6.7.08

There are a number of voices now calling for no legal provision to be given to those who seek protection from female ministries

Here is one such voice belonging to The Rev Rosemary lain-Priestley
Secretary to the National Association of Diocesan Advisers in Women’s Ministry & Dean of Women’s Ministry, who writes in The Timesonline, in response to Sexism or tradtion: the debate on female bishops:

Over 1,300 female clergy, 1,000 male clergy and more than 2,000 lay church members have signed a statement expressing our immense sorrow at the prospect of alternative church structures and discriminatory legislation. We long to see the consecration of women bishops so that our considerable gifts, our particular histories and perspectives, and our distinctive voices might be used and heard to the glory of God at all levels in the structures of the Church. We believe, with the majority of Synod, that the time is right. It is with great sadness that we would risk the prospect of delay — and therefore the knowledge, for some women, that the Church will waste many of the gifts and resources that we offer.

Yet we would rather live with this grief than see women bishops with curtailed authority and the further fracturing of a Church that we have loved and nurtured. We firmly believe that the needs of all parties can be met through a rigorous code of practice, mutually agreed between those of opposing views, carefully worked out with grace and generosity, but without the need for protection by law. Women bishops elsewhere in the Anglican Communion have shown how this can work. We can all learn from them.

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A little background reading on the two theological integrities in the Church of England regarding women in ministry.