Thinking Anglicans

General Synod – business done Saturday

Updated Sunday morning

Here are the official summaries of Saturday’s business at General Synod.

[We will add links to the afternoon and evening’s business in due course.]
These summaries are now complete.

Summary of business conducted on Saturday 10th July 2010 AM
Summary of business conducted on Saturday 10th July 2010 PM

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opinion for a synod

Dave Walker has this view of the Synod at his Church Times blog.

The Seminal has this Saturday Art article: William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury by Hans Holbein the Younger.

Emma John asks in The Guardian Should women ever be bishops? It’s an issue which could result in schism and put the future of the church in jeopardy. Four women who would be in line for the top job, reveal why it’s time for Christians to put their differences behind them.

Ellen Painter Dollar writes on the her.meneutics blog: Confessions of a Church-Skipping Mom. Is it better to attend church burnt out and stressed, or occasionally stay home but miss corporate worship?

Theo Hobson writes in The Guardian about A new model Christianity. The “emerging church” movement may offer something more than new manners and styles if it breaks free of establishment.

Albert Radcliffe argues in The Guardian that The Bible is an open book. The Bible does not end moral debates on gay rights and the role of women. Its pronouncements are there to open discussion.

Jack Valero writes in The Guardian about The sad demise of celibate love. It is symptomatic of modern values that we conclude Cardinal Newman’s intense love for a man meant he was a homosexual.

Philip Ritchie writes on his blog about Gossip: cancer of the community.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times that Turkish scars need healing

Graham Kings asks at Fulcrum Should Christians share Christ with People of other Faiths?


General Synod – press reports

Riazat Butt in The Guardian General Synod meets to discuss Catholic defection

Martin Beckford in the Telegraph Archbishops face test of authority over women bishops at Synod

Ruth Gledhill in The Times and reproduced here, Bishops ready to sabotage Williams over consecrating women.

ENS Matthew Davies General Synod set for lengthy debate on women bishops legislation

Press Association Further debates over women bishops

BBC Views differ on women bishops compromise bid


covering General Synod debates

Thinking Anglicans will do its best to provide up to date reports during the long debates today and Monday on Women in the Episcopate. We will report here on each amendment in turn as the debate progresses.

For Twitter coverage please follow all those contributing by using the #synod hashtag. That will include occasional contributions from @simonsarmiento.

You may find Peter Owen’s summary of the various amendments useful to read while you wait.

There is a live audio feed on Premier Radio.


General Synod – business done Friday

Updated Saturday morning

Here are the official summaries of Friday’s business at General Synod.

[We will add a link to the evening’s business in due course.]
The page linked below now includes the evening business.]

Summary of business conducted on Friday 9th July 2010 PM

These entries also include links to audios of the sessions and to relevant papers.


Jim Naughton on the Synod

Jim Naughton writes in The Guardian that Rowan destroys his own credibility. Rowan Williams cannot speak truth to power when he has so clearly capitulated to it himself.

… as the General Synod convenes once again, to discuss issues about which its members can actually be presumed to know something, I find myself walking right up to the precipice of that promise to say a few words about what it will mean if the synod embraces Rowan Williams’ poorly conceived ecclesiastical innovations.

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LGBTAC comments on Southwark

LGBT Anglican Coalition Press Release 9 July 2010

Southwark failure damages Church of England

Both recent meetings of the Crown Nominations Commission to choose a new bishop for the Diocese of Southwark have been the subject of serious leaks to a newspaper. This has resulted in huge personal pain and distress for one candidate, Dr Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, for the second time in seven years. It is particularly outrageous that some senior church officials have suggested the leaks were engineered by supporters of Dr John, rather than by those opposed to his nomination.

It has brought the Church of England into even further disrepute with the general public, who will regard it, rightly or wrongly, as another example of the blatant homophobia that exists in the Church.

Once again the Church has failed to act with courage. The whole Commission must be held responsible for this, regardless of whether the source of the leak was an elected member, an ex‐officio member, or one of the staff in attendance at what is supposed to be a totally confidential meeting.

It is essential that a thorough independent enquiry be held immediately to determine who was responsible. There should also be an urgent review of the process of appointing bishops, as the present arrangements are not fit for purpose, and an open and transparent procedure is clearly necessary.

Notes for Editors

1. The Anglican Coalition is here to provide UK‐based Christian LGBT organisations with opportunities to create resources for the Anglican community and to develop a shared voice for the full acceptance of LGBT people in the Anglican Communion.

