See earlier announcement of the formation of a religious society here.
WATCH Press Statement
The Paradox of the Proposed Missionary Society of St Wilfred and St Hilda
It seems curious if not paradoxical that in proposing to form a Society for those who will not accept women bishops, the bishops concerned should choose St Hilda of Whitby as one of their patron Saints. As Abbess of a double monastery, with men and women “under her direction” (Bede), kings and bishops came to her for guidance and advice. Hilda of all people knew about discipline and loyalty to her church with her acceptance of the decision of the Synod of Whitby to follow the Roman rules and not the Celtic way which she had supported.
The “Society model” (which this proposal seems to embody), was discussed in depth by the Revision Committee when it looked at how best to provide for those who would not accept women as bishops. It was rejected because, ‘Crucially the majority of us came to believe that there was some risk of creating a society that was an even weightier body than a Diocese. This was because some of the representations made to us seemed to envisage that jurisdiction would in some way be conferred on the society itself and through it to its bishops… we therefore voted by 11 votes to 7 that we did not wish the draft Measure to be amended to give effect to a society model.’ (Report of the Revision Committee, page 22 paras 110, 115)
How sad that the example given by St Hilda in her obedience to a decision concerning the ordering of her church is ignored by those using her name, who are themselves unwilling to accept the decision made by the Revision Committee and endorsed by the General Synod.
The Revision Committee report (142 pages, as a .doc file) is available via this page.