Thinking Anglicans

Write in Support of Women as Bishops

From the latest InclusiveChurch newsletter (available as PDF here) and online here.

Write NOW in Support of Women Bishops

(There is still work to be done!)

We have heard that Archbishop Rowan is receiving huge amounts of mail from those opposed to women as bishops and to having a Code of Practice. The opponents of inclusion are still fighting and believe that they can still change or influence Synod’s decision.

Please write to the Legislative Drafting Group (who are creating the legislation to include women as Bishops in the Church of England). We should also write to Rowan as Chair of the House of Bishops making similar and related points.

We need to act quickly because the Legislative Drafting Group meets next on 14th November and the House of Bishops meets next on 12th December.

It is vital to mobilise ALL those in the Church who want to have women as bishops, and who think a Code is an acceptable way forward.

Once again, reactionary conservatives / fundamentalists have pulled out all the stops to try to shake Rowan’s confidence that going ahead is the right thing at this time and that a Code will suffice.

We need to be able to show that we speak for the vast majority of Anglicans in this country.

Some points that could be made in a letter include:

• We know that the Church is ready for and wishes to have women as bishops

• General Synod is competent to decide on having women as bishops

• General Synod in July showed some of what Synod did not want. This must not be put into the Code.

• A Code of Practice CAN work (Forward in Faith is saying it cannot work).

• There must be no separately consecrated bishops. In other words, no more ‘flying’ bishops, and those men who are currently flying bishops should be invited to become ‘proper’ assistant bishops, ministering to all in their area, not just to those who oppose women’s ordained ministries.

• Most of all, we must act in faith based on what we believe about what baptism in Christ means for all people, our mission imperative (over the past 2000 years women have been excluded from different types of ministry because of how it would affect the mission of the Church in the context of the surrounding culture. We need to be asking, what will help our mission now?), and trusting in where God has led us so far.

If you write nothing else, please reassure Rowan that there are many thousands of people in the Church who long to have women as bishops and who see this as God’s guidance and direction for the Church. He needs to be supported in his position as Archbishop of Canterbury and encouraged that the vast majority of the Church are behind him and the bishops in moving forward with consecrating women.

Letters to the Legislative Drafting Group should be sent to: The Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, Bishopscourt, Bury New Road, Manchester, M7 4LE

Letters to the House of Bishops should be sent to: Jonathan Neil-Smith, Secretary to the House of Bishops, Church House, Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3NZ

With thanks to Christina Rees (Chair of WATCH)

23
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
23 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
11 Comment authors
Ford ElmsFather Ron SmithDavid MallochMarguerite SafferyRobert Ian Williams Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“over the past 2000 years women have been excluded from different types of ministry because of how it would affect the mission of the Church in the context of the surrounding culture.”

Really? I suspect there are more issues than that.

Alan Harrison
Guest
Alan Harrison

This really is remarkable for its mixture of naivety and nastiness. For the (possible) naivety, see: “In other words, no more ‘flying’ bishops, and those men who are currently flying bishops should be invited to become ‘proper’ assistant bishops, ministering to all in their area, not just to those who oppose women’s ordained ministries.” Do the authors imagine for one second that +Ebbsfleet, +Richborough, +Beverley or the semi-flying +Fulham would accept such an “invitation”? If they do, they really are very naive. If they know very well that the prelates would regard such an “invitation” as the sack, we are… Read more »

David Malloch
Guest
David Malloch

“(Rowan) needs to be supported in his position as Archbishop of Canterbury and encouraged that the vast majority of the Church are behind him and the bishops in moving forward with consecrating women.”

Given Rowan’s speech in the synod debate, would it not be better to support him totally and back not only his desire for women bishops but also his call to honour previous promises and establish structural provision for oponents?

Or is this a cynical attempt to undermine Rowan under the guise of support?

Graeme Buttery
Guest
Graeme Buttery

It is not the holding of views with passion, commitment and vigour that saddens me, nor even if such views are contrary to my own, but it is the labelling of people and positions and indeed the less than charitable tone that gets me. On all sides of this and indeed other issues, can we at least be civil and courteous in what we say and write?

