Thinking Anglicans

Reviewer investigates complaint about Wakefield Cathedral

Updated Tuesday

The Independent Reviewer in relation to the House of Bishops Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests, Sir William Fittall, has issued a report, following a complaint from a worshipper at Wakefield Cathedral.

The full text of the report is published here.

Forward in Faith has issued this press release.

Law & Religion UK has this report and comment:Independent Reviewer’s Report – Wakefield Cathedral.

The Church Times reported it as: It was pastorally insensitive to traditionalist to refuse to name celebrant, says reviewer.

Christian Today: Wakefield and women’s ministry: CofE’s reviewer finds against cathedral.

Premier: Cathedral ‘should help conservative worshippers avoid women priest-led services’.

Update
The Bishop of Wakefield has written for Christian Today: Bishop of Wakefield: Why Christians need to find ways of generously living together.

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Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

I agree with the Cathedral that the focus needs to be on the Eucharist and not the celebrant. I’m tired of having to accommodate bigotry to the exclusion of good theology. Or for women and girls to be subject to constant public rejection. The onus needs to be on what I would call the bigots. If they don’t want to receive the sacrament, fine, but the fellowship and the prayers are the same. Some people chose a blessing over receiving the sacrament. It isn’t as if the presence of a woman negates all things holy, and the church should do… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
Guest
peterpi - Peter Gross

“Some people chose a blessing over receiving the sacrament.” Thank you, Cynthia! That would be the logical thing to do, but nothing about religion is logical, despite theological attempts like St. Thomas Aquinas and his proofs, and others. I am Jewish, but in the ups and downs of my life’s journey, I have often found Christian people and groups from a wide variety of denominations and strengths of belief who aided me when I was down, in the best tradition of Matthew 24:34-45 (the most concise, IMO, passage describing the Law and the Prophets of either the Jewish or the… Read more »

Fr John Emlyn Harris-White
Guest
Fr John Emlyn Harris-White

If we are to flourish together, the simple putting of the name of the celebrant eases the journey for everyone. Cannot help but feel the Dean is being very awkward, and flourishing together is not part of his agenda.

Fr John Emlyn

Father David
Guest
Father David

I wonder how the Dean of Wakefield rubs along with the Bishop of Wakefield who is very Forward in Faith? It seems a little thing to ask and to do, to post and make public the name of the celebrant on the list of services and the report seems to me to be suggesting that is the best way to proceed. After all, as the report further points out this is hardly confidential information. This small step would indeed help to assist in mutual flourishing as opposed to mutual antagonism.

David Emmott
Guest
David Emmott

How far in advance would such information be published? Cathedrals seem to publish their service lists for at least a month ahead. Especially for a weekday mass, it’s highly likely that rotas might be changed at the last minute. So what would happen if somebody was attending because Father X was on the list, but Mother Y turned up instead?

Rowland Wateridge
Guest
Rowland Wateridge

I think that’s a very harsh, and probably incorrect, judgement. I see no reason to doubt that the Dean’s stance was pastoral and sincere.

But here, in the year 2019, we have a situation worthy of Barchester with the Area Bishop and the Dean on opposite sides. All of the correspondence, as well as the report, needs to be read in full.

Kate
Guest
Kate

The problem is this. A name is usually sufficient to reveal whether a celebrant is male or female. But what when the same principle is applied to those who cannot in conscience accept ministry from someone who is gay or has a trans history? Are celebrants going to have to be very public about their sexuality and gender history? This feels like the thin end of a nasty wedge. It was caused by establishing that it is acceptable for some people to decline ministry from some ministers and oversight from some bishops. That principle taken to its natural conclusion takes… Read more »

FrDavidH
Guest
FrDavidH

Being gay is not the same as being a woman. Provision was made for those unable to accept female celebrants. By keeping the gender of the celebrant secret is to deviously thwart the provision by making it difficult for some to make a conscientious choice. Perhaps the provision should be abolished. Otherwise it essential the celebrant’s gender must be announced.

peter kettle
Guest
peter kettle

Kate: But what when the same principle is applied to those who cannot in conscience accept ministry from someone who is gay or has a trans history?