2. The Coalition members are:

Accepting Evangelicals
Changing Attitude
The Clergy Consultation
The Evangelical Fellowship for Lesbian and Gay Christians
Inclusive Church
The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement
The Sibyls


Nick Baines on Southwark

Nick Baines writes in The Guardian today to say that Jeffrey John was not the favourite. The stories about Jeffrey John’s nomination as bishop of Southwark are mischief-making based on ignorance.

He wrote on the same topic earlier in his blog: Media literacy: Lesson 1

Nick Baines is the suffragan bishop of Croydon in the diocese of Southwark.


Choosing bishops including Southwark

Updated again Friday morning

The Guardian has three articles this evening all connected in some way with the choice of the next bishop of Southwark.

Riazat Butt How to become a bishop – secret ballots and royal approval
Andrew Brown Jeffrey John and the global Anglican schism: a potted history
Stephen Bates How the Church of England became the church of state

Stephen Bates also has this news item: Rowan Williams under siege over gay bishop veto

Stephen Bates also has this: Profile: Dr Jeffrey John

And in The Guardian Riazat Butt and Stephen Bates write Church divided over gay rights: new fears of schism and anguish for archbishop

And for good measure, there is an editorial in the Guardian The state and religion: The church risks looking absurd.

…This week a gay but celibate cleric, Jeffrey John, the dean of St Albans and a man of the highest intellectual and moral standing, was rejected as a candidate for the diocese of Southwark because of his sexuality. No other private or state institution would have been allowed to do this. No institution, either, would be allowed to bar women from applying for the job, allowing them to be ordained but not promoted.

The internal agonies of a church caught between its Protestant and Catholic, and its liberal and conservative, tendencies cannot excuse this official institutionalisation of intolerance. It is true that disestablishing the church would require a huge amount of constitutional unpicking – much of it beneficial, such as the removal of anti-Catholic discrimination from the Act of Settlement. No government is likely to devote parliamentary time to the cause. It is true, too, that the established part of the church tends to be the more liberal, and that pulling back state involvement may do little to advance the cause of men such as Jeffrey John. Any mechanism that allows dialogue and change between the hard core of the committed and the penumbra of the vaguely supportive has something to be said for it. Religions that are entirely cut off from the surrounding culture neither die nor fade away, but turn crazy and dangerous. But formal disestablishment need not mean isolation, only the end of an unhealthy pretence that one church above all others can speak for a diverse nation.

David Hume once argued: “The union of the civil and ecclesiastical power … prevents those gross impostures and bigoted persecutions which in all false religions are the chief foundation of clerical authority.” The Church of England can obey his advice and accept the tolerant norms of modern society, as defined by the state. Or it can decide, privately, what it believes. Caught between the two, it risks becoming, as its archbishop feared, absurd

Damian Thompson writes in his Telegraph blog about The second humiliation of Jeffrey John: Rowan’s liberal credentials go up in smoke
Martin Beckford in the Telegraph has Archbishop of Canterbury accused of second ‘betrayal’ of gay cleric
Jonathan Wynne-Jones on his Telegraph blog writes The Church of England looks mad following the Jeffrey John snub


Southwark election news: Jeffrey John rejected

Updated Thursday morning

Jonathan Wynne-Jones reports on his blog for the Telegraph Dean Jeffrey John, leading gay cleric, rejected as next Bishop of Southwark.

I can reveal that Dr Jeffrey John, the openly gay but celibate Dean of St Albans, has been blocked from becoming a bishop once again. He has not been chosen as the next Bishop of Southwark. Liberals will be dismayed that the Church has lost its nerve – but there is no reason for evangelicals to celebrate, either…

…It is also bad news for Rowan Williams. Although he is only one of 14 members of the Commission, liberals will be perplexed as to why he allowed John’s name to be included on the shortlist if it was only to be rejected at the last minute. To be fair, he didn’t know that this fact would be leaked to me, and he is said to have been livid with the Commission that it was. But, given what happened in 2003 and his apparent distress at forcing his old friend to stand down from becoming Bishop of Reading, it will surprise many that he didn’t use his influence to try and sway the few undecided members who could have secured his selection.

