Thinking Anglicans

Bishops Welcome Senior Women Clergy to their Meeting

The eight elected senior women clergy are attending their first meeting of the House of Bishops this week. The Church of England issued this press release to mark the occasion.

Bishops Welcome Participant Observers to First Meeting
09 December 2013

The House of Bishops of the Church of England has today welcomed eight women as participant observers to its meetings. The welcome follows the election of the eight senior women clergy from regions across the country.

In February of this year the House decided that until such time as there are six female members of the House, following the admission of women to the episcopate, a number of senior women clergy should be given the right to attend and speak at meetings of the House as participant observers. The necessary change to the House’s Standing Orders was made in May.

Elections for the eight senior women clergy were held in autumn of this year and the following were elected:

  • East Midlands – Ven Christine Wilson, Archdeacon of Chesterfield
  • West Midlands – Revd Preb Dr Jane Tillier, Prebendary of Lichfield Cathedral
  • East Anglia – Ven Annette Cooper, Archdeacon of Colchester
  • South and Central – Ven Joanne Grenfell, Archdeacon of Portsdown
  • South East region – Ven Rachel Treweek, Archdeacon of Hackney
  • South West region – Ven Nicola Sullivan, Archdeacon of Wells
  • North East – Very Revd Vivienne Faull, Dean of York
  • North West – The Rev Libby Lane, Dean of Women in Ministry, Chester Diocese

Having taken up their role on 1st December, the two day meeting of the House of Bishops in York on December 9-10 will be the first meeting at which the participant observers will attend.

Left to Right Back Row:
The Ven Rachel Treweek, The Ven Nicola Sullivan, The Ven Annette Cooper, The Ven Joanne Grenfell

Front row:
The Revd Libby Lane, The Revd Jane Tillier, The Very Revd Vivienne Faull, The Ven Christine Wilson

There is a larger version of the photograph here.

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ianJames ByronFather Ron SmithPete BroadbentRevd Laurie Roberts Recent comment authors
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Revd Laurie Roberts
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Revd Laurie Roberts

A very good step forward.

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

A picture on TA!
My goodness there is a God!

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

A very small step forward. ‘Participant observers’. No votes and no one needs to take any notice of what they say

Father Ron Smith
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So, from this picture, it won’t be only the male bishops wearing the trousers – from today onwards!

Just a small step for the H.o.B., but a huge step for Woman-Kind.

clairejxx
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clairejxx

But they all seem to be white.

David Walker
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David Walker

So it’s just as well, Richard, that we do very little voting and a great deal of listening.

And it was such a good day that we even finished half an hour early.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Yes, David, in matters like this I am a cynic. i await with interest evidence that their presence makes any difference.

badman
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badman

In my experience, the presence of women in a formerly all-male group always makes a difference – a big difference – which is why it is important. This is a very welcome step, and it was, after all, the best that could be done in the period between the rejection of the women bishops legislation last year and the acceptance of new legislation (as most of us hope) in the near future.

Revd Laurie Roberts
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Revd Laurie Roberts

Good point, Martin – a picture makes all the difference !

Here’s hoping for more pictures…

Pete Broadbent
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Pete Broadbent

It was great to have them there. They played a full part, and I kind of hope that our culture is becoming more human and less boys public school. The voting thing is less significant than it might appear, since we vote formally very rarely, and there are quite a few bishops there who are deputising in diocesan vacancies and they don’t get a vote either; it’s only those who are part of the General Synod House of Bishops (ex officio or elected) who have a vote. Talking to three or four of them afterwards, their experience of it was… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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“It was great to have them there. They played a full part, and I kind of hope that our culture is becoming more human and less boys public school.”

– Pete Broadbent –

It’s good to have at least one Bishop in the Church of England admitting that having women in the mix is ‘More human, and less ‘public School’. That really needed to be said in the present circumstances. Let’s hope that this will also be the end of public school nepotism in the House of Bishops in the C. of E.

James Byron
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James Byron

Ron Smith: Well, if the CofE ever wants to start electing its bishops …

Good to hear Pete Broadbent’s positive report. Following on from this creative approach, the House of Bishops could invite along appropriately qualified LGBT clergy as Participant Observers, at least for its upcoming discussions of human sexuality.

How about it?

ian
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ian

Let’s hope that this will also be the end of public school nepotism in the House of Bishops in the C. of E.

Do we know how many of the above mentioned women were public school girls?