The following letter to the House of Bishops of the Church of England has been sent jointly by four organisations, Inclusive Church, Modern Church, Progressive Christianity Network and the Centre for Radical Christianity…..
We, the undersigned, deeply regret that the House of Laity of the General Synod of the Church of England failed to reach the two-thirds majority required to pass legislation enabling women to be ordained Bishop. This was a huge disappointment delivering a devastating blow to the Church of England and undermining its credibility among the people of the nation it seeks to serve. It is a missed opportunity to see women and men sharing fully in the mission, ministry and leadership of the Church of England. Other Anglican provinces have found a way of doing so and been enriched by the ministry of both male and female bishops as a consequence.
There is overwhelming support for women bishops in both the church and throughout the country. We have been discussing this issue for a generation and working on the details of this compromise legislation for over ten years. Almost 73% of General Synod members voted in favour of women bishops, challenging the legitimacy of a voting process that is able to frustrate the mandate of forty-two out of forty-four Diocesan Synods. This decision may be legally binding, but it carries no moral authority, undermining the process of representation the Synodical system is supposed to enshrine….