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Sunday, 18 November 2012


You have to hand it to them, the campaign by Women and the Church (WATCH) has been well executed but it is entirely self-centred. It is misplaced in a Christian setting because it looks inward with the aim of satisfying their own desires regardless of the effect on others in the church. Their subtle campaign plays on the respect due to Christian women but it is deceitful. It uses secular criteria to pursue false claims of inequality gathering support from members of the general public who have no religious affiliations whatsoever.

WATCH is a feminist pressure group which presumes to dictate the direction of the church over the heads of the House of Bishops. Most of the bishops are incapable of coping with this pressure as demonstrated by their constant capitulation, latterly taking refuge in the notion that 'respect' is the way forward when none has been in evidence so far. Their retreat in the face of opposition by WATCH has been relentless. The pledge by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to attend to ‘unfinished business’ has been neutered leaving not so much as a glimmer of hope for opponents of the ordination of women. Surprisingly for a bishop admired for his conciliation abilities I was disappointed to read a report in The Telegraph that the newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is treading the same path:
“Bishop Welby’s vocal endorsement of the measure last week, moments after being announced as the next Archbishop, is being seen as a potential “game-changer”.
He is understood to be spending much of this weekend drafting his speech, striking a balance between saying that it is time for the Church to move on and offering assurances to those with theological objections to women bishops that there will be proper “provision” for them.”

Mere assurances are worthless. What is described in the Synod agenda notice as ‘some provision’ will be based on what is acceptable to the provider. To assure proper provision would be to agree enforceable terms in advance of the vote but such a solution is unacceptable to WATCH. They demand a solution only on their terms to avoid having what they would regard as second class women bishops. It matters not one jot to them that a substantial minority of Anglicans will be made second class members of their church under current proposals despite being assured of an honoured place. Anyone who has settled a bill with an assurance that problems will be rectified afterwards will know that such promises quickly evaporate after payment. 
It is obvious that Christ's commandment to love your neighbour does not figure large in the WATCH camp. They claim to be inclusive but have done everything in their power to marginalise those who find themselves in a minority for staying loyal to the tradition of the Apostolic church. If they succeed in persuading Synod to pass the measure then WATCH OUT!

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