Press Release Saturday 10th July 2010
Women and the Church (WATCH)
Full Steam Ahead for Women Bishops
Church can Move Forward at Last
WATCH is delighted that the Church has today affirmed its wish to appoint women as bishops on the same basis as men.
The General Synod, meeting in York, re-iterated its decision of July 2008 that when women are appointed bishops they will be in charge of their entire Diocese. Amendments suggesting that there should be separate dioceses for those opposed, or permanent flying bishops, or that parishes should automatically be transferred to another bishop, were all rejected by the Synod.
Hilary Cotton, Vice-Chair of WATCH, said, ‘We are absolutely delighted that Synod has stuck with its decision of two years ago and wants women to be bishops with full authority. This is good news for all women, not just women in the Church.’
Rachel Weir Chair of WATCH said, ”This has been an agonisingly slow journey and the Church has rightly wanted to do all it could for those who find this difficult, but we are delighted that Synod has made the right decision in the end”. Now at last the Church can move forward and accept the wonderful gifts of leadership that our women bring.”
On Monday the Synod will decide what minor amendments to make. It will also be given the opportunity to vote for the simplest possible legislation, in other words that ‘the Church will appoint male and female bishops’. Arrangements for those opposed would then be entrusted to individual bishops under a Code of Practice that will be drawn up in the near future.
This is not the end of the journey. The wider Church will now be invited to debate the proposals and if approved General Synod will have a final vote on them in about eighteen months time.