Women clergy to attend Church of England bishops' meetings

Cross and clothing of Church of England bishop Planned legislation intended to pave the way for women bishops was rejected last year

The bishops who lead the Church of England are to include female clergy in their meetings for the first time.

At least eight senior women clergy, such as deans and archdeacons, will participate as non-voting members of the House of Bishops.

The move is in response to the defeat of attempts to create women bishops.

Proposed legislation failed to win the backing of the Church's ruling general synod in November. The Church will reconsider the issue in the summer.

Supporters of the change partly blamed the defeat on a failure by the House of Bishops to consult women clergy about the best way to draft the legislation to include exemptions for traditionalists who do not want to serve under women bishops.

The proposed legislation needed to gain two-thirds majority support in each of the synod's three houses - bishops, clergy and laity - but fell short by six votes in the House of Laity.

In the latest move, at least eight senior women clergy will participate as non-voting members of the House of Bishops until such time as at least six women bishops have been appointed and joined the group by right.

BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott said: "Amid the bitter recriminations that followed the defeat by the Church's ruling synod last year of legislation to introduce women bishops, its all-male House of Bishops received the lion's share of the blame.

"In particular, their decision to introduce increased exemptions for traditionalists late in the legislative process was regarded by many in the Church as the main reason for the defeat of the draft law last summer."

Our correspondent added that with pressure mounting on the Church to rectify an "embarrassing failure" when the issue returns to the synod in July, bishops are determined to make sure women clergy are included in drafting new proposals, and seen to be included.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 189.

    It is about time the Equality Act was applied to all such organisations, particularly those who continue to enjoy charitable status or retain representatives within Parliament.

  • rate this

    Comment number 188.

    "God doesn't make gay people."

    God (allegedly) makes humans.
    Some humans are gay.
    God thus makes being gay possible (then cruelly condemns it.) or is not actually in charge of the so called creation.

    The same works with evil: To truly create a world where evil is a choice, is to create that evil. To create evil as part of your plan is to be evil.

  • rate this

    Comment number 187.

    'The Bible can't be changed without fundamentally disrupting God's word'

    lol - err, not quite sure how to break this to you but the bible was written by......men! It's not gods word it is mans word and it has, no doubt, been changed thousands of times over the last millennia.

  • rate this

    Comment number 186.

    Science is full of errors.
    Scientists used to think the world was flat. Proved wrong.
    Scientists used to think the sun revolved around the earth. Proved wrong.
    Scientists used to think the atom was the smallest possible thing in the universe. Proved wrong.
    Science "facts" are being disproved all the time.
    Whilst the Bible remains as true today as it did when it was written.
    Just saying...

  • rate this

    Comment number 185.

    For all the perceived faults of the CofE, it does not advocate stoning women to death. Perhaps we are targeting an easy target?

  • rate this

    Comment number 184.

    All I can say is that if I were to be invited to attend a meeting, but refused full participation because of my gender, I wouldnt even bother to RSVP. If these women have any conviction at all they would do the same. If no woman accepted the invitation, think of the message this would send.

  • rate this

    Comment number 183.

    136. ClaudeBalls

    "Please explain the racial mix of Adam and Eve that came up with the racial diversity we have today."

    Depends on how you interpret Genesis. On day 6 God "creates mankind and tells them to go forth and multiply". Adam and Eve are created in book 2. Is this the same retelling or after?

    The bible even contradicts itself here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 182.

    174 - spam
    Yep, have to agree with you. It looks as though religion everywhere is trying harder and harder to get power, yet constantly complain they are not represented by another religion in the law-making process.

    Bit of a paradox?

  • rate this

    Comment number 181.

    Sort comments by lowest rated if you want a laugh. I can't believe people this stupid even know how to work a computer.

  • rate this

    Comment number 180.

    Why does HYS remove any comment that mentions "Hitler"? Clearly in a discussion about free societies and discrimination, that man was a chief offender in the past and relevant to the topic. I was merely responding to alexicon's comment at153 which brought it up, and remains I see.

    Hitler is not an "unperson". It'd be good to see you reinstate my comment at 169 & display journalistic integrity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 179.

    Why do gays and women keep trying to change a religion that was written down thousands of years ago? The Bible can't be changed without fundamentally disrupting God's word. If you don't like the discrimination that ruled Jewish society all that time ago, get a different religion and let Christianity wither on the vine if it's unfit for modern times.

  • rate this

    Comment number 178.

    Wow, u met Godwin's law pretty fast!

    not at all - i never mentioned H or the N's. You did.

    As for my dinner party - no-one will be excluded on the basis of a prejudice about them; invites wil be limited by capacity, desire to attend and experience of behaviour.
    You, are NOT invited.

  • rate this

    Comment number 177.

    Nice try but this is just tokenism. The church needs to wake up to the modern world and not allow the laity to dictate what those who are ordained can and cannot do. The clergy are the church not the pew fillers. The church is proving itself to be so far out of touch its no wonder the numbers are falling. No organisation should be above the law, discrimination by gender sexuality etc is unlawful!

  • rate this

    Comment number 176.

    Have I stumbled on the Friday afternoon comedy club?

    Some of the comments by supposedly religious people on here - surely they're on a wind up?

  • rate this

    Comment number 175.

    "Once he accepts Jesus into his heart, the homosexual feelings will go away.".....What can you say apart from being totally flabbergasted about such beliefs. I wonder how many (unelected) bishops sitting the lords believe such nonsense. Still they only get to impact on laws I have to obey...What!!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 174.

    We have laws to protect everyone from injustice

    But unfortunately religion is and always has been a law unto itself

    They each believe & it is written in their scripture propaganda that non followers of their specific dictate are evil & will utimately burn in hell as punishment. You could be the most humane kind person to have walked the earth, they still believe you should BURN in hell

  • rate this

    Comment number 173.

    I'm getting sick of the Churches constantly moaning and complaining about how everyone in the UK wants to move on, we are in the 21st centuary, not BC/AC stop living in the bible and move on with the times jees give it a rest!!!

  • Comment number 172.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 171.

    Devious behaviours by the prelates to get close to having their way.

    You can not 'modernise' primitive concepts of imaginary beings to worship. If you 'believe' in such stuff you are not modern. Tradition, continuity, matter far more.

    Get real, modernise, close down the lies of gods and religions designed to milk those deluded at childhood by their parents.

  • rate this

    Comment number 170.


    This isnt about evolution or Dawkins or dinosaurs. Why dont you stay on topic and give us your opinions on half the population being excluded by your religion and church and your own thoughts on what your church should do about it....or havnt you started thinking for your self yet?


Page 5 of 14


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