This is just to say that, as a gay priest, that is exactly my fear – in the dim and distant past, I have been openly on the receiving end of such discrimination, and may well have been since, though I don’t announce my sexuality; but for any who are aware of it ….. they have perhaps made a decision not to be there when I preside.

David Emmott
Guest
David Emmott

True Kate. Anyway it seems like a fudge. ‘A name is usually sufficient’ to indicate gender, but certainly not always. What about the Hilarys and Kims and Leslies, to say nothing of the many (mainly Americans) who delight in using surnames as forenames, or foreign names that might not be easily recognisable? Isn’t the demand for names just a mealy-mouthed way of avoiding having to say brutally ‘Woman president, beware!’? But that would be the only way of preventing people picking and choosing on the grounds of personality as well as gender. The priest’s role (hence the reason for wearing… Read more »

Stephen King
Guest
Stephen King

I support the ordination of women, but also believe that those who disagree should be treated honourably. Just as Mr Belk is quoted as saying “I do not force my convictions on others, as I defend their right to rejoice in the ministry of women”, I do not force my convictions on others either, and defend his right to hold the views he does. I am perfectly happy to side with him, and against the Dean, on this matter. Father David raises a valid point about the respective views of the Dean, and the Bishop, of Wakefield, and it would… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

Speaking with a liturgical hat on, I’m surprised and disappointed that the report (and correspondents here) uses the language of celebrant, a word that does not, I think, appear in either the BCP or Common Worship. Common Worship consistently uses the word president for the priest or bishop who is presiding at a celebration of the Eucharist. The whole people of God present at the celebration are celebrating together, it’s not just the president who is celebrating. Yes, of course, we know what they mean. But they should get their language right. I realize that some people dislike the word,… Read more »

FrDavidH
Guest
FrDavidH

That distinction doesn’t help those who object to the president’s gender.

Kelvin Holdsworth
Guest

I don’t think president will do. Even apart from making people think of Trump, even after decades of being told that the correct word is “president”, it hasn’t caught on.

The C of E has used the word since 1973 and has utterly failed to get people to accept it.

Time to either promote a new made up word – presider, or accept that there’s something magnificent about having a celebrant after all.

William
Guest
William

I greatly dislike the word ‘president’ with its connotations of power and control. The older and more Catholic term ‘celebrant’ or if you prefer ‘priest celebrant’ is much better I think and emphasises service rather than domination.

Nigel LLoyd
Guest
Nigel LLoyd

Indeed, using the word ‘celebrant’ in this way, focuses on gender of the priest as if it is she who creates the celebration, rather than the assembled people of God in that place. When I had a parish, in the early days of having priests (who happened to be women) in the team, we refused to name the president of any service in advance. We had one or two FiF members of the congregation and we helped them to discover who was doing what, by suggesting they phone the parish administrator. It was a matter of pastoral care for them,… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

It’s interesting how different words bring different connotations to different people. To me, in a liturgical context, “president” is not about power and control at all, and nothing to do with the heads of state of republics. To me, in that context, it’s a much more nuanced, neutral term, that simply denotes the person who is presiding amongst the people of God gathered together in that place. Whereas the word “celebrant” carries with it the idea that the person so described is the only person that matters, the only person who is celebrating, and everyone else is just there to… Read more »

Kelvin Holdsworth
Guest

I rather think I have a role in being the person who makes the celebration happen and that when I’m doing that it is not unreasonable for be to be called the celebrant. I also rather like participating when I’m not the celebrant and allowing someone else to animate the community.

