Sunday, 10 July 2011
Open Synod Group: Bishop Victoria Matthews
New Zealand does not have legal safeguards in place for those who remain opposed to the leadership of women. It does not even have a code of practice. Bishop Victoria is an Anglo Catholic, elected to a largely evangelical diocese with a flavour of Sydney evangelism and yet she has worked successfully alongside conservative evangelicals and Roman Catholic bishops. She spoke with affection of Barry Jones, with whom she worked closely "rebuilding the faith of Canterbury," (dont' ask -I've no idea...) and Peter Jensen. It was reassuring to be given a glimpse of hope that in all three dioceses she has worked in there have been problems and those who are conservative on the issue, yet in every instance she has been able to work with others with respect and mutual support.
Those within the Church of England who complain that the Code of Practice is not adequate and does not offer sufficient provision would have benefitted from attending this talk. I doubt that many of them, sadly, were present. It was a tribute to the belief that grace and not law will offer us a path to walk forward together in a common quest to spread the gospel, not only in only in our words, but in our actions to each other.