GRAS (the Group for the Rescinding of the Act of Synod) have issued this press release.
GRAS For women as bishops, against discrimination
GRAS welcomes the May 2010 report of the Revision Committee mandated by the General Synod to set out the draft legislation to enable women to become bishops in the Church of England.
The vast majority of Anglo-Catholic priests and lay people in the Church of England (as well as the rest of the Church) support women becoming bishops with the many gifts they will bring. However as a general rule there is no future in trying to keep people in an organisation which they are threatening to leave, so GRAS hopes that the eventual principal Code of Practice will follow a vision of a Church which is fair to all who have decided to remain in it, whatever their views, making provision for conscience where necessary, but preventing any discrimination. A two-tier episcopacy would be totally unacceptable.
While GRAS, at first reading of the report from the Revision Committee, is content with the proposals, it is hoped that Bishops will not dilute the principal Code of Practice to include in their diocesan Codes of Practice anything which has been previously turned down by the synod, or rejected by the Revision Committee. It is very important that women are appointed as bishops on exactly the same terms as men with no impediment to their episcopal role.
Furthermore any rights given should be reciprocal – available equally to those who ask for women’s ministry in areas where this is not being offered as much as to those who oppose the ordination of women
GRAS believes that to give credibility to the proposed Code of Practice it is vital that the committee or group appointed to prepare the guidelines should draw at least one third of its members from among senior women in the Church.