If a woman can lead York Minster without legal barriers, a woman can lead a Diocese in the same way.

As the Very Revd Vivienne Faull is announced as the next Dean of York Minster, WATCH looks forward to her ministry with excitement and joy. For a woman to hold such a senior position in the Church of England is a great encouragement to all who have worked over decades for such a moment.

York Diocese has a number of parishes and clergy who will not accept the priestly ministry of women, so there will be work involved in continuing to welcome and affirm their faithful ministry at the Minster. But Revd Faull is no stranger to this: when she was appointed as Dean of Leicester Cathedral one of her close colleagues there did not accept the priestly ministry of women. They worked hard to honour each other’s ministry and different views and there is no reason to suppose that this will not also be the case in York.

As General Synod meets this weekend the good news of Revd Faull’s appointment gives clear evidence that women are being called by God to positions of leadership in the Church of England. Such women must be enabled to flourish in those roles, and this involves meeting the needs of those who will not accept their ministry with grace and respect, not with legal structures and barriers. We continue to ask the House of Bishops to withdraw their amendment to Clause 5.1.(c).

And what do ordinary people think? See the WATCH Petition, signed by over 500 people, here and read some of the comments to find out.