Like many other church assemblies around this time, the Church of England General Synod in July 2013 faces several controversial and challenging issues. As Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby recognised, both openness and boldness are needed.
The Church of England’s attempts to placate a small minority strongly opposed to women’s ordination have plunged it into crisis, without satisfying these opponents, says Savi Hensman. What is the way forward now? Deep theological and practical questions need to be addressed, and the answers explained in ways that those who are not professional theologians can understand.
Becoming a bishop is definitely not on my bucket list, writes the Rev Dr Jane Tillier. But she had hoped soon to see some of her gifted and experienced women colleagues take their place alongside the men in the currently all-male House of Bishops. We need to see men and women working together, she argues. Male and female made in the image of God and serving the loving, revolutionary, redemptive purposes of Jesus Christ in whom, the Bible tells us, “there is neither male nor female”.
As news came through of the Church of England's rejection of women bishops, Symon Hill was reminded of a small clique of sexist Christians who he knew at university. Supporters of equality have tried to reach accommodation with opponents, but their efforts have been aggressively rejected. We must stop appeasing prejudice and stand up for equality, he says.