To cancel my donation to the local C of E church

(54 Posts)
skaen Wed 21-Nov-12 17:18:30

I make a regular donation to the local C of E church and also go to Messy Church. The church is very nice, the community is friendly and the (female) vicar is great. They use the money on a mixture of contributions to running the diocese, support for food banks and people in need and support for maintaining the fabric if the church.

I am absolutely furious about the decision not to allow women to become Bishops. I think it is absolutely appalling and don't want to support that sort of misogynistic organisation.

Would I be unreasonable to cancel my donation to the church to show my disappointment? If I did, I would give that money to another charity- probably the food bank.

ArtexMonkey Wed 21-Nov-12 17:22:18

Yanbu at all.

If all women turned their backs on all denominations of organised Christianity until such time as it saw fit to consider us fully human, there'd be pretty much no one going any more.

Cartoonjane Wed 21-Nov-12 17:25:02

Yanbu. It's outrageous and big enough to merit cancelling your donation. If everyone did they would have to move into the 21st century.

lookingfoxy Wed 21-Nov-12 17:26:53

Yanbu, I think a lot of people will be withdrawing their support in view of this.
I would continue to give money to the food bank though.

EdithWeston Wed 21-Nov-12 17:27:32

YANBU, providing you also leave the Messy church and all other CofE activities. And it's worth telling the vicar and diocese why.

yellowsubmarine53 Wed 21-Nov-12 17:28:30

The C of E are LOADED. They're the biggest land owner in the UK, I think.

They're the last organisation I would be giving any cash to for this reason alone.

grovel Wed 21-Nov-12 17:29:20


The bishops and the clergy voted overwhelmingly in favour - as did district synods. It's safe to say that the Church is in favour - it just has a rather curious voting system.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Wed 21-Nov-12 17:30:54

It's up to you. I'm going to continue supporting my local CofE church because I know they support female bishops and I know that they're incredibly hurt and disappointed by the result. I don't think they should be punished for the actions of an unenlightened few.

SoupDragon Wed 21-Nov-12 17:32:25

That is not going to penalise the CofE church as a whole though, just the causes your church helps.

Yes, the two main houses were overwhelmingly in support. It was actually the laity, which are more 'rank and file' congregation types who voted against, so hard to call the organisation as a whole misogynistic.

They interviewed a woman member of the laity from a local church on my local radio yesterday morning and she was against women bishops. Can women be misogynistic against their own sex???

CombustionEngine Wed 21-Nov-12 17:35:19

But the organisation voted in favour of female bishops, it was a minority of people who attend church that opposed it, in that there was a majority, just not a two thirds majority. So on that point yabu.

Punkatheart Wed 21-Nov-12 17:37:43

I would continue to give a donation, but make your feelings about the bigger picture, very clear.

One thing - what is Messy Church? I have a messy house - but I am sure that is not the same thing....

egusta Wed 21-Nov-12 17:38:36

Well, I am sympathetic to the OP, in some respects, but i agree with SmellsLike and SoupDragon.

The foodbank is a great thing to support however. I bet your local church supports it also. (Ours does, quite significantly).

skaen Wed 21-Nov-12 17:38:56

Smells- that's my worry. I know my vicar was wholly in favour of female bishops (she will make a good one!) and the local Bishop also supported thie legislation.

I don't want the local church to suffer but want to make my disappointment clear on the basis that if enough people do it, they might review the majority voting rules and whether the synod is even remotely representative.

skaen Wed 21-Nov-12 17:39:48

Women can definitely be misogynistic!

MaryBS Wed 21-Nov-12 17:40:54

Please don't. Its up to you of course, but many of us in the C of E (I'm a lay minister), particularly ministers, are devastated by the decision. There was sufficient support in both the house of bishops and the house of clergy to pass the motion, just not the laity. And even there, we only needed another 6 to vote in favour.

