Friday, 8 February 2013

Women at the House of Bishops

Following yesterday’s decision by the House of Bishops to give eight senior women clergy the right to attend their meetings these reports have appeared in the press.

Madeleine Davies in the Church Times: Women dignitaries to be elected as Bishops’ ‘participant observers’

Sam Jones in The Guardian Church of England’s house of bishops to allow female clergy into meetings

John Bingham in the Telegraph Church of England to give women clerics ‘observer’ status in House of Bishops

BBC Women clergy to attend Church of England bishops’ meetings

WATCH has issued this statement.

WATCH (Women and the Church) welcomes House of Bishops’ Statement

WATCH welcomes yesterday’s statement by the House of Bishops endorsing ‘robust processes and steps’ towards preparing legislation to make women bishops in the Church of England ‘at the earliest possible date’. Any such legislation will need to be unequivocal in its affirmation of women as priests and bishops and provide an institutional environment in which women’s ordained ministry can truly flourish.

The news that eight senior women are to attend the House of Bishops’ meetings is also to be welcomed. The presence of women in this previously all-male group will be very helpful in preparing the House to receive its first female bishops and in the development of new enabling legislation.

Posted by Peter Owen on Friday, 8 February 2013 at 10:57am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

What a good idea! Perhaps they could elect eight homosexual clergy to their 'all straight' House to facilitate that issue?

Posted by: Commentator on Friday, 8 February 2013 at 11:41am GMT

I'm intrigued that WATCH are welcoming the "women as participant observers" idea rather than ridiculing it as the tokenistic, patronising nonsense that it clearly is.

Will any of those participatively observing be women unable to accept the ordination of women, I wonder?

Posted by: Richard on Friday, 8 February 2013 at 2:45pm GMT


A good idea, and is logical, having used the idea over women priests. Several senior clerics spring to mind.

So much better if those 'gay' bishops felt able to speak openly of their sexuality.

Posted by: Fr John E. Harris-White on Friday, 8 February 2013 at 5:12pm GMT

I don't see this as tokenism. Given that the Bishops can't ordain any WB's, the least they can do is include the voices of women. In that regard, this step is long overdue.

It would probably be pretty difficult to find a female priest who doesn't support WB. Ordination is ordination.

This seems like a positive breakthrough.

Posted by: Cynthia on Friday, 8 February 2013 at 5:44pm GMT

Richard - it's doubtful that any of those participatively observing will be women unable to accept the ordination of women since they are to be drawn from women in senior clergy positions such as Archdeacons and Cathedral Deans.

Posted by: Pam Smith on Friday, 8 February 2013 at 6:02pm GMT

Hats off to the HoB at the CofE. Its called affirmative action. Its a good interim measure until women are finally recognized as equal by the church. I would expect that "traditionalists" who wish to see patriarchy continue, will also welcome this move. After all, its based on principles similar to the "special provisions" they are demanding for themselves when the ordinaiton of female persons to the episocpate comes to pass.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Friday, 8 February 2013 at 7:27pm GMT

We all recognise that Jesus himself did not ordain any women as Bishops.

Neither did he ordain any men as Bishops

Posted by: Sister Mary on Saturday, 9 February 2013 at 7:12am GMT

What Sister Mary said.

He ordained no priests either of course, being himself an observant Jew.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Sunday, 10 February 2013 at 2:00pm GMT
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