Saturday, 17 November 2012

Evangelical and Catholic letter to The Times: text and signatories

Below is the text of the letter that was published yesterday in The Times and a complete list of the signatories. I would just want to add two things. First, I can immediately think of three people in the Diocese of Chelmsford who I'm sure would have signed it, but whose names do not appear. It therefore must not be regarded as a complete list.

Secondly, contra what was said in The Times, this letter is in no way a challenge to Archbishop-elect Justin Welby's authority. Some of those who signed, myself included, have already expressed in other contexts (for example a greeting from the Church of England Evangelical Council) our welcome of his forthcoming appointment.

Of course, the whole issue presents a challenge to his leadership, but that would be true whichever way it goes. And he seems to be a man who takes such challenges in his stride -- that is why some of us have invested a degree of hope in him.

*************************


Sir,

As active priests from both the Catholic and Evangelical groupings of the Church of England, we write to express our deep concern over the draft Women Bishops Measure. We believe that our future ministries will be severely prejudiced if the General Synod votes to approve the draft Measure.

The Bible teaches – and the Church has traditionally understood – that men and women are equal before God and yet have different, complementary, roles in the Church. By maintaining these different roles, neither men nor women are diminished; rather, we demonstrate God’s wisdom in creating us to operate in this way.

We accept that there is a majority desire to introduce women bishops, but we are also very conscious that the minority in disagreement is far from insignificant. We had hoped for compromise – but the provision being made for us in the draft Measure comes nowhere near what we need.

We are told that if Synod does not pass the draft Measure it will impair the mission of the Church. However, approving the draft Measure will do much more harm in the long term and will lead irrevocably to deep fractures appearing within the Church. We urge Synod to avoid this by voting not to approve the draft Measure.

Yours faithfully


The Revd Rod Thomas, Diocese of Exeter

Chairman, Reform

The Revd Canon Simon Killwick, Diocese of Manchester

Chairman, Catholic Group in General Synod

and 324 others:

