This big loss to the church is just so sad

First published in Letters by

SOMEWHERE in the aftermath of the General Synod vote on women in the Episcopate, I came across an unexpected scene.

Unseen by the reporters and television cameras waiting outside Church House in Westminster, a crying man was being comforted by a female priest.

I wasn’t close enough to hear what she said, but I imagine it was something like, “Don’t worry, it’ll be fine; we’ll get there in the end.”

The Church of England has already expressed its commitment to appointing women as bishops and thus receiving the ministry and leadership of women in every area and level of church life.

York Minster’s new Dean is a woman, as is the new acting Archdeacon and many of the York clergy. Christian women and men “from the pews” work together without discrimination in many ministries.

Yes, these legal delays are hugely frustrating. It will take several more years before this change can happen, mainly because it requires a new Parliamentary law and a change in the written beliefs of the church. Sadly, this delay will affect a few senior women clergy who would have become bishops in the next few years. I know some of these women and it is our loss. For now, I will remind our church this Sunday that we remain committed to training, encouraging, releasing and benefiting from the ministry of women without partiality in local church life across the diocese.

The Rev Christian Selvaratnam, Member of the General Synod of the Church of England, Assistant Curate, St Michael-le-Belfrey Church, York.

 

• ROWAN WILLIAMS finds the decision not to accept women bishops as “unintelligible” and “wilfully blind”. He decided exactly the same throughout his tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury, by knowingly and wilfully supporting misuses of power.

The established Church is required by secular law to allow anyone, including Jews and Muslims, to be buried in Church of England burial grounds, where grave spaces still exist.

However, he remained content to force those of other religions to exercise their legal rights, only on the strict and presumably unlawful condition, that they accept that their names be recorded as Christian names.

If he had agreed to allow in such circumstances, the neutral recording of “full name”, he would have eliminated hypocrisy at the stroke of a pen and demonstrated true respect and dignity for all faiths.

Representatives of the established church, be they female or male, should prove that at the very least, they have the intelligence to practise what they preach, even if as quasi public servants, some conceal a preference for hypocrisy and a misuse of powers.

Andro Joiner, Knox Road, Harrogate.

Comments (12)

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11:51am Fri 23 Nov 12

ColdAsChristmas says...

It was said at the time that women priests would break the Church of England and indeed many did leave as a result. At that time the idea of female Bishops was said not to be on the agenda, now it clearly is. What next, a female Arch Bishop?
Being a Bishop does not make a woman equal to man, it is simply an appointment.
The late Cardinal Basil Hume spoke as to why he was against women priests before he died. He said it was that in the holy sacrament the priest is representative of the body of Christ. I gave this some thought and concluded that he indeed did have a point.
I suspect within the years ahead we will see a demand for a female Arch Bishop of Canterbury and the demise of the Cof E. It appears that from this vote nobody has asked the congregation, the laity are the closest to that.
The Queen is female, so is CoYC chief executive and indeed the Home Secretary. Is nothing sacred?
It was said at the time that women priests would break the Church of England and indeed many did leave as a result. At that time the idea of female Bishops was said not to be on the agenda, now it clearly is. What next, a female Arch Bishop? Being a Bishop does not make a woman equal to man, it is simply an appointment. The late Cardinal Basil Hume spoke as to why he was against women priests before he died. He said it was that in the holy sacrament the priest is representative of the body of Christ. I gave this some thought and concluded that he indeed did have a point. I suspect within the years ahead we will see a demand for a female Arch Bishop of Canterbury and the demise of the Cof E. It appears that from this vote nobody has asked the congregation, the laity are the closest to that. The Queen is female, so is CoYC chief executive and indeed the Home Secretary. Is nothing sacred? ColdAsChristmas
  • Score: 0

12:25pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Zetkin says...

I'm not sure why the opinion of Jimmy Savile's friend Basil Hume is relevant to what the Church of England says or does, but I'm sure the doors of the Roman Catholic Church* remain open to those Anglicans who choose to elevate their mysogyny to an article of faith.

*Other sexist religions are available
I'm not sure why the opinion of Jimmy Savile's friend Basil Hume is relevant to what the Church of England says or does, but I'm sure the doors of the Roman Catholic Church* remain open to those Anglicans who choose to elevate their mysogyny to an article of faith. *Other sexist religions are available Zetkin
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3:08pm Fri 23 Nov 12

ColdAsChristmas says...

Zetkin, you make the assumption that Basil Hume knew the truth about Savile's antics, did you? Many of his family didn't even know and I certainly didn't so that was a cheap jibe on an essentially ecumenical matter.
Former MP Miss Ann Widecombe left the C Of E to become a Catholic following the ordination of women.
Now turn your attack on Islam where women do get a raw deal. (If you dare)
Zetkin, you make the assumption that Basil Hume knew the truth about Savile's antics, did you? Many of his family didn't even know and I certainly didn't so that was a cheap jibe on an essentially ecumenical matter. Former MP Miss Ann Widecombe left the C Of E to become a Catholic following the ordination of women. Now turn your attack on Islam where women do get a raw deal. (If you dare) ColdAsChristmas
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4:48pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Sillybillies says...

Now would be a good time to disestablish the Church of England so it can carry on with its discrimination against women without the apparent support of the Monarch and the State.
Now would be a good time to disestablish the Church of England so it can carry on with its discrimination against women without the apparent support of the Monarch and the State. Sillybillies
  • Score: 0

5:06pm Fri 23 Nov 12

PinzaC55 says...

Sillybillies wrote:
Now would be a good time to disestablish the Church of England so it can carry on with its discrimination against women without the apparent support of the Monarch and the State.
Or better still look forward to the end of religion and the royal family, two albatrosses round the neck of Britain.
[quote][p][bold]Sillybillies[/bold] wrote: Now would be a good time to disestablish the Church of England so it can carry on with its discrimination against women without the apparent support of the Monarch and the State.[/p][/quote]Or better still look forward to the end of religion and the royal family, two albatrosses round the neck of Britain. PinzaC55
  • Score: 0

6:50pm Fri 23 Nov 12

last of the mandms says...

Sillybillies wrote:
Now would be a good time to disestablish the Church of England so it can carry on with its discrimination against women without the apparent support of the Monarch and the State.
Quite right the Anglican Church exercises an influence grossly disproportionate to it's membership.
[quote][p][bold]Sillybillies[/bold] wrote: Now would be a good time to disestablish the Church of England so it can carry on with its discrimination against women without the apparent support of the Monarch and the State.[/p][/quote]Quite right the Anglican Church exercises an influence grossly disproportionate to it's membership. last of the mandms
  • Score: 0

5:13pm Sat 24 Nov 12

ColdAsChristmas says...

So does the Green Party!
'Now would be a good time to disestablish' them.
So does the Green Party! 'Now would be a good time to disestablish' them. ColdAsChristmas
  • Score: 0

6:39pm Sat 24 Nov 12

Ageing Hippy says...

PinzaC55 wrote:
Sillybillies wrote:
Now would be a good time to disestablish the Church of England so it can carry on with its discrimination against women without the apparent support of the Monarch and the State.
Or better still look forward to the end of religion and the royal family, two albatrosses round the neck of Britain.
"Hear Hear" It amazes me that in this day and age people are still being duped into believing in religion of any kind. Parasites, peadophiles and crossdressing masogynists.
[quote][p][bold]PinzaC55[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sillybillies[/bold] wrote: Now would be a good time to disestablish the Church of England so it can carry on with its discrimination against women without the apparent support of the Monarch and the State.[/p][/quote]Or better still look forward to the end of religion and the royal family, two albatrosses round the neck of Britain.[/p][/quote]"Hear Hear" It amazes me that in this day and age people are still being duped into believing in religion of any kind. Parasites, peadophiles and crossdressing masogynists. Ageing Hippy
  • Score: 0

7:30pm Sat 24 Nov 12

inthesticks says...

Ageing Hippy wrote:
PinzaC55 wrote:
Sillybillies wrote:
Now would be a good time to disestablish the Church of England so it can carry on with its discrimination against women without the apparent support of the Monarch and the State.
Or better still look forward to the end of religion and the royal family, two albatrosses round the neck of Britain.
"Hear Hear" It amazes me that in this day and age people are still being duped into believing in religion of any kind. Parasites, peadophiles and crossdressing masogynists.
Bishops have a heavy burden - they have to sit in The Lords with Baroness Warsi.
[quote][p][bold]Ageing Hippy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PinzaC55[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sillybillies[/bold] wrote: Now would be a good time to disestablish the Church of England so it can carry on with its discrimination against women without the apparent support of the Monarch and the State.[/p][/quote]Or better still look forward to the end of religion and the royal family, two albatrosses round the neck of Britain.[/p][/quote]"Hear Hear" It amazes me that in this day and age people are still being duped into believing in religion of any kind. Parasites, peadophiles and crossdressing masogynists.[/p][/quote]Bishops have a heavy burden - they have to sit in The Lords with Baroness Warsi. inthesticks
  • Score: 0

8:51pm Sat 24 Nov 12

PinzaC55 says...

By sitting in the lords (I don't validate the word by capitalising it) the bishops have the right to overturn decisions made by our "democratically" elected parliament, as does the queen. This is feudalism at its worst.
By sitting in the lords (I don't validate the word by capitalising it) the bishops have the right to overturn decisions made by our "democratically" elected parliament, as does the queen. This is feudalism at its worst. PinzaC55
  • Score: 0

10:49am Sun 25 Nov 12

hendom says...

Let's get rid of the 26 unelected bishops in the House of Lords, then the CofE can copy the other religions and vote in whatever sexist measures they like and we'll leave them in peace.
Let's get rid of the 26 unelected bishops in the House of Lords, then the CofE can copy the other religions and vote in whatever sexist measures they like and we'll leave them in peace. hendom
  • Score: 0

11:57am Sun 25 Nov 12

last of the mandms says...

ColdAsChristmas wrote:
So does the Green Party!
'Now would be a good time to disestablish' them.
Mornington Crescent?
[quote][p][bold]ColdAsChristmas[/bold] wrote: So does the Green Party! 'Now would be a good time to disestablish' them.[/p][/quote]Mornington Crescent? last of the mandms
  • Score: 0

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