Philip Hobday
Guest
Philip Hobday

I’m really interested in this question of how to name the role. I tend to put “priest” in orders of service if it is something only a priest can do, and “minister” in all other circumstances. I think – whatever the theological connotations / objections for those of us inside the church – most people just don’t know what “celebrant” or “president” means. (Richard Giles I think recommends “presiding minister” which I half-like but is still quite wordy.) A further problem is that plenty of people offering to do non- / semi-religious funerals are now called “celebrants.”

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

In TEC we use the word celebrant and not presider or president.

Jo B
Guest
Jo B

Maybe we should refer to the person conducting the service as MC?

Richard
Guest
Richard

MC is already a functionary at a solemn mass: the master of ceremonies (latin ceremonarium) who is (more or less) the chief acolyte, although sometimes in clerical orders. How about “Presiding: ” followed by the name? Similar to University Challenge where “Asking the questions” takes the place of “host.”

John Scrivener
Guest
John Scrivener

It is said in one of the BCP exhortations ‘I intend, by God’s grace, to celebrate the Lord’s Supper’ – so ‘celebrant’ seems quite appropriate. The distaste for ‘president’ is quite widely shared I think.

Simon Kershaw
Admin

Thanks John, fair point about the exhortations, which for some reason I had forgotten. But elsewhere the BCP makes it very clear that the celebration must take place with multiple people present — a congregation as well as a priest. Anglican understanding of the eucharist says that the congregation is as essential as the priest: priest and people celebrate together.

John Scrivener
Guest
John Scrivener

Yes, I think that’s right, Simon.

David Richards
Guest
David Richards

I wrote the following letter to the Dean of Wakefield (redacted for reasons of space) which I am happy to share on TA, especially when the charge of bigotry is being flung around. “As an occasional worshipper at Wakefield Cathedral, and as someone who has always supported the ordination of women to the historic orders of ministry, I am writing to say how much I welcome Sir William Fittall’s Review concerning the decision not to publish the name of the priest presiding at celebrations of the Eucharist in Wakefield Cathedral… Those of us who supported the legislation to allow women… Read more »

Kelvin Holdsworth
Guest

Do you think the sexuality of the celebrants should be listed too for the same reasons?

David Richards
Guest
David Richards

Sorry if it sounds obvious, Kelvin, but sexual orientation is not the subject of the Five Guiding Principles, which the General Synod voted to accept and uphold in large numbers. I only cited my experience to the Dean of Wakefield to illustrate how I attempt to disagree well in the current context. Otherwise, sexual orientation is a red herring. The issue, surely, is to what extent these Principles are being disregarded by those who voted for them as a way of enabling women to be ordained to all three historic orders. This is about truth and trust – not tokenism.

Helen King
Guest
Helen King

What is supposed to happen with a first name that isn’t obviously gendered? Rowan, for example? Maybe the would-be communicant is supposed to search Crockfords…

T Pott
Guest
T Pott

Well in that case they could put Reverend Mr or Reverend Ms. It is perfectly simple if they really want to do it.

Helen King
Guest
Helen King

So Reverend Dr wouldn’t be on, then…

T Pott
Guest
T Pott

Well then Celebrantor: Reverend Dr Rowan Jones or Celbrantess: Reverend Dr Rowan Smith.

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Quite frankly, this storm in a tea cup should never have got to this point. While I abhor the theological stance which excludes women from the priesthood and the compromises around ‘mutual flourishing’, living in the real world means that sometimes uncomfortable compromises have to be made. Publishing the names of the celebrants is such a little thing and it’s up to those seeking such information as to what they do with it. At the cathedral where I worship one regular at Mattins always leaves during the anthem if a woman is preaching. It’s sad but it’s his loss.

peter kettle
Guest
peter kettle

And further to my comment above in response to Kate, this is just to add that at the church where I assist, we deliberately do not publicise the name of the preacher in advance, so that there can be no ‘beauty contest’ between the three of us who preach!

