The debate was introduced by Dr Francis Bridger, the former Principal of Trinity College, Bristol, who now has Permission to Officiate in the Diocese of Norwich. In a clear and impartial presentation, Dr Bridger outlined the background the the Covenant, and highlighted the arguments both for and against its adoption.
Following an extensive and thoughtful debate the voting was as follows:-
House of Bishops: For - 3; Against - 0; Abstentions - 0
House of Clergy: For - 26; Against - 10; Abstentions - 1
House of Laity: For - 19; Against - 15; Abstentions - 1
The motion was clearly carried in all three houses. The results from the Norwich Synod will be fed back to General Synod. If the majority of Diocesan Synods vote in favour, there will be a second debate in the General Synod in July. However if the majority of Dioceses vote against, then there will be no further debate and the Church of England will have declared itself not in favour of the Anglican Covenant.
All dioceses must have debated the issue by April. As of yesterday, 17 Synods had rejected it and 10 had endorsed it, with Norwich today becoming the 11th diocese to vote in favour.