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Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Women Bishops - what happens next?

Today's debate is asking that the draft measure, and the amending canon, in relation to women bishops go forward to the next stage: the revision committee. That is where the various pro- or anti- arguments may be put (again...).

There are to be no amendments to the simple motion being debated; so I am unable to acquiesce to petitions I have received asking me to vote for or against various parts (for example the Code of Practice).

There were not many new suggestions within the debate; although I think I want to hear a little more of what the bishop of Dover was beginning to suggest.

It has often been said that the Church of England is one church, with two 'integrities' in regard to ordained women's ministry. However, if on the one hand some cannot accept the ministry of women priests or the authority of women bishops legally and properly ordained; and on the other hand some seek women's ministry at every level; it would appear we have no longer one, but two - or probably more - 'Churches' of England.

This has been the case before (with a few variations of 'continuing CofE' churches), and may possibly happen again. Or some will perhaps feel they can no longer call this church home, and seek shelter elsewhere completely. Let's pray that does not happen; or at least not soon. First let us see what the revision committee brings back to Synod, in the hope that it is the gentlest and most inclusive, yet real, way forward possible.

Revision starts soon, with a large hall having been booked for those meetings, to allow observers to be present...


Alastair Cutting GS 101

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