Thinking Anglicans

More about this morning's debate

The two major contributions of the Archbishop of Canterbury to today’s debate on women bishops can be found on his own website:
Speech given moving item 14 on Women in the Episcopate at the Church of England’s General Synod
Closing Speech on item 14 (as amended) on Women in the Episcopate at the Church of England’s General Synod
For audio links go here.

Reactions have already come from Forward in Faith, and from WATCH. The latter is a PDF file, so is reproduced below the fold.


10th July 2006 for immediate release

Today a packed General Synod debated the legal and practical framework as the Church of England moves towards having women bishops. On Saturday, two days ago, Synod affirmed the principle that women should be bishops in the Church of England, an issue it has been debating for nearly thirty years. In today’s debate the Archbishop of Canterbury urged the Synod to pass the motion in his name inviting continued debate and reflection on the subject of women as bishops, and the setting up of a legislative drafting group to make the necessary legal and other arrangements. In his summing-up speech the Archbishop strongly affirmed the contributions made by
women priests over the last twelve years.

Christina Rees, Chair of WATCH, said “Today’s vote is very good news. This vote indicates the widespread acceptance of women’s orders and the reception of women ministering at all levels in the ordained ministry of the Church of England. The wheels are now turning and, at long last, we can look forward to having women as bishops within the next few years.”

Today’s motion was passed by an overwhelming majority of Synod members. The mood in Synod was clearly to move forward. Only three out of eight amendments were passed, one of which affirmed the church’s Canon Law A4. This states that all who have been lawfully ordained as deacons, priests and bishops in the Church of
England should be recognised as such by its members.

Christina Rees (Chair) Hilary Cotton (Vice-Chair)
Tel: 01763-848-822 Tel: 01483–856-827
Mob: 07768-051-646 Charles Read (Vice Chair)
eMail: Tel: 0191-334-3885

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