Salisbury Diocesan Synod Urges House of Bishops to Think Again
Representatives from parishes across Dorset and Wiltshire called on the House of Bishops to reconsider one of their amendments to legislation for women bishops during a meeting of the Salisbury Diocesan Synod at St Paul’s Church, Salisbury this week (Tuesday 21 June).
Proposing the motion "This Synod calls upon the House of Bishops to withdraw its amendment to Clause 5 of the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure." David Jones, from Lyme Bay Deanery, referred to the “grave consternation” provoked by this particular amendment – which gives parishes the legal right to refuse the ministry of women bishops on theological grounds. Mr Jones said that resultant damage caused by the change “needed to be undone”.
Richard Franklin, a General Synod representative for the Diocese, echoed this view saying that such an amendment would permanently endorse a negative view of women’s ministry and enshrine it in law.
Delegates who spoke against the motion felt this amendment was a minor change that was vital to secure a future in the Church of England for those who are opposed to Women Bishops.
The motion was carried overwhelmingly.
Diocesan Secretary Lucinda Herklots said, “The emergency item was added in order that a range of views could be heard, and that has clearly been done. What’s also clear is the message from Synod: that the legislation was approved by 42 of 44 dioceses in the form it had at the time. Amending it in this way cuts across what the diocese thought they had agreed to.”
Diocesan Synod meets three times a year and makes decisions affecting the work of the Church of England in the Diocese of Salisbury, covering most of Wiltshire and almost all of Dorset.
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