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Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Today Maerdy, tomorrow Cardiff? The Church in Wales is unravelling but the bishops are safe

 A year ago protesters thought they had won their battle to keep open their church in Maerdy in the Rhondda where, as one worshipper put it, he was baptised and married and hoped to be buried from. But that is not to be. Yesterday they handed back the keys to the Church in Wales authorities who will be closing many more churches in Wales. 


Dwindling congregations and huge repair bills dictate the economics of many a sad tale but the congregation of the aptly named All Saints decided to fight and won what they thought was a concession. They could buy the building for £1,000 instead of the asking price of £25,000 (with an estimated repair bill of £400,000). There was a note of irony in the Archbishop's comment that the Church in Wales would sell the building at that price provided it was kept as a place of worship.


Somewhat closer to upmarket Llandaff, but in a less well-heeled suburb at the other end of Cardiff, another church with a substatial repair bill is on the market while the congregation worship in the church hall next door. No doubt the building, like many others, will be maintained as a place of worship but probably not Christian worship as the artist's impression illustrates, a situation which sums up the shape of things to come in the multi-faith society favoured by the Archbishop despite the constant oppression of Christians around the world, mainly by Islamists.


Meanwhile back in Llandaff, the Dean has returned to the hills on retirement, leaving the Cathedral in the hands of the Archbishop who has somewhat dubiously appointed himself acting Dean on the unlikely grounds  that there really hasn't been that much for Mr Dean to do or, more likely, that he needs time to canvass people abroad because, as demonstrated with two previous senior appointments, there is no-one in Wales thought up to the job. It is odd though that the Archbishop can find time to be Archbishop, Dean and, presumably, Vicar since he needed an Ass Bishop to help him run the diocese owing to his busy (political) schedule as Archbishop, not that the Ass can be much help as I hear that only sycophantic liberals with a feminist bent and a taste for stories about his time in York are prepared to let him anywhere near their church. But this is the shape of things to come in Wales. Mismanagement on a colossal scale has seen congregations dwindle and churches close while those remaining are pressed to give more and more to maintain a top-heavy institution. Nevertheless, the Bench of Bishops and their successors are assured of a future in the Church in Wales Review which recommends that in spite of everything, seven bishops should remain - no doubt to achieve the cherished liberal objective of seeing women in purple regardless of the cost. At least they will have each other to minister to!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Integrity


 Religious leaders have accused Nicola Sturgeon of ignoring the results of her consultation on gay marriage

David Cameron with Rev Daniel Gibbins and Rt Rev Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham at the reception

Regardless of public opinion on the subject, the Scottish Deputy First Minister has insisted that legislation will be brought forward enabling the first gay marriage to take place in Scotland in 2015 despite 64% of the population being against it. Announcing the decision, Miss Sturgeon said: “We are committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal, and that is why we intend to proceed with plans to allow same-sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships."

South of the border the Dean of St Albans has accused the Church of England of being 'without integrity' on the subject of same sex marriage. In his Out4Marriage contribution he goes so far as to claim that God must be in favour of gay marriage. I have great sympathy for Dr John but I find this contribution to the debate extraordinary. Yes 'God is love' and God must love gay and transgender people as much as so-called straight people but it cannot follow that God is in favour of same-sex marriage. Similarly, when Miss Sturgeon says that she is committed to a country that is fair and equal, the majority of people who voted 'No' to same-sex marriage would agree with her sentiments on equality but that has nothing to do with the proposal to legalise same-sex marriage which to the majority of people is a contradiction. 

At the recent Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender reception hosted by the Prime Minister, Mr Cameron recognised "the immense contribution that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people make in every part of our country, in the arts, in media, in sport, in business, in finance". That is not in doubt. Gay people contribute much, perhaps more in some spheres and are entitled to be loved and valued along with everyone else but it cannot be right that the rest of us should be made to feel that there is something wrong with us simply for disagreeing with gay marriage. Opponents of the ordination of women were accused of being misogynists, now opponents of same-sex marriage are accused of being homophobic when nothing could be further from the truth. If Mr Cameron  believes that the Church is "locking out people who are gay, or are bisexual or are transgender from being full members of that Church" he shows an abysmal ignorance, certainly of the Anglican church in my experience. 

