WATCH responds to House of Bishops Standing Committee

WATCH (Women and the Church) PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release SUNDAY 9th September 2012

A WATCH response to the House of Bishops’ Standing Committee Press Release of 5th September

WATCH is very encouraged to see that complete withdrawal of Clause 5(1)c received the most positive response in the Church of England’s summer consultation process (see GS Misc 1033).

Clause 5(1)c, was inserted by the House of Bishops in May and has caused widespread dismay. We are hopeful that the House of Bishops will realise, from the overwhelmingly negative response to this amendment, that Clause 5(1)c cannot stay in the legislation as it is, if they wish to see the legislation pass through General Synod in November.

We also note that, although groups representing those opposed are lobbying to keep the existing proposed amendment, they have not said they will vote for the legislation even if the current Clause 5 (1)c remains. If 5(1)c was insufficient for those opposed, then any diluted form of wording is even more unlikely to gain their support for a General Synod vote, whilst remaining potentially problematic for those who welcome the episcopal ministry of women.

We continue to urge the House of Bishops to adopt a cautious approach and not to introduce new and untested wording into the draft legislation at this late stage. The consultation period was extremely brief and the various options considered have not therefore been subject to any sustained scrutiny.

WATCH therefore considers that the wisest course is to return the legislation to General Synod in November in a form that is as close as possible to that approved by 42/44 dioceses; removing Clause 5(1)c and offering Clause 8(2) as reassurance to those opposed.

The Reverend Rachel Weir, Chair of WATCH said, “We very much hope that whatever emerges from the House of Bishops on Wednesday will unequivocally affirm the ministry of ordained women and avoid any suggestion of a question mark hanging over their orders.”

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JeremySimon SarmientoDaniel WaltersFather Ron Smith Recent comment authors
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Father Ron Smith

WATCH has put into words what many of us in the world-wide Anglican Communion – outside of the Church of England – think about the need to proceed with the Ordination of Women as Bishops in that Church. The implementation of the C.of E. House of Bishops Amendment 5.1.c. – to the original Measure approved by the previous meeting of the General Synod – would be a ‘step too far’ for those who believe that Women ought to be included in the episcopal leadership of all churches of the Communion, without having their ministry accounted defective in any way by… Read more »

Daniel Walters
Daniel Walters

“WATCH is very encouraged to see that complete withdrawal of Clause 5(1)c received the most positive response in the Church of England’s summer consultation process”

Did it? Is that widely known? It’s the first I have heard of it… does anyone have a link to anything supporting this?

Simon Sarmiento

This refers to the press release reproduced here:


The Church of England risks enormous damage to the Anglican brand worldwide if it does not provide for the episcopal ministry of women, on a basis equal to that of men.