Thinking Anglicans

Reform issues statement on women bishops

13th July 2010 Reform statement on women bishops draft legislation

The Archbishop of Canterbury said to Synod yesterday that “we still have not cracked it”, and we agree.

There are two main problems with this measure as it stands.

First the provisions made for those who cannot in conscience accept the oversight of a female bishop are inadequate. This measure does not provide a secure future for our ministry within the Church of England.

Second we think that given the voting patterns we saw this time, unless the Dioceses recommend some significant changes, we will very likely see this voted down at the 2012 General Synod.

The positive response to the Archbishops’ own amendment shows that there are still options available which have not yet been fully explored and which could give Reform members and others adequate provision. We want to see these explored and will seek discussions to ensure they are.

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.

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Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
10 years ago

It seems to me that, when a church–through canonically correct procedures–adopts a policy or doctrine with which you cannot agree, it is not the church which needs to accommodate you, but rather you who needs to accommodate yourself to the church…or else leave.

To suggest otherwise is to say, by analogy, that a person who does not believe women should vote or hold political office need not obey any law passed by a legislature that includes women.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
10 years ago

Maybe Reform should add , “we already operate as a church within a church. We bring in overseas bishops to ordain and confirm, and set up church plants oblivious of the local bishop. We guard our pulpits, and would allow no Anglo-Catholic or liberal to preach their false gospels.We only want to stay within the established Church to keep the buildings, the stipend and the vicarages.”

chenier1
chenier1
10 years ago

I think this is nonsense; Reform would certainly like to see it fail, but Rod Thomas’ proposal for complementary bishops and compulsory transfer of functions from the diocesan bishop was rejected in no uncertain terms by the General Synod:

135 for, 270 against and 9 abstentions

That voting pattern would provide the necessary 2/3 majority for women bishops…

David Malloch
David Malloch
10 years ago

chenier1:

That voting pattern would only provide the necessary 2/3 majority for women bishops if it was reflected equally in all 3 houses. In reality, the vote by houses on the Archbishops’ amendment shows very clearly that a count of the whole synod may go 1 way but a vote by houses end in a different result.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

“135 for, 270 against and 9 abstentions That voting pattern would provide the necessary 2/3 majority for women bishops…” Hate to burst your bubble but unless that exact 2/3 majority just happened to split into an exact 2/3 majority in each of the three houses it certainly wouldn’t be enough! Remember how right up to November 1992 it was in doubt whether that measure would pass. Of course, the Synodical elections may change things…. Re. RIW, why would anyone want to stay in the CoE for the sake of the buildings? Everyone who’s ever sat on a PCC knows what… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
10 years ago

But you must admit Dan, that over the years a lot of evangelicals have been ordained in the C of E because they believed the C of E “set up”..buildings being a part, along with the “advantages” of Establishment etc,… provided “the best boat to fish from”. I have heard that said several times. Many Evangelical mega-churches have organised their financial affairs with sufficient care NOT to be huge contributers to the diocese. And will they flourish as well in the local school hall or whereever..the symbolic significance of the church building centrally situated is quite powerful.

Pantycelyn
Pantycelyn
10 years ago

‘REFORM’ want anything but reform ! Another lot who want to be a law unto themselves.

I really wonder why I bother with a Church of England with obscurantists and sexists like them and the anglo-catholic opt out parishes.

They just don’t play fair– and we bend over backwards to pander to them !

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
10 years ago

Some churches are already refusing to contribute to the quota.. Jesmond Parish Church, in Newcastle upon Tyne ( 1200 on a Sunday) refuses to do so, and they have just opened a Church across the river in Tom Wright’s diocese. They did this because the Bishop made pro gay utterances..he didn’t ordain a gay. Bishops of the Non Anglican conmmunion Church of England in South Africa confirm. Of course they want to keep their buildings.There has been 150 years of evangelical witness in Jesmond..in fact the Church started because the congregation of a city church did not like the incumbent… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
10 years ago

Can I also add that the people who attend Jesmond are sincere and earnest men and women, who love our Lord. They founded the Christian Institute ( as a witness to Christian ethics and value) and their missionary endeavour can not be doubted.
The former Church, the congregation left in the 1850s is now a liberal church with a tiny congregation..

john
john
10 years ago

‘Can I also add that the people who attend Jesmond are sincere and earnest men and women, who love our Lord. They founded the Christian Institute ( as a witness to Christian ethics and value) and their missionary endeavour can not be doubted.’ First sentence mostly correct. Some of the priests, however, have been aggressively homophobic, and have caused pain and distress to some of my students. Hard to believe that Tom Wright, at least latterly (maybe Oxford was different), has ever uttered ‘pro-gay’ sentiments. The ‘plant’ church to which you refer is indeed successful, remains homophobic, and employs a… Read more »

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Perry, it’s worth noting that 40 years ago my church planted another which first met in a school hall just as stereotypically required, lol. It grew and purchased land on which it built a large meeting place reminiscent of a school gym, and is now the largest church in the diocese.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
10 years ago

Of course the tragedy of Reform is their Covenant. View it on their web page and see how they affirm the sole sufficiency of Scripture and its perspicuity and then they hide their disagreement on divorce.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
10 years ago

Reform have no consensus on divorce and re-marriage and this openly mocks clause 8 of their Covenant, which reads:

The infallibility and supreme authority of “God’s Word written” and its clarity and sufficiency for the resolving of disputes about Christian faith and life.

So they hide their diasagreement and concentrate their ire on the gays!

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