Many churches are struggling in this financial climate, our own church is about to have an emergency meeting to discuss the finances. Don't judge your local church by the cover that is the C of E please (asking nicely)?

skaen Wed 21-Nov-12 17:41:36

Messy church is a group for youngish children with songs, a few prayers, stories, cutting and sticking, painting and getting covered in glitter. It's in the church hall rather than the church (at ours anyway) but overseen by the vicar.

egusta Wed 21-Nov-12 17:42:34

You know though, Skaen i am not sure it WOULD affect the synod. I really do think only your church would suffer.

speaking as the treasurer-- of my church-- (so not quite unbiased).

I think it is a terrible disappointment too, and I also briefly thought about leaving the church entirely. So I am quite conflicted about it all.

BackforGood Wed 21-Nov-12 17:42:52

Well, are you going to stop going, and using their facilities ? If so, then YANBU, but you must tell the Church why so they know it's for that reason and not that you just decided to stop.

If you hope to still use the facilities, then YABU.

I too, understood that the ordained Church folk voted yes, and that it was the non-ordained who voted no ? <am prepared to be corrected, this is just what I heard>

egusta Wed 21-Nov-12 17:42:55

bugger, i always screw the strike outs up!!!

MaryBS Wed 21-Nov-12 17:46:11

Most of the non-ordained (aka laity) voted no too, 64%, backforgood.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 21-Nov-12 17:47:57

Hi all

Just nipping in to let you know that some of our bloggers have posted on this over here, if you're interested.

TiggyD Wed 21-Nov-12 17:48:19

If enough people stopped giving the church money it would help some of those who voted against to think again.

Why not put the money you would have given the church into a piggy bank and write a letter to the church telling them they can have the money when they have women bishops?

EssexGurl Wed 21-Nov-12 17:57:29

You will find that the Church members themselves all wanted female bishops - it was the lay part of the Synod who voted against. So, YABU to take money away from the church as probably your own vicar / bishop etc wanted them as much as you!

Bue Wed 21-Nov-12 18:04:35

It's tempting, but not a good idea for all the reasons mentioned here. Sounds like you'd only be punishing a parish that supports women bishops and is probably deeply saddened by the decision. There are better ways of voicing your displeasure.

skaen Wed 21-Nov-12 18:33:33

Thank you all. At the moment, I'm leaning towards speaking to the vicar when I see her and asking whether she thinks it would have any benefit in terms of registering my disappointment. If she thinks it would be counter- productive then I'll carry on but will write and sign petitions.

I think I might also write to the bishop and tell him I'm minded to withdraw this support so he can add it to the pile!

lovelyladuree Wed 21-Nov-12 18:42:05

The Church of England is very very rich. They own most of the large shopping malls in the UK. Not many people know that.

MaryBS Wed 21-Nov-12 18:56:45

Not convinced lovelyladuree, whats your source of information? In any case, the church MAY be land rich, but its cash poor. Each parish in our diocese is now expected to be able to fund their vicar (which may be in conjunction with other parishes). All that will happen if people stop giving is that the local church will suffer.

People stop giving to church for all sorts of reasons. Its all very well to say "if enough people stop giving" but I cannot see that sort of protest making any difference.

londongirlatheart Wed 21-Nov-12 20:14:44

Definitely cash poor. Times have changed from the when the church were mega rich. OP - write a letter by all means but don't stop donating as you local parish will suffer and they are no doubt in favour

Sallyingforth Wed 21-Nov-12 20:24:22

They own most of the large shopping malls in the UK. Not many people know that
Well I certainly don't know that. Please give us some examples with a reference to prove it.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 20:30:04

Sally - I don't know whether its 'most' shopping centres but the Metro Centre is one of theirs.

'The Church Commissioners' commercial property portfolio consists of a diverse range of Retail (including High Street, Shopping Centre and Warehouse Parks), Industrial, and Office properties, located throughout the UK and is currently valued at £321 million.
Notable investments in the portfolio include the MetroCentre, Europe's largest (and recently voted Britain's Best) shopping centre. The Centre is managed by Capital Shopping Centres but the Commissioners receive 10% of the net rents.'

