 Chalice Conference on 15 May is going to be the Rev’d Canon Sue Booys.

Sue Booys

The Rev'd Canon Sue Booys

Sue is Team Rector of Dorchester Abbey, a member of the General Synod, and on the Business Committee of Synod as well, and she will be speaking on the title ‘Where Are Women Going?’

Sue is a stimulating speaker, and brings wide experience from another diocese as well as from senior levels of General Synod. As the vote in July on Women Bishops comes near, she will be able to help us consider possible futures for women throughout the church.
We are grateful to Alastair Cutting, Vicar of Henfield, for his church’s hospitality, and look forward to another interesting and helpful day. As last year, there will be discussion groups, worship and lunch (donations invited or bring your own) – otherwise, the Conference is free.

The Conference leaflet is available here:

Chalice Group - day conference 2012 flyer

Chalice Group - day conference 2012 flyer

To register for the conference, please either use the postal form (on the second page of the leaflet), or send the same details (name, address, email, phone no; lay/deacon/priest/bishop/diocesan synod member) to me by email on  Rachel.moriarty@waitrose.com.

Maps to the venue are on the Henfield Parish web site.

We look forward to seeing as many as possible on May 15th.

Rachel Moriarty

01243 789985.


The Chalice tag-line says that we support women as deacons, priests and bishops. A few months ago, the Chichester Diocesan Synod passed a motion requesting that Canon C 22:1, which states that an archdeacon has to have been in priests orders for seven years, should be amended so that distinctive deacons may also be appointed as archdeacons. We have had distinctive/permanent deacons in the Church of England since 1987; and some of these are experienced and capable women and men who could admirably take on the role and tasks of archdeacon.

The motion was set as contingency business for July 2011’s General Synod, but not taken; and then set for Wednesday morning in the Feb 2012 agenda. It however got bounced again, when an important emergency debate on Nigeria was placed on Wednesday, and unexpectedly promptly, was finally popped back in to the agenda on Tues afternoon. This is my [Alastair Cutting‘s] personal look at the debate, and some of its shortcomings.

Below are: (if these links aren’t working from the front page, try the full post)


Alastair Cutting, Chichester, 96

(I was presenting the debate in the absence of Bishop John Hind, who was on duty in the House of Lord’s, as the timing of the debate had been shifted at short notice.)

I had heard of the expected vacancy in the see of Chichester; but I hadn’t expected the bishop’s absence to take effect quite so suddenly… This introduction is partly his – and partly not.

This motion seeks to remove from Canon C22.1 the requirement that an archdeacon must be in priests’ orders, and to clarify that a permanent deacon may be appointed an archdeacon.

The Secretary General has given some of the history.   Now I don’t want to argue about what he has written, although I think some of his statements are questionable.  Although I shall also say a bit about history, my aim is not antiquarian. I am more concerned for the integrity today of the threefold ministry to which the Church of England lays claim, but which has been obscured for many centuries and to some extent still is.

George Metochites

Archdeacon George Metochites

Some members of General Synod may know the lovely Church of St Saviour in Chora in Istanbul. In the inner narthex there is a mosaic lunette dating from about 1320 representing the restorer and donor of the redecorated church, Theodore Metochites, presenting the church to Christ Pantocrator.  Theodore was a statesman, scholar and patron of the arts.  More relevant for our purposes, is that his father was George Metochites, archdeacon of Constantinople in the 1270s and 1280s.  As a deacon, George served as ambassador to the papal courts and was an important figure in the attempts to heal the great schism between the Greek and Latin churches at the Second Council of Lyons in 1274.  A good fairly late example of a diaconal archdeacon of considerable influence.

Thus, while the Secretary General is correct in drawing attention Continue Reading »

Members of the Chalice group and WATCH have been busy in the last months working hard on various matters. I send brief news about these, and also tell you of two events, the CHALICE LUNCH on April 3rd and a DAY CONFERENCE on May  15th.


As last year, we shall hold a CHALICE LUNCH after the service of Blessing of the Oils at the Cathedral –

TUESDAY APRIL 3rd from 12.30 (or after the Service) in the VICARS’ HALL next to the CathedralBook by email to rachel.moriarty@waitrose.com , by phone on 01243 789985, or by post to 22 Westgate, CHICHESTER PO19 3EU – in any case give a phone number please. Cost £11 each, payable at the door.

This proved an excellent opportunity to meet and talk to people and offer support as necessary.

As before, there will be soup, sandwiches, a flapjack and a glass of wine or a soft drink. However you book please include a phone number or email address for acknowledgement, and if after booking you can’t come, please let me know, as we have to pay for all booked meals after the previous week. Book early as Vicars’ Hall only holds 100 people. . .


Again as last year, Alastair has invited us to meet at Henfield church for another day conference, on

TUESDAY MAY 15th at Henfield Parish Church, 10.00 – 3.00; Lunch will be provided, and there will be speakers and discussion groups – final details to follow.

Do book your conference place as soon as you like, but you may want to wait until more details are available – watch this space. This event was another successful and valuable event and we look forward to seeing many of you there.

We look forward to seeing many of you at these events.

In other news: the Chalice Steering group met last week to discuss important issues: to update you all:

New Bishop: Several Chalice Group members on General Synod sat on the Vacancy in See Committee (John Ashwin, Justin Brett, Alastair Cutting, Stephen France), and Alastair is one of the six elected by the committee to join the Crown Nominations Commission to discuss and select a new Bishop. He will be in our prayers during those meeting in the next few weeks, and we shall also be praying that the person appointed will be sympathetic to the group’s views.  Many of us were part of the large gathering in Brighton in November to meet the Appointments Secretaries, where a good spread of views was heard, representing different positions; many asked for a bishop who shares our aim, to ‘support women and men in the orders of deacon, priest and bishop’. We wait for news, probably in May.