The Revd Stuart Allen, Diocese of Coventry
The Revd Michael Andreyev, Diocese of Derby
The Revd Nigel Atkinson, Diocese of Chester
The Revd Andrew Hartropp, Diocese of Oxford
The Revd Peter Ackroyd, Diocese of St Albans
The Revd Peter Anthony, Diocese of Oxford
The Revd Ben Archibald, Diocese of Peterborough
The Revd Canon Dr Gavin Ashenden, Diocese of Winchester
The Revd David Atallah, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd Simon Austen, Diocese of Carlisle
The Venerable George Austin, Diocese of St Albans
The Revd Martin Bailey, Diocese of St Albans
The Revd Iain Baker, Diocese of Lichfield
The Revd David Banting, Diocese of Chelmsford
The Revd Neil Barber, Diocese of Derby
The Revd Philip Barnes, Diocese of London
The Revd David Barnsley, Diocese of Derby
The Revd Michael Bartlett, Diocese of Worcester
The Revd Dane Batley-Gladden, Diocese of London
The Revd Brian Bell, Diocese of Wakefield
The Revd Paul Benfield, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Ian Bentley, Diocese of Winchester
The Revd Jonathan Beswick, Diocese of Oxford
The Revd John Birchall, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Michael Blackman, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Tudor Boddam-Whetham, Diocese of Carlisle
The Revd Ian Booth, Diocese of Chelmsford
The Revd David Bourne, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Dexter Bracey, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd Matthew Brailsford, Diocese of York
The Revd Andy Brewerton, Diocese of Sheffield
The Revd Robert Brewis, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd Ian Brooks, Diocese of Liverpool
The Revd Iain Broomfield, Diocese of Rochester
The Venerable Michael Brotherton, Diocese of London
The Revd Paul Bryce, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd James Buchanan, Diocese of London
The Revd Dr Terry Buckingham, Diocese of Bradford
The Revd Canon Allan Buik, Diocese of Rochester
The Revd Mark Burkill, Diocese of Chelmsford
The Revd Tim Burrell, Diocese of Ripon & Leeds
The Revd Graham Burrows, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Andrew Burton, Diocese of St Albans
The Revd Reg Bushau, Diocese of London
The Revd William Butt, Diocese of Derby
The Revd Paul Bye, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Andy Byfield, Diocese of Peterborough
The Revd Mike Cain, Diocese of Bristol
The Revd Philip Calvert, Diocese of Birmingham
The Revd Ken Campbell, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Leon Carberry, Diocese of Rochester
The Revd Charles Card-Reynolds, Diocese of London
The Revd Paul Cartwright, Diocese of Wakefield
The Revd Victor Cassam, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd John Caster, Diocese of Rochester
The Revd Philip Chadder, Diocese of St Albans
The Revd Carl M Chambers, Diocese of Chichester
The Venerable Ian Chandler, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd Tim Chapman, Diocese of Ely
The Revd Jim Charles, Diocese of Canterbury
The Revd Godfrey Kiprotich (Kip) Chelashaw, Diocese of Lichfield
The Revd Simon Clark, Diocese of London
The Revd Dr Terry Clark, Diocese of Manchester
The Revd Philip J Coekin, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Richard Coekin, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Prebendary Ian Cook, Diocese of Lichfield
The Revd Canon Stephen Cope, Diocese of York
The Revd Philip Corbett, Diocese of Oxford
The Revd David Craven, Diocese of Carlisle
The Revd Tim Crook, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd George Crowder, Diocese of Chester
The Revd Greg Cushing, Diocese of Ely
The Revd Daniel Howard, Diocese of Chester
The Revd Paul Darlington, Diocese of Lichfield
The Revd Alan Davies, Diocese of Ely
The Revd Tim Davies, Diocese of Sheffield
The Revd Paul Dawson, Diocese of London
The Revd Andrew Dawswell, Diocese of Lichfield
The Revd Nicholas Deane, Diocese of Chelmsford
The Revd John Dewar, Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham
The Revd Steve Donald, Diocese of Carlisle
The Revd Simon Dowdy, Diocese of London
The Revd Raphael Duckett, Diocese of Lichfield
The Revd James Dudley-Smith, Diocese of Bath & Wells
The Revd Canon Kit Dunkley, Diocese of Coventry
The Revd James Durbin, Diocese of St Albans
The Revd William Eardley, Diocese of Derby
The Revd Robin Eastoe, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd Gary Ecclestone, Diocese of Oxford
The Revd Stephen Edmonds, Diocese of Sheffield
The Revd Nigel Elliott, Diocese of Sheffield
The Revd Christopher Epps, Diocese of Truro
The Revd Richard J Espin-Bradley, Diocese of Lichfield
The Revd Rupert Evans, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Christopher J C Evans, Diocese of Manchester
The Revd Robert Farmer, Diocese of Peterborough
The Revd Dick Farr, Diocese of Rochester
The Revd Ron Farrell, Diocese of Lichfield
The Revd Robert Fayers, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Damian Feeney, Diocese of Oxford
The Rev’d Andy Fenton, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Joe Fielder, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Geoffrey Firth, Diocese of Oxford
The Revd Michael Fish, Diocese of Lichfield
The Revd Jonathan Fletcher, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Tony Ford, Diocese of Manchester
The Revd Jonathan Frais, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Karl Freeman, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd Jonathan Frith, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Peter Froggatt, Diocese of Chester
The Revd Matt Fuller, Diocese of London
The Revd Dr Adrian Furse, Diocese of Leicester
The Revd Simon Gales, Diocese of Chester
The Revd Canon Stephen Gallagher, Diocese of Norwich
The Revd Francis Gardom, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Ian Garrett, Diocese of Newcastle
The Revd David Gibb, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Mark Gilbert, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Ian Gilmour, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Nick Gowers, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd Andy Greenhough, Diocese of Chester
The Revd Stephen Griffiths, Diocese of Carlisle
The Revd Canon Michael Gudgeon, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Stuart Halstead, Diocese of Chelmsford
The Revd John Hamilton, Diocese of Winchester
The Revd W Graham Hamilton, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd Steven Hanna, Diocese of Chelmsford
The Revd Tim Hanson, Diocese of Chester
The Revd Canon Geoffrey Harbord, Diocese of Sheffield
The Revd Christopher Hardy, Diocese of London
The Revd Canon Jeremy Haselock, Diocese of Norwich
The Revd Canon Andy Hawes, Diocese of Lincoln
The Revd Canon Clive Hawkins, Diocese of Winchester
The Revd David Hawthorn, Diocese of Manchester
The Revd Neil Hibbins, Diocese of Lichfield
The Revd Owen Higgs, Diocese of Rochester
The Revd David Hildred, Diocese of Sheffield
The Revd John Hilton, Diocese of Ripon & Leeds
The Revd Nick Hiscocks, Diocese of Salisbury
The Revd Martin Hislop, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Chris Hobbs, Diocese of Birmingham
The Revd Alan Hogarth, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd David Holloway, Diocese of Newcastle
The Revd Martin Howse, Diocese of Chelmsford
The Revd Richard Hoyal, Diocese of Bristol
The Revd Peter Hudson, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Luke Irvine-Capel, Diocese of London
The Revd Pete Jackson, Diocese of Sheffield
The Revd Charles Jefferson, Diocese of Peterborough
The Revd Clive Jones, Diocese of Rochester
The Revd Gareth Jones, Diocese of Ripon & Leeds
The Revd Glynn Jones, Diocese of Carlisle
The Revd Mark Jones, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Dr Trevor Jones , Diocese of London
The Revd Jonathan Juckes, Diocese of York
The Revd Christian Keane, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd Andrew Kearns, Diocese of Rochester
The Revd Prebendary Michael Kinna, Diocese of Hereford
The Revd Clay Knowles, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Dr Andrew Latimer, Diocese of London
The Revd Julian Laurence, Diocese of Bath & Wells
The Revd David Lawson, Diocese of Coventry