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 20:34:17

Note that the reference above is from As is this 'The Church Commissioners manage assets worth some £4.8 billion at the end of 2009. The fund includes stock market and property investments, including UK urban property, rural and development land, and a stake in global property funds.'

madhairday Wed 21-Nov-12 20:35:28

You can, of course but I am afraid it would merely be penalising your own church and the work it does in your community.

The C of E may be a large organisation but is made up of thousands of discrete worshipping communities, the majority of which work for good in their local communities.

To punish the local church for the actions of a few misinformed, old guard members of the laity seems quite sad to me, particularly as you say your vicar is a woman herself and lovely with it.

I and many of my friends are devastated by this, but don't believe it makes the institution intrinsically misogynistic. If you look at the percentage voting for women bishops you could not argue that this was the case.

It's a sad thing all right sad

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 20:43:25

'The Commissioners aim for the best return from their assets to help sustain the nationwide ministry of the Church, without undue risk and in line with their ethical investment policy. Their long term target is a return of at least RPI plus 5% over the long term.'

So if they're making RPI +5% over the long term (it'll be less right now, to be sure) on £4.8 billion....that's cash poor?

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Wed 21-Nov-12 21:34:02

If enough people stopped giving the church money it would help some of those who voted against to think again.

It's a church, not a supermarket chain. Conservatives and evangelicals don't think that way, especially evangelicals. They'd see it as an attack by Satan and therefore they must be on the right track.

Downandoutnumbered Wed 21-Nov-12 22:07:50

The Church Commissioners are responsible for paying clergy pensions, some stipends and salaries, all bishops' costs and a fair whack of cathedral salary costs. Their capital is enormous but the income is fully committed. They can't spend the capital because of the charity law restrictions on spending endowment.

OP, I'm also an Anglican and devastated by this vote. I have huge sympathy for your position, but the only people suffering if you withdrew your contributions of time and money would be your own parish. If your vicar is a woman the odds are that she's at least as angry and unhappy as you are.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 22:32:36

I don't doubt that, Down - someone asked for data so there it is - The church doesn't own 'most' shopping malls, it has a fair-sized stake in one big one and a substantial amount other investments. Of course they can't spend the capital but its not an insignificant return, 'cash poor' doesn't quite seem to fit. (Other churches manage without those sort of assets not having cathedrals or bishops, I guess)

anyway, OP - I'd say give your money wherever you think it will do good in the world. If this church is doing good, support it but ask if there is some other way you can make your views count. If you think your money would do more good going straight to the food bank, do that...don't give or withhold based on anger.

mammy2 Wed 21-Nov-12 23:53:21

I am so disappointed with this vote that I am stopping going to church (was reasonably good at attending). If enough people vote with their feet maybe it would make a difference.

FairPhyllis Thu 22-Nov-12 02:00:19

What everyone said about one person not making enough of a difference.

What would be interesting would be if parishes withheld their parish share from the diocese over this issue. In 2003, the evangelical churches in Oxford held the diocese to ransom over the appointment of Jeffrey John as Bishop of Reading. If the con-evos can do it over a gay bishop, and were appeased, I don't see why other parishes shouldn't do it over this issue.

DandyDan Thu 22-Nov-12 08:24:27

If parishes withhold money, the individual diocese has to manage its finances on a substantially smaller budget, which usually means cutting clergy numbers - which means fewer priests to go around, priests covering huge distances to do services, more work-related stress and illness; less money for mission projects - ie projects which are specifically in the community, helping the community, building links. eg a mission fund grant has recently supported our local primary school to do an arts/history/RE/science project on stained glass for which the school is delighted. Another one enabled the commissioning and several performances of a play for the local youth drama group.

Everyone concerned should get themselves onto a PCC, and stand for Diocesan and then General Synod. (But writing a letter to your local bishop to indicate your disappointment with the vote would be good too.)

fromparistoberlin Thu 22-Nov-12 08:35:44

its so disappointing

but I tend to agree with bue, you will hurt them when they likely feel the same as you

MaryBS Thu 22-Nov-12 08:59:03

As DandyDan said...

