Bishops – Logic and emotion

The House of Bishops is meeting this month to  try to find some words of legislation to allow the Church of England to have bishops of both genders, although some members of the Church of England do not believe women can be priests, bishops or in leadership roles.

Revd Jeremy Fletcher has written a beautiful piece of well reasoned thinking on this – do have a read

I want to agree with him.  Agreeing with him is the right, gracious approach to retaining unity and a cohesive (ish) Church of England.

I was about to disagree though.  I was about to write that as a woman and as a priest, I am accepted in both roles by all sorts of people of many faiths and none.  And that the only place where I have ever been flatly contradicted when I have said “I am a priest” is in church, when a Church of England member replied, “oh no you are not”.  I was about to say that no man can understand quite how hurtful this is.  And to write that as a human being and a woman I have to support total equality, and that anything less is unacceptable.  I have argued elsewhere and elsewhere about the role of ordained women. This argument is personal, and could be described as emotional too.  

But to rewind very slightly, this debate affects men too in a very personal way.  Bishops who ordain women are being deemed ‘unacceptable’ for men who don’t accept the ministry of women.  There is a divide within the male gender, and the ministry of men is being rejected.  There are men out there who understand what it feels like.  And they are bishops.  

As a potential Incumbent, I am naturally a control freak.  But maybe, just maybe, it’s time for me to trust other people, trust those who understand both the logic and the emotional impact, and trust them to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Maybe.  

You’ve got a photo of the pattern of sunlight on stone through stained glass.  With added camera shake.  

“For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face”


2 responses to “Bishops – Logic and emotion

  1. Thank you for pointing out the link to Jeremey's blog. I have replied there. But you make a strong point here about acceptance, about grace and the Holy Spirit guiding those who will be making decisions and Synod as it votes on whatever the Bishop's put forward after their meeting.

    I sincerely hope to see Women as Bishops in the Church, sooner, rather than later.

  2. Thank you for making a point (well put) that I haven't seen elsewhere. I suspect that several of our Bishop's are grappling with this very problem at the time I type.

    O Lord of wisdom, give it now to those who need it, please. Amen

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