The Bishop of Sheffield has taken his turn in Archbishop Rowan's Enough Waiting campaign with the usual self-affirming assertions:
I believe our country wants to send the same signal to the Church of England General Synod at the present time.
The majority of people the Church of England serves in parishes across the land want to see women as bishops. The society we serve wants us to make a positive decision, to take action and to move on.
We have an immense task before us in the next ten years. We are called to bear witness to God’s love and God’s justice and God’s ways and God’s call to know him in Jesus Christ. We must not spend yet more time on this internal issue.
Of course it's been important that we’ve taken the time to think through the biblical arguments. Is there good evidence for women taking a leading role in ministry in the Bible? Yes there is. Mary Magdalene was the first witness of the resurrection. Paul names many women as co-leaders and fellow workers with him.
Of course it’s been important that we keep in step with other churches. We’ve pondered long and hard whether we can take this decision by ourselves. The majority of us believe that we can and that we must as we have taken many other such decisions in the past.
Of course it’s been important that we take time and care to find the right ways to make provision for those who will not accept this development. I deeply respect those who hold such views. I hold them in high regard. They will continue to have an honoured place in the Church of England. I believe the traditions they represent have a vital part to play in our future. I will continue to support them.
But we have now found that compromise position: provision can be made without undercutting the ministry of the women who are ordained as bishops. We need to move forward. However long we keep talking we will not find a better fit than this.
Even those who are opposed to the measure are weary of the debate and need to know where they stand.
So this is a moment for a clear decision. We cannot continue with a situation where women are ordained deacons and priests but not as bishops.
I believe we need the wisdom and perspective and gifts of women as bishops, urgently, in the House of Bishops, in dioceses and in our wider society. They will be a rich gift to the Church and the nation.
The overwhelming majority of dioceses have already given approval to this Measure.
For the sake of God’s Kingdom and God’s mission to this land in the coming years, I hope the overwhelming majority of General Synod members will support this measure.
England expects and the Church of England expects. We need to deliver."
The duplicity of this campaign is mind-blowing. Who do they think they are kidding? Talk of 'respect' simply pays lip service to the 'Appleby amendment', a cop-out if ever there was one.
Of course these campaigners are in favour of the ordination of women. If they were not they would not be where they are today pouring out irrelevant propaganda to justify their position. The legislation is not fit for purpose. It must be rejected.