The Venerable Michael Lawson, Diocese of London
The Revd Brian Lay, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd Richard Leadbeater, Diocese of Birmingham
The Revd David Leaf, Diocese of Manchester
The Revd James Leggett, Diocese of Portsmouth
The Revd Andy Lines, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Marc Lloyd, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Dr Peter Long, Diocese of Truro
The Revd Mark Lucas, Diocese of Peterborough
The Revd John Luff, Diocese of Winchester
The Revd John Lyon, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Rupert Mackay, Diocese of London
The Revd Angus MacLeay, Diocese of Rochester
The Revd Mark Madeley, Diocese of Bristol
The Revd Julian Mann, Diocese of Sheffield
The Revd Dr Tony Marks, Diocese of York
The Revd Bob Marsden, Diocese of Derby
The Revd Canon Rodney Marshall, Diocese of Wakefield
The Revd Richard Marshall, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Edward Martin, Diocese of Lincoln
The Revd John Martin, Diocese of Lichfield
The Revd Stephen Masters, Diocese of Winchester
The Revd James Mather, Diocese of Ely
The Revd Peter Matthew, Diocese of Guildford
The Revd Fr Aidan Mayoss CR, Diocese of Wakefield
The Revd Ian McCormack, Diocese of Wakefield
The Revd Canon Peter McCrory, Diocese of Norwich
The Revd Peter McEvitt, Diocese of Manchester
The Revd Terry McFadden, Diocese of Liverpool
The Rev’d Dan McGowan, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Alistair McHaffie, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Canon Robert McTeer, Diocese of Durham
The Revd Dafydd Meirion-Jones, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Suresh Menon, Diocese of Oxford
The Revd Mark Mesley, Diocese of Truro
The Revd Canon Arthur Middleton, Diocese of Durham
The Revd David Middleton, Diocese of Sheffield
The Revd Stephen Midgley, Diocese of Ely
The Revd John Miller, Diocese of Bath & Wells
The Revd Jonathan Milton-Thompson, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Andrew Mitcham, Diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich
The Revd Rohinton Mody, Diocese of Winchester
The Revd Prebendary Hugh Moore, Diocese of London
The Revd Michael Morris, Diocese of Canterbury
The Revd Simon Morris, Diocese of London
The Revd Shaun Morris, Diocese of Lichfield
The Revd Peter Moss, Diocese of Salisbury
The Revd Justin Mote, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd James Mowbray, Diocese of Rochester
The Revd Dr Rob Munro, Diocese of Chester
The Revd Canon Lawson Nagel, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd James D G Nash, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Canon Geoffrey Neal, Diocese of St Albans
The Revd Martyn Neale, Diocese of Guildford
The Revd Peter Needham, Diocese of Wakefield
The Revd Gordon Newton, Diocese of Ripon & Leeds
The Revd Stephen Nichols, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd Paul Noble, Diocese of Lincoln
The Revd Marcus Nodder, Diocese of London
The Revd Mark North, Diocese of Chelmsford
The Revd Ross Northing, Diocese of Oxford
The Revd Kevin Northover, Diocese of Winchester
The Revd Michael Oades, Diocese of Truro
The Revd James Oakley, Diocese of Rochester
The Revd Canon Philip O'Reilly, Diocese of Leicester
The Revd James Paice, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Alasdair Paine, Diocese of Ely
The Revd Phil Parker, Diocese of Guildford
The Revd Prebendary Clive Pearce, Diocese of London
The Revd Fergus Pearson, Diocese of Carlisle
The Revd John Percival, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Richard Perkins, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Malcolm Peters, Diocese of Chelmsford
The Revd Andrei Petrine, Diocese of Chelmsford
The Revd David Phillips, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Ben Phillips, Diocese of Carlisle
The Revd Prebendary Sam Philpott, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd Al Pickering, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Mark Pickles, Diocese of Derby
The Revd James Poole, Diocese of Ely
The Revd Martin Poolton, Diocese of Winchester
The Revd Stephen Pratt, Diocese of Lichfield
The Revd Frank Price, Diocese of Ely
The Revd Greg Prior, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Jonathan Pryke, Diocese of Newcastle
The Revd Alan Purser, Diocese of London
The Revd Adam Pymble, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Stephen Rae, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Andrew Raynes, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Charles Razzall, Diocese of Chester
The Revd Martin Reakes-William, Diocese of Europe
The Revd Mike Reith, Diocese of Chelmsford
The Revd John Richardson, Diocese of Chelmsford
The Revd Vaughan Roberts, Diocese of Oxford
The Revd John Roberts, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd Francis Rodriguez-Veglio, Diocese of Peterborough
The Revd Daniel Roe, Diocese of York
The Revd Canon Andrew Sage, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Dr Andy Saville, Diocese of London
The Revd Simon Sayer, Diocese of Manchester
The Revd Carl Schaefer, Diocese of Sheffield
The Revd Simon Scott, Diocese of Ely
The Revd Stephen Seamer, Diocese of Europe
The Revd Dr Jeremy Sheehy, Diocese of Manchester
The Revd Rupert Shelley, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd John Shepherd, Diocese of Oxford
The Revd David Sherratt, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd David Sherwood, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd John Simmons, Diocese of Manchester
The Revd Mark Simpson, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Simon Smallwood, Diocese of Chelmsford
The Revd Darren Smith, Diocese of Birmingham
The Revd Kevin Smith, Diocese of Durham
The Revd Christopher Smith, Diocese of London
The Revd Mike Smith, Diocese of Chester
The Revd Nicolas Spicer, Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham
The Revd Chris Spinks, Diocese of Chichester
The Revd Russell Stagg, Diocese of London
The Revd John Stather, Diocese of Lichfield
The Revd Andrew Stevens, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Jeffrey Stokoe, Diocese of Sheffield
The Revd Reginald Stretton, Diocese of Leicester
The Revd Canon Dr Chris Sugden, Diocese of Oxford
The Revd Clifford Swartz, Diocese of Carlisle
The Revd Simon Talbot, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd William Taylor, Diocese of London
The Revd James Terry, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Melvin Tinker, Diocese of York
The Revd Peter Tizzard, Diocese of Canterbury
The Revd David Todd, Diocese of Derby
The Revd Alistair Tresidder, Diocese of London
The Revd Stephen Trott, Diocese of Peterborough
The Revd Prebendary Brian Tubbs, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd Canon Nicholas Turner, Diocese of Bradford
The Revd Philip Venables, Diocese of Chester
The Revd Gary Waddington, Diocese of Ripon & Leeds
The Revd Simon Walker, Diocese of Carlisle
The Revd Stephen Walton, Diocese of Chester
The Revd Canon Dr Robin Ward, Diocese of Oxford
The Revd Philip Warner, Diocese of London
The Revd Gordon Warren, Diocese of London
The Revd Dr Stephen Watkinson, Diocese of Blackburn
The Revd Tom Watts, Diocese of Oxford
The Revd Andrew Waude, Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham
The Revd Dominic Webb, Diocese of Chelmsford
The Revd Robin Weekes, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Nicholas Weir, Diocese of Winchester
The Revd Nick Weldon, Diocese of Exeter
The Revd David Whitehouse, Diocese of Liverpool
The Revd Mark Whiting, Diocese of Portsmouth
The Revd Peter Wilkinson, Diocese of Oxford
The Revd Paul Williams, Diocese of Sheffield
The Revd Prebendary David Wills, Diocese of Truro
The Revd Stephen Wilson, Diocese of Canterbury
The Revd Bill Wilson, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Roger Woods, Diocese of Lichfield
The Revd Stephen Wookey, Diocese of Gloucester
The Revd Ian Wright, Diocese of Ripon & Leeds
The Revd Nick Wynne-Jones, Diocese of Rochester
The Revd Iain Young, Diocese of Southwark
The Revd Martin Young, Diocese of Norwich
The Revd Daniel Young, Diocese of Chester

