Thinking Anglicans

CofE Evangelical Council issues statement on women bishops

The Church of England Evangelical Council has issued a statement
following the meeting of the Council on 16th/17th October 2012:

The CEEC is composed of men and women, clergy, bishops and laity, those for and against the inclusion of women in the episcopate. These convictions are sincerely held, and include those who are satisfied with the present proposals for provision. However, a majority of the Council believes that the current measure does not make adequate provision for the substantial number of the Church of England who cannot support this development, and is concerned that there is a serious possibility the measure may result in their exclusion from the Church. It believes that all members of General Synod must prayerfully consider the good of the whole church and vote with a clear conscience which, for opponents, may mean voting against the Measure, rather than, as they are being asked, to abstain.

Notes to Editors

CEEC is constituted to represent and co-ordinate Anglican evangelicals across the country within the Church of England and its structures and has members both for and against the consecration of women bishops.

There is a substantial number in the dioceses against the present proposals:
a) The votes in the Dioceses on this legislation showed that:
23% clergy opposed the legislation and 2% abstained
22% laity opposed to the legislation and 3% abstained See page 4

b) A ComRes Poll in Oct 2012 showed 18% of Anglicans were against the idea of women bishops and 9% were unsure about the initiative. See page 8

CEEC Chairman: The Venerable Michael Lawson
Executive Officer: The Revd Canon Michael Walters
Communications Officer: The Revd Peter Breckwoldt

CEEC Chairman, the Venerable Michael Lawson has added a comment on the background to the Statement:-

‘Many evangelicals, both supporters and non-supporters of the ordination of women to the episcopate, are deeply concerned about provision for those who in good conscience cannot accept women bishops. We believe it is a matter not just of justice but of godliness to treat well this minority of those with whom God has joined us together in fellowship and mission. In all this we have to remember we are God’s people, and behave as such, and not slip into the ungodliness of warring political factions’.

Membership of the CEEC Council is listed here. The Election process is described here. The Basis of Belief to which Council members must subscribe can be found here.


  • confused sussex says:

    Even by the figures in the polls quoted at least 75% of interested people are in favour of the move to appoint women bishops.

  • Jean Mayland says:

    Evangelicals such as these will never have to receive a woman bishop except when she comes to hear their objection, which she will be bound to respect. She will agree that they can have a male bishop – there will be no problem about that.Why then do they want to stop people who are looking forward to having a woman bishop from having their heart’s desire. This seems very selfish and hardly ‘christian’.

  • Stephen Bates says:

    Is this the same group who wouldn’t allow Rowan to speak at the NEAC conference just after he became Archbishop of Canterbury nine years ago because he might lead them into error, yet is now pleading for tolerance for themselves, if not others? Certainly seems like some familiar names on this great body. And the distinguished Wally Benn as president until 2015!

  • Pete Broadbent says:

    I’m afraid that CEEC is not representative of the vast majority of evangelical Anglicans. It is stacked with a majority of Con Evos, and doesn’t speak for most of us. Personally I believe in provision for those opposed, but I don’t see the CEEC statement as either constructive or representative of the preponderance of evangelical Anglican opinion.

  • Readers may be interested in the following comment made elsewhere by Chris Sugden, in which he compares this issue to the Northern Ireland peace agreement,

  • Laurence Roberts says:

    ‘The views of the minority, whose position in the church is to be gravely affected by the current legislation, as to whether the provision is adequate does have some prior claim. Those of the majority for whom clear and adequate provision is being made do not look well in telling the minority what is good enough for them. That properly belongs to the minority to say. And the acid test of any democracy is how it respects the views of minorities.’

    I am so delighted that they now support equality for all minorities, including on this logic, gays.

    How ashamed I feel that ever did I doubt them !

  • Jeremy says:

    “We believe it is a matter not just of justice but of godliness to treat well this minority of those with whom God has joined us together in fellowship and mission.”

    This belief is a bit late in coming, no?

    How about treating women ordinands well?

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