Thinking Anglicans

Women in the Church of England

The Independent on Sunday carried this article ‘Even outstanding women struggle to rise in the CofE’ which refers to a Westminster Hall debate to be held tomorrow, Tuesday, of which information is now available here:

Tuesday 28 February
Subjects proposed to be raised on the Motion for the Adjournment:
9.30 am – 11.00 am Diana Johnson Women in the Church of England.

A press release from WATCH about it is reproduced below the fold.

Press Release Monday 27 February 2012 9.30am Women and the Church (WATCH)

Parliament to debate Sex Discrimination in the Church.

On Tuesday morning there will be a Westminster Hall debate on Sex Discrimination and the Church of England. Currently the Church of England, along with other religions, has specific exemption from some parts of the Equality Act 2010. This includes the right to discriminate against women in appointing clergy to parishes and in appointing bishops.

The current draft legislation that will allow women to be bishops includes continued exemption from the Equality Act, so that women may still not be appointed to some parishes, and will have to delegate their care of such parishes to a male bishop.

This debate is an opportunity for MPs to consider whether it is right that the Established Church should continue to be exempt from Sex Discrimination law.

Rachel Weir, Chair of WATCH, said ‘WATCH has always worked towards ending sex discrimination in the Church of England, and is delighted that the subject will be aired in this way. Most people in this country would be astonished to realise that the Established Church is allowed to enshrine sex discriminatory provisions in law when that has been against public policy for over thirty years. Having women as bishops will be an important step on the journey to full inclusion – but there’s a long road ahead of us’.

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John RochFather Ron SmithRobert ian williamsMary MarriottRichard Ashby Recent comment authors
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Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

Glad to see parliament finally getting a grip on this.

Laurence C.
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Laurence C.

“Most people in this country would be astonished to realise that the Established Church is allowed to enshrine sex discriminatory provisions in law when that has been against public policy for over thirty years.”

Never mind ‘against public policy’ – ‘illegal for everyone else’ would be more accurate.

Disestablishment is long overdue, in my opinion.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Outstanding men don’t get much of a look in either. The House of Bishops, with a few exceptions seems a pretty mediocre bunch.

Mary Marriott
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Mary Marriott

A very telling point Richard Ashby. The abolition of parsons’ freehold will only make things worse, with time.

Father Ron Smith
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What this parliamentary debate on Tuesday might do, hopefully, is make Members of Parliament aware of the implications of the limitation expected from the House of Bishops’ amendment of the Code of Practice, for the authority of a Woman Bishop to make her own decisions about who may, or may not, offer episcopal ministry on her behalf in her diocese. To allow an extra-diocesan bishop (PEV) to act independently of a woman diocesan bishop’s authority in her diocese, would be to set up a two-tier episcopal ministry in the Church of England. This would surely be unique in the life… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

Plus the fact that if women bishops fail in July, the Westminster Parliament will be the only western legislature where a particular category of representative is exclusively reserved for men!

One hundred years after the sacrifices of the suffragettes and a woman prime minister.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Robert, in connection with your last posting, may I ask you: Is the Vatican State in any sense part of a ‘Western Legislature’ ? And if so, what, do you think, would be its view on the exclusion of Women Bishops from the Roman Catholic Church?

Robert ian williams
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Robert ian williams

Ron, the Vatican is not a democracy and makes no pretence to being one! Whereas the Westminster parliament claims to be the mother of Parliaments.

Father Ron Smith
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Yes. I guess you’re right Robert. The Vatican is nothing less than a theocratic state – one in which ordinary civil rights are superfluous.

John Roch
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John Roch

No it doesn’t.

ENGLAND is the Mother of Parliaments, not the unruly child at Westminster.