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 Issues | Women Bishops | Petition

The following petition was compiled and submitted to the Bishop of Guildfords' group.  Its purpose was to demonstrate the strength of feeling of those who in conscience cannot accept the oversight of a women Bishop.

  1. We the undersigned, declare our belief in the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures, set forth in the catholic creeds, and borne witness to by the historic formularies of the Church of England (Canon C15).
  2. We affirm and value the ministry of women within the Church of England along the lines of complementary gender roles and partnership in ministry, as set out in Holy Scripture.
  3. We believe the decision of the General Synod in July 2005 to proceed towards the consecration of women bishops is contrary to the will of God revealed in Scripture and appeal to the Synod not to proceed.
  4. We could not in conscience receive the Episcopal oversight of a female bishop, nor swear the oath of canonical obedience to a woman. (This latter phrase applies to clergy only.)
  5. We regret that adequate time has not been given to theological debate about the specific issue of gender complementarity in leadership roles in the Church and appeal to