A report released today provides an insightful analysis of the promises made to opponents of women’s ordination as priests. As the Church of England moves towards legislating for women bishops, opponents are appealing to promises made in the past they claim have been broken. GRAS, the campaigning group for an end to gender discrimination in the Church of England, published the report which seeks to set the record straight over claims made in the debate around provision for those opposed to women’s ordination as bishops.

The Revd Rosalind Rutherford, Team Vicar in the Basingstoke Team Ministry and author of the report, says, “My research reveals what was actually proposed and promised when the legislation was debated in General Synod in 1993, and shows that these promises have been kept. I have also identified a case in which commitments made to preserve church unity have been overstepped, in an attempt to create a separate diocese for opponents to women’s ordination.”

The report comes as the Church of England discusses how to implement the 2010 General Synod vote to move towards the ordination of women as Bishops. The legislation is being discussed by representatives across the Church’s 44 dioceses, requiring the approval of a majority of diocesan synods.  So far all 15 dioceses who have debated the proposed legislation have voted in favour.

The Revd Rosalind Rutherford’s paper, “Promises Kept, Broken or Never Made?”  will be available on the GRAS website www.GRAS.org.uk

Revd Rosalind Rutherford:     01256 464616
Revd Kat Campion-Spall:     020 3490 2719
Sally Barnes: 020 8731 9860  m: 07759343335