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36 comments:

  1. Can anyone see any female signatories? Just askin'

    ReplyDelete
  2. Simon, to answer your question, how can I put this -- it is from "active priests" who, broadly speaking, don't agree with the ordination of women.

    However, if you want to contact the women who share that view, I can put you in touch.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would have signed this too
    Revd Will Pearson-Gee, Oxford Diocese

    ReplyDelete
  4. John, can you really be sure that your three friends in Chelmsford diocese would have signed the letter? Have you asked them? Or, even if they are opposed in principle to women bishops, might they in fact have made the very sensible decision that the current proposed measure is better than the alternative?

    Indeed, have you actually thought what the alternative might be? If this measure is defeated, pressure for women bishops won't go away. More likely, a new measure will be put forward, born of frustration, making no provision at all for those opposed on principle, and in a few years that is likely to pass. Do you actually think that would be preferable to what is on offer now? You may be better advised to drop your opposition and accept what is on offer now, which is most likely the best compromise you will ever be offered.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Peter Kirk

    You sound like a prosecuting attorney. "You should take the deal. The jury will give you 20 to life."

    But what does this deal really offer to opponents of WO? "Lack of protection de facto" instead of "Lack of protection de jure." Sure, it would leave in peace those current opponents who are members of the clergy so they may complete their service. But who will replace them once they are gone? Whence cometh the next generation of leaders in the CoE who oppose WO? Well, there won't be any such leadership allowed. The current generation will be the last. And that is the not-so-hidden agenda of the provision being offered. Who then will serve the congregations opposed to WO? Male priests who accept WO. And the first principle charge of those follow-on priests will be to "correct" the laity given under their charge. Where then is the provision for laity in this measure? It does not exist.

    In that sense, the provision being offered is a snare and a trap. The leadership opposed to WO is being offered a chance to serve their own interests at the expense of the congregations they lead. They are being given an easy glide slope to retirement in exchange for committing their congregations to the tenders mercies of those who would come after. That is not provision. That is betrayal.

    carl

    ReplyDelete
  6. Peter, I couldn't have put it better than Carl did. However, if you want to know what I think would have been better, look at the legislation that was first drafted and start from there.

    ReplyDelete
  7. LOL, Carl. But isn't it the DEFENCE attorney who offers deals like that, in the client's best interests because it is clear that there is little chance of an acquittal? There is indeed most likely no long term future within the Church of England for opponents of women bishops and priests. So, as John remembers me saying here several times before, the only path for those who wish to preserve that "integrity" is to set up a separate organisation or province.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Or, Peter, to plan that in God's good providence the Church of England will find a common mind in the truth of his Word.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Indeed that is what we pray for. But what is "a common mind"? Is it 100% unanimity? That is unrealistic on any issue. Or is it a 2/3 majority in each house of Synod? If so, it looks quite likely that a common mind will be reached this week. But will you accept that common mind?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Peter, I don't think the Church of England is ready to speak of a 'common mind' when 1/3 may be in disagreement. You wouldn't call that a 'common mind' of a PCC. Moreover, if the 2/3 impose on the 1/3 what the 1/3 do not want, it is only the crudest expression of the 'will to power'.

    It reminds of the Young Ones episode where everyone else agreed Neil should do the washing up. When Neil complained, Rick asked, "What's the matter, Neil? Don't you believe in democracy?"

    ReplyDelete
  11. Peter Kirk

    So, as John remembers me saying here several times before, the only path for those who wish to preserve that "integrity" is to set up a separate organisation or province.

