10.10.08

Amazed - female vicar receives death threats

There are probably many cases of clergy who have at one time or another been mocked, attacked or in fear for their lives but when death threats come from those who don't support women in ministry leadership positions, we can only assume that these people are already Christians, for it to bother them so much. Secular society at large will hold to women's appointments because the idea runs concurrent to the thinking of our culture, we wouldn't imagine a threat to come from here. Some Christians, however, read Paul's letter to Timothy and his admonitions to the church in his letters to the Corinthians and the Ephesians as rendering a bar to women in the presbytery and episcopate. But how awful it is - that someone would rather wish a women dead than in oversight of a church! This must be so painful for the Rev'd Yvonne Hobson.
The Revd Yvonne Hobson  © not advert

Ed Beavan, in today's Church Times, describes how Revd Hobson 'was targeted by someone believed to be opposed to women clergy' and 'discovered the threat written on a folded postcard in a Bible...The postcard read: “Leave the church or your life will be in danger.” She became the victim of a 'hate-letter cam­paign'.

The church where she works in Cornwall say “We are united in support of Yvonne, and in condemnation of what’s happened, and it’s not going to stop us being the people of God in this place serving the community. It’s hard to understand what this per­son’s problem is, or why they would choose to behave in this way.” The Bishop of the diocese called for prayer for Mrs Hobson. We should pray too.

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