Thinking Anglicans

Women bishops – more reports and reactions to Monday's vote

Madeleine Davies, Tim Wyatt and Gavin Drake Church Times Women bishops legislation wins Synod’s final approval

John Bingham The Telegraph First women bishops in months after Synod vote

Jemima Thackray The Telegraph Women bishops: delaying this historic vote was a blessing in disguise

The Telegraph Celebration as Church of England General Synod approves women bishops

Ruth Gledhill Christian Today There will be women bishops… General Synod passes legislation

Ruth Gledhill The Guardian Joy and relief at display of unity for vote on ordination of female bishops

Claer Barrett and Mark Odell Financial Times Church of England synod votes for women bishops

Matthew Engel Financial Times Victory for women bishops but no triumphalism

Andrew Brown The Guardian Jubilation as Church of England’s synod votes to allow female bishops

Andreas Whittam Smith The Independent Women bishops: Church of England still divided but now prepared to trust each other

Stephen Castle The New York Times Church of England Votes to Allow Women as Bishops

Video: Archbishop Welby talks to BBC Newsnight about the vote to allow female bishops

Gillan Scott God & Politics in the UK Good news at last, but the women bishops vote was ultimately never about women bishops

Fulcrum Statement on Synod Vote for Women Bishops

Colin Coward for Changing Attitude Women bishops – finally

WATCH issued a press release which is copied below the fold.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales issued this statement: Women Bishops – Church of England.

Women and the Church
PRESS RELEASE
14 July 2014

“there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3.28)

Today we are overjoyed that the General Synod has finally passed the legislation that will enable women to become bishops. This marks a new beginning for the church that can now begin to be fully affirming of both the women and men in it.

Much of the tone and mood of the debate today was notably different to that of November 2012 and WATCH gives thanks to all those who have worked tirelessly, supported wholeheartedly and prayed deeply for this wonderful day. Thanks be to God!

Hilary Cotton, Chair of WATCH said
What a historic day. Relief and then joy and then excitement. Yes to women at last.

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Erika BakerMark BennetMartin ReynoldsRod GillisRichard Grand Recent comment authors
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Lionel Deimel
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From Financial Times: “The absence of triumphalism was an appropriate response given the ridiculous fuss the church made about a change that everyone else regarded as a no-brainer.”

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Which of these organisations is going to fold now?
FiF? Watch? Etc ……..
Their very existence suddenly now seems to be archaic, a relic of past bitternesses …..

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

The most interesting section of the BBC Newsnights’ interview with Archbishop is between the two minute and two and one half minute marks. Welby states that the decision was not so much about culture but is a theological decision. Seems to me that the decision is really about how the church continues to embrace opposing contradictory theologies, one based on gender equality and the other based on patriarchy and sexism. In that sense the decision has more to do with polity i.e. Anglican politics. So, women are in when it comes to the episcopate (alleluia!), but not to worry, the… Read more »

Stephen Morgan
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Stephen Morgan

I think a Dictionary of Outdated Church Acronyms is called for…my personal favourite has always been WAOW (Women Against Ordination of Women). I’ve always been a supporter of women’s ordination but WAOW sounds much more exciting than MOW! (WAOW members were not, on the whole, very exciting!)

Father David
Guest
Father David

Among those women priests who are constantly referred to as papabile the names of three female deans constantly reappear – York, Salisbury and Norwich. It occurs to me that female Archdeacons by far outnumber women Deans but they hardly ever get a mention. Whoever is appointed as the first woman bishop will have to be fairly tough and Archdeacons can when necessary play “the tough guy” quite well. Besides, who in their right mind would want to give up the comfort of a Deanery for a crook and a mitre and a constant peripatetic ministry?

Dan BD
Guest

Martin: oh, that WATCH could fold! We are very clear that there is a lot yet to be done about full gender equality in our church.

But today, thanks be to God, for she has truly made her Spirit known!