T Pott
Guest
T Pott

Presumably you hope that nobody will stay away because they know Rev A will be preaching, but perhaps some will not come at all in case Rev A is preaching who would turn up if they knew Rev B was. Or perhaps this is the Pott calling the Kettle.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Is publishing names a little thing? It seems to me that publishing names in the present climate is an acknowledgement by the cathedral that male and female ministers are different, or rather that women ministers are somehow less than their male colleagues. That cannot be right – nor is that consistent with the guiding principles.

If someone turns up then departs when they discover who is presiding, fair enough. That I s their perogative. But to expect cathedrals to publish names to facilitate the discrimination against women is very regressive.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

I’m noticing that all those in this thread who are calling for publishing the names are men who obviously expect women to be subject to humiliation for the sake of “mutual flourishing.” Telling women how to feel and what we need to accept is hardly flourishing – it’s patriarchy, toxic patriarchy. Individuals are free to make a lot of choices. But publishing the names of the celebrants, like on a menu, is institutional affirmation of the anti-woman position. Comments like “being gay isn’t the same thing as being a woman” are quite revealing. In CoE polity, I’m not sure that… Read more »

FrDavidH
Guest
FrDavidH

The exclusion of women by movements such as FiF is not the same as exclusion of gay people. There are no flying bishops to cater for those who prefer ‘straight’ priests. Obviously that would be appallingly discriminatory. Legal provision was made for male clergy who object to female ordination. Some left for the Ordinariate. Clearly there are many priests in FiF who are gay who are against female priests. This may appear hypocritical. But gender and sexuality are separate issues.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

“Obviously that would be appallingly discriminatory.” !!! I find that discrimination against women is just as appalling. There are social scientists and theologians who would disagree with your belief that gender and sexuality are separate issues. Conservative Christian discrimination against gay men is based on “men behaving like women.” Clearly, it is in some gay men’s interest to see those things as separate, but the people who don’t see either of us as equally created in the Image of God are unlikely to make that distinction. As for the gay men who discriminate against women… there are always people who… Read more »

Susan Suddaby
Guest
Susan Suddaby

And yet I, as a woman priest, am supposed to flourish when I attend a service and discover that the priest is wearing his ‘no women’ badge or perhaps stole. I avoid attending churches which are clearly non accepting of my priesthood, with the exception of my diocesan, when obedience overrides that. (I am in a certain southern coastal diocese). But when travelling it isn’t always clear. And then it is confusing if the priest knows who I am and as I come to the altar with the laity, or robed for an induction etc, shares the priest’s wafer. There… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Guest
Rowland Wateridge

What sad reading some of these posts make. I remember what Lucy Winkett went through 20 years ago at St Paul’s Cathedral, and it is still happening. I’m shocked to read about the defaced stole, but I suppose you have to be very old-fashioned to understand that this is a vestment reserved for the sacraments. Of course its defacement is a breach of canon law but, like much else, does anyone bother about such things any longer? After reading Helen King’s post the thought occurred to me that surely no one could ever possibly contemplate the president’s (or celebrant’s) gender… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Guest
Rowland Wateridge

Oh dear. It has only just occurred to me that you may have meant wearing the badge or stole figuratively, in which case my earlier comment seems inapt, although the situation you describe remains abhorrent.

Susan Suddaby
Guest
Susan Suddaby

I speak really from a position of uncertainty. The properly worn stole, liturgically correct, with the F I F symbol embroidered on it. Even as I am given the sacrament my priesthood is rejected. It’s not the same situation for a male priest, for whom the rejection is not personal

Stephen King
Guest
Stephen King

I wouldn’t have a problem with FIF or SSC being indicated – and as a supporter of women’s ordination I would receive communion from a priest of either of those persuasions.

