|General Synod service in York Photograph: John Giles/PA|
Women clergy and their devotees are clearly getting it all their own way. The vote at Synod for Option One brings the prospect of women bishops in the Church of England a step closer. Archbishop Welby's talk of reconciliation has led to a worsening of the position of opponents but a significant advance for WATCH. From their Press Release: "WATCH remains committed to full engagement with the ongoing process" forgetting to add, only on their own terms in their battle annihilate the enemy.
Calls from bishops for trust had a hollow ring in the knowledge that they cannot trust themselves. From the Telegraph: "Before they can be considered for a mitre they will have to persuade an archbishop that they are not involved in activity which might be considered sinful – and are not planning to do so." Could that be another hurdle for women candidates too or discrimination against male candidates?
There were the usual impassioned speeches from talented women who years ago could have done well selling encyclopedias or more recently, unwanted insurance to gullible customers but the reality of the process was greeted with bored indifference when another lady explained that the proposed route had been followed by the Anglican church in Canada and had proved to be a complete sham. Perhaps because the process already operates here!
In what I thought a very unconvincing interview afterwards, Archbishop Welby suggests that "we will arrive at something that works, that is simple and gives people real security to flourish in the church whatever their views". The question remains, then, if this is the sincere desire of the proponents, why is acceptable provision not made first?