Sunday, 8 July 2012

Synod and Women Bishops!

Few will be surprised to hear that there was one topic that dominated the conversations at York Synod this weekend! Everybody is waiting for tomorrow's business on the draft legislation on the admission of women to the Episcopate and tensions are certainly running high in some quarters. Friday evening's questions saw a certain amount of , well, frustration might be the word at the increasingly centralised actions of the House of Bishops in amending this legislation at the eleventh hour.
Yesterday, after  being present at the presentation of the petition on same sex marriage, I attended the WATCH lunch where Miranda Threlfall- Holmes spoke of her disappointment and dismay at what had happened and considered some of the ramifications. I don't want to say too much about the WATCH lunch because it was a meeting essentially for WATCH members, I just want to say how very difficult and messy something which might be thought to be relatively simple - the opening up of full ministry to both genders- has been and continues to be.
Although I did witness the thoughts and feelings of those of us who long for the full inclusion of women in the Church, I did not have the opportunity to speak with anyone opposed. I was, however, handed a leaflet called Better Together which seemed very inclusive and touch feely but, when I examined it later, turned out to be signed by Bishop Ebbsfleet who is Chairman of Forward in Faith. You can look at the website on the link; it sedulously avoids any of the usual tactics and does not in any way rehearse the arguments of those opposed. Is couched in the most vague and general terms and just basically asks - well - for everyone to be a lot nicer to those who cannot recognise the ministry of women. I felt it might be an indication of how outnumbered those opposed feel if they must address members of General Synod using these tactics.
I am very sorry that I cannot be at Synod tomorrow, but I will definitely be keeping up with developments throughout the day!

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