I don’t normally write to those I don’t know about matters of concern, but as a General Synod representative I hope you don’t mind me contacting you regarding the forthcoming debates on Women Bishop’s, particularly as they pertain to what has become known as the ‘Archbishop’s Amendment’.
I have no idea of your own personal views on this subject, but as a lay minister in Diocese of Winchester I hope you don’t mind me sharing with you my concern that Synod may opt to try and change the proposed legislation from one which seeks to delegate powers of future women bishops, to one which would transfer powers from women bishops (and others).
Of particular concern is the fact that trying to amend the legislation in this way would delay the process of enabling women to become bishops still further. The legislation would need to be referred to the diocese’ again, but the evidence of voting in the diocese’ is that the amendment would not get the support it needs to return to the General Synod, and thus the extra time used would be wasted, as the process would then be no further forward that we are now.
The reality of the situation seems to be that the legislation currently before General Synod is the “best” compromise possible. I would encourage you therefore to at least abstain from the vote for the motion put forward by the Diocese of Manchester (to seek a change to legislation towards transferred powers), and to feel able to support the motion of the Diocese of Southwark (which asks Synod to request the House of Bishops not to amend the legislation further).
My thanks for taking the time to read my short request in the knowledge that you will give the matter fair consideration.
(This letter has been sent in person to General Synod members who I know, or who live in my area.)
If you don’t understand what this refers to, please try reading some of these
- links here (now a NEW post from the Church Mouse – he and I posted almost simultaneously on the subject, but he’s cleverer and gives a full explanation of the situation),
- here (WATCH – Women and the Church)
- here (an old, somewhat tongue in cheek summary from Revd Lesley of why some people don’t want women bishop’s – which led me to ask for better links for the Anglo-Catholic view, which good Twitter friends obliged with.)
- So for sensible explanations of the Anglo-Catholic viewpoint please read what Forward in Faith say (thanks to @TheRevdDr) and this from @EdwardBGreen.