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Sunday, November 18, 2012

WOMEN BISHOPS: Hopefully My Last Post


I am convinced that a Yes vote for the Women Bishops measure in General Synod next week is the best way forward for men and women in the Church, and for the Church as a whole.

The Measure is not perfect, but may I suggest that this is not a time for dwelling on our 
perception of absolute rights and wrongs, but a time for pragmatism, and a time for generosity of spirit in accordance with the example of Jesus.

I empathise deeply with women who feel that the Measure perpetuates a kind of discrimination - even a two-tier episcopacy - but believe that holding out for an overnight levelling of the playing field would result in a set-back for equality. It would also continue to distract the Church from its real mission of ministering to the world.

I empathise just as deeply with men and women who believe that the traditional ordering of church leadership is a revealed, perpetual ordinance. However, there are times and seasons in God's providence, and I believe this is a time to open our ears to what the Spirit might be saying to the churches.

Here, I believe trust is called for. The Church of England has survived for several hundred years as a house in which theological adversaries have worshipped and prospered together. Can we not trust one another to make space for one another as we have done in the past, rather than each faction demanding church-wide adherence to its norms?

Whatever your decision, At the time of writing there is still just time to lobby your General Synod representatives. 

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