The Archbishop has appeared increasingly resolute and self-assured over recent months, but liberals will be left wondering why he loses his backbone when it comes to fighting their corner. Even conservative evangelicals made clear that there was no reason to object to the dean’s appointment this time round, pointing to the fact that he has stressed that his homosexual relationship is celibate…

And the Telegraph newspaper report is now here: Gay cleric blocked from becoming Church of England bishop by Jonathan Wynne-Jones and Martin Beckford

…It is understood that discussions at the two-day meeting, held at a secret location in Stepney, were heated with members of the Commission arguing over whether they should select Dr John.

Dr Williams is said to have been furious at the pressure placed on him and the other members by a leak to The Sunday Telegraph, which revealed the dean was on the shortlist. He asked the rest of the Commission to swear an oath of secrecy about the talks.

Church insiders considered that his name would not have been included unless there were plans to make him a bishop, as Dr John was forced to stand down from becoming the Bishop of Reading in 2003 after it emerged he was in a homosexual, but celibate, relationship.

His supporters fear the development represents further embarrassment for the controversial dean and is another sign that the Archbishop is unwilling to advance the liberal cause…

Colin Coward at Changing Attitude reports also, see Jeffrey John will not be the next Bishop of Southwark

Jonathan Wynne-Jones has ‘revealed’ in the Telegraph that Jeffrey John is not to be nominated as the next Bishop of Southwark. Neither, so I am told, will Nick Holtham, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, be nominated.

This is painfully disappointing news for Jeffrey, who has lived through a week in which his identity and reputation have been pored over, analysed and attacked once again by conservative forces in the church in a way which I can only describe as poisonous. Those who claim the moral and ethical high ground in the church behave in ways which are scandalous and unchristian.

Anglican Mainstream deliberately left a link to the lecture that Dr Jeffrey John gave to the Post Lambeth 1998 Affirming Catholicism Conference entitled “The Church and Homosexuality : Post-Lambeth Reflections” at the top of their home page until this evening, when it suddenly disappeared, its work done.

How was Jonathan able to leak the news? Because someone on the Crown Nomination Commission for the Southwark appointment ignored the absolute confidentiality of the group and deliberately leaked information about yesterday’s meeting to a conservative hostile to Jeffrey and LGBT people in the church. That person, for a second time, passed the information to Jonathan Wynne-Jones – one of the non-voting members, perhaps?

Conservative Evangelicals are ruthless in their determination to win total control of the church, even if in the process, they destroy the Church of England’s ability to communicate the gospel to the nation, and destroy the unity of the Anglican Communion, by whatever unprincipled, destructive means possible.

Archbishop Rowan was apparently so furious about the first leak that he unilaterally vetoed Jeffrey’s name, betraying his friend for a second time and handing an apparent victory to the conservatives who seem to be successfully controlling him. Archbishop Rowan would have directed his anger in a more healthy direction if he had targetted the people inside and outside the Commission who have deliberately sabotaged its work…

The Press Association has Gay cleric ‘not selected for post’


AFP C of E ‘blocks’ gay cleric from becoming bishop

Guardian Riazat Butt Gay clergyman blocked from becoming bishop


Understanding the women bishops debate

Justin Brett a member of General Synod has written a splendid essay explaining what will happen. See A Lesson concerning the Debating of Women Bishops.

“Good morning class. Today’s lesson is all about how to work out what on Earth General Synod is doing in all these debates over the next few days. You are going to need the following set texts – the Report of the Revision Committee, the Draft Measure, and Notice Paper 5. If you have forgotten them, go and download them now. Yes, we’ll wait… OK. Everybody got the right bits of paper? Good. Now, the first thing you need to know is that there are actually only two debates about this happening at Synod. Yes, I know it looks from the Agenda as though there are going to be at least five, but it’s actually one short debate and one very long one, that will take about a day and a half to get through. Let’s deal with the short one first…

Support for a simple measure comes from an unlikely quarter, see Ed Tomlinson’s article at Cif belief This fudge on bishops must fail. An Anglican considering going to Rome says, keep your women bishops, and give us the money and buildings we need.

