Comments: opinion

I hope that at least three women will be consecrated within a very short time of each other. That should ease the burden of being the first.

I suspect that the episcopal appointment of a woman will be a challenge to most Suffragans apart from those of very well-balanced temperament and experience. It will involve a shattering of subconscious and entrenched stereotypes for many. But it will be a great work of grace.

Posted by Sister Mary at Saturday, 22 November 2014 at 11:35am GMT

That's a very wise suggestion, Sister Mary.

In a lot of places, WO and WB came as a breath of fresh air. In CoE, it was held up so long that the fresh air might come as gale force winds… Better to start with a threesome or so.

Posted by Cynthia at Saturday, 22 November 2014 at 6:33pm GMT

The Anglican Communion was an accident of imperial expansion in the first place, and has never had such a thing as a unifying head or curia. If the communion falls, there is a distinct possibility that national churches will be better able to serve the people of their respective countries. The end of the communion could well mean the growth of the churches at home.

Posted by Nathaniel Brown at Saturday, 22 November 2014 at 6:53pm GMT

Episcopal ordinations in Province of Canterbury often have more than one candidate, and in a place like St Paul's there is room for a large congregation. Don't know about York Minster, but it would also lessen the burden of spotlight if there were episcopal ordinations in both Provinces on the same day.

Posted by peter kettle at Saturday, 22 November 2014 at 7:11pm GMT

Now I know why Superman wears a cape!

Sam Wells' "Dressed for the Moment", especially paragraphs 6 & 7, reveals the importance of presentation and perception in winning confidence.

Posted by Pam at Saturday, 22 November 2014 at 9:23pm GMT

I agree broadly with Nathaniel: what we are seeing is not the death of the communion but the death of a particular late 19th/early 20th century tractarian and pan-anglican myth of the communion as a holistic and unified Branch of the Church.

Posted by Geoff at Sunday, 23 November 2014 at 3:12am GMT

Appreciate the point of view of Sam Wells re the clerical collar, but in the main I disagree. I stopped wearing a clerical collar for almost all functions, including with vestments at liturgies, about fifteen years ago. Being in the same parish for over a decade helped, since most folks knew the rector.
I also encouraged people to call me by the name I was given at Baptism, rather than "Father" or "Canon" or "reverend".

The first time I did hospital visiting without a collar I set out with a little apprehension. I often encountered non-attending folks from my parish in hospital who would not know me. The collar also functioned as a kind of uniform where I imagined it made my presence to staff self-explanatory. What I discovered was that ditching the clerical collar actually made most hospital visits more effective. It required me to initiate conversation by introducing myself at the person's bedside, and doing it in such a way that the conversation did not immediately begin with the patient trying to explain why they were not in church, or assuming that I had been sent to deliver bad news. The hospital I.D. badge, required in any case for all staff and clergy, including those of us from the community, functioned just as well as a collar in terms of self-explanation fro staff. Clerical collars do not give all medical staff the warm and fuzzies by the way.

Not withstanding anecdotes like those in Sam's article, the collar is grounded in clericalism. In these parts, Anglicanism, in terms of wardrobe and accoutrements, remains the most clerical of churches, even more so than Rome.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Sunday, 23 November 2014 at 3:21am GMT

"Better to start with a threesome" Cynthia

The perils of US English v British English!

Posted by Laurence Cunnington at Sunday, 23 November 2014 at 10:19am GMT

Yes ordain several women to the episcopate at one big service in Southwark Cathedral or somewhere just a wonderful

have overflow facilities too all over the country perhaps.

Suffragans and diocesans and

one or two women flying bishops of course !

maranatha !

Posted by Laurie at Sunday, 23 November 2014 at 12:14pm GMT

""Better to start with a threesome" Cynthia

The perils of US English v British English!"

It works either way for me! ;-)

Posted by Cynthia at Sunday, 23 November 2014 at 10:02pm GMT

@ Cynthia & Lawrence: {Austin Powers' voice} "Oh, BEHAVE!" ;-p

Posted by JCF at Monday, 24 November 2014 at 4:25am GMT

What fun these linguistic eddyings doth bring us !

Posted by Laurie at Monday, 24 November 2014 at 1:25pm GMT

'[W]hat we are seeing is not the death of the communion but the death of a particular late 19th/early 20th century tractarian and pan-anglican myth of the communion as a holistic and unified Branch of the Church.'

True in part. But the myth has persisted into this century because some (Lambeth staff, GAFCON prelates) find the myth useful.

Nathaniel Brown's point about the Communion being an accident of imperial expansion is extremely well taken. For that very reason, the Communion will always be regarded with skepticism.

Posted by Jeremy at Wednesday, 26 November 2014 at 7:11pm GMT

Rod Gillis, I heartily agree!

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Thursday, 27 November 2014 at 12:07am GMT
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