Tuesday, November 20, 2012

women bishops

So, the Church of England has voted against allowing women Bishops.
It took over 7 hours of debate and, predictably, there were vigorous arguments from both sides before the decision was finally made… but I really can’t quite believe it. It was passed by the Bishops and the Clergy, but rejected by the Laity (more “yesses” but failing to obtain the necessary 2/3rds majority).
It seems that the evangelical and catholic wings of the church have “won”.
I can’t quite believe that it’s been 20 years since the Church of England agreed to authorise women priests (it took another two years before the first women priests were actually ordained). I was a Churchwarden at St Michael and All Angels church in Summertown, Oxford in the mid-1970s and can certainly remember a church parochial church council (PCC) meeting when we voted, as a parish church, in favour of women priests… that was some 37 years ago(?)!
I’m afraid today’s vote has left me feeling saddened, annoyed and frustrated… words almost fail me.
No doubt, there will some friends (not many!) who will vigorously defend the decision. Others will tell that, whichever way the vote went, a split in the Anglican Church was inevitable (I agree!).
As for me, I think this marks the end of my time worshipping in the Anglican Church.
A separate, personal, lonely journey starts today.
I don’t think I’ll be alone.

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