Comments: Full list of female representatives to House of Bishops

Viewing this list, and looking at the theological nous of the women involved; could this be a sort of pro-forma list for the first ordinations of women into the episcopate of the Church of England? They certainly seem a bright group of Christians - not a bad basis for episcopal ministry.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 28 October 2013 at 11:45pm GMT

This list rather suggests that the first woman bishop will be chosen from among the ranks of the female Archdeacons, does it not? Rather like the majority of Diocesans are chosen from the ranks of the Suffragans.

Posted by Father David at Tuesday, 29 October 2013 at 10:27am GMT

Wish I had your optimism that General Synod will pass the legislation or take the first steps towards doing so!

General Synod member

Posted by Stephen B at Tuesday, 29 October 2013 at 2:43pm GMT

Kudos to the House of Bishops for this beginning step.

Posted by Canon Vicars Hodge at Tuesday, 29 October 2013 at 4:39pm GMT

You're not implying here, are you, Father David, that you would accept the 'validity' (in some sense) of 'women bishops'? I tease, but there is great scope here for decent blurring and ambiguity. I profoundly hope that all Anglicans of whatever stripe will seize this great opportunity, which may yet confound dirigistes both within and without our beloved church.

Posted by John at Tuesday, 29 October 2013 at 8:21pm GMT

You are indeed teasing John! I was merely observing a probability as surely the first woman bishop needs to be fairly tough and formidable. All the female Archdeacons that I have so far encountered seem to fit the bill.

Posted by Father David at Wednesday, 30 October 2013 at 7:56am GMT

Given that those eligible to stand and the electorate were deans and archdeacons or the nearest thing to them for those dioceses that don't have one of each and that there are more women archdeacons than deans, then it is not surprising that there are a lot of archdeacon representatives.

I was at a meeting the other day at which one of our women deans was speaking, I do hope that if she is offered a suffragan bishop's post she turns it down. She should be a diocesan bishop at the very least.


Posted by Susan Cooper at Thursday, 31 October 2013 at 6:42pm GMT

Indeed so, Susan! I was most surprised when the last Dean of Exeter accepted the post of Suffragan Bishop in the diocese of Norwich. I always thought that a Deanery was far more prestigious than a mere suffragan bishopric.

Posted by Father David at Friday, 1 November 2013 at 3:59am GMT

Dear Susan and Fr David,

I am thankful that your notions of prestige and entitlement aren't endemic in the wider church. As someone from the Norwich diocese, the bishop to whom you refer has been the source of much blessing for us, despite occupying a 'mere bishopric.' Perhaps Our Lord has a slightly broader, and less politically motivated, perspective on the matter.


Posted by Tom at Tuesday, 5 November 2013 at 12:52am GMT

Tom, you misquote me in that you omit the vital word "suffragan"! I have no doubt whatsoever that Bishop Jonathan is doing a marvellous job as Bishop of Lynn and is proving to be a great blessing within the diocese of Norwich but it is rather unusual, to say the least, to go from being Dean of one of our great cathedrals to a Suffragan See. Off the top of my head I cannot think of anyone else who has made a similar transition, although I'm sure someone may be able to advise to the contrary. David Colin Dunlop did go from being Suffragan Bishop of Jarrow to become Dean of Lincoln which seems to me to be a more natural preferment. I am reminded of what Percival Gardner-Smith wrote to John Robinson when he moved from being a Cambridge academic to become Suffragan Bishop of Woolwich, having formerly been Stockwood's curate at Fishponds in Bristol:- " you will spend your life taking confirmations and dedicating church bells. I am sure you will do it very well, but. I think you were Stockwood's curate long enough."

Posted by Father David at Tuesday, 5 November 2013 at 1:05pm GMT

This is the whole problem with the women bishops issue - the Church is now a career for some people, 'promotion' is their 'right'.

Posted by Barrie at Thursday, 7 November 2013 at 9:14am GMT
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