David Lamming
Guest
David Lamming

In our church in Suffolk we use real bread, not wafers, at Communion. There is, therefore, no ‘priest’s wafer’ for the favoured (or first at the Communion rail) to share. Rather, by sharing a slice of bread, broken ‘to share in the body of Christ’, though we are many, we do, in the words of the response in the Common Worship Order One service, “all share in one bread.” To widen this discussion, I have recently tabled a Private Member’s Motion at General Synod in the following terms: “That this Synod, having regard in particular to: (i) changes in thinking… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

It will be interesting to see if General Synod want to debate this. GS 1248 is an excellent Theological Statement by the House of Bishops published in 1997 and which informed the debate following Tim Royle’s Private Member’s Motion. It was a surprise to many (notably evangelicals) that Synod so roundly rejected lay presidency. I voted against, having started out firmly in favour. I doubt the position is much different today (theologically) but what is different is the huge increase in multi-parish benefices since then (some with 10 or more churches) and also the abuse of Communion by Extension (being… Read more »

Richard
Guest
Richard

I bristle at so-called “lay administration”. An alternative: I have two friends who were ordained many years ago as “local priests”, one in Dar es Salaam and one (if I recall correctly) in Papua New Guinea. They received 6 months of training from a bishop who had already assigned them to a parish. The “local” ordination meant that they could administer the sacraments in that parish only. I don’t know if this is still practiced. I know that both men returned to the US and were considered laymen.

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

My memory failed me on this. Synod did not actually debate any proposal with regard to lay presidency. Colin Buchanan records as much in his autobiography Taking the Long View. There was a fulsome discussion at a York Synod and we all went home none the wiser but far better informed! Time to resume the debate perhaps?

Kelvin Holdsworth
Guest

I am interested that the Bishop of Wakefield says, “In the lengthy discussions about the ordination of women as bishops the Church of England produced some guidance given in the form of the Five Guiding Principles and a commitment to ‘mutual flourishing’. These were all agreed by large majorities in General Synod.” Whereas the view of WATCH seems to be “These principles were not a product of debate, nor were they technically voted on. ” Which is correct? Were the Five Guiding Principles put to a clear vote or not in the English Synod? I’m asking out of ignorance, not… Read more »

Simon Butler
Guest
Simon Butler

We voted on the Five Guiding Principles, without a doubt in my mind. To claim otherwise is incorrect

Kate
Guest
Kate

Maybe the sensible thing would be to put acceptance of the Five Guiding Principles to a stand alone vote in the next Synod to clear up the confusion?

David Lamming
Guest
David Lamming

My General Synod Private Member’s Motion, requesting the House of Bishops to review the Five Guiding Principles in the light of Bishop Philip North’s withdrawal of acceptance of his nomination to the See of Sheffield, has obtained the necessary 100 supporting signatures of Synod members, and is now awaiting a decision of the Business Committee to schedule it for debate.

Fr John Emlyn Harris-White
Guest
Fr John Emlyn Harris-White

By their fruits you shall know them.
Both male and female priests and bishops will be recognised by their obedience to their calling by God. Their ministries will show forth the fruits of their obedience.
Because they are human, there will be those who fail, and fall beneath standard of their vocation.
This has nothing to do with their sex! But human strength or sadly weakness of spirit.

Fr John Emlyn

Neil Patterson
Guest
Neil Patterson

Two unrelated comments: 1. For the benefit of Kevin and anyone else – the Five Guiding Principles were drawn up by the English House of Bishops and presented as part of the package with the (simple) Measure at General Synod to enable women to become bishops, and were indeed endorsed by a large majority. It is worth reading them carefully – it is never specified what ‘mutual flourishing’ actually means, and the traditional position is defended only by reference to elsewhere in the Anglican Communion and not the wider Church(es). Not directly relevant to this thread, but it seems to… Read more »

Nicholas Henshall
Guest

Troubled as I am by a further requirement which will be difficult to fulfil, and deeply uncomfortable by the underlying thinking here, I have no doubt that cathedrals will seek to conform to this ruling. It will be impossible for us to conform completely. Here at Chelmsford Cathedral we have three female priests and three male priests on the staff. In recent weeks the simply practical issue of two of us having flu simultaneously has meant the daily rotas have had little relationship to who is actually presiding, often at very short notice. On a much more serious note –… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Guest
Simon Dawson

