In a well written article in Anglican Ink, Tom Sutcliffe journalist, author, and opera critic and member of General Synod, explains why he, as a supporter of Women’s Consecration never-the-less decided to vote against the legislation.
“The truth is that, in July with Clause 5.1.c as then proposed, the Measure stood a chance of being accepted by those most adversely affected by it and I might have voted for it then. But after that clause was watered down and talked merely of respect - a word which is no reassurance at all to anybody who has been attending to developments in The Episcopal Church on the other side of the Atlantic - it was likely to lead to grief and further departures. And I absolutely do not want to see the Church of England ending up as a result of our in my view correct determination to include women in the ordained ministry at all levels with an even smaller footprint. I do not want the Church to vote to shrink more, and there is no doubt that the ordination of women has not had the entirely positive effect that was anticipated. It has not led to an increase in the membership or the effectiveness of our church, however good most women priests have been. The decline in numbers and in status and in the respect in which we are held by ordinary citizens who are not active members has become precipitate.”
He goes on to write: “The assurances given to those in the minority of a traditionalist view were worthless because the Code of Practice, even when it had been set up, would have been open to constant revision and would have been a target for further adjustment when the campaigners from GRAS and Affirming Catholicism had managed to squeeze out of the Church all those people with whom they disagree on this matter and whom they do not think belong within the reformed liberal Anglicanism that they seek. This element of passionately committed supporters of the ordination of women made no secret of their determination to insist that the Church of England in their view should drive out anybody who did not accept women's ordination.” Read all the article here
Many of us had foreseen this situation, if and when, the defeated measure became law. In fact, I recently quoted one women priest who had said we were not wanted in the CofE if we could not accept women bishops and we should leave. Any wonder with this attitude Anglo-Catholics and Conservative Evangelicals did not trust a Code of Practice and forecast that what ever it said originally, it would be watered down over a few years to be totally meaningless.