'No mass exodus' from Church of England over women bishops

By staff writers
June 30, 2008

There will be no mass exodus of male clergy and no schism over women bishops, MPs, clergy and lay members of the Church of England will say at a press conference today in Westminster.

More than 500 members of the clergy resigned after women priests were introduced in the 1990s.

The church is now pressing ahead with moves to elect women as bishops. Twenty six Church of England bishops sit in the House of Lords, meaning that the UK Parliament is the only democracy in the world with places exclusively reserved for men.

The press conference comes in the run up to the meeting of the General Synod, the Church's 'Parliament', during which the issues of women bishops will be debated.

Taking place at Westminster Abbey, the press conference will include Chris Bryant, Member of Parliament for Rhondda and Ann Cryer, Member of Parliament for Keighley.

There will also be representatives of the network of Women Deans, Archdeacons and Residentiary Canons, GRAS (Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod), Inclusive Church, WATCH (Women And the Church) NADAWM (National Association of Diocesan Advisers for Women’s Ministry)

The group are calling for no legal ‘safeguards’ in legislation for women bishops. They will also say that there will be no mass exodus of male clergy and no schism over women bishops.

The group suggest that there is widespread support for simple legislation for women bishops from male and female clergy and lay members.

Panel members will present updates on the current position as the Church of England prepares to debate legislation for women bishops.

This month, Australian Anglicans appointed their first female bishop.

Keywords:women bishops
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