Ruth Gledhill has a report on her blog today, Church-State war looms over women bishops.
She reports that Chris Bryant, who is a Labour MP for a Welsh constituency, has tabled a private member’s bill which will have its First Reading on 21 March. The official confirmation of this fact can be found here:
That leave be given to bring in a Bill to amend the Priests (Ordination of Women) Measure 1993 so as to remove the bar on the consecration of women as bishops; and for connected purposes.
The text of his bill will not be published until 21 March, but it is safe to assume that it would amend Clause 1 of the Priests (Ordination of Women) Measure 1993 (No. 2) along the following lines:
1.—(1) It shall be lawful for the General Synod to make provision by Canon for enabling a woman to be ordained to the office of priest or to consecrate a woman as bishop if she otherwise satisfies the requirements of Canon Law as to the persons who may be ordained as priests.
(2) Nothing in this Measure shall make it lawful for a woman to be consecrated to the office of bishop.
This is likely to upset quite a lot of church people, but on the other hand, as Ruth notes, it might well get significant support from parliamentarians, not all of whom are sympathetic to the Church of England’s self-perception.
See also this report from Ekklesia Bill to pave way for women bishops