    Then you admit no provision is in fact being offered. In which case, those who oppose WO should prepare to leave now. Money currently spent on the CoE should be redirected towards sustaining smaller congregations that will soon be orphaned. The shadow Anglican Church in England must emerge. At which point the CoE can be remaindered to a combination of Fulcrum and Simon Sarmiento. In 20 years, it won't exist, anyways.

    carl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then you admit no provision is in fact being offered.

      No, Carl, but I admit that the provision offered is not what some people like, and it is not enough to guarantee the survival of a declining minority of the church which will most likely die out whatever steps are taken, short of artificial life support. In 20 years there will be no Anglicans left opposing women bishops, inside or outside the C of E. At least if the vocal minority leave or keep quiet, there is some chance for those who remain to turn the corner, with the help of our new Archbishop whose appointment seems to be the best news the C of E has had for many years.

      Delete
    2. Peter Kirk

      No, Carl, but I admit that the provision offered is not what some people like

      What's not to like about a provision that amounts to "Be grateful that we have decided to exterminate you slowly and gently. It will be a peaceful death. But if you make a fuss, we'll have to get a little more brutal."

      ... and it is not enough to guarantee the survival of a declining minority of the church

      It's specifically intended to guarantee that this "declining minority" will not survive. You are attempting to cover deliberate intent with a veneer of historical inevitability. At least have the good grace to admit what you are doing.

      ... which will most likely die out whatever steps are taken, short of artificial life support.

      One wonders then why such methodical steps are being taken to make sure it dies out. It would have been easier to simply spin them off, give them their own structure and let them expire. But of course they wouldn't expire. The fear is that they would grow while the rest of the church shriveled.

      In 20 years there will be no Anglicans left opposing women bishops, inside or outside the C of E.

      Yes, you keep right on telling yourself that. I will guarantee this however. Once you start introducing women bishops into the CoE, you are going to see the leadership of the CoE pull dramatically to the Left of the religious spectrum. The potential pool won't consist of rigorously orthodox candidates. That's why this vote is so dangerous. It will inevitably solidify the hold of religious liberalism on the CoE and thus drive away growth. In 20 years time, there will only be Anglicans outside the CoE.

      At least if the vocal minority leave or keep quiet...

      Well, isn't that a revealing statement. The words reveal what the heart thinks.

      ... there is some chance for those who remain to turn the corner

      The "provision" is thus shown to be no provision. "We have to get rid of these people. Or at least shut them up. Otherwise the world will ridicule us and we will never turn the corner." Well, that explains the whole motive behind "killing tham softly and gently." If only they would agree to it.

      ... with the help of our new Archbishop whose appointment seems to be the best news the C of E has had for many years.

      You mean the guy who is "rethinking" his positon on homosexuality? Yeah, good luck with that. The Church never grows by conforming itself to the world.

      carl

      Delete
    3. No, Carl, it is much more like "You are terminally ill. You won't let us cure you, so here's a nice comfortable retirement home for you."

      Well, isn't that a revealing statement.

      All it is "revealing" is what I have said here and elsewhere many times, that the best thing for the anti-women bishops camp, if they can't accept the will of the majority, is to leave the C of E and find a home where they are comfortable, whether in Rome or Rwanda.

      As for accepting the will of the majority, may I remind you that the major doctrines of the Trinity etc were adopted at Councils by majority votes with large dissenting minorities as well as very dubious procedures, and resulted in schisms which have lasted millennia. The church tradition is that that is how such decisions are made!

      Yes, the world will ridicule you for your despicable misogynistic doctrines, wherever you go. But persecution is no proof that you are right.

      Delete
    4. Peter, your latest post proves yet again why the innovating party do not deserve to be trusted in any non-legally-binding assurances they make in a cynical attempt to squeak this measure through.

      You are but the latest in a dismal line of WB proponents to let the cat right out of the bag as to what they really think of Christians with whom they disagree on this subject. It's hard for you now to back-pedal from language like "terminally ill" and "despicable misogynistic", and these words and similar may well return to haunt you for time to come.

      Meanwhile, just what is this "majority" you speak of? Does a majority of Christendom support WB now? The "majority" in question is arbitrarily defined, and takes no account of all the Anglicans either deceased or living but "ex" whose numbers would easily turn this upside-down. "Communion of saints" anyone?

      As for the whole world being feminist "wherever you go", try telling that to the, what, 1.4 billion Muslim world, and much of east Asia. It seems obvious which 'side' this large section of the world would more likely despise.

      Dan

      Delete
    5. Peter Kirk

      All it is "revealing" is what I have said here and elsewhere many times, that the best thing for the anti-women bishops camp, if they can't accept the will of the majority, is to leave the C of E and find a home where they are comfortable, whether in Rome or Rwanda.

      That's not even a good attempt at an explanation. If that was all that you had said, I would have agreed with you. But in fact your revealing statement had nothing to do with what is best for opponents of WO. It had to do with what you perceive to be in the best interest of proponents - in other words, people like yourself. These are your exact words:

      At least if the vocal minority leave or keep quiet there is some chance for those who remain to turn the corner

      Whose best interest is in view in that statement? That of people like me or that of people like you? You clearly stated that you have a vested interest in removing opponents for the greater good of the church. What then remains of your concept of "provision?" You are 'providing' for people whom you believe it is in your best interest to remove.

      As for accepting the will of the majority, may I remind you that the major doctrines of the Trinity etc were adopted at
      Councils by majority votes with large dissenting minorities as well as very dubious procedures, and resulted in schisms which have lasted millennia. The church tradition is that that is how such decisions are made!


