WOMEN BISHOPS rejected in latest Church of England vote; criticisms follow

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British_House-of-Commons_chaplain_Rose-Hudson-Wilkin

Church of England rejects women bishops
By Joe Willis, Tuesday 20th November 2012

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THE CHURCH of England leaders rejected plans to introduce women bishops – despite backing for the historic proposal from the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

WOMEN BISHOPS rejected in latest Church of England vote; criticisms follow
British_House-of-Commons_chaplain_Rose-Hudson-Wilkin

Senior clergy in the region said the decision had left the Church of England “looking ridiculous”. The proposal needed two-thirds in each of the governing General Synod’s three houses – bishops, clergy and laity.

The votes were 44 for and two against in the house of bishops, 148 for and 45 against in the house of clergy, and 132 for and 74 against in the house of laity, meaning the laity vote fell just short.
The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove, the Dean of Durham, said last night he was “utterly dismayed” by the decision.
“It leaves us looking ridiculous – we will be laughed at,” he added.
“I think there will be people who will simply leave the church because they can’t see a future in a place where women aren’t given senior positions.”
Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, vicar of Belmont and Pittington, Durham, has been a prominent campaigner for women bishops.
She described the decision as “insane”.
She added: “I’m very disappointed. We will continue the debate and waste another five or ten years – I would have thought the Church of England had better things to do quite frankly. It’s flabbergasting.”
Before the vote, the Bishop of Durham and the next archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, made an impassioned plea to the General Synod to approve the legislation, insisting the Church of England must “finish the job” on female ordination but promising to protect those who remain opposed.WOMEN BISHOPS rejected in latest Church of England vote; criticisms follow
He said: “It is time to finish the job and vote for this measure.
“But, also, the Church of England needs to show how to develop the mission of the church in a way that demonstrates we can manage diversity of view without division. Diversity in amity; not diversity in enmity.”
Referring to the additional code of practice which would have been drawn up to allow alternative episcopal oversight for those who do not want women bishops, he added: “I am personally deeply committed – and believe that fellow bishops are also – to ensuring as far as I am able that what we promise today and later in the code of conduct is carried out faithfully in spirit as well as in letter.”
Today’s (Tues, Nov 20) vote was seen as Bishop Welby’s first major test.

Last week, 325 traditional clergy signed an open letter warning that allowing women bishops would severely prejudice their ministries and lead irrevocably to deep fractures within the Church.
However, more than 1,000 clergy and senior laity signed an open letter published by Rev Dr Threlfall-Holmes, in which she urged the Synod to back the change.
Controversy had centred on the provisions for parishes opposed to women bishops to request supervision by a stand-in male bishop.
The vote was seen as the Church of England’s most important decision since allowing women priests 20-years-ago. •Willis is a chief regional reporter for the U.K’s Northern Echo.

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WOMEN BISHOPS rejected in latest Church of England vote; criticisms follow

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