The Church of England will shortly be ordaining a woman as bishop for the first time. This has been widely welcomed. But many were baffled to learn of the novel way in which a male bishop will be ordained not long afterwards. Savi Hensman explores the differences, and the underlying issues of church polity in a changing cultural context.
Some people may be understandably confused about the Church of England’s position on same-sex partnerships and equal marriage. Official statements, the publicly-voiced views of senior clergy and broader opinions among church members point in different directions. Part of this is to do with realism, but shifts in understanding also play a part.
I have often been critical of the Church of England’s leadership for being slow to speak out on issues of economic justice. I’m therefore delighted that 43 CofE bishops have criticised the coalition for cutting benefits (or technically, for raising them by one percent, which is below the rate of inflation and therefore a cut in all but name).