Thinking Anglicans

"Women Bishops – The Way Ahead"

Joint Press Statement From The Chairmen Of The Catholic Group And Reform in General Synod
also available here.

Women Bishops – The Way Ahead

The Chairmen of the Catholic Group in General Synod and the conservative Evangelical group Reform, who called for talks to break the deadlock over legislation to enable the consecration of women as bishops, have received acknowledgement of their request from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

Canon Simon Killwick (Catholic Group) and Prebendary Rod Thomas (Reform) have today further pledged themselves to do everything they can to ensure the speedy and safe passage of fresh legislation through the General Synod.

They said, “If agreement can be reached at round-table talks on fresh legislation which provides clearly and fairly for all members of the Church of England, there is no reason why fresh legislation should not be fast-tracked through the Synod before the next elections in 2015.”

The Synod’s Standing Orders only prevent the reconsideration of the same legislation during this period.

“It has never been our intention to prevent the consecration of women as bishops; our concern has always been for legislation which also made clear and fair provision for the substantial minority,” the Chairmen concluded.

The legislation which failed last week in the Synod would have had devastating consequences for the diversity and mission of the Church of England, had it been passed. We want the Church of England to continue to be a broad and comprehensive national Church.

Canon Simon Killwick
Prebendary Rod Thomas
(Chairman of the Catholic Group in General Synod) (Chairman of Reform)

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Jonathan JenningsJeremyCharles ReadJohn Bunyan Recent comment authors
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John Bunyan
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John Bunyan

It is good that both the Catholic Group in General Synod and Reform want “a broad and comprehensive national Church”. I myself believe there should be room for differences even on matters which one side or other sees as fundamental – in the US Episcopal Church as much as in the Church of England. And it would be good if the few Anglo-Catholic dioceses in the Church of Australia, and my own radically puritan Diocese of Sydney would more readily allow for that breadth and comprehensiveness !

Charles Read
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Charles Read

All very well but some of the Reform members in EGGS (GS evangelical Group) have made it clear they will vote against any legislation for WB as they see such a move as ‘unbiblical’.

Plus, we have had these talks before – Rod and Simon know this all too well. Pressure groups do not represent all of GS. The place where such negotiating is done is in revision committees and in GS itself, not by unrepresentative off-line groups, valuable as these are in other ways.

And I’m a member of one such group, namely WATCH.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

“The legislation which failed last week in the Synod would have had devastating consequences for the diversity and mission of the Church of England.”

Perhaps it is the legislation’s failure that is having these devastating consequences right now.

Jonathan Jennings
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Jonathan Jennings

Charles; you’re right; which is why Synod shouldn’t be the playground of the groups but the place where their beliefs and theses are interrogated and tested by the mind of the whole church, such as it is.

Based on the voting patterns, the choice is a stark one, between accepting statutory provision or the long haul post 2016 (and, bearing in mind that the electoral college favours large parishes, with no guarantee that Synod’s laity will not be more opposed on headship than now).