The Governing Body of the Church in Wales has adopted a Bill to allow women clergy to be ordained to the episcopate.
Meeting on 12 Sept 2013 at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Lampeter the Governing Body amended the original Bill put forward by the House of Bishops to adopt a staged introduction of women bishops so that an adequate provision for opponents of women bishops might be codified.
However, the Archdeacon of Llandaff, the Ven. Peggy Jackson and the Rev. Canon Jenny Wigley put forward an amendment that would allow the ordination of women to the episcopate without waiting for a code of practice to be adopted.
Canon Wigley told the Governing Body the Church in Wales should have a provision for dissenters in a code of practice crafted by the House of Bishops and not have such a provision written into legislation.
However lay delegate Clare Williams from the Diocese of Llandaff argued “We can’t have a bill that doesn’t say loud and clear what provisions are going to be in place” for dissenters. The amendment was put to a vote and passed 82 to 46 with 6 abstentions.
Debate then turned to the final bill, with supporters arguing that allowing women bishops was a matter of justice, and if they were not allowed at this meeting, the issue would be raised again in five years.
The Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt. Rev. Gregory Cameron, the sponsor of the original bill, rose and urged the Governing Body to vote in favor. “What we need is a Church that commits to an equal status in our standing before God. When do we need it? Now,” he said.
Read it all and note the latest 2012 attendance figures may be found here [pdf] on page 3 [and note the ski slope graph on page 4]