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WATCH Chair’s Report November 2014

November 27th, 2014

This year will be remembered as the year that the Church of England voted to open the episcopate to women. My report is framed in that context, as well as outlining the transition that WATCH is making as that particular campaigning work is concluded. A year ago General Synod gave first approval to a two-clause… Read more »

Only one step more…. to the starting line

October 24th, 2014

The legislation enabling the Church of England to appoint women as bishops has been passed by Parliament. The last step is for General Synod to proclaim it officially, which will be done early in the afternoon of Monday 17th November. History is being made – or, indeed, herstory.

Why do I like Greenbelt so much?

September 2nd, 2014

Greenbelt began forty years ago as a radical Christian arts festival and I first attended, and camped, when my then boyfriend and his band had wangled a Main Stage gig supporting (probably) Graham Kendrick or After the Fire or Adrian Snell or Phil Potter. Cutting edge it was, and the loos were truly awful.

From the Chair of WATCH- Hilary Cotton – Women able to be bishops – tick. What next?

July 28th, 2014

On 14th July 2014 a small piece of the world changed. At last, after nearly a century of active campaigning, the Church of England made it possible for women to be appointed as bishops. Hallelujah.

#Synod Vote Yes

July 1st, 2014

If 3rd May was a turning point in the journey of the Church towards the full inclusion of women (see my last blog), then 14th July will be another. Will Synod go the way of ‘proclaiming afresh’, or of retreating again. The voting numbers are still tight, as the same people will be voting. We hope that General Synod members will honour the overwhelming will of the wider church to move forward: this time there are no dissenting Dioceses, with more than 90% of votes in favour. We hope too that those who are still hesitant about this issue will hold in mind the effects on Christ’s mission if the Synod says ‘No’ again.


April 27th, 2014

Are we allowed to sing this yet? I remember standing on the steps of Church House in November 1992 and joining in as the words of joy reverberated around Dean’s Yard. We were supposed to be quiet, to be sensitive to those for whom the day had been a tragedy and disaster, but the joy could not be contained and the singing of ‘Jubilate!’ in the darkness seemed to go on for ever – far longer than the four or five times (… is that the last time? …. no, we seem to be doing one more…. ) stop-start that happens in church when we sing such rounds.

Are we nearly there yet?

February 24th, 2014

Are we nearly there yet? It depends where we think we are going. If the first consecration of a female bishop in the Church of England is our goal, then I think we probably are. Only in ‘Church’ time of course – in another year, we hope – rather than ‘normal’ time where we might think that if the Church of England has decided it wants women to be bishops (which it first did in July 2005) then it might have a few in place by now.

WATCH’s priorities for the next three years

November 27th, 2013

WATCH’s new Chair sets out some priorities for the next three years. Hilary set these out at the AGM held on the 23rd November and here lays them out as a guide for us.

Last Post

September 26th, 2013

“May God enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope God’s call holds for you” Ephesians 1:18   Stepping back from the role of Chair after over three years in post is quite a wrench. The last few years have been a rollercoaster to be sure but relationships are formed… Read more »

The Rev’d Charles Read writes: “Close, but no cigar (yet)”

September 24th, 2013

I think it’s a sign of approaching middle age, but the other day I found myself shouting at the radio in the car. It was the news that the Governing Body of the Church in Wales had passed legislation to enable women to be bishops. The BBC reports concluded by saying that in the UK… Read more »