Graeme Buttery

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Well if conservatives can somehow manage – a big and difficult narrative gospel task? – to stop claiming that women are subordinate and defective, compared to men – we can lower the heated tone of many conversations. I confess I am stuck. I have been listening a while to all the conservative views, and so far I am not convinced that any of the views advanced about women involve anything other than fairly direct claims that women are defective, so God cannot do certain things in their ministry and life and work that God can still do, when it comes… Read more »

rose gaudete
Guest
rose gaudete

drdanfee, you say ‘I am not convinced that any of the views advanced about women involve anything other than fairly direct claims that women are defective, so God cannot do certain things in their ministry and life and work that God can still do, when it comes to men.’ I think you misrepresent what is said. I’ve never heard it suggested that God CAN’T do whatsoever God chooses to do. The question is what has s/he chosen to do. What does God’s will for the orders & ministry in his/her church? Does God reveal that the ordained ministry is open… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

I doubt even the writers/propagaters of “The Fundamentals” a hundred years ago, claimed the title “Fundamentalists.”

…but they did express a powerful sense of religious CERTAINTY, accompanied by a merciless religious CHAUVINISM, and for those religious groups with similar C&C (regardless of the larger religious umbrella they gather), it’s proved a remarkably useful descriptor. Ergo, it richly applies to the “I KNOW that God is NOT calling you to priesthood, girly!” crowd…

…but of course, I could be wrong. I welcome you stay Anglican, Alan (et al anti-WO), if you’re willing.

Lord have mercy!

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Dan: you’re quite right, again. Except that she was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (or possibly Britain for short), much as many Scots might have wished for her role to have been limited to England. Sorry to be pedantic.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

One wonders what Saint Paul would have had to say if he were here today about the ‘priesthood of all believers’? Would he have excluded women from that category of Christian, I wonder? And if not, why exclude women from the orders of priest and bishop in the Church. I’ll bet women like Saints Brigid of Ireland, Teresa of Avila, and Hilda of Whitby would have kicked up a fuss. Somebody would have got a smack with their pastoral staves and hit over the head with their mitres.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“so far I am not convinced that any of the views advanced about women involve anything other than fairly direct claims that women are defective” And I am pretty much convinced that the arguments for the most part are not about this at all, and I have made such arguments in times past. As a matter of fact, while I support OOW, I have reiterated the anti-OOW arguments on several occasions here, and have never even hinted at a view that women are somehow defective. If, and it’s a big if, priesthood is only for males, that’s no more about… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Christina Rees is a brilliant lady and she is not going to allow women Bishops, and their male and female ordained clergy to be second class clergy in the Church of England.

To regard her as naive is to underestimate a very remarkable and determined lady.

David Malloch
Guest
David Malloch

“To regard her as naive is to underestimate a very remarkable and determined lady.”

Which may provide the answer to:

“Do the authors imagine for one second that +Ebbsfleet, +Richborough, +Beverley or the semi-flying +Fulham would accept such an “invitation”? If they do, they really are very naive. If they know very well that the prelates would regard such an “invitation” as the sack, we are beginning to move towards nastiness.”

Marguerite Saffery
Guest
Marguerite Saffery

Yesterday at the Chichester Diocesan Synod John Hind, Bishop, announced that he would not appoint any candidate for the vacancy of Bishop of Horsham who ordained women. The entire diocese has been invited to take part in the process of choosing candidates and the advisory committee for the appointment has yet to meet. Obviously this consultation is simply an exercise in hypocrisy and yesterday the Bishop acted entirely without integrity. The vast majority who support women as priests and Bishops have no voice. Any ideas out there as to what we do to combat this religious “chauvinism”, I hesitate to… Read more »

