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Monday, 3 August 2015


House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests
Chrism Masses: Report of the Independent Reviewer

"Part of the package enabling the consecration of women to the episcopate in the Church
of England was the introduction of a process for the resolution of disputes relating to the
operation of the House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests
(GS Misc 1076). The Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests (Resolution of
Disputes Procedure) Regulations 2014 provide for the appointment of an Independent
Reviewer to consider individual grievances from a parish as well as more general
expressions of concern arising from the operation of the House of Bishops’ Declaration.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, with the concurrence of the Chairs of the
Houses of Clergy and Laity of the General Synod, confirmed my appointment to this new
role which took effect from 17 November 2014.

2. On 13 April 2015, Hilary Cotton, Chair of Women and the Church (‘WATCH’) wrote to
me expressing WATCH’s concern about the fact that a number of chrism masses were to
be held in 2015, as in former years, at which bishops of the Society of St Wilfrid and St
Hilda (‘the Society’) – an ecclesial community dedicated to maintaining catholic teaching
and practice within the Church of England – would preside. Ms Cotton asked in what
possible way continuing these occasions honoured the five principles embodied in the
House of Bishops’ Declaration, in particular the first two of those principles and the call
in the Declaration to promote mutual flourishing...."

“Mutual flourishing is, we believe, not meant to be about each group flourishing
independently, ‘tolerating’ the other’s presence, but flourishing together even
though that causes tension – which is why all clergy renewing their vows
together would seem to be a case in point.” - Chair of WATCH

Now that women bishops are part of the structure of the Church of England, that mean-spirited, feminist group,WATCH seek to unpick the agreement which gave them what they wanted so that

"those within the Church of England who, on grounds of theological
conviction, are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or
priests continue to be within the spectrum of teaching and tradition of
the Anglican Communion, the Church of England remains committed to
enabling them to flourish within its life and structures",

'flourishing' can be only on WITCH terms. True to form!

The complaint was not upheld. Report here.

With crisis reports appearing such as "Demise of Christianity: 1,000 churches could shut across Britain as congregations shrink" and "'Gay marriage' all about attacking Christianity, says author" one would have thought there were more pressing issues but the feminist cause must be served regardless. Their campaign has always been motivated by politics rather than spirituality no matter what the cost, especially to others who do not share their distorted view of the Apostolic Church.

See also "WATCH your backs - they really are hunting you" on the Let nothing you dismay Blog.

Postscript [10/08/2015]

A report from the Independent Reviewer regarding All Saints, Cheltenham:
In multi-parish team benefices, licences issued to female assistant clergy (other than members of the Team) should specify the nature and extent of the ministry they are authorized to undertake in resolution parishes." H/T Forward in Faith

Postscript [14/08/2015]

From Ruth Gledhill " The CofE needs a fresh start to reconcile its differences" here.


  1. They won't rest until the entire Anglican Communion is worshipping the "Goddess" - in a compulsive-inclusive kind of way, of course. It would be schismatic for anyone to want to continue to use the old patriarchal stuff in the bible.

  2. Well done Sir Philip Mawer!
    I looked up the definition of 'flourish' and it is :(of a living organism) grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly congenial environment.

    The chairwoman of Watch erroneously thinks that Churches can'flourish', "even though that causes tension" !
    Secondly Ms. Cotton refers to 'renewal of clergy vows ' which is something I have never understood ,for a vow is an oath,a solemn promise. How can one renew it? It does not wear out!