I too have had the experience (as a Lay Minister) of a parishioner not wanting to receive the wine from me when I was assisting at a Eucharist, due to my status as a partnered (now married) gay man. Responding to a similar situation Neil writes “even if what was done to me was bad, I should respond by doing good.” I don’t claim to be an expert here, but are we not straying into Donatism, which I understand to be a heresy. This is not about Neil’s or my feelings. This is about Church policy and doctrine. Whilst one… Read more »

David Emmott
Guest
David Emmott

There are as many, if not more, Anglicans who don’t believe that gay people should minister the sacraments, as there are who don’t believe that women should. However, like it or not, we have agreed (as a church) to tolerate discrimination against the latter because some people don’t believe women *can* celebrate (shorthand term sorry) the eucharist, not just that they *shouldn’t*. I don’t think anybody claims that the sacraments celebrated by gay priests are invalid. To my mind, both expressions of prejudice are wrong and shameful, but under the present legislation we have to go along with gender discrimination.… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Guest
Simon Dawson

David, I understand the difference between the gay and woman priest situation, and I understand the history here. I just can’t help wondering whether by going down this path, for very tempting pastoral reasons, we risk tying ourselves up in increasingly complex theological knots.

Anne Stevens
Guest
Anne Stevens

The application of the 5GPs in this instance makes a mockery of what Common Worship actually says about the eucharist. CW p.158 – ‘Holy Communion is celebrated by the whole people of God gathered for worship … The unity of the liturgy is served by the ministry of the president, who in presiding over the whole service holds word and sacrament together and draws the congregation into a worshipping community.’ The careless language of the report reflects its incoherent theology.

Charles Read
Guest
Charles Read

Well actually the 5 GPs rule out the ‘can’t’ position…

David Emmott
Guest
David Emmott

Charles, do you mean it is impossible to be a loyal Anglican and believe that the ordination of a woman would be invalid? Surely that is the position of so-called ‘traditionalists’. Otherwise, to say woman can be priests, but shouldn’t, is based on nothing other than misogyny.

RosalindR
Guest
RosalindR

Adding to what Neil has said about the 5 Guiding Principles, they were drawn up as parameters for finding a means of enabling women to be appointed as bishops, and within which Synod could talk to each other and legislate. Gradually, through the process, they became a part of the legislation, but the implications of how they might work out in practice were barely mentioned in any of the Synod debates ( read them all if you doubt this!!!). What speakers said they valued in them was a “ new” mood of respect and commitment to working through differences by… Read more »

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Neil’s handling of his situation is full of Grace, and admirable. But it’s being done quietly, not with a public release of names so that this couple, and everyone else, can know when the gay priest is celebrating. As for those who refer to this issue as “disagreement,” you’ve got it all wrong. On one side it’s about disagreement, but for the other side it is about very being and the discriminatory approach is an attack on the very being of women and girls, and the calling of the woman priest. No one fleshed out what “mutual flourishing” would look… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

I wonder if the Dean of Chelmsford has ever thought about taking the Samson option and see if the cutting of his locks results in a consequent reduction in the length of his sermons and an increase in the number of communicants?

Susannah Clark
Guest

I am grateful to Bishop Tony for reminding us that, as fellow Christians, even though we may have different theological views on some issues, we are called to walk together, and love together, generously: and specifically, to show generosity and kindness to those we disagree with over some issues. To me, this is the future direction of our Church. It cannot be about dominating one another’s consciences. And yes, this unity in diversity will not be without hurt and sacrifice, but throughout the history of the Church of England, we have navigated a course between extremes, and something of grace… Read more »

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

It seems to me that the important principle which has been missed here is that ‘the unworthiness of the ministers…hinders not the effect of the sacrament’ (Article XXVI). The validity of the eucharist depends entirely on the recipients’ faith and attitude to the sacrament. In allowing people to focus on the celebrant/priest/president/minister we are detracting attention from Christ, who they are receiving. We should be focussing on Jesus. Another factor which is being ignored, it seems to me, is that publishing the minister’s name could facilitate racism as well as homophobia and misogyny. This would be true either if the… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

‘the unworthiness of the ministers…hinders not the effect of the sacrament’ (Article XXVI). The validity of the eucharist depends entirely on the recipients’ faith and attitude to the sacrament.

