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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Letter to the women clergy of the Diocese in Europe




Following on the failure of the proposed legislation to enable the consecration of women as bishops to gain necessary approval in the final consideration vote in the General Synod, Bishop Geoffrey and I have sent the following letter to the women clergy of our diocese: 

21 November 2012





To the women clergy of the Diocese in Europe


  


Dear Sisters


As a result of the vote in the General Synod yesterday,
there is deep sadness and disappointment felt by so many in our Church, and
bewilderment in the world we are called to serve. For both of us, yesterday’s
pattern of voting raises questions about the processes of the General Synod in
considering this kind of legislation. We know from the results of the diocesan
synods across the Church, including our own, that the Church of England does
want women bishops. The size of the majority which voted in favour of the
legislation at the General Synod yesterday confirmed this. However, as we know,
the hurdle to attain 2/3 of the votes in each house of the Synod is a high one,
and rightly so, when we need to decide on important matters which touch upon
the unity of the Church. In the house of laity there were 6 votes short of this
requirement.


We have to remember that what was defeated yesterday was a
particular and quite complex piece of legislation. A great deal of work has
gone into this and much of that will not be wasted when, in due course, a new Measure
comes before the Synod to enable the consecration of women to the episcopate
and to make proper provision for those with theological reservations about this.


In the face of the widely shared disappointment resulting
from the Synod vote, we both want personally to affirm and uphold the valued
place that women priests and deacons have in this diocese. As an international
part of the Church of England, very much the Anglican Communion in miniature,
we in the Diocese in Europe are already aware of the blessings that women in
all three sacred orders of ministry bring to Churches of the Anglican Communion
in the Americas, the Pacific and Africa. Moreover, we observe very closely the
fruitfulness of the ministry of women bishops in our sister Churches of the
Porvoo Communion in Iceland, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden, even while some
other partner Churches do not accept this development.


Let us pray earnestly for a healing of our strains and
divisions and that God will help us to find a way through these difficulties,
with wisdom and with generosity towards each other.


May God also grant us strength to continue to witness
with integrity to the Gospel of love, justice and reconciliation.


Your brothers in Christ


 +Geoffrey                                                                 +David


 Bishop Geoffrey                                                         Bishop
David





4 comments:

  1. What a beautiful, moving letter of support for the women clergy. Bless you. Gemma from Madrid (Spain)

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  2. Thank you for your support. We have worked so hard to get there. But I am grateful for your support and as a member of the Church of England I still feel, despite of all of this, that the C of E is my church and that we will overcome obstacles.
    Pamela Lawson
    The Netherlands

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