      I do not believe the doctrine of the Trinity because a church council voted on it.

      Yes, the world will ridicule you for your despicable misogynistic doctrines, wherever you go.

      Certainly the decaying secularized West will condemn me. But why should I care about the judgments of the decaying secularized West? What moral standing does it possess? It can't even find the will to reproduce itself.

      But persecution is no proof that you are right.

      It's no proof that I am wrong either. What then is the standard by which my "despicable misogynistic doctrines" should be judged? In any case, I should rather earn the condemnation of a pagan lost world than receive its praise. It's no credit to be lifted up by the priests of post-moderism.

      carl

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    6. John, I'm sorry this is descending into a farce.

      Dan, the majority I speak of is of C of E dioceses who have already accepted the measure and which I expect to see confirmed in the General Synod in the next few days. For better or for worse, that is how decisions are made in the Church of England. If you don't accept that, you are free to leave. I should also say that I was using the word "world" in the Christian jargon sense of non-Christians in the relevant area, i.e. England and "the decaying secularized West", and not meaning the same as "the whole world".

      Carl, "provision" is not my concept. It has been put forward as a sensible compromise, but not one that I love. If your party is determined to reject the generous provision offered, don't expect me to support being even more generous. Meanwhile I was talking about the best interests of the Church of England as a whole. But I agree with your earlier point that the best interests of those who oppose women priests and bishops are to accept the current proposals. Nor would they be to accept any proposals that will ever be offered. Indeed even to keep the status quo would see your party continue to be marginalised - you have already lost your last bishop. No, the best interests of both parties would be served by an organisational separation.

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    7. Not farce, Mr Kirk. Clarity.

      carl

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    8. Peter Kirk

      You decide to take on Carl and the lose more and more comprehensively at every bout.

      Then you appeal to John above to try to stop the fight.

      In 1 Peter 2 the Church is described as made of "living Stones". Clearly the message here is that we need each other in the church, each has special gifts to build up the church,we depend on each other, so if we remove some of stones, like in a real wall the church will start to fall.

      CS Lewis talks of a group of 3 friends. When one dies he expects to know the remaining one better but finds he knows him less well now because the group needed the interaction that that only the dead friend can bring.

      Phil



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    9. Phil, I never asked anyone to stop the fight. I just apologised that it had started to get messy.

      If some of the living stones have formed themselves into a wall which is leaning dangerously and is blocking access to the rest of the building, and if those stones refuse to be rebuilt into a useful part of the building, then maybe it is necessary to remove them and build them into a separate annexe, useful for the same purpose but not part of the same structure.

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    10. And what do we do about the corner stone?

      Same or different?

      Phil

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  12. John, this is not from active priests who do not agree with the ordination of women. There are a number in the list who quite happily work with ordained women, and at least one who, to my knowledge, has supported a woman through non-residential theological college as an ordinand training in his church, and into ordained ministry, in the very recent past.

    There are, as we both know, quite a few ordained women who agree with the Reform line on male leadership; priests among them could clearly have signed the letter as worded, and, had it been only marginally differently worded, the deacons could have too. Indeed, Reform is very often keen for the women who support its position to speak up, understandably so, because it provides an answer of sorts to the contention that their position really amounts to men wanting to tell women what to do.

    The point is that this alliance between Reform and the Catholic Grouping is pretty odd - an alliance based solely on what they dislike in common, namely the prospect of female bishops. My guess - may be entirely wrong - is that the Catholic signatories would not have colluded in this letter if it had women signatories using the title 'Revd'. It seems slightly disingenuous to me for them to use this alliance to pretend to have a united public stance when there is no positive basis for the alliance at all. And if I was an ordained female supporter of Reform I would be angry that Reform has got into bed with those who do not recognise my ordination at all.

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  13. Simon, hence my terming it 'broadly speaking'. There are nuances to this, and many of those who signed would and do, like myself work with ordained women. But if I remember I was writing on a Blackberry! Not v easy.

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  14. Sure. I just think it shows something about the real Reform attitude to women, even those in their midst, that's all. A sort of inconsequential disposability, really. I would have thought more of them if they had refused to ally with the Catholic group and emphasized that they had no difficulty with women being ordained.

    You would know better, but is it right that originally Reform was against the ordination of women, but shifted to its present position of not accepting women as incumbents (or, indeed, bishops)? If so, it looks from this alliance that that was a shift of convenience, not heart. But then, my animus against Reform does not allow truly rational thought on anything it gets up to; I am aware of that.

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  15. Simon/Peter

    A different tack. We are told that in Jesus we are a family. That is why John' comment about Neil being voted to do the washing up every day is a good analogy about why "democracy" has been a disaster for the Anglican Church.

    We are a family but the father has been kicked out and now the children are running the house. It is ice cream and chips every night and TV till 3am. Homework and washing are optional.

    So is good manners and decent behavior. This is the way things are now.

    The whole thing has a touch of "animal farm" about it....not in a derogatory way but I think it is interesting that we are seeing similar outcomes when a church is run by a committee and votes taken by election.... We must have made the right decision 2/3rds of us said so. So get on with whatever we tell you to do.

    It is far harder for one person to make radical decisions if you do not have the backing of the "majority".

    The only way that Neil can change his lot is to leave the family as the majority have decided his fate and he is unlikely to be able to change it back to be fair on him.

