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)