Friday 6 July 2012

Female bishops - a view from Scotland

Have just signed the Church of England WATCH petition to lobby the house of (English) bishops to withdraw clause 5.1c of the amendment to the female bishop legislation.

Why, as a Scottish Episcopalian, did I do this?  I asked the same question of myself, and have hesitated to do so for some time because of this.  The Scottish Episcopal Church allows women bishops - we have just never had one (yet).

I was ordained deacon and priest in the Church of England, and did not expect or intend at that time to move north of the border.  I served my title in an English parish.  It was a rich, full and rewarding time of ministry.

I am now in a church that has maybe a little as 1-2% of the full-time clergy that serve in the C of E (I think there are 16,000 C of E clergy, and maybe 170 or so SEC clergy who are paid - this is a bit of a hazy guess...).

But there is an issue of justice here.

I am an Anglican priest - part of something much bigger than the charges I serve, the diocese in which I work and the province that I find myself within.  The rules in all the many Anglican provinces on gender and ministry vary, as do they on, doctrine, inclusion etc. etc.  There are plenty of justice issues in this world, but to perpetuate, even implicitly, division and historical reaction WITHIN our church structures.  I feel the theology of this issue is tainted...  We need bishops who are humans - that is what the incarnation teaches...

Show me a petition about a human justice issue lying within our Anglican Communion, and I will, as an Anglican priest, sign that petition...

1 comment:

  1. Your 'holiday' is an interesting concept ... but this was a good thing to do during it!