WATCH: Church in Wales says ‘Yes’ to women bishops
Women and the Church has issued this press release:
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Thursday, 12 September 2013 at 11:32pm BST
WATCH is delighted at the result of the vote on allowing women to become bishops passed by the Governing Body of the Church in Wales. In the end the vote was a straightforward one, either yes or no to allowing women to join the episcopate. The House of Laity voted For, 57, Against, 14, Abstentions, 2, in the House of Clergy For, 37, Against, 10 and Abstentions, 0 and in the House of Bishops For 6, Against, 0 and Abstentions, 0. The Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd Dr Barry Morgan said before the vote that if it was a yes vote, the Bishops would consult widely on a code of practice and that there would be discussions about it at the Governing Body in April 2014.
The vote in Wales provides much encouragement to those praying and campaigning to see women take their rightful place alongside men at every level , including the episcopate, in the Church of England.
The Reverend Rachel Weir, Chair of WATCH said “This is fantastic news and we are delighted that the Church in Wales has opted for simple legislation enabling women to become bishops. The vote will provide a welcome boost to the morale of female clergy well beyond the welsh borders and help to set a positive context for our own ongoing legislative process in the Church of England”
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Church in Wales
Let’s hope that those in the Church of England Synod, who believe that Women must be ordained on the same basis as Men, will be encouraged by what has happened in the Church of Wales, and will have a similar outcome from their own upcoming General Synod. Any alternative that would enshrine the polity of a two-tier episcopate should be shunned, as both unjust and un-catholic.
For a small section of the Church to be allowed ‘special provisions’ enshrined in legislation to continue their non-recognition of, and prejudice against, Women as fellow bearers of the Image and Likeness of God, and therefore full partners in the ministry of the Church; would not enhance the prospect of unity in the Church, nor would it be seen by the world as anything other than misogynistic and unjust.
This is terrific, though I still want to see about the Code of Practice. It appears that the larger institution has given a resounding YES to WB, apparently without discrimination. Yes, women are created equally in the Image of God and called equally to serve. I hope that the Code of Practice can provide a pastoral solution.
The real issue now is to get a General Synod, which is democratically elected and proportionate in its representation of women. Then you will get a similar result.This is what the Church in Wales did.