    Paul foresaw all of this when the discussions on foods offered to idols etc etc came to his notice. Each time instructed people to act as true brothers and to be gentle with the weaker Christian.

    Not to take a vote and if most of us think it is OK. Make him eat it anyway!

    Or make it impossible for the brother to stay if he refuses to eat.

    Phil



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    1. Phil, I see your point and agree in principle. But as I see it in this matter, in the proposal on the table the majority who have no scruples about women bishops have bent over backwards to be gentle to the minority who have scruples and to act as their brothers and sisters. No one is being forced to eat anything. But Paul never said that the weak should be permitted to take the church hostage. He would never have compromised the gospel. Perhaps a better comparison is with Galatians 2:14.

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  16. Peter

    No one is being forced to "eat" anything.

    Yet.....

    I see where you are coming from with Galatians 2:14 (and 21)

    The problem is this is that nobody is expecting salvation from following God's scriptures here. However, (we are still making Neil do the washing up) since we are now making our own law we seem to be about to decide that some of our brothers' scruples do not matter as we cannot wait any longer for them to see things our way. We are saying it is better to move on a possibly lose a brother than not to move on in a way that keeps the brother in the family.

    You say "He (Paul)would never have compromised the gospel" This is just based on the way you read it. Not many people would see Paul of being pro women Bishops! You are not being "gentle with the minority". You are saying that we have thought long and hard and come to the conclusion that it is in the best interests of the Church for you to always do the washing up Neil.

    Hope you don't feel bad about it or that it weakens you as a Christian. Anyway Neil, give it time you might even come to like it. Um well actually, you will have to like it because in time we will not tolerate you if you don't. So sorry Neil you don't have any choice really.

    Anyway whatever happens we still love you as a brother................

    Right!

    Phil




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    1. I think that people ARE being made to eat something here.

      It seems to me that the pro-Women bishop group can't understand those who don't want them. Thinking, "how does it effect them?" - their services will be exactly the same. To them, it's like us moaning about what songs the church down the road sing. So what. Ironically, some I've met most pro-women bishops are also the most vocal about things that really don't matter in church.

      The problem is very simple. Some people are still convinced that the last 2,000 years of how we've read 1 Tim 2 for example (there's a bit more to it.. but not much more), means that whilst we can live & let live to a certain degree with women Vicars, once a woman bishop says, "swear your oath of obedience to me" - then some will leave, or not do it, but some will... but not from faith. This seems to me remarkably similar to the eating/drinking special days issues in 1 Corinthians and Romans.

      It may be we're all silly and "weaker". As indeed the weaker brothers in Corinth & Rome hadn't understood something. But to be forced to do something when conscience hasn't caught up, Paul says (Oh yeah, probably just cultural then) causes them to "stumble". When you look at other occurances of that word, it's VERY serious.

      So either people don't get this. Or they don't care... which is far more worrying

      Darren

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    2. Darren, no one is forcing anyone to eat anything. But if you come to this particular restaurant, you have to select something on the menu. However, you are welcome to go to another restaurant, or open your own one. I guess that is only a problem if for you there is an article of faith that there can only be one restaurant, or chain. Fortunately no one restaurant company has a monopoly, and even more fortunately in the modern world no one ecclesial body has a monopoly on the Christian faith.

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  17. The Apostle Paul writes: "In Christ, there is neither male not female". Id this the one part of the scriptures you don't believe?

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    1. kiwianglo

      "In Christ, there is neither male not female"

      So with one sentence all of the reaching of the rest of the Bible is overturned (Including what Paul wrote elsewhere) So women in leadership over men in the Church and family is condoned. So to (apparently) is homosexual relations since we are now no longer male or female so we do not need to conform to sexual relations in the way God made us.

      So that one sentence at odds with everything else in the Bible condones the "I want to live my life as I want" lifestyle.

      Or was Paul actually talking about something else entirely?

      Of course he was

      Try 1 Timothy 2:12 written later.

      Phil



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  18. Peter,

    The comment about the Trinity is truly troubling. The Trinity & other early Church debates were not "doctrine by committee", which is how you make it sound. Rather, they were clarifying what the Church had ALWAYS believed, but was now under attack. You're earlier posting reminded me more of the Da Vinci code than what you find in the history books or letters by the Church Fathers.

    So, Synods debating things like, Women Bishops aren't clarifying, they are introducing a new concept. Such ideas get brought up, dismissed, then brought up again with greater levels of acceptance, then get through... then it's decided. So, why aren't earlier discussions as binding as new ones, or does truth evolve? In which case, back to how you said the Trinity was formulated, could General synod debate that one & we scrap or modify the Trinity? I'm sure that tricky little number, "puts people" off as much as male only clergy.

    Darren Moore
    Chelmsford

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  19. Peter, do you mind sharing your credentials please, as in are you ordained etc. I only ask out of interest, I am just a bit shocked and bemused at the language, glee and superiority your posts.

    I fail to understand how the period of reception has come to an end, bearing in mind as well that the RC Church, Orthodox, and wider Anglican Communion still hold to the traditional teaching of the bible on the issue. It seems to me that the CofE will no longer be able to see itself as being in continuation or reformed catholic with this move.

    I consider myself to be a faithful Anglican who loves Jesus and is unable in all due conscience to accept the authority of a woman bishop. I have read widely, and prayed long, and yet cannot come to the same conclusion regarding this issue as many like yourself.

