(Ed: NB the use of the word 'Another' in the headline - this is not the last 'milestone', as can be seen from the list of supporting organizations at the bottom, at least a third of which are promoting LGBT Inclusion.)
Another milestone passed
Inclusive Church gives thanks that General Synod agreed the draft legislation for the consecration of women as bishops by an overwhelming majority. The process in Synod over the weekend was thoughtful, respectful and gracious.
“Another milestone has been passed” said Canon Giles Goddard, Chair of Inclusive Church. “The Church of England is gradually reaching the point when all are able to live out their vocation as bishops, clergy or laity. As a church we can now move forward after forty years of discussion.”
“This is good news for the whole church and we are delighted,” said the Rev’d Rachel Weir, Chair of WATCH and a member of IC’s Executive Committee. “Synod’s decision gives the church a powerful mandate to move forward enthusiastically; welcoming the ministry of women at all levels whilst making space for those who are opposed to stay within our body.”
The legislation will now be discussed in Dioceses before its final return to Synod in about 18 months time. The provision for those opposed represents a compromise for all sides. We hope that over the coming months and as the Code of Practice is agreed, many of those who have questioned the provision will find that it does in fact meet their needs.
We were alarmed however that the adversarial nature of the debate means that there seems to be very little trust between the two sides on this issue. There are strong partnerships on both sides, but there’s an urgent need to build friendship across boundaries. Inclusive Church is committed to trying to make this happen.
We hope that in the coming months the various groups and organisations involved can meet and talk, so that we can develop bonds of love in what is likely to continue to be a difficult process. Our prayer is that when final approval comes, it can be something the Church of England welcomes unequivocally.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Inclusive Church is a network of organisations and individuals who come from differing traditions and locations but are united in one aim; to celebrate and maintain the traditional inclusivity of the Anglican Communion.
Our Partner Organisations are
* Accepting Evangelicals
* Affirming Catholicism
* Association of Black Clergy
* Changing Attitude
* Clergy Consultation
* Evangelical Fellowship of Lesbian and Gay Christians
* Group for the Rescinding of the Act of Synod
* Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) Anglican Matters
* Modern Churchpeople’s Union
* Society of Catholic Priests SCM
* Women and the Church (WATCH)