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

New days need new remedies, Dan BD!
If there is an need as you describe, and I hardly doubt it, then let’s make a new thing ….
I liked the Stephen Morgan call to venerate old acronyms like WAOW! Can anybody remember others ……

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

Was striking to see that ‘Newsnight’ has already moved on to equality and justice for lesbian and gay Anglicans. Equally striking to see how quickly Welby’s self-satisfied joy at the Synod vote melted into testy defensiveness. I was never in the camp that wanted this vote to fail for tactical reasons. You don’t fight one injustice with another. But even on tactical grounds, this vote is a triumph. It’s untenable for the church to overturn one type of patriarchy only to defend another, not to mention incomprehensible to anyone outside the institution. It’s incomprehensible to plenty within. Every bit of… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Is it all about the clothes? Readers may get a kick out of this column on women bishops in England from the Toronto based newspaper, National Post

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/07/15/church-of-england-takes-the-plunge-in-allowing-women-to-become-bishops/

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

Just so readers know, the National Post (Toronto, Canada) is a very right wing publication. It supports conservative views and the Conservative Party and is highly biased. It is not a “newspaper of record” in Canada. For some reason, negative articles about the Church of England are often reprinted, usually from a conservative British paper like the Telegraph where a columnist has said something nasty about liberalism. Then the usual extremely conservative comments begin. Oddly, these articles never seem to note that the Anglican Church of Canada has had women as bishops for about thirty years. They assume that Canada… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Martin Reynolds,
Scotland voted for women bishops 20 years ago and has not yet got a single one of them.
I hope WATCH etc. remain very very active until we have at least two female diocesans.

See also Linda Woodhead’s blog post on this: https://theconversation.com/yes-vote-for-women-bishops-challenges-the-church-of-england-to-embed-equality-29226

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

MOW disbanded after the 1992 vote etc. WATCH was born of necessity from the ashes. Conscious of that history, it is unlikely that WATCH will disband quickly. Those who were at General Synod will have seen at the WATCH stand the ten WATCH aims, one of which is close to being delivered. WATCH has always had a more extensive agenda than the campaign for women bishops and has found its work rather distorted by the extended synodical process for enabling the consecration of women as bishops. Much of its work in other areas has had rather less public profile –… Read more »

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

‘striking to see how quickly Welby’s self-satisfied joy at the Synod vote melted into testy defensiveness.’
Are you sure? I must have been watching a different Newsnight.

robert ian Williams
Guest
robert ian Williams

Erika … as Bishop Jefferts Schori observed even in TEC, it is difficult for women to be elected…there are currently only 3 diocesans. In Ireland, the recent female appointment only occurred because the election was deadlocked and the bishops nominated instead.

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

Erika, as the Scottish Episcopal Church has elected bishops, it’s in a very different situation from England.

There have been female candidates, but electoral synods have yet to raise a woman to the purple. As there were gaps in age and experience, there’s no indication that the Piskies’ decisions were sexist, but rooted in a desire to elect the right *person* for the diocese.

Flora Alexander
Guest
Flora Alexander

It’s less than 20 years since the Episcopal Church in Scotland agreed that women could be bishops. It’s true that they haven’t appointed one yet, but I don’t think there have been many vacancies to fill during that period.

James A
Guest
James A

You may not have to wait long, Martin. My episcopal sources tell me that Caroline Boddington has already emailed the bishops along the lines of “Dear Bishop, please send me the names of those who are READY NOW (her capitals) to be diocesan bishops.” She’s not wasting any time and is obviously anxious to get one appointed before any more axes fall on the heads of Lambeth Palace mandarins. Some of us, on the other hand, might wonder how a process of discernment might come in to play – and discernment takes time.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

I think Erika meant that Ireland voted for women bishops 20 years ago and still hasn’t managed to elect one yet! (One was appointed after an electoral college failed to nominate). Scotland it is that has been willing but not able for a decade. Who knows Wales may beat them both to it yet! A careful reading of my comment will show that I would advocate and encourage WATCH to vanish as they have achieved their goal, others (or etc) need to vanish for different reasons. A new thing supporting, advocating, encouraging and teaching the path of inclusion might well… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Also I see no purpose or justification in an unseemly rush to ordain a woman to the episcopate. Nothing will be served by such haste.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

What a wonderful result for the Church of England.
However, the Scottish Episcopal Church has yet to elect/appoint a woman bishop – despite having passed the enabling legislation some time ago. Could this be because of a lingering reluctance on the part of some to make the first step in the U.K.?

One can only hope that there will be women in the House of Bishops before any determination is made on the enablement of Civil Marriage for same-sex clergy in the Church. The decline of historic patriarchy in the Church could make a world of difference to this particular justice issue.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Re what Richard Grand says about The National Post is pretty much spot on. The one thing I would add is that the name of the paper ” National Post” is somewhat pretentious, in my opinion as a Maritimer, hence my reference to it as Toronto Based. British readers may be amused to know that Conrad Black ( British Lord Cross Harbor), who ran afoul of American Justice, was connected to The Paper and his columns are still published there by times, I believe. Not sure I would dismiss the National Post as a paper of record in Canada, as… Read more »

Robert Ian williams
Guest
Robert Ian williams

I totally disagree with Martin.. Watch needs to continue and expand their work. To monitor any discrimination against women or men ordained by women..especially discrimination coming from the new groupings Reform and Forward in Faith, who will be working for a de facto third province. Watch needs to watch that the bishops do not let them develop an episcopal succession , free from the ” taint” of bishops who participate in women’s consecrations.Their bishops must be ordained by Canterbury or York. Help needs to be given to those in parishes where a pcc bans women. Shamefully this never happened over… Read more »

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

Martin Reynolds: “Also I see no purpose or justification in an unseemly rush to ordain a woman to the episcopate. Nothing will be served by such haste.” That same attitude leaves TEC after 25 years with 3 diocesan bishops out of 110. On the same time scale, Martin will never live to see one in the Church in Wales! As for Archbishop longley’s comments..a Catholic rejoices that there is still within the Church of England a tiny group believing in the historic episcopate. Sound the trumpet WATCH, or you will get a third province de facto. Could you imagine Martin… Read more »

Sister Mary
Guest
Sister Mary

The RC Bishops’ spokesman’s comment is presented in very pale grey. We understand why they had to say it, but maybe they’re ashamed at heart? (Sigh) Probably not.

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

In reply to Rod Gillis, I agree that the article posted here from the National Post was really just a compilation from British papers and pretty innocuous. Nevertheless, it usually reprints British articles about the C of E, with a sense of outrage and cynicism, displaying at the same time a real ignorance of the Canadian and other branches of Anglicanism. I agree that columnists like Coyne and Ivison appear on the CBC and elsewhere, but the “National” Post per se is not well regarded unless one wants to know what the right wing is thinking. “Lord” Black actually founded… Read more »

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

Re. the negative view of The Nationals Post on Anglicanism: Lord Black of Crossharbour, one of its founders and contributors, left the Anglican Church and became a Roman Catholic while in England. He became a “knight” of something or other in that Church and appeared famously in the robes of office. Then he became a felon. It’s interesting that the NP has columnists like Da Souza and is friendly to the RC Church, since Conservatism in Canada was traditionally Protestant. However, there is an alignment between conservative RCs and Protestants and this is reflected in the Post.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

If there’s no reason to rush to have a female bishop, what was the point of the vote?
That sounds a bit like voting for women’s suffrage but then declaring that they won’t be allowed to vote in an Election for another… shall we say 25 years?

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Re Richard @ 8:05, There was an article in the Globe and Mail, see link below, which is balanced, and quotes Bishop Goddard of Burnley as voting against the measure out what he describes as “obedience to God”.
As for the comments board in the National Post (T.O.) being occupied right wing R.C.s and fundamentalists, there seems to be a trend in that regard on most comment boards, these folks, along with atheists, seem rather obsessively taken with Anglicanism. Seems they can’t live with us, but can’t live without us ( :

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/church-of-england-poised-for-historic-vote-on-allowing-women-bishops/article19583954/

Pam Smith
Guest

I didn’t think Justin Welby was testy in the Newsnight interview.