David Malloch
Guest
David Malloch

Marguerite: Some ideas as requested: 1) Note the facts of the situation – i.e. women are ordained and Licensed in the Diocese of Chichester and that will continue. Bishop John Hind does not ordain women and whether you like it or not that is a position of integrity within the church of england, recognised by synod. A suffragan acts on behalf of the diocesan i.e. if a suffragan ordains women it is an act of the diocesan. 2) By not allowing a suffragan to ordain women +John is acting with total integrity even if you don’t like it. 3) Strange… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“The vast majority who support women as priests and Bishops have no voice. Any ideas out there as to what we do to combat this religious “chauvinism”, I hesitate to use the word Christian.” The only thing I can see is to patiently and calmly point out to those who claim oppression from “liberals” that this is a prime example that it cuts both ways, and perhaps they should at least tone down the rhetoric of claiming to be some faithful remnant oppressed by the heathen hoards, if not stop making such self serving statements entirely. Don’t forget, all those… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

David Malloch, Your Bishop, John Hind, must be very pleased to have your support in his opposition to women’s ordination in the Church of England, How glad I am that I do not work in your diocese because to do so would by tantamount to cocking a snook at all of those saintly women in the Church of past generations who have not only exercised the charism of leadership, but have also shown great integrity in bringing with them the many spiritual gifts that women, uniquely, have to offer. A particular favourite of mine is Saint Hilda, Abbess of Whitby… Read more »

David Malloch
Guest
David Malloch

Ron Smith, I do not live in the Diocese of Chichester and John Hind is not my bishop! In fact, I live in a diocese where traditionalists are constantly sidelined and abused. We take issue with the diocesan bishop on many matters but have never treated him or our female colleagues with the disrespect shown to John Hind. Re Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, yes I love her too! A wonderful example of loyalty to the universal over the provincial, of fidelity and obedience. Of course, if she was a member of today’s general synod, she might just have argued that… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“traditionalists are constantly sidelined and abused.”

Can we get some specifics, especially about the “abuse”? IN my experience as Joe Anglican here in Canada, the only abuse I have been subjected to is that coming from the GAFCONites. Now conservatives have publicaly, and utterly falsely, accused our bishop of “abuse”, but you can’t base a grievnace on lies.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

David Malloch.
Did I hear you say, under your breath at the end of your last posting: “Typical Woman”?

I suppose, really, David, I was trying to justify the ministry of leadership among women – especially it’s flexibility; which is a breath of fresh air, especially in the present climate of inflexibitiy in the application of Scriptural dogmatism.

David Malloch
Guest
David Malloch

“Did I hear you say, under your breath at the end of your last posting: “Typical Woman”? Not unless your hearing aid needs new batteries! “I suppose, really, David, I was trying to justify the ministry of leadership among women – especially it’s flexibility; which is a breath of fresh air, especially in the present climate of inflexibitiy in the application of Scriptural dogmatism. “ Much of this I would agree with. The Church benefits greatly from the holiness of so many women and they serve and lead in so many ways. My objection is to the ordination of women… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“the ministry of leadership among women” Fr. Ron, I have to take an opposing view here. While some conservative Evangelicals are arguing against the, for me, bizarrely worded concept of “female headship”, that has never, I don’t think, been the basis of opposition to ordained women, at least not formally. I think, if what we wanted to do was to empower women in the Church, there were better ways than to ordain them to an office that is not supposed to be about power at all, but servanthood. We can’t ignore the arguments about whether or not women can fulfill… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Ford. Respectfully, I do get your point about the need to separate the issue of the ‘leadership’ of women in the Church, from their perceived (or not) qualification for ‘priesthood’. However, as anyone in the Australasian Anglican situation will tell you, the two, for certain Evangelicals, are intimately connected. The Sydney Diocese, under the Jensenites, wants to allow women deacons, as well as lay men and deacons, to preside at the Eucharist; simply because they consider sacramental ministry to be of a lesser ‘order’ than any form of leadership in the Church. Yes, most clergy are aware that the priesthood… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Fr. Ron, I agree entirely, and I am aware of how anomalous Sydney is. To me, they are my stereotypical Evangelicals incarnate: convinced by their leadership that their rather extreme Protestantism is somehow “Real Christianity” and the rest of us are just heathens, which requires a huge amount of revisionism and ignorance of or willfull disregard of historical fact, self delusion of their own righteousness. It’s just that their arguments are so bizarre, so far out in left field, their terminology is so odd, I mean, really, “female headship”??? So, I tend to think of them as the “lunatic fringe”,… Read more »