And Riazat Butt in the Guardian reports that women clergy could be driven out if too many concessions are made. See Female bishops decision in the balance.


further press coverage on Southwark

The Guardian has an editorial, In praise of … Dr Jeffrey John

In the recent history of the Church of England, there can have been few more miserably resonant meetings than the one that took place on 5 July 2003 at Lambeth Palace between Archbishop Rowan Williams and his friend the then Canon of Southwark, Jeffrey John. It occurred because the nomination of Dr John, who is gay, as Bishop of Reading had set off a storm at home and overseas. Parishes had threatened to take their money and loyalty elsewhere, and senior clergy in Africa and the Caribbean had called for the nomination to be revoked. The meeting at Lambeth lasted six agonising hours. It ended with Dr John agreeing to sign a letter withdrawing his acceptance of the bishopric “in view of the damage my consecration might cause to the unity of the Church”. A few months later, Dr John moved to St Albans, where he has worked as dean with distinction ever since. Now, seven years almost to the day after the humiliation over Reading, he is a step away from becoming the next Bishop of Southwark. Dr John was shabbily treated over Reading. No damage that his consecration may have done compares to the damage done to the church and Dr Williams by its abandonment. Dr John has behaved with great dignity throughout. He has no presumptive right to the Southwark see. Yet surely neither he nor Dr Williams would have allowed things to get this far if they were not determined to see a different outcome this time. Right should be done. Dr John’s name should go forward.

The Associated Press has A gay bishop for the Church of England?


More briefings on women bishops

Christina Rees who is a member of General Synod has written a detailed press briefing entitled A Response to the Archbishops’ Amendments.

In addition to the web page version linked above, there is a PDF version here.

Andrew Goddard has made a detailed analysis of what the conservative evangelical objections are to women bishops, see at Fulcrum Evangelical opponents of women bishops: What is sought and required?


more about Southwark

That radio interview has drawn attention from no less a person than Jon Snow of Channel 4 News. He wrote on his blog about it today, see Faith and hate.

As is my wont, I awakened to the tones of the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4. The day’s controversy centred on the news that Dr Jeffrey John – the gay Anglican Dean of St Albans, who lives in a civil partnership, was being considered to become the Bishop of Southwark.

The raised voices came in a debate between two Anglican priests, in which one, Canon Chris Sugden – Executive Secretary of something called Anglican Mainstream – raised his voice in protest against the proposed appointment.

He was enraged that a priest who had indulged in an “active gay relationship” with the man whom he now enjoyed a civil partnership, was now being considered to become a Bishop. The Canon dismissed the suggestion that Dr John was now celibate. I already sensed that the discussion had veered into the priestly private life further than felt comfortable at 7.10 in the morning. But the Canon ploughed on.

He described an active homosexual, who had now become celibate, as akin to “someone entering the Cabinet having once fiddled his expenses”. The climax to the Canon’s wrath was that his fellow Canon had “never apologised” for his journey from active homosexuality to celibacy…

Reform has issued one of their rare press statements, see Comment from Reform on Jeffrey John, the dean of St Albans, being nominated for the post of bishop of Southwark:

“Dr John’s teaching regarding homosexual practice is contrary to both the Bible and to the current doctrine of the Church of England. To appoint him Bishop would send two very clear signals. First that the diocese of Southwark wants to walk in a different direction to the Church of England’s doctrine. Second that there is now little to stop the Church of England proceeding in the same divisive direction as the Episcopal Church in the USA . We would support churches in Southwark seeking alternative oversight should Dr John be appointed.”

Reform was established in 1993 and is a network of churches and individuals within the Church of England. Current individual membership is around 1,700, in addition to 35 member churches. More than 350 ordained clergy are Reform members.

Colin Coward has blogged about this topic, see Conservative evangelicals threaten to split church, defy bishops and withdraw financial support.

And yesterday, he wrote The new paradigm unfolds on Radio 4 between Chris Sugden and Giles Fraser!


criticism of the ACO continues

Criticism of what the Anglican Communion Office is doing comes from more than one direction.

On the one hand, Paul Bagshaw of the MCU has this detailed critique of Part 4 of the Anglican Covenant, Questions on the critical clause.

This is a follow-up to his earlier articles linked here.

On the other hand, the Anglican Communion Institute has this detailed criticism of the Anglican Communion Steering Committee. See ACC Standing Committee: Five Things That Should Be Done Now.


press comment on women bishops

Last Sunday’s Observer had a feature in the Magazine section written by Emma John and titled Should women ever be bishops?

It includes the following statistic:

Forward in Faith and Reform between them have a combined individual membership of 24,000; the Church of England has a regular worshipping community of 1.7 million (who attend at least once a month), the majority of whom – 65% – is female.

Monday’s Guardian had an article by Paul Handley titled Rowan turns rough.

Is Rowan Williams finally getting tough? And is he doing so with the right people?

