I appreciate that, in the rarified bubble that clergy can sometimes inhabit, it probably feels like the entire world will have noticed tonight that the Church of England has failed at the final hurdle to pass legislation to enable women to enter the ranks of Bishops.
I’m sure the reality is that lots of people aren’t paying the blindest bit of notice.
I’m not going to comment on the why’s and wherefore’s of those in favour and those against. My task now, like all of us in the church, is to Read more
Anyone keeping an eye on the Church of England will not need me to tell them that in July this year, General Synod will be given the chance to provide ‘Final Approval’ to the legislation that will finally allow women to be bishops. I appreciate it is likely to be a close run thing anyway and it’s by no means certain that they will get two-thirds approval in each of the houses of bishops, clergy and laity in order for it to pass.
That said, with something of a heavy heart, I think General Synod should say no and reject ‘final approval’ and thus throw out the possibility, for now, that women can become bishops.
Let me be clear. I support women’s ordination. I think that it is self-evident that they should be in the House of Bishops as well. I can construct a solid, biblically-based argument, to say that women have been leaders from the very earliest days of the church and that Read more
In the course of my recent efforts to complete my Masters dissertation, I noticed something interesting. You might not have noticed it but in 2009 a quiet, unannounced seachange began in the House of Bishops. It was nothing to do with women or homosexuality. Nope. It started amongst the Suffragans when Paul Williams (Kensington) became the first.
Since then Jonathan Frost (Southampton) joined him in 2010 and Jonathan Baker (Ebbsfleet) has arrived in 2011 to join an exclusive club that is only going to get larger and larger. It probably won’t be long before a diocesan Bishop joins the group and, depending on how you draw your boundaries, Mark Sowerby (Horsham), Mark Rylands (Shrewsbury) and John Holbrook (Brixworth) might also be eligible to join.
What is this mysterious group that seems to cross churchmanship lines and theological traditions? Well, all those Bishops were born in the 1960s and Williams, Frost and Baker are most definitely the first entrants into the House of Bishops from the so-called “Generation X”.
Today has been my last day of KIME. The photo (left) is a picture of my year group at their final meeting together.
For the uninitiated, when an Ordinand is ordained and becomes a Curate, the Church of England pushes those new, fresh-faced, eager new possessors of a clerical collar through a three year process called IME 4-7 .
You don’t finish training when you leave theological college. Much like a junior doctor, you are ‘on the wards’ now but you’re still learning and IME 4-7 is an important part of that process.
In Rochester, that means meeting up with the other Curates from this diocese and Canterbury (thus forming Kent IME or KIME) on a monthly basis for a lecture programme and series of group projects. There’s plenty I could say about what IME has been like but I’ll refrain for now.
The point of this post and a post title that could be wildly misinterpreted has been prompted by two aligning thoughts as my time on KIME comes to a close. Read more
Following on the theme of Synod-related posts at the moment, I thought I would link to several recent articles that I found both enjoyable and interesting during the election process and now that our new Synod gets ready to be inaugurated:
How many members of General Synod ought it to be reasonable for one parish church to have? This is the question at the centre of much concern in the Diocese of Rochester that seems to be bubble around under the surface of the water at the moment.
I should add, before I say any more, that I have the greatest respect for some of our Synod representatives. For the others, I simply don’t know them. So this is not intended as a sleight on their abilities in any way. I haven’t named any individual or church in these articles since my point is not about the people concerned, but about the principle of the matter.
However, the publication of the recent election results for our diocese were pretty depressing for many people, me included. Over the next couple of blog posts, I am going to say more about some of the reasons why they have caused such depression.
He notes Forward in Faith (and other groups in similar shoes) like to portray the debate in terms of saying:
“that they have stayed the same and the Church of England has moved. It is now a liberal dying Church that doesn’t believe anything, so they have no choice but to abandon the sinking ship and head for the lifeboats and wait for the Roman rescue liner.”