He quite pleasantly – and properly – refused to be hustled into making statements on issues other than the one he’d been invited on to discuss.

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

Erika, shall they just throw a purple robe over the first woman priest that walks in the door or out the restroom today to get it done quickly? Choosing the first one well is important I think for it to continue. Choosing poorly will just make it harder in the end as moderates and conservatives will just point out what a disaster “she” was. I’m from Montana and we chose the first female Congresswoman in the US because she helped push suffrage through the state. She was also the last female Congresswoman we’ve had. While our current bishop has been… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Oh dear, I thought most would agree that rushing forward for a trophy female as a bishop would be a bad idea! Leisurely repentance over a bad choice might set the whole thing back years …….. Though I note some are already saying that all we can expect is a copy of the present brigade with bosoms and vagina …. Though I suppose there is the point that the first woman bishop has every right to be equally dull or lifeless as the others. As to suffrage, that was not something won in one vote. Indeed here in the UK… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Chris H, you are very quick to dismiss all those women who have been suggested as possible candidates. Of course, if they were all miraculously found to be unsuitable, so be it. But Martin seemed to be suggesting that they should not even be considered as that was displaying undue haste. 20 years after having the first women priests, decades after Deans of Cathedrals etc. “unseemly rush” are not quite the words that spring to mind. But if that’s really the prevailing attitude then we must hope that WATCH and Yes To Women Bishops continue to exert pressure. Certainly, if… Read more »

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

@Rod Gillis: Those who seem to comment the most on articles about religion in newspapers do seem to be either of a very right wing type, or are adamant atheists. They all seem to be looking for a soap box and they must scan the headlines daily so they can find a place to vent. Anglicanism seems to attract them, since its an easier target, having a history and profile, as well as things like bishops and cathedrals. They can’t get such a bang from attacking the United Church, etc., although they make quite an effort. Romanism is less assailable,… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Don’t know how the appointment process will unfold, but given that there are likely an abundance of qualified female priests who could be made bishops in the C of E, one would hope that the “first” one will not be a solitary appointment separated in time by a second female bishop, but rather that the C of E will get several female bishops in various parts of the country at or about the same time.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

I have responded to you Erica pointing out the error of your assumptions, gently, but it was rejected by the editor.

ED: delayed, but now published.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Thank you Martin, I confess to still being bemused at the implication that a quick choice now would likely be one that the church would repent of at leisure. Isn’t it rather the contrary – because no women has yet been made a bishop, yet we have had 20 years of women priests, there is a very large pool of very capable women to choose from? There is no guarantee that a current of future CNC will make an inspired choice. But the risk of a boring woman bishop is no greater than that of a boring male bishop. And… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Are you suggesting I am being Entlike, Erica! I know it is media hype but this …….. “We will have a woman nominated before Christmas …..” seems to my old fashioned mind irreligious, impious more appropriate to a football team player than bishops of the Church. I am not against enthusiasm, but I am on record as not being very enthusiastic about the choice of the first openly gay bishop, I am sorry if some should think that I am not impressed with the women in waiting ………I don’t know any of them well. In any case, those women who… Read more »

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

On the assumption of “quick choice” or “unseemly haste” – ever since this legislation has had a realistic prospect of success, the same processes which advance men towards consideration for consecration have been quietly invoked in the cases of women too. In fact the legislation has taken so long to pass that half a generation of capable women who could have been considered for consecration have continued their ministry in their vocation to priesthood, and will never have any potential episcopal vocation tested by the church. Secondly, the processes for considering episcopal appointments are themselves notoriously slow, with a regular… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Martin,
I suppose it depends on how we interpret “unseemly rush”.
Christmas is media hype, I agree.
I misunderstood you to be saying “slow down, just because it’s now legal on paper doesn’t mean we have to do anything yet”.
I’m glad I was mistaken!