So, here’s the scenario. Rowan Williams, just turned 60, eight years into the job at Canterbury, decides, at long last, to start throwing his weight around. People are always grumbling about the need for some strong leadership, so, right, he says, let’s give it a go…

…Next, women bishops. The General Synod decided in July 2008 to press ahead with women bishops without giving any cast-iron, legal safeguards to those who don’t accept them. There would be a code of practice, but nothing legally binding. Since then has come the Pope’s offer of sanctuary for traditionalists in the Roman Catholic Church.

In the light of this, New Rowan, joined by the Archbishop of York, a fortnight ago concocted their own cunning plan, introducing the idea of co- ordinate bishops for the traditionalists, so that each diocese has a sort of episcopal twin-set. Supporters of women bishops haven’t been overwhelmingly enthusiastic; but hey, says Rowan, I’m an Archbishop. So, there we have it: at long last, the bearded hippy finds his true voice, and it turns out to be a reactionary, authoritarian one…

But, read the whole article. This was a response to the week’s Cif belief question, which is Which way will synod jump?

(The latter article seems to assume that the synod will be considering the Covenant this weekend, which is not correct.)


Affirming Catholicism statement on Women Bishops

press release from Affirming Catholicism 6th July 2010

Women and the Episcopate

Affirming Catholicism welcomed the Report of the Women Bishops Revision Committee published on 8th May 2010. We believe that the draft legislation proposed by the Revision Committee offers a good and balanced means by which the Church of England can legislate to allow women to take their full place within the Church of England’s ministry.

After much consideration, Affirming Catholicism does not recommend supporting the Archbishops’ amendments. Although these amendments claim to retain the authority of the diocesan bishop, they do not clarify what would happen if the diocesan and the coordinate bishop found themselves in disagreement. The Archbishops’ amendments therefore create – through the legislation itself – a situation in which authority is granted to the diocesan bishop in name, but potentially not in actuality if the diocesan bishop is a woman. This is precisely the situation which the Revision Committee sought to avoid. The archbishops have not resolved the tensions between the different views on women bishops, but have merely transferred them into the detail of the Code of Practice, which does not yet exist. The danger therefore remains that by passing these amendments, two ‘classes’ of bishops will be created, a development that would threaten the catholic nature of the Church of England. We share the concerns ably expressed by Fulcrum in their helpful commentary (

Many other amendments have been proposed. The two most significant and far-reaching ones attempt to re-write the entire Measure in order to reflect positions which the Revision Committee considered at length and eventually regarded as impracticable – and in the case of separate dioceses, undesirable. The passing of either of these amendments would in our view so compromise the catholic nature of the Church of England, and so hamper the ministry of women ordained as bishop under such arrangements, that they would have the effect of wrecking the primary purpose of the legislation.

The Report documents the Revision Committee’s consideration of a range of structural solutions to arrive at a proposal which will leave the authority vested in the Diocesan Bishop, whilst making pastoral provision for those who cannot recognise that authority in the case that the Bishop is a woman. As the Report notes, the legislation as proposed “will, for the first time, enable women to be admitted to all orders of ministry. By preserving intact the authority of the diocesan bishop it will avoid any changes in the historic understanding of that office and of the episcopate more generally. And by making statutory arrangements for those with theological difficulties it will endeavour to preserve that broad and comprehensive character of the Church of England that is one of its defining and most attractive features” (Report, § 459).

The proposed legislation, unlike suggestions for separate structures for those who cannot in conscience accept the sacramental ministry of women, will preserve the parochial structures of the Church of England, preventing the creation of parallel Church of England jurisdictions in the same place. Affirming Catholicism shares the basic assumptions upon which the Draft Measure is based and would therefore recommend that it be supported.

We do, however, have some concerns about certain aspects of the proposals put forward by the Revision Committee:

  • We are cautious about the wisdom of allowing bishop’s declarations to be made on the basis of the views of others in the diocese (Draft Measure, § 2.4).
  • We believe that the provisions for those in dioceses where the bishop has made a declaration that he will not ordain women to the priesthood are not strong enough (Draft Measure, § 2.5). In particular, they do not ensure that the voice of someone supportive of the ordination of women will be heard on the senior staff of such diocese; neither do they make provision for the pastoral care of laity who are supportive of the ordination of women.
  • Whilst Affirming Catholicism respects the reasons why the Revision Committee deemed the Parochial Church Council the proper body to petition on behalf of a parish (Report §§ 236-240), we remain convinced that the legislation needs to include an explicitly stated duty of the PCC to consult widely when seeking to make parochial declarations (Draft Measure, § 3).

