A response to the General Synod’s decision on Women Bishops from the Clergy of the Parish of Old St Pancras.
On Tuesday the General Synod rejected legislation that would have paved the way for women to be consecrated as Bishops. As you will be aware this has led to a great deal of very negative coverage in the press and has triggered a serious crisis for the Church.
It is very important to understand what this vote was about. Synod was not voting on the principle of having women Bishops. That in itself was agreed a long time ago. This was about the legislation which is required to make it possible. A number of people, especially in the house of laity, did not believe that the legislation put in front of them was fair because it did not make sufficient provision for those who in conscience feel unable to accept such a development.
As a Parish we hold together people with very diverse views on this issue. If you oppose the idea of women as Bishops, this vote is no cause for celebration for many faithful Anglicans will be deeply grieving. If the consecration of women is a development you want to see, then do not despair. It will come, and perhaps the current crisis will mean that it can be done in a way that gives greater respect to the consciences of all.
Meanwhile it is crucially important that, as a Parish, we go on praying and witnessing together. With its diversity of opinion amongst clergy and laypeople on this and other issues, our Parish can provide something of a model of a church which is united in witness whilst holding together the breadth of Anglicanism. Let us all pray that that may long continue for the good of the communities we serve.