Women Bishops: General Synod has just met for discussion on some issues around the legislation on women bishops, in advance of the final decision in July. It is encouraging to hear that the amendment suggesting the central appointment of bishops for ‘traditionalists’ was defeated; but the majority was small and the draft legislation could still be amended by the House of Bishops.

WATCH members will know of the event on Monday, when 200 or so women priests and supporters spent a most encouraging day in Westminster, hearing and questioning a discussion on Women Bishops from a distinguished panel including two women bishops from the US and Canada, and then, after a service of prayer and dedication, walking in procession to hold a silent vigil at Church House where General Synod members were gathering for their first session. Chichester diocese was well-represented and it was good to be in such stimulating company. Thanks to everyone who could come.

Church House Westminster WATCH Vigil before Synod

Church House Westminster WATCH Vigil before Synod

Love and prayers to you all,


Votes Count - photo from the Chichester Diocesan Flickr stream

As part of preparing for the debate on women bishops legislation, the Bishop of Chichester posed three questions to members of synod. As previously noted, they were:

  1. Are you in favour of ordaining women to the episcopate in the Church of England?
  2. Do you think that provision should be made for those who cannot on theological grounds accept this development?
  3. Do you think that the provisions in the draft Measure are appropriate for this purpose?)

These questions were designed to help synod members consider the views of others, and support them. So, those who may be in favour of women bishops can still indicate support for those who are seeking provision; and conversely those opposed to women in the episcopate, acknowledging there clear majority in the Church of England endorse this, can demonstrate their support in this additional ballot. The following chart doesn’t list all the results of the questions debated, but shows some of the voting pattern.

Chichester results graphically

Chichester results graphically

Though there was almost unanimous support from synod members on all sides for provision for those who cannot accept women bishops, the support for the Church of England to have women bishops from those opposed, was significantly less, at below 60%. And the support for this particular raft of legislation introducing women bishops was even less, and the main motion was lost in each house – by 4% in laity and 5% in clergy. Continue Reading »

(Updated with photos from the diocesan Flikr stream

Synod members listening to the debate

There was a well attended meeting of the synod with over 30 speeches in the debate on the General Synod Article 8 business, the Women Bishops debate.

Some of these results are available on the Chichester Diocesan website.

Factual details of the meeting are available on this pdf:

Chichester Women Bishops Legislation Debate

The Bishop of Chichester had previously asked parishes and deaneries to vote on three additional questions; and these questions were also put to the Diocesan Synod.

The ‘Chichester Questions’

  1. Are you in favour of ordaining women to the episcopate in the Church of England?
  2. Do you think that provision should be made for those who cannot on theological grounds accept this development?
  3. Do you think that the provisions in the draft Measure are appropriate for this purpose?)

Results were as follows:


 Laity Y  Laity N  Laity Abs  Clergy Y  Clergy N  Clergy Abs  Bishop Y  Bishop N  Bishop Abs


46 30 2 40 29 0 0 3 0


73 5 0 64 5 0 3 0 0


26 50 2 32 36 1 0 3 0

The main Article 8 Motion debate 

After further debate, the main motion was put:

That this Synod approve the proposals embodied in the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and in draft Amending Canon No 30.

Results were as follows:

Q’n Laity Y Laity N Laity Abs Clergy Y Clergy N Clergy Abs Bishop Y Bishop N Bishop Abs
General Synod Motion 37 41 0 30 35 0 0 2 0

The main motion was lost in all three houses. (One bishop had to leave before the ballot.) Continue Reading »

On Saturday 8 September the Chichester Diocesan Synod is meeting to debate the Article 8 reference from General Synod, on Women in the Episcopate, and whether the current legislation is right way forward.

In preparation for the debate in the diocese a copy of this leaflet was circulated to all members of the Diocesan Synod. It is based on the reports back from the June Chalice meeting in Henfield. (Click to download.)

Chalice Group Leaflet for Synod

Chalice Group Leaflet for Synod

Chalice was not the only group to send a leaflet to all Synod members, as ‘The Catholic Group’ of the diocese also sent Bishop Jonathan Baker’s Women Bishops – The Right Way Forward leaflet to every one. (Though apparently the Catholic Groups does not include either the Society of Catholic Priests, or Affirming Catholicism.)

Please pray for the debate, for those speaking, and listening, and chairing – whatever the results, as it will be a hard day for many in the diocese, which ever way things go.

After 10 years in post, Bishop John Hind will be retiring as Bishop of Chichester in April 2012, shortly before his 67 birthday, as announced in the diocese here. We wish Bishop John, and Janet, every blessing in their retirement.

Bishop John Hind

Bishop John Hind

Appointing the new bishop is known as ‘filling the Vacancy in See’ (that is the diocese). Each diocese has a Vacancy in See (ViS) committee that is only called in to service in the event of a bishop retiring or leaving. It is ViS committee statutorily has a number of members by virtue of their office: the remaining senior staff of the diocese (other suffragan/area bishops, archdeacons, the dean); the members of the General Synod elected by the diocese (as they have an electoral mandate already within the diocese); the chairs of the house of laity & clergy of the diocesan synod; and the 4 members elected by the diocese directly to the committee.

The membership of the Chichester Diocesan Vacancy in See Committee can be seen here. (Stephen France and Alastair Cutting of the Chalice Group are both members of the ViS by virtue of being elected to General Synod.)

The process of what happens in a vacancy is outlined here on the Church of England website. The Vacancy in See Committee has a number of key roles, Continue Reading »

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