Updated again Wednesday evening
The Archbishop of Canterbury hosted a day conference at Lambeth Palace entitled ‘Transformations: Theology and Experience of Women’s Ministry’. The conference was intended to allow honest reflection on the lived experience of women as priests. It is now over 17 years since women were first ordained to the priesthood in the Church of England.
See this Church Times report: Meeting heralds new era for episcopacy
THE House of Bishops must be ready for a change of culture now, before the final vote on accepting women into the episcopate, Dr Williams heard on Monday.
A day-long conference was hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace on Monday, after discussions with groups such as Women and the Church (WATCH), and the women Deans, Archdeacons, and Residentiary Canons group (DARC).
The day was reflective and wide-ranging in its discussions, said the Rector of St James’s, Piccadilly, the Revd Lucy Winkett. “People talked about issues like clergy couples and flexible working, and the impact on a priest’s vocation — all issues that have been highlighted by the ordination of women. “But we talked more about what it meant to be a priest in a modern age. There was a general feeling that priesthood has been bureaucratised. “There will be a great culture change for the House of Bishops if women are made bishops, and there was a strong feeling that it would be healthy for more than one woman to be appointed as a bishop at first.”
And this press release from WATCH (Women and the Church):
Press Release Wednesday 22 September 2011
Lambeth Palace Conference: Experience of Women’s Ministry
Transformations: Theology and Experience
Archbishop Rowan yesterday hosted a day conference at Lambeth Palace entitled ‘Transformations: Theology and Experience of Women’s Ministry’. The conference was intended to allow honest reflection on the lived experience of women as priests. It is now over 17 years since women were first ordained to the priesthood in the Church of England.
Participants from a wide range of experience in the Church of England were invited to discuss a wide range of issues and the conference was attended by two visiting Anglican bishops, The Right Reverend Mary Gray-Reeves, Bishop of El Camino Real, California and The Right Reverend Kay Goldsworthy, Bishop of Perth, Western Australia.
Bishop Mary gave the keynote address in which she spoke about different models of exercising power and her experience of building of good relationships with parishes that did not support the ordination of women. She counselled the conference that dealing with difference by building legal walls divides the Church and prevents healing of differences from happening.
The Reverend Rachel Weir, Chair of WATCH said, ‘The Lambeth day provided much needed space for reflection and for celebration. We look forward to taking the conversations forward and seeing what will emerge in the longer term from this welcomed initiative. We are very grateful to Archbishop Rowan for being so generous with his time’
More reports of the conference are now available on the Lambeth Palace site, see Archbishop hosts conference on women’s ministry which includes the full transcripts of:
Audio recordings of each of these can also be downloaded from the top right of the page.
ENS has published this further article by Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves In England, role of women debate continues.