"Parable of the Blind" (1568) Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525-1569)
I have been intrigued by some comments in the press lately. A local rag here bemoans the fact that "the Hereford diocese has been ‘timed out’ of a chance to make history by having the Church of England’s first women [sic] bishop". But as the Ilkley Gazette points out, "Women are moving a step closer to becoming bishops", as if that is all that matters. In Wales there is a new urgency to win the race after the decision that women can be ordained as bishops in Wales.
There is no sense that a Holy and Godly person will stem the flow of people leaving the Church in droves. Simply that the first woman bishop may be appointed here or there. 'Where' doesn't matter so long as the genitalia fit.
When it comes to genitalia the new Chairman of WATCH sums the new awareness that has eluded two thousand years of saints and sinners:
...we need to continue to challenge and move beyond the patriarchal model on which the Church of England is built.
How we do that, and what the next steps are, is to some extent down to you, the membership, and what you want WATCH to do.
My personal driver for this is that I have had enough of an almost exclusively male God, in our prayers, hymns, speech and images.
I’m not suggesting another campaign – that really would be madness, since many within the Church of England would currently consider calling God ‘she’ really weird. - Hilary Cotton, Chair[man] of WATCH.
The bishops of the Church of England are staggering towards the pit driven by the
Will there be anyone left to hear their cries for help from the pit? That depends on whether they genuinely wish to maintain the "highest possible degree of communion which contributes to mutual flourishing across the whole Church of England". Let us pray!