Adversecamber Thu 22-Nov-12 11:29:38

You could always donate to your church in a different way such as buy biscuits for after the service.

Downandoutnumbered says what I want to say but much better than me.

GrendelsMum Thu 22-Nov-12 11:35:07

I agree what others have said - I think that you'd risk punishing a group of people you really support, for the sake of a group of people who wouldn't be affected at all, and who wouldn't even know you'd made the gesture.

I also agree that a letter to the local bishops would be a better way forward - although the bishops voted 'yes', didn't they?

As DandyDan said, we all ought to bite the bullet and stand for PCC and General Synod, outrageously dull as it probably is.

ImAlpharius Thu 22-Nov-12 11:46:41

If pe

ImAlpharius Thu 22-Nov-12 11:49:14

Oops I meant to say if people who support this proposal withdraw money and support it will not make them stop and think and move forward it will give more power and influence to those against the proposal.
As has been said it is the 'people' not Bishops and Clergy that have defeated the vote.

SpringierSpaniel Thu 22-Nov-12 11:51:54

I heard on the Radio that the strongly anti-"women for Bishops" Laity members could see what was coming and apparently took steps to get themselves into a Synod position to be able to vote against it.

Now this may be just one person's jaded conspiracy theory but, if there's any truth in it, surely this is the way to change things i.e. take the same steps as pro "Women for Bishops" and change the unrepresentative bias of the Synod Laity.

Arcticwaffle Thu 22-Nov-12 11:56:10


But then I left the CofE and Christianity altogether back in the late 80s over this whole issue, in a way I found the debate then (same as now, basically) useful as it clarified things for me in terms of trying to reconcile feminism and Christianity (I couldn't, in the end). Now I can't imagine even trying to support an organisation which institutionalises sexism.

Bunpea Thu 22-Nov-12 18:00:00

Yanbu at all. The current situation with the CoE is outrageous. I also don't understand how it can be legal, but then I'm not a lawyer.
Whether your actions will be effective as a protest or communicating your dismay/anger/whatever is another matter, and probably depends on how many others follow suit.

GrendelsMum Thu 22-Nov-12 19:47:03

I don't think that leaving an organisation is the way to effect change - it seems to me that the majority of members of the CoE do want women bishops, but that the anti-women bishop group have deliberately worked to get themselves into the position of power they needed to block it.

What happens if those of us who are pro-women bishops leave the church entirely? That's hardly going to convince the anti-women bishop group that they were wrong - simply that the people who left weren't really Christians in the first place.

GrendelsMum Thu 22-Nov-12 19:49:48

Here, look at this article from the Guardian

In particular:

""Was the laity representative?

No. Judging by responses given earlier this year to the measure by the church's 44 dioceses, campaigners would have had every reason to be optimistic about grassroots support. In all, 42 dioceses gave the legislation the thumbs-up, and those that didn't – London and Chichester – only failed to by a narrow margin. But they always knew the house of laity would be a problem. A grouping of more than 200 laypeople, the house has become markedly more conservative in the 20 years since the synod voted to ordain female priests. A key task of the pro-female-bishop campaigners will now be to learn from the political zeal of their traditionalist opponents and *get their people in the house at the next elections, due in 2015.""

Rudolphstolemycarrots Thu 22-Nov-12 20:10:27

Yes do it and write a covering letter to the church explaining why you have made that decision.

MrsJamin Thu 22-Nov-12 20:15:05

YABU. What on earth would it achieve rather than hurting your local church which need local donations? I don't support the overall decision to not allow female bishops but I am an active member of a CofE church and DS1 goes to a CofE school, and that won't change. Most people within the church supported the change, just not enough yet to make the change.

somewherewest Thu 22-Nov-12 20:19:17

How is withdrawing support from a congregation which favours equality for women going to further the cause of equality for women?

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