Vivienne Faull on women in ministry

In writing about women bishops, Jonathan Wynne-Jones said in the Sunday Telegraph that:

The fresh delay in drawing up legislation came after one of the Church’s most senior female clerics, the Very Rev Vivienne Faull, the Dean of Leicester, said that she would have felt unable to become a bishop under the plans that had been proposed.

The place where she said this was in this lecture (PDF format) given in both London and Oxford on 11/12 May. (Background on the lecture series here.)

The whole lecture should be read, but the quote comes from this part:

It seems to me that if women bishops are a theological innovation, TEA is a far greater ecclesiological innovation. Others have noted that we have for some time been very close to articulating theologies specifically rejected by the early church. The postmodern temptation to picking and choosing amongst bishops, the pre-modern ttemptation to see your bishop as tainted, surely need to be resisted. More prosaically, any diocesan bishop operating under TEA would find much of their energy absorbed by managing its complexity rather than strategic leadership. At a time of rapid change this inhibition could be critical.

I for one would find that inhibition made the office and work of a bishop impossible to perform.

The lecture also contains a wealth of statistics on women’s ministry as priests in the Church of England.

Leave a Reply

5 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
5 Comment authors
Spirit of Vatican IIGöran Koch-SwahneobadiahslopeDaveGraham Eardley Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Graham Eardley
Graham Eardley

So does that mean that the 3rd province is the only way forward on this issue?

Or do we have elected Bishops ?


Viviene Faull said: “The postmodern temptation to picking and choosing amongst bishops…”

At the moment what we have is just a “post-code lottery” !


It would be helpful to read the full details of the ‘working paper’ referred to in the lecture. According to the lecture it contains ‘legislative proposals’ I wonder if the diocese of southwark could post it?

Göran Koch-Swahne

Donatists of the World, Unite!

Spirit of Vatican II

What do you make of Cardinal Kasper’s address, posted on the Canterbury website: