Many people will be aware that the House of Bishops is meeting today and tomorrow to consider the report of the Working Group advising them about how to move forward on legislating for women in the episcopate.
WATCH’s view is that attempts to find a legislative compromise have run their course after the extensive negotiations around the draft Measure that failed in November. The Church needs to be unequivocal in its support for ordained women and the only way to achieve this is by passing simple enabling legislation and letting details of pastoral provision for those who remain opposed be made by the diocesan bishop in discussion with dissenting parishes. Any attempt to frame ‘compromise’ legislation will send out ambivalent signals about women’s ministry and get us back into another ten years of synodical haggling which we simply cannot afford.
WATCH was present at 3 days of consultations with the Working Group earlier this year and it was not obvious that any new consensus was emerging. We wrote to all bishops ahead of the House of Bishops’ meeting today to ask them to be decisive in their support of women’s ordained ministry .
The text of the letter can be found here: