Thinking Anglicans

yes2women bishops: another new website

Another new website has been launched: YES 2 women bishops

An unofficial website promoting a YES vote in favour of women bishops in the November 2012 meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England

It describes itself thus:

This site was created by The Church Mouse. It is completely independent of the Church of England, and all organisations within it. Whilst it is supportive of Rowan Williams’s “Enough Waiting” campaign, it is entirely separate.

Yes 2 Women Bishops is not an organisation, and has no leadership or members. It is simply a place for Church members to make their voice heard on this crucial issue.

The principal contributors to this website are The Church Mouse, Rebecca Swinson, Jody Stowell, and Vicky Beeching.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has initiated a campaign to this end, called Enough Waiting.
This provides many of the arguments in favour of a YES vote on November 20th. We do not intend replay the arguments for and against on this site, but merely to provide a place for supporters of women bishops to voice that support in the run up to the November meeting of General Synod and to urge them to vote YES to women bishops.

There are many ‘special interest groups’ who have been around for many years loudly voicing their positions. Groups representing particular wings and factions within the Church have made their views known and the arguments have been played out in agonising detail.

Yet there has been no attempt to let ordinary church members voice their opinions. Surveys have been clear that the vast majority (around 75-80%) of the Church, and the public at large, want women bishops. We now have a formula for allowing that to happen, whilst providing statutory and legally binding provision for alternative oversight for those who cannot accept women bishops.

This site does not intend to replay the arguments for and against. It is simply a place for those who have decided that they would like to General Synod to pass the legislation to allow women bishops in November to urge them to do so.

A press release has now been issued which is copied below the fold.

For immediate release: Sunday 4th November 2012

Church members mobilise on social media to support a decisive vote in favour of women bishops

Ahead of the crucial vote on women bishops at the upcoming meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England, church members are mobilising on social media sites Facebook and Twitter to encourage Synod members to vote YES.

The Yes 2 Women Bishops initiative was launched by the popular blogger The Church Mouse. It is already attracting huge support from ordinary church members who have so far had no say in the lengthy process of drafting and introducing the legislation.

Yes 2 Women Bishops was born out of discussions on the social media site Twitter, and now has a website which lets church members email their General Synod representatives and urge them to vote YES to women bishops in November.

The Church Mouse said, “Rowan Williams launched a campaign called ‘Enough Waiting’ to encourage a YES vote in November, as it is believed the vote will be close. Chatting about the issues on Twitter, it was clear that many people wanted to get involved. A few tweets later, and we had a campaign mobilised. I was inundated with offers of support to help get the word out. A few days later and we had engaged hundreds of supporters to spread the word.”

General Synod member Rebecca Swinson has been helping the campaign and commented on the idea behind it, “We don’t want to re-hash the arguments for women bishops, or to debate the merits of the legislation as presented. Those debates have already been had. We want to provide an opportunity for those who have watched the debate and concluded that they want General Synod to pass the legislation to have their voice heard.”

Theologian and social media expert Vicky Beeching said, “This is an example of the social media ‘digital revolution’ in full flow; giving a voice to the people, a sense of standing together, and a direct channel to appeal to the decision makers. Our ‘Web 2.0’ world gives everyone the potential to have a voice. We need ‘Church 2.0’ where all those in the pews get to have a say on important matters. Hopefully, Synod members will listen to what these church members are saying.”

Other high profile supporters include Jody Stowell from the evangelical group Fulcrum and Graham Kings, Bishop of Sherborne.

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Father Ron SmithRev'd Rosie Bates Recent comment authors
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Rev'd Rosie Bates
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Rev'd Rosie Bates

Whilst most of angry me wants to say ‘No,No,No’ to the present proposals – what a crying waste this could be! I believe love casts out fear and anger and have faith in what certain women waiting in the wings can do in the eye of the storm facing the C of E on many levels. The very women we might wish to delay for a more favourable climate are those who have the grace and guts to openly address the major problems in the disaster zone. They will I believe get on with the rescue operation in Communion with… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Brava, Rosie! That sounds like to sort of determination that will overcome oppression in the Church of England! God sometimes uses the seemingly least significant among us to confound the humanly ‘wise’ and privileged.

The Spirit of the Lord brings freedom to the oppressed – eventually – and if we miss the boat at this General Synod, it may be because of those who doubt God’s power to overcome discrimination – wherever it is found – especially in the Church.