[...] Anglican anoraks will understand the implications of the word "society". It was rejected by the revision committee, which decided "there was some risk of creating a society that was an even weightier body than a diocese. This was because some of the representations made to us seemed to envisage that jurisdiction would in some way be conferred on the society itself and through it to its bishops". The bishop of Manchester made the point in a slightly less churchy way here.
Incidentally, there has been no comment from the bishop of Manchester or Lambeth Palace about these bishops setting up something that was voted down, but that's a sideshow.
These bishops are endorsing, nay spearheading, the charge against a code of practice that will be drafted later this year by the House of Bishops. Conflict of interest much? As Swissh itself says: "The unveiling of the Mission Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda reflects a determination not to accept a code of practice as currently suggested by the General Synod but to work for and create a more realistic approach that allows the integrity of those who cannot accept this innovation to be preserved, to flourish and grow within the Church of England. This development represents a constructive initiative on the part of those who cannot accept the innovations proposed in legislation and who are hurt and frustrated by the General Synod's inability to provide for their theological position."
A society would have the support of two constituencies – the Anglo-Catholics and the conservative evangelicals – but they would need to move quickly to set this up. This feverish activity takes place against diocesan synods discussing the draft legislation, General Synod elections and the annual gatherings of Forward in Faith and Reform taking place in the next few weeks. It is worth remembering that attempts to introduce provisions for opponents have failed on several occasions. Moves by, say, the House of Bishops, to remedy this would need to be approved by the General Synod. Unless the complexion of the synod changes drastically, it would be hostile to attempts to undo in a backroom committee what was openly decided in the synod debating chamber. Read more