Affirming Catholicism supports the legislation as proposed by the Revision Committee, whilst welcoming amendments relating to these three points.


Women in the Episcopate – proposed amendments – what do they mean?

Updated Tuesday afternoon to include comment on the effect of deleting certain clauses
Note: “clause” and “section” are used interchangeably.

The text of all the proposed amendments to the draft Women in the Episcopate legislation was published in a notice paper yesterday.

Here is a simplified explanation of what I think is the intended effect of the various amendments.

The first three make provision for transfer of episcopal functions by right and not by delegation from the diocesan bishop.

512 This set of amendments will create additional dioceses for parishes unable on grounds of conviction to accept the episcopal ministry of women. There will be no women bishops or priests operating in these dioceses. The additional dioceses will exist in parallel with the current geographical dioceses. A PCC will be able to vote for its parish to join or leave one of these additional dioceses.

513 This set of amendments will set up complementary (or transferred) episcopal arrangements (sometimes abbreviated to TEA). There will be suffragan bishops acceptable to those who cannot accept the episcopal ministry of women. Parishes will be able to require that the episcopal functions of their diocesan bishop be transferred to one of these complementary bishops.

514 and 531 These are the Archbishops’ amendments to set up Co-ordinate Jurisdiction.

The remaining amendments leave intact the principle of delegation from the diocesan bishop.

515 This will restrict delegation of episcopal functions to sacraments and other divine services by removing the reference to “the provision of pastoral care to the clergy and parishioners”.

516 This provides that schemes of delegation to a male bishop will also include support for parishes not seeking such delegation.

517 This will set up a Review Commission to regularly review the arrangements for male bishops.

519 This will require PCCs to consult with electoral roll members before requesting episcopal ministry from a male bishop.

520 This will require every PCC to consider requesting episcopal ministry from a male bishop every 5 years.

521 This will require those involved in appointing incumbents and priests in charge to take account the fact that a parish has not requested episcopal ministry from a male bishop as well as the fact that it has.

522 to 527 These will relax in various ways the voting requirements when PCCs vote on requesting episcopal ministry from a male bishop.

530 This will give the House of Bishops complete discretion about what to include (or not include) in the Code of Practice.

531 See 514 above.

535 and 536 These relate to guild churches and are consequential on 523 and 524.

540 This will cause the provisions of the measure (except for allowing women bishops) to expire after 40 years.

541 This will require two-thirds majorities in each house of General Synod to subsequently amend or repeal this legislation.

542 This will require compensation to be made available to those who resign from ecclesiastical service before the measure comes into effect.

Synod procedures require a vote to be taken on the inclusion of each clause in the draft measure, and the relevant motions are also included in the notice paper. Notice has already been given that speeches will be made against the inclusion of clauses 2, 3, 4 and 7. The effect of deleting these clauses (in particular 2 and 3) would be to give the “simplest possible solution” with no provision for those opposed to women bishops and priests other than a code of practice.

There are no proposed amendments to the accompanying amending canon.


press reports on Southwark

Updated Tuesday morning

Riazat Butt reported in the Guardian on the conservative opposition in Southwark, see Gay bishop for Southwark ‘will split Church of England’. Dr Jeffrey John nominated for Anglican diocese but parishes could seek leadership abroad, conservative clerics warn.

Andrew Brown has written at Cif belief Sex and the archbishop. Installing the openly gay Jeffrey John as bishop would be a decisive victory for Rowan Williams. But if he’s beaten, he’s finished.

Tuesday’s Guardian Diary column has this:

The issue of gay bishops has them marching as to war within the church and no mistake. How can we have Jeffrey John, an openly gay man, as bishop of Southwark, thundered traditionalist canon Chris Sugden on the Today programme yesterday? Yes, it’s muskets at dawn, and when the hostilities begin, look out for the Rev Paul Perkin, a member of the Church of England General Synod and vicar of the deeply evangelical St Mark’s in Battersea, part of the Southwark diocese in south London. He strongly opposes the proposed candidature of John, and the cut of his jib is such that his parish website programme page is decorated with cartoon graphics of military tanks. “Faith Under Fire,” reads the caption. Those who feel threatened will inevitably fire back.

Martin Beckford at the Telegraph has Traditionalist Church of England groups warn of defections if gay bishop is ordained


Women in the Episcopate – full list of proposed amendments

A notice paper listing all the proposed amendments to the Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure (GS 1708A) has been published.

Notice Paper 5

It is 37 pages long.