So let us have real integrity and accept that opponents of same-sex marriage also have deeply held convictions. Contrary to what politicians would have us believe, this is not about equality but about the redefinition of an institution that will have far reaching implications for all of us, particularly for our children and their schools, something politicians simply fail to understand. They have no mandate; it is pure opportunism.   

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Church in Wales Review - Managed decline?



There is something about the Church in Wales Review that reminds me of the days of absent priests and nonconformity in Wales but this is no revival. It is about managed decline. The report reads like a management solution to a secular problem with the phrase 'fit for purpose' being singularly inappropriate in a religious context. This is the nub of the problem. While traditional sacramental devotion can be found in isolated areas, the main thrust of mission in the Church in Wales is to appeal to the uninterested using secular criteria which loses any sense of the mystery that gives people a break from the rigours of modern life. Declining numbers, fewer ordinands, redundant churches all indicate the imminent collapse of a top-heavy system that for too long has had to be supported  by hard-pressed congregations whether or not they agree with the direction in which their church has taken them. The supposed panacea of embracing feminist theology is likely to see its conclusion in the creation of a privileged, priestly few paid for by dwindling congregations singing popular hymns with a few prayers thrown in and an occasional Eucharist, a small step to lay presidency using the feminist argument that a priest has only to say a few more words than a deacon. For those who will not have already departed to join an Ordinariate there must be a point at which congregations realise that without regular sacramental worship they will be better off in a self-supporting chapel. A sort of revival but not for the Church in Wales. 


As indicated in my previous entry the entire Province of the Church in Wales has an Electoral Roll membership of just 57,000 while the average number turning up on a Sunday and keeping the ship afloat in 2010 was only 35,028, down 5% on the previous year. The diocese of Oxford of which the Review Chairman, Lord Harries of Pentregarth, was formerly bishop, has an electoral roll membership of 54,000 managing with three bishops. The Church in Wales with its falling membership has six dioceses (up from the four when the church was disestablished in 1920) and seven bishops! If the Church in Wales were setting up now it is admitted that there would be only three dioceses, a solution offered by many contributors to the review. A nod in that direction is made with the recommendation that the number of administrative areas be cut to three but consideration of reducing the number of dioceses has been kicked into touch. However, even if that were to happen the number of bishops would remain at seven. So congregations will still have to support seven bishops in the manner to which they have become accustomed while many congregations will be left without a regular priest in Ministry Areas concocted to support the church in her death throws. There is no apology from the bishops for the mess in which the Church in Wales finds itself as a result of their mismanagement. Just another scheme to support them, this time to manage terminal decline. One can only wonder what form of 'worship' they will come up with if Recommendation XIV is adopted:
 In each Ministry Area there should be, in addition to traditional 
services, at least one service every week, preferably more, in 
which the form and style of worship is such as will resonate with 
those unfamiliar with church culture. It should be on a day and at 
a time which reflects the pattern of life of those to whom it is 
meant to appeal.  


Any suggestions?


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[ Click HERE to sign the Rev John P Richardson's petition to retain Clause 5 (1) c ]



Saturday, 21 July 2012

Little Wales beyond England


Which part of England is Wales?


 This is a question often asked by people in the United States where the Anglican Church is currently being torn apart as a precursor to similar strategies this side of the pond designed to turn the Church of England into another 'anything goes' organization so long as it is not based on scripture, faith and tradition. 


Geographically insignificant by comparison with other countries in the Anglican Communion Wales has a church membership of just 57,000 based on Electoral Roll returns - down by around two thirds since 1959. On average, Sunday attendance by those over 18 is only 35,000. Meanwhile in other countries where the Anglican Church is growing, an estimated 55 million worshippers sense a 'colonial' stitch-up in the selection of the next Archbishop of Canterbury. Why, they wonder, is the Archbishop of the comparatively tiny Church in Wales representing them? To put Wales into context, it is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and Northern Ireland.  England and Wales have the same legal system and are generally counted as an entity for statistical purposes. The 2011 census illustrates the point. Formerly part of the Church of England the Church in Wales was disestablished in 1920. Nearly 100 years later the church struggles to survive.


Looking at the distribution of Anglican Church Membership Worldwide, Wales doesn't even merit a mention with 57,000 members being well short of the 500,000 minimum to be included:


The total population of Wales is a mere 3.1 million of whom a minuscule 1.3% (40,000 average weekly attendance) look to the Anglican Church in Wales to fulfil their spiritual needs. Of these only 5,000 (0.16% of the population) are under 18: 


Back from his trip to the US Episcopal Church's 77th General Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he was a special guest, the Archbishop of Wales has been answering questions about the Church in Wales Review which is commented on here. Interviewed for the BBC Dr Morgan fretted about how young people were to be drawn into the church, perhaps something he picked up in Indianapolis? 

From VirtueOnline:   
    "At General Convention this past week in Indianapolis, I challenged the new incoming House of Deputies president, Gay Jennings who had raged on and on about how we need to get the youth back in the church and promote them. I stood up at a press conference and point blank asked her why the youth of the conservative Diocese of Dallas had not attended the last five years of national Episcopal Youth Events. They feel alienated, been publicly abused, called homophobic and other names because they are evangelicals and believe in the authority of Scripture. She almost strangled on the question and fobbed it off. Later, Bishop Leo Frade of Southeast Florida came up to me to say he was ashamed that was the case and that he would look into it."

Short of using the naves of churches for indoor soccer it is difficult to see how young people will be drawn into the church. Even if they were, there is no evidence that they would like what they find based on years of decline as a result of experiments designed to make the church more relevant to society rather than worshipping the Almighty.   

Well known for his liberal stance on issues of sexuality it is easy to see how Dr Morgan appeals to the those who see sexual liberation as the key to evangelising but the days of British dominance are over. Figures published in 2008 show that in 1900, 82% of Anglicans lived in Britain and 1% in Africa. In 2005, only 33% lived in Britain while 55% lived in Africa.  The approach to Christianity by the Archbishop of Wales is not shared by tens of millions of Anglicans around world yet the only person to serve on the Crown Nominations Commission other than the bishops, members of the Church of England’s Synod and local representatives of the Diocese of Canterbury representing around 77 million Anglicans worldwide is none other than Dr Morgan whose church represents a tiny 0.05% of Anglican worshippers, the sort of minority proponents of the ordination of women regularly seek to ignore as an irrelevance. In common with MPsWATCH and their (often secular) supporters, the Archbishop continually expounds secular values and has no time for those who in conscience cannot accept the unilateral ordination of women. He is therefore the ideal cheer leader in the so-called struggle for equality since what really counts is not a majority or a minority but a liberal bent. 

Barry Morgan and Gene Robinson find something to smile about.
Lucky them!


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[ Click HERE to sign the Rev John P Richardson's petition to retain Clause 5 (1) c ]

Saturday, 14 July 2012

From the pew



"The traditional Church I once loved, to which I devoted most of my 70 years has finally convinced me that it is no more a church, but a social action agency with a totally secular program and is now as perverted as some of its constituency. My husband and I have found recent pronouncements almost laughable but pathetic, and will notify our parish we are relinquishing our membership this coming week, after a long period of trying to just hold on. I imagine there are others like us for whom the bell has tolled as a result of the present General Convention." - Response to a Virtue OnLine News Analysis.


These are very much the sentiments of many worshippers in the UK, mainly women, who have had enough, enabling the liberals to claim that only a minority of Anglicans do not accept the current direction of the church. The feminist pressure group WATCH suggests that we look to The Episcopal Church in the United States for reassurance about the role of women in the episcopate. From reports coming out of the 2012 Episcopal General Convention it is evident that while the few are prepared to 'stand up for Christ', the direction of the church there is not one to be commended by anyone who takes their faith seriously. There will be many more for whom the bell now tolls adding to the tens of thousands of Episcopalians who have already left the Church. But for those remaining do not lose heart.



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[ Click HERE to sign the Rev John P Richardson's petition to retain Clause 5 (1) c ]

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Why is the Episcopal Church near collapse?



In a postscript to my previous entry I quoted the Rev Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes' suggestion that female bishops from countries whose Anglican churches already allow them into the episcopate – such as the US or Australia – advise the Church of England bishops "as equals". I drew attention to just two examples of why we should not.

As if more convincing were needed, one only has to read this report on the near collapse of the Episcopal Church in the US under the leadership of the Archbishop of Wales' hero, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. The Archbishop of Wales is to have a leading role in the nomination of the next Archbishop of Canterbury. At least the American born, former Chair of WATCH should be pleased since it is all pointing towards the sort of anything goes church she envisages for us.

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[ Click HERE to sign the Rev John P Richardson's petition to retain Clause 5 (1) c ]

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Anglican bullyboy and girls thump Archbishop Rowan

Rowan Williams
Photograph: John Giles/PA

Not for the first time the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Rowan Douglas Williams, the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury has been humiliated by those he has sought to help gain power and prestige in a changing church. Why? Because he dared to act with a Christian conscience.  In the eyes of the bullygirls' club, WATCH, the now infamous Clause 5 (1) c, the minimum thought necessary to honour a commitment to embrace all Anglicans in the church of England regardless of theological convictions is a step too far. The bullygirls are having none of it. They sense outright victory in a fight between ruthless women and weak men who clearly do not understand women. They have succeeded in gaining more time in which to badger the bishops into submission and have the clause dropped leaving acceptable provision only for themselves, the victors. (The Ugely Vicar has initiated a petition to retain Clause 5 (1) c - please read about it and vote here).  

In what appears to be a humiliating climb down, "Defending their motivations, Rowan Williams said the bishops had only been trying to help when they tinkered with the draft legislation in May. He said he remained unconvinced they had got it wrong. But he said they should question why they failed to anticipate the outpouring of anger from senior female clergy and campaigners for female bishops.

"It is quite clear that the reaction cannot be ignored," he said. "When there is a reaction of real hurt and offence in the church at large, Christians, and Christian pastors particularly, cannot afford to ignore it, because it means that should the measure go through … it's not easily something that can be celebrated by the church as a whole.

"The bishops will be aware that they underrated the depth of that sense of hurt and offence and if other bishops feel as I do they will need to examine themselves and feel appropriate penitence that they did not recognise just how difficult that was going to be." "

I can assure Archbishop Rowan and the bishops that the 'sense of real hurt and offence' is not peculiar to 'senior female clergy and campaigners for female bishops'. Many women and men of faith have been devastated by the way they have been treated. Deemed by WATCH as not worthy so much as to gather up a crumb under the Table of New Anglicanism, these are the people who have been betrayed. Archbishop Rowan says he 'remained unconvinced they had got it wrong'. The bishops must stand firm and not succumb to unscrupulous pressure. They have no need for 'penitence', unlike those who harass them. If contrition were needed it should come from WATCH and their supporters. They show no remorse for the agonies they have inflicted on others. - 'Christians, and Christian pastors particularly, cannot afford to ignore the hurt'! 

WATCH watchers will not be in the least surprised by the ruthless tactics of these domineering, self-promoting women who see service in the church as something to be received while they constantly push the secular values of the general public to justify their cause. But perhaps more alarming is the intervention of the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Tony Baldry, who not only 'issued a stinging rebuke' to the Church’s General Synod but appeared to use blackmail concerning the position of bishops in the Lords. 

Mother Church, what have you done to deserve this, is there no honour left?


Postscript

Now read this


Having accused those who are apparently regarded as 'appeased conservatives' of being responsible for the "rape, sexual abuse, violence against women and women's political and economic subjugation", the Rev Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes has suggested a different amendment [to Clause 5 (1) c] that would,  "Not just to try and tweak the wording, ... but maybe put something in that's a lot more open and gracious and, frankly, a lot more Christian."!

Her suggestion is that female bishops from countries whose Anglican churches already allow them into the episcopate – such as the US or Australia – advise the Church of England bishops "as equals". She cannot be serious.  

Does she have any idea of the mess that has been created in the Anglican church in the US and Australia? Just a couple of examples here and here. Dr Threlfall-Holmes should have the courage of her convictions and resign.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Lies damned lies and the new Church of England





As tomorrow's planned Synod vote on women bishops approaches, newspaper reports have been full of claims that the majority of people want to see women in the episcopate. Indeed, readers are frequently told that '42 dioceses out of 44 voted in favour'. But what is unsaid is that not all worshippers will have agreed. Back in 2008, Christina Rees, the then Chair of WATCH, explained that she had a 'different interpretation of the Bible' which enabled her to think that it would be a 'good thing' when women are bishops; also that where there are women bishops it 'works very well' no doubt ignoring what is going on in the country of her birth! 


Four years later she claims that "this is about the church's attitude to all women", an attitude recently expanded by blaming all women's ills on their exclusion from ordination including "rape, sexual abuse, violence against women and women's political and economic subjugation", a not unfamiliar charge to readers of this blog. On Friday in its editorial the Guardian added its own voice with the claim, 'Church of England: what women don't want', in a typically secular analysis which describes traditional faith as 'anachronistic resistance' in line with WATCH's view of the church as an outdated secular institution

The truth is that the majority of Christians are happy with the ministry of women but not in the ordained ministry. There may be a current majority of 42 out of 44 Church of England dioceses in favour of changing the Church of England for ever but that takes no account of the many worshippers who, in common with most of Christendom, struggle to uphold the catholic faith of the apostolic church against the onslaught of secularism. Surely they deserve some consideration in a Christian church which assured them an honoured place in the church when proponents of women's ordination were allowed to have their way. But despite the promises made, the odds are now stacked against traditionalists. In a recent vote Telegraph readers were asked: Should the Church of England ordain women bishops? with the first option to vote: 'Yes, the church should treat women and men equally', suggesting that those against the ordination of women do not believe in equality, a complete misrepresentation which equates equality with sameness rather than being complementary which,of necessity, male and female must be. 


So from a situation in which a tiny majority allowed women to be ordained  to the priesthood, we have reached the stage in the Church of England in which women ordinands outnumber men in a process which is feminizing the church. Not satisfied with their success proponents are determined to crush all opposition with MPs and peers now joining their bandwagon - as if they have not caused enough damage to the church already with their attack on the institution of holy matrimony. With charges of institutionalizing discrimination which WATCH says will result in the appointment of 'second class' women bishops, it now seems more than likely that tomorrow's vote will be postponed, a move WATCH and their allies hope will ultimately give their feminist cause outright victory resulting in the appointment of what they deem to be 'first class' women bishops. With such a dishonest campaign how can they be?


Postscript
Here's another gem from the Telegraph this morning:
"...a poll of the general public [my emphasis] showed widespread incomprehension at the Church's entanglement with almost three quarters agreeing that the it was "out of touch" with the general view that women can do any job that a man can do.
The poll by ComRes for the Bible Society also found that almost six out of 10 people view the Church as "sexist" rather than accepting that the objections were theological."


A woman's ability is not in question. It is not whether a woman can do any job but whether, on theological grounds, she should, something the 'general public' could not be expected to understand since the concept is beyond the wit of many in the Church of England including many of her bishops. (9 July 2012) 


Update (pm 9 July 2012)
"The Church of England is to delay a final vote on the consecration of women bishops to allow a late amendment to be reconsidered.
The General Synod voted by 288 votes to 144 to adjourn the debate, after protests from pro-women campaigners.
They object to an amendment to the draft law allowing parishes who do not accept women bishops to request a male bishop who shares their beliefs.
The new vote is likely to happen at a special Synod session in November." - BBC

Let us hope and pray that the bishops will not lose their nerve, maintaining the courage of their convictions against the inevitable onslaught that is to come from pro-women campaigners.



Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Is this to be the fate of the Church of England?


"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock...But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  Matthew 7:24-26
    
From the American Anglican Council:
 "The leadership of the Episcopal Church is considering disciplinary action against 9 bishops. These nine bishops are: Bishops Edward Salmon, Peter Beckwith, Bruce MacPherson, Maurice Benitez, John Howe, Paul Lambert, James Stanton, Daniel Martins, and William Love. 

Essentially, The Episcopal Church is investigating them for providing testimony in lawsuits that supported the rights of dioceses to disaffiliate from the church. Find out more about this sad story here. Canon Phil Ashey analyzes the events in the video report here."   

[Apologies for the unexplained disappearance of the video which appeared here, now accessed via the above link - Ed]

    The uncompromising attitude of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is already in evidence in the Church of England where women demanding so called equality show no quarter to those who simply want to keep the faith. Complaining that concessions to traditionalists would make senior female clergy second class citizens they have threatened to vote against the measure to ordain women bishops - but purely as a temporary strategy of course. In their latest move, WATCH seek to intimidate those whom they regard as weak-kneed bishops with a petition signed by more than 4,000 'people' calling for the withdrawal of Clause 5(1)(c). It would be interesting to know the theological position of the 4,000+ signatories, many of whom I suspect take a purely secular position while some of the signatories already have their names in the frame to be the first woman bishop in the Church of England which could be seen as an exercise in self advancement. As recent figures show, female clergy now have considerable muscle and are not afraid to use it threatening strike action if their demands are not met. Let's hope the bishops of our church have more resolve than Adam!

A further worrying sign is the appointment of the Presiding Bishop's disciple Dr Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales, to the Crown Nominations Commission tasked with finding a replacement Archbishop of Canterbury following the departure of Archbishop Rowan Williams. Whereas ++Rowan has worked tirelessly to find a workable solution to our troubles, Dr Morgan is resolutely opposed to any concessions to traditionalists, so much so that he lost the vote to appoint women bishops in Wales because of his intransigence. He is now seeking a second bite of the apple to achieve his cherished ambition of appointing the first woman bishop in the land, ignoring 'the work of the Holy Spirit' which is claimed only if a favourable vote is achieved. He may yet succeed. I hear of persistent rumours rife in Wales following the retirement of his Dean suggesting that a sideways move could be made to clear the way for the appointment of the first woman assistant bishop if the Governing Body of the Church in Wales can be persuaded to give him the vote on the second time of asking. He has already taken over as Dean pro tem, apparently much to the chagrin of the Cathedral Chapter suggesting some truth in the rumour!

So the signs are plain to see. Manipulation, scheming, deception, anything and everything is offered to the false god of so-called 'equality' no matter what the cost. Is that what the church is? In response to my previous entry one of Dr Morgan's few admirers (but perhaps not for long!) took me to task with the comment: "Your phrase 'immature schoolgirls' is at best a tautology, at worst an example of the very misogyny you deny in the previous paragraph. Don't write off schoolgirls so cavalierly; after all, the mother of our Lord was one!" Ignoring the 'schoolgirl' suggestion Mary is quite rightly used as an example. She was humble and accepted the will of God. Some  of the women (and men) who strive for supposed 'equality' in the church as though it does not exist might well say that they too are "doing God's will" but Mary went about her work for God in a very quiet way. No shouting, no bullying, no self advancement, just simply and bravely doing what God asked of her. She let our Lord shine out, never wanting to be recognised as anything other than being His mother, even watching Him die on the cross. That is true service. Not shouting, manipulating, blaming others, wanting everything at any cost, disregarding the needs of others. The true sign of Mary which the Church has recognised for two millennia. Why the pressure to change?