    'Yes, the world will ridicule you for your despicable misogynistic doctrines, wherever you go. But persecution is no proof that you are right.'

    This statement made my jaw drop, literally. Are you saying that a complementarian theology is not a serious alternative view to an egalitarian view and understanding. Do you see Jesus as being misogynistic in not appointing any women as an Apostle? He could have done, there was nothing to stop him? He claimed to be God himself which was far more radicle and serious.

    Also I find the attitude that anyone who is not in favour should leave the CofE. The question is why? There have been a lot of broken promises, and underhand politicking going on, the goalposts have shifted time and again. If someone like myself has been called to the CofE continuing in the faith, and tradition and doctrine of the church why and where should I / we go?

    You seem to be playing your cards or hand very early and revealing your real attitude and agenda to those who differ from you.

    The CofE has become more feminised and liberal and has not grown and is still in decline. The result of women bishops in ECUSA and Canada is a church that has effectively become a cult they have moved so far from the orthadox Xn faith.

    Are you in favour of Gay Marriage for instance? If not you are leaving yourself open to the same attitude of those who will seek to enable gay marriage in the church and have actively gay bishops. They will expect you to leave as well to get their way.

    Rest assured that WATCH and other groups will not stop at women bishops, but the next thing will be gay marriage as an issue of justice. I will be really interested to see how FULCRUM, NEW WINE, and others will be able to argue against this move which is a natural progression.

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    1. Vox, unlike others here I am using a real name, and the blogger profile linked to in each of my comments includes a link to my own blog and website (link repeated here for convenience) where you can find answers to your questions about me. As you can find there, I am not ordained, but I am theologically trained. I have been an Anglican for all my 57 years, and 40 years on a church electoral roll. But I am not currently attending an Anglican church, partly because I now live in the USA and share your negative view of the Episcopal Church.

      I understand that your ecclesiology is very different from mine, and I respect that. But every church has fallen into various errors at various times, and I believe that the incorporation of misogynism into the church, although very early (indeed we see Paul combating it in 1 Corinthians 7), was a mistake from the start. There is of course a huge difference between cultural sensitivity in appointments and a hardline position like "unable in all due conscience to accept the authority of a woman bishop".

      In the end what it comes down to is that, whether immediately or in a few years time, the Church of England will have women bishops. If you are not prepared to accept the authority of its appointed leaders, you are rejecting its overall authority, and so you ought to leave. If you want to claim that is because you are leaving an apostate body, that is your privilege. But simultaneously to say that the body is apostate and to insist on staying within it sounds like hypocrisy to me.

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  20. Thanks Pete for taking the time to reply,sorry, my name is Lee.
    I don't understand the hypocrisy charge, but I am not as clever as you.
    I take the view that the CofE is the Lord's church and he has called for the the gospel to be preached in and out of season, in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the spirit of age age that is driving this agenda, not the Holy Spirit.

    I also take the view that if squatters move into your house you don't just give them the keys and walk out. Actually the right thing is to remain in the house and regain it.

    Just because something is passed by a 2/3rd majority in a synod does not make it right.
    The authority of scripture takes precedence over any synod or decision made by a 'democratic' process.

    I think that article XX speaks about the authority of church councils
    XX. Of the Authority of the Church.
    'The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in Controversies of Faith: and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ, yet, as it ought not to decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation.'

    I am sure that there will be women bishops, it doesn't make it necessarily right though.If the Holy Spirit is working through the Apostle Paul then surely He is a misogynist as well by your definition which I find hard to comprehend.

    This may not be a first order issue relating to salvation but it is a steam rollering of dodgy exegesis and abusive authoritative praxis. Why can there not be suitable provision or indeed a separate province? Sadly there is no trust, again reflected by what has happend in ECUSA and Canada.

    By the way I am not a member of Reform, but I am sympathetic to much of what they stand for, I may have a higher view of the sacraments than a lot of evangelicals,and am also sympathetic to a more catholic theology as well, and I am also a charismatic so I am probably not the usual stereotype misogynist.

    Because of my understanding of scripture regarding headship, and tradition which by the way is shared by the majority of the Anglican Communion I don't believe that the case for women bishops has been made theologically. I was assured before I was ordained, by a very liberal bishop that there was a place for someone like me in the CofE. Will not the church be in danger of constructive dismissal?

    Again, once women the women bishops measure is passed, will not the church head towards sanctioning gay marriage as the logical progress?

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    1. Lee, my hypocrisy charge related to claiming to be a loyal member of an organisation while rejecting the authority of the duly chosen leaders of that organisation. But I think I see the basis on which you reject the charge, that you make a distinction between the church as a "house" and the people who live in it, who may be "squatters". I see no such distinction: the church is the people. Well, of course there are buildings and other material assets, but there is no doubt that they are for the most part the property of the the legally appointed leaders. But there is not a pure church with impure people in it; if the people are impure, so is the church.

      If you are going to quote the 39 Articles to me, I will remind you that the Supreme Governor at the time they were adopted and the Supreme Governor now are both women. If you reject female headship, you should reject that too.

      One thing I can agree on is your call for a separate Province within the Anglican Communion. That would have been the only way to preserve different integrities - at least until a woman is elected Archbishop of Canterbury.

      There is a lot more that I could discuss with you, but my time and patience are limited! It has been good interacting with you.

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