Posts Tagged ‘Women Priests’

Votes Count - photo from the Chichester Diocesan Flickr stream

As part of preparing for the debate on women bishops legislation, the Bishop of Chichester posed three questions to members of synod. As previously noted, they were:

  1. Are you in favour of ordaining women to the episcopate in the Church of England?
  2. Do you think that provision should be made for those who cannot on theological grounds accept this development?
  3. Do you think that the provisions in the draft Measure are appropriate for this purpose?)

These questions were designed to help synod members consider the views of others, and support them. So, those who may be in favour of women bishops can still indicate support for those who are seeking provision; and conversely those opposed to women in the episcopate, acknowledging there clear majority in the Church of England endorse this, can demonstrate their support in this additional ballot. The following chart doesn’t list all the results of the questions debated, but shows some of the voting pattern.

Chichester results graphically

Chichester results graphically

Though there was almost unanimous support from synod members on all sides for provision for those who cannot accept women bishops, the support for the Church of England to have women bishops from those opposed, was significantly less, at below 60%. And the support for this particular raft of legislation introducing women bishops was even less, and the main motion was lost in each house – by 4% in laity and 5% in clergy. (more…)


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Chalice Group Conference at Henfield

Over fifty people attended the Conference, which was very well-received: those attending in general found it useful and encouraging, and hoped it could be repeated in future.

The day began with worship, arranged by a group of musicians who used music, songs and prayers to introduce a day of reflection and discussion.

The Keynote Speaker was the Rev’d Alyson Lamb, vicar of St John’s Meads, Eastbourne; in an address which combined interesting narrative, serious reflection, encouragement and humour, she told the story of her own practical and spiritual journey to priesthood and left her audience with much to inspire and to think about.


The Rev'd Alyson Lamb's keynote address

After a short time to share experiences, the conference members made a presentation to Bishop David Wilcox on his retirement, to thank him for many years of support for the women priests in the diocese, many of whom he had ordained; and we welcomed Bishop Laurie Green, his successor as Assistant Bishop looking after women clergy, whose contribution to the later discussion was greatly appreciated.

The rest of the day was spent in discussion groups based on people’s interests, on Women Priests in the Diocese, the Vacancy-in-See issues to be considered on Bishops John and Wallace’s retirements, Senior appointments in the Diocese and preparations for the Diocesan Synod Vote on the Women Bishops legislation on October 8th, some group meeting twice and others once, to accommodate numbers (see notes below).

The Eucharist was celebrated by Ann McNeil, who is a retired priest in Henfield parish, and o of the first women ordained as priest in the diocese in 1994. People joined in a sandwich lunch and a chance to talk and meet one another.

Groups continued in the afternoon, ending with a joint session on ‘The Way Forward?’, and the conference ended with a blessing at 3 o’clock.

Our thanks go to Alastair Cutting and Christina Bennett at Henfield Parish Church, to Alyson Lamb for an inspiring talk, to Stephen and Liz France for providing the lunch (for a small donation!) and to our musicians Lisa Barnett, Natalie Loveless and Jo Bourse.

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Below is a summary of the points made in the group sessions.

GROUP DISCUSSIONS – Summaries of points recorded:

Group 1: Women Priests in the Diocese

Women priests are not seen as equal to men or treated in the same way, in particular in terms of (more…)

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