The Vicar’s Statement Concerning General Synod’s Vote on
The Consecration of Women Bishops
I feel it is important to give my views regarding the events which took place at General Synod this last week. But before that I would like to offer my heartfelt apologies to the women of this parish who may feel that the institution of the Church of England views them as second class citizens. All I feel that I can say is to underline that this is not my view and it is also not the view of the majority of General Synod. In fact almost three quarters of those present voted in favour.
So what happened?
Let me put it this way. The House of Laity in General Synod, in my view, has disproportionately high numbers from the fundamentalist evangelical wing of the church working in concert with the conservative Anglo-catholic wing, neither of which, for totally different reasons, believe that women should be in positions of authority in the church. Let me underline that this is not a theologically supportable position. So how did it happen? When people across the country were asked to stand for the House of Laity in the General Synod there appears to have been a general apathy in response meaning that those with extremist views, and I do mean extremist, were able to gain power. The result is that they have dishonoured the Church of England, made us look as if we are fundamentally out of touch with modern culture, and hurt a huge number of women. In addition they have managed to undermine the calling of a number of senior female members of the church who should be being consecrated as Bishops in the near future. You can perhaps sense my anger at this, and I have yet to meet a Christian who believes any good can come of this.
So what can you do?
Two things. Write to Bishop David Urquhart, the Bishop of Birmingham, at Bishop’s Croft, Old Church Road, Harbourne, Birmingham, B17 0BG, expressing your feelings and urging him to use whatever influence he has to push for a rapid response by General Synod to reconsider the legislation swiftly and without delay. (Readers from other dioceses, your Bishop's details will be available on-line on diocesan websites).
Secondly, visit this website:
Sign the petition and make your voice heard, and pass the information on for others to sign.
Please act. Apathy got us into this situation and apathy will keep us there.
Again, my sincere apologies for the way your Church has let you down. Let us work together and pray for a swift resolution.