Norwich backing for women bishops decision
By Keith Morris
2010: The Bishop of Norwich
has given his personal backing to the decision by the General Synod
to allow women to become bishops in the Church of England.
The Rt Rev Graham James (right), who voted in favour of the move last weekend, said in a letter to Diocese of Norwich clergy: “I believe that the Church of England would be enriched by women in the episcopate. The gifts and graces which women have brought to the ordained ministry seem self evident to me and I am convinced that in the ordained ministry it is our humanity which is more important than our gender, just as it is in relation to our salvation in Christ.
“What is also evident to me is that many of those who are opposed to the ordination of women in our Church also believe it is right for the Church of England to ordain women to the episcopate. They see it as an inevitable consequence of a Church which ordains women to the diaconate and the presbyterate. However, they do want appropriate provision for those who do not believe this to be a legitimate development in the one holy, catholic and apostolic church,” said Bishop Graham
“I am very glad that the process of considering this legislation continues and I’m also glad that the present General Synod indicated such significant determination to make provision for those who find the proposal that women should be bishops so difficult.”
Bishop Graham also explained that what the General Synod did over the weekend was to send the draft legislation to be considered in each diocese. The Norwich Diocesan Synod will consider it sometime next year and the Bishop expressed the hope that every Deanery Synod will have the legislation on its agenda too.
The majority of the dioceses will need to approve this legislation before the General Synod begins the concluding stages and does reach a final vote.