The Catholic Group in General Synod has also issued a statement:
STATEMENT FROM FATHER SIMON KILLWICK, CHAIRMAN OF THE CATHOLIC GROUP IN GENERAL SYNOD
on the report of the Steering Committee on Women in the Episcopate to General Synod for November 2013 Group of Sessions
“The Catholic Group recognises that a huge amount of work has gone into producing a comprehensive and detailed legislative package, work which has been costly in spiritual and emotional terms, as well as in time – we are deeply grateful to all the members of the Steering Committee for all that they have done for the Church.
“Naturally, such a complex package will need careful study and prayer by all, rather than instant responses, and we will comment further in due course. However, as important as the detail of the proposals themselves, will be the spirit in which they are received and taken forward – a spirit of reconciliation and trust, which we believe has been growing this year, by the grace of God; it is in that light that we shall study them.”
Forward in Faith has issued this response:
Women in the Episcopate: Initial Response to the Proposals
Forward in Faith thanks the members of the Steering Committee for their work.
The proposed combination of a House of Bishops’ Declaration with a Mandatory Disputes Resolution Procedure represents a new and different approach which deserves careful consideration.
In line with the resolution passed at our National Assembly, we shall be examining the proposals closely over the coming weeks to see how far they would ensure that our parishes and their clergy and people have continued access to a ministry that will make it possible for us to flourish within the life and structures of the Church of England. We shall also be attentive to the responses of others within the Church.
After discussion, prayer and reflection, we envisage commenting further during November, in the run-up to the General Synod debates.
Women and the Church has issued this response:
WATCH encouraged following publication of WiE Steering Group’s draft legislation
The Women in the Episcopate draft legislation put forward for General Synod next month by the Steering Group contains much to encourage those campaigning for the full inclusion of women at every level of the Church. WATCH’s thanks and prayers go to those on the Steering Group working hard to achieve this and who worked under the principles of simplicity, reciprocity and mutuality.
There is much in the report that is welcomed by WATCH. Firstly, that the legislation put forward is simple and General Synod’s desire to resolve the issue as quickly and as simply as possible has been reflected in the draft legislation. WATCH also supports the recommendation of the Group to legislate on this issue through a Bishops’ Declaration, not an Act of Synod, and the wholehearted endorsement of women’s ministry in the five guiding principles. It is particularly encouraging that every diocese will have a bishop, whether the diocesan or suffragan, who ordains women to the priesthood with emphasis on consultation between diocesan bishops and parishes and diocesan bishops and PEVs.
The appointment of an Independent Reviewer is a new proposal and one which allows a forum for all sides to raise issues and concerns. As a new development, it will be interesting to see how this is received by all groups involved.
WATCH has noted the proposed arrangements for those opposed to women holding leadership roles in the church. The church will rarely be unanimous about the appointment of particular people as bishops but it is important that the leadership of bishops is widely recognized and respected amongst those they are appointed to lead.
WATCH thanks those involved in the Steering Group for their hard work and commitment to this issue and remains committed to working towards the highest possible degree of communion.
Anne Stevens, a WATCH vice chair said, ‘It’s good to see draft legislation that is so clear and concise, and we look forward to a day of great national rejoicing when women are finally made bishops. We’re grateful to the Steering Committee for all their hard work on the Bishops’ Declaration, which offers people on all sides of the debate a new opportunity to move forward in a spirit of trust and openness to one another.’