Thursday, 26 September 2013

First females elected to attend House of Bishops

See earlier TA articles here, and then here. And our own copy of the election rules here.

Church of England press release:

First Female Representatives to House of Bishops Elected
26 September 2013
The results of the first elections for female representatives to attend the House of Bishops have been announced. At its meeting of 7 February 2013 the House of Bishops decided that eight senior women clergy, elected regionally, will participate in all meetings of the House until such time as there are six female Bishops who will sit as of right.

The representatives will take up their roles on 1st December.

  • South West region - Ven Nicola Sullivan, Archdeacon of Wells
  • North East region - Very Revd Vivienne Faull, Dean of York
  • South East region - Ven Rachel Treweek, Archdeacon of Hackney


The results for the elections in the 5 other regions are expected to be announced over the next two weeks.

The rules relating to the election of the regional representatives can be found here:

More information on the role and work of the House of Bishops can be found here:

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 26 September 2013 at 9:09am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

A bit like the first moon landing: - One Small Step!
Let's hope that very soon there will only be need for two of these special Women's Representatives. By that time, though, there will have to be five Women elected as Bishops. How long will that take?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 26 September 2013 at 10:18am BST

Re your heading: I wonder if we might call them 'women' not 'females' in this instance? I understand the 'women bishops' adjectival discomfort but in this case they really are 'women'. Unless of course some female tigers/polar bears/giant pandas have been elected? Haven't ploughed through the election rules recently but I'm sure in amongst all the pages of precise detail about how the 8 were to be elected it must have specified 'women'.

Posted by: Hilary Cotton on Thursday, 26 September 2013 at 10:32am BST

Well, Hilary, the rules in fact repeatedly use the word female.

I'm only following the CofE press release wording, which in turn is only following the wording of the rules...

Wonder who drafted and approved the wording of the rules...

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 26 September 2013 at 11:47am BST

It is to be hoped that the CofE will not make a habit of positive discrimination and/or all-women shortlists. Unlike the traditionalist view of women priests/bishops, it is not a matter of deeply held belief and could presumably be challenged as unlawful.

Posted by: Jill Armstead on Thursday, 26 September 2013 at 12:21pm BST

The use of "females" as a noun has a sort of socially awkward adenoidal quality to it. (Such as in the sitcom "Friday Night".)

It's like the House of Bishops is a boys' school.

Posted by: Dan BD on Thursday, 26 September 2013 at 12:40pm BST

Personally, I'd admire these women greatly if they now issued a press release saying that they were unwilling to co-operate with such tokenism and refused to sit in the House of Bishops on these terms.

I also can't help wondering whether allowing such tokenism to be used within a House of Bishops is something that is of significance to the Communion at large and wonder if any attempt has been made to see what other churches around the world think about such a development.

Posted by: Kelvin Holdsworth on Thursday, 26 September 2013 at 12:53pm BST

Father Kelvin, only colonial Anglicans are expected to do such a thing!

Posted by: Bro David on Thursday, 26 September 2013 at 2:47pm BST

It'd be nice to have some similar 'tokenism' for Complementarian Evangelicals. Hasn't been one of those in the House of Bishops for almost a year.

Posted by: John Richardson on Friday, 27 September 2013 at 11:55am BST

"It'd be nice to have some similar 'tokenism' for Complementarian Evangelicals."
This is confusing a theological position with gender. Women do not all hold the same theological views (or any other sort of views)any more than men. I only make this rather obvious point because too often those who support the full inclusion of women in all forms of ministry in the C of E are treated as a homogenous minority group rather than part of the general , normal mix of the C of E . These assumptions are wrong! (nor are they helpful)

Posted by: Rosalind R on Friday, 27 September 2013 at 1:30pm BST

What on earth is a 'Complementarian Evangelical' ? Does it mean the opposite of Uncompromisingly?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 28 September 2013 at 11:54pm BST

He means somebody like himself, who believes in male headship.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 29 September 2013 at 1:01pm BST
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