Monday, 2 July 2012

Two wrongs don't make a right



Three stories here, here and here with ever more appearing in the run-up to the synod vote, all suggesting that women are being cheated out of their rightful place in the church hierarchy when in reality it is they who have cheated and continue to cheat with false claims of misogyny and discrimination to achieve their goal of outright victory no matter what the cost to others. In addition to WATCH (Women and the church) and GRAS (Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod) they even have their own self-promotion lobby, Darc (Women Deans, Archdeacons and Residentiary Canons) from whom the first woman bishop in the Church of England is likely be appointed.


Quoting immature school girls in her sample of views of clergy and congregations for the BBC, Charlotte Smith says that they could not understand why women could be vicars but they could not be bishops. Also, 'some of the volunteers' working in the cathedral were 'equally mystified'. One said, "If women are made priests, inevitably, if they're good, they should become bishops", apparently ignorant of the fact that we profess to belong to one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church in which the ordination of women to the priesthood is not permitted, a point side stepped by WATCH in their briefing notes when they compare the Church of England with Methodists, Baptists and others in Catching up with our sister Churches:

        • The Methodist Church: the Church of England is close to joining formally with them, but they have made it clear that they will not agree to this unless we allow women to be bishops. They have had a number of ordained women as Presidents since the first in 1992.
       • URC:  this year they have two women (ordained and lay) as joint Moderators of their General Assembly (equivalent of the Archbishop of Canterbury) and they have had others in the past.
       • Baptist Union: have women as regional ministers – their equivalent of Bishops.


If that is what they wanted the way was clear for them to join one of those denominations but that would have implied an act of faith rather than a secular drive for so called equality when inequality did not exist in the Anglican church until feminists succeeded in turning traditionalists into an underclass unworthy of provision other than on the victors' terms.


The Independent puts it this way: "Supporters of change say they are "furious" at the House of Bishops for adding the concession and a coalition of senior ordained women now say they cannot support the legislation. The group, known as Darc ... urged church members to vote down the Bill as they believe the latest changes have made it discriminatory. The Rev Celia Thomson, Canon of Gloucester Cathedral and Darc convenor, said: "The House of Bishops are, in good faith, concerned to keep as many people happy as possible, but the amendment they have added won't serve that purpose. It would discriminate against women in law. Do we really want to be... responsible for putting through legislation that discriminates against women? It's very distressing for all women clergy and for lay women in the Church, because it's saying something profound about how women are viewed. And that's not how the majority of the Church thinks about it". 


The 'majority of the Church' as the Rev Celia Thomson puts it sees no discrimination against women. What she refers to is a simple majority conjured up through synodical process in what is fast becoming a protestant sect. Selective in their approach, they first claimed that they would be 'second class' bishops if concessions were made, now they use the familiar charge of discrimination. Anything in fact that they can stir up to avoid any concession to those who do not embrace a scheme which is turning the Anglican church into yet another protestant denomination. 


With hindsight it is clear that trust was misplaced when women were made deacons then when they were ordained priests, that is the real cause of distress in the church. It is not the case that "If women are made priests, inevitably, if they're good, they should become bishops", they should not have been ordained as priests". They should not have been ordained in the first place. Two wrongs don't make a right!


Postscript
In a recent survey by Christian Research among over a 1000 CofE worshippers, 75% of those surveyed said they wanted traditionalists to be enabled to remain in the CofE by appropriate provision for their position. 
In response to another survey which showed that ordained women priests now outpace men in Church of England, David Martin, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, told The Sunday Times, "It's obvious that over time the priesthood will become increasingly a female profession. As far as the church has a future it will include a predominant ministry of women and they will get to the top." 
(3 July, 2012)