Thinking Anglicans

WATCH calls for Gender Justice in the Church of England

Press Release from WATCH

WATCH Launches “A Gender Justice Policy for the Church of England” at General Synod

Women and the Church (WATCH) launched “A Gender Justice Policy for the Church of England” at a joint fringe event at the July General Synod including 10 specific commitments.

Synod members heard from Christian Aid, USPG and the Mothers’ Union how gender justice has come to form a crucial element of their international development work. They also heard that the Anglican Communion has now signed up to the global ‘Side by Side’ movement for gender justice. So that this can be put into action locally, WATCH has prepared a ‘Gender Justice Policy for the Church of England’ which it will be asking the church to adopt.

Speaking at the launch, Hilary Cotton, Chair of WATCH said, “whilst some progress had been made in gender justice in recent years, most notably Women Bishops, now is the time for the Church of England to embody and promote gender justice both in its internal structures and in its external engagement with the world”.

As a next step following the pattern of our sister churches, the Church in Wales (2008) and the Scottish Episcopal Church (2009), WATCH recommends that the following Synod motion be proposed:

That this Synod, affirming its commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, invites the undertaking of a Gender Audit at every level of the Church of England in time to report back to the General Synod in 2019

More information is contained in this document: A Gender Justice Policy for the Church of England.

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Kate
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Kate

In the motion, strike Gender Audit and replace with Equality Audit.

robert ian williams
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robert ian williams

The Church of England has bent over backwards to assist women….look at the rapid appointment of women bishops or the large number being ordained. Rather Ireland, Scotland and Wales should be examining their appointment of bishops, which clearly does not favour women. The one woman bishop in Ireland was only appointed when there was an impasse.

NJ
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NJ

One of the key arguments given in favour of consecrating women was that this is what most people in the church wanted. Isn’t it funny that in provinces where the people have a say in electing their bishops, it seems to take so long to get any women bishops. Whereas where they are centrally appointed (as in CofE), it happens much more quickly. Maybe “ordinary” congregations, while supporting the principle, don’t actually want a woman bishop when push comes to shove?

Simon Sarmiento
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Well NJ, if that was the case, one might expect to see some effect by now in the two dioceses that have female diocesan bishops, Gloucester and Newcastle. An effect such as a rise in the number of parishes petitioning for oversight by somebody other than their diocesan. I have been looking for signs of this, and so far have not been able to detect any. I would welcome correction on this point by anyone with better local knowledge.