Art XXVI is not based upon this logic.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

or any logic for that matter

Rowland Wateridge
Guest
Rowland Wateridge

I agree. That is essentially what Cynthia Katsarelis said in the very first first post on this thread.

In relation to your second point, I also had precisely the same thoughts.

How desperately sad that all this has come to pass in the C of E. It reminds me of a retired priest, who came to us during an interregnum, gently chiding us for “wanting our own way” all the time.

Rowland Wateridge
Guest
Rowland Wateridge

I need to clarify that I was replying to Janet Fife.

Michael Mulhern
Guest
Michael Mulhern

Here we go again… On the day when the Westminster Parliament, and the Tory government, went into worse meltdown than ever before, here we are banging-on about our own internal pet topics. Meanwhile (as the wise and gracious Michael Sadgrove has persistently pointed out in the twittersphere yesterday) what has the Church of England got say about this crisis in the country we serve? Absolutely nothing. Welby, Sentamu and the rest of them have gone to ground (no doubt on the advice of William Nye).Shame on us for our self-serving, self-congratulatory indifference to the potential for profound suffering among the… Read more »

FrDavidH
Guest
FrDavidH

What special knowledge about Brexit do Welby and Sentamu possess denied to the rest of us? And why would anyone listen to what they have to say?

Charles Read
Guest
Charles Read

Well I’m concerned both about the state of the nation and also gender justice in the C of E. Why can’t you be concerned about more than one thing….

Michael Mulhern
Guest
Michael Mulhern

Exactly my point, Charles.

Alan Davies
Guest
Alan Davies

I couldn’t help wondering, after reading @RosalindR’s comment, whether we are in danger of re-writing history here in order to wriggle out of our commitments. It has all the hallmarks of something I once read on the side of a bus about £350m for the NHS! No amount of transatlantic bluster, let alone attempts to tell us ‘we didn’t really mean that’, can change the situation. This is what the General Synod voted for – overwhelmingly – to allow women to become bishops and to allow us to live well with those who hold to a different theological position. It’s… Read more »

RosalindR
Guest
RosalindR

I fully share the concern about re-writing history, and imposing a narrative which the events cannot bear. Which is why being clear about what was said and was not said in Synod matters. What the open debates in Synod from 2013-4 cannot evidence is saying “this is what the 5GPs mean” in a particular context. What can be said is that the hope was that groups would not retreat into silos and make their own definitions of what they mean, but would be ready to talk and live and worship alongside each other in the hope and faith this would… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

Without commenting on Rosalind’s post, or careering into things about Brexit, I do agree with your final 2 sentences, Alan. Anglican generosity should be protective of minority conscience, and there’s little doubt that acceptance of women’s ministry is now the majority position (one which I agree with). We should do everything we can to help those who are in the minority, and their walk in faith with God, and their prayers, their devotions, their unseen love, their flourishing. That does not mean that women’s flourishing does not need protection too. It does. Social and religious patriarchy can still have diminishing… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Guest
Simon Dawson

Alan, If you read the discussion above, it is repeated a number of times that Synod only agreed the broad outlines of an agreement, based on the five principles. What Synod did not do in any way whatsoever is to discuss or agree the detail of how the five principles are to be put into practice on the ground. And as far as I can see no subsequent guidance has been offered. We are all being left to work it out for ourselves. So if at times people have different interpretations of how the five principles are to be interpreted… Read more »

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

Anglican generosity has always been extended more readily to men than to women, and this is just another example of it.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Preach, Janet.