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Wednesday, 8 February 2012


Picture: DAVE PERRY 

Church of England general synod debates female bishops - day three live @17.58. Riazat Butt thanks God she is a Muslim. Here is what she had to say:

"Wow. OK. Well, in true Anglican fashion we are almost back to square one. General synod has voted to allow the House of Bishops to tinker with the legislation but not make substantial changes to it. As one person in the chamber said, it's as if the debate never happened. The traditionalists have this to say:

"We welcome the fact the general synod is open to the possibility of the House of Bishops amending the draft measure, and call upon the house to do so in a way that will provide properly for those unable in conscience to accept the oversight of women bishops. The archbishops' amendment is a long way from our original proposals for provision; what we are saying is that we are willing to work with it, or something like it, for the sake of the unity of the church. We are hugely grateful to Archdeacon Cherry Vann for moving the Manchester motion; she has shown great understanding, courage, conviction and love – love for God and for God's people. We give thanks to God for Archdeacon Cherry, and assure the House of Bishops of our prayers as they discern the right way forward for the Church of England."

Initial reaction from the pro-women lobby is that they are happy because they know the bishops can't dramatically change the draft law. They're not going to see a different law, that's over and that's what they wanted to avoid. It's all baffling. Thank God I'm a Muslim."

So not dead yet! Despite the eagerness of supporters of women's ordination to move directly to a vote without amendment amid the usual claims of discrimination, two-tier ministries and second class-bishops, the more charitable struggle on to find a compromise that is in some way acceptable to people who don't interpret 'generous' in the same way as those who advocate a 'take it or leave it' approach. On my hearing there may have been a hint of sarcasm in the suggestion that the Rev Prebendary David Houlding had been thrown a lifebelt but nevertheless that imagery is captured superbly in the picture above. As they consider the next stage, those on both sides of the divide would do well to read the narrative that goes with it here and recall Archbishop Rowan's words in an earlier passionate debate on Recent violence in Nigeria when he referred to the desperate feeling of isolation experienced by persecuted Christians in Nigeria. They are not alone.


  1. In Australia there is absolutely no where for tradionalist laiety to go. We are completely isolated both by belief and distance.Nobody has cared, not even the tradionalist clergy who only worry about their own survival.
    As a liberal Archdeacon advised me, you need to decide what's more important; keeping your tradionalist beliefs and having no where to go, or overlooking them and accepting women clergy!!
    Songs of Praise Watcher

  2. But you do have somehere to go... the Catholic Church, and soon you will have the option of the Ordinariate too.. that is the real choice. The Anglican Communion does not want you, it hasn't done in years. I failed to see the writing on the wall when my bishop, who had sponsored me to go to a catholic theological college, called me in for my one and only interview before my final year started and said "We don't have anywhere for you, churches of your churchmanship do not get curates".... The catholic parishes of my youth have been systematically starved. Sorry... but it's time to get real...

    1. I have got real.... I live in country NSW and to say that the Ordinariate will be an option shows your total lack of understanding about the situation in Australia. Traditional Anglicans in my country town haven't heard of the Ordinariate and even if they did there wouldn't be the numbers or a Priest to create a Church. Unlike Britain the nearest large town is over two hours drive away which is equivalent to you being an active member of a congregation in Cardiff. Regardless, it is a futile exercise to even think about joining a congregation there because there are no priests in that large centre to set up an Ordinariate congregation. So that leaves the Capital Cities. Sydney is 750km away and Melbourne is 300km.
      If you know something about the Ordinariate in Australia and their outreach to traditional Anglo Catholics in rural areas I would be very grateful to hear it.
      The Ordinariate is a Capital city organisation which isn't interested in, and has made no contact with, people in the country. They would be struggling themselves to create a viable institution within the populace there. We didn't have PEV Bishops together with their Clergy and congregation who have left the Anglican Church to join the Ordinariate. Catholic Bishops who have sympathy for traditional Anglicans aren't going to be as enthusiastic purely because they come to the organisation from a different perspective.
      The situation here in Australia is extremely complex, and unless you have lived here for some years, you would find it difficult to understand.
      I am a cradle Anglican and was confirmed in the Anglican Church. I don't want to become a Roman Catholic and be told that my confirmation is null and void and I will have to do it all over again if I am to share in the Holy Mysteries. I could also join the Orthodox Church but they are not of my tradition
      Thank you for taking the time to respond to my comment and I hope I have helped you understand how isolated we really are.
      Songs of Praise Watcher

  3. I feel for you Songs of Praise Watcher and fully sympathise with the position in which you find yourself. Here in GB most of us who are spread around the country would be lucky to find an Ordinariate on their doorstep if that were an attractive option, even more so if there were an alternative to explore the Orthodox Church, something I would welcome in the circumstances despite the difficulties associated with our different traditions. Perhaps you should give it a try. As Flossie comments in response to my next blog entry, "I know that when God closes a door he leaves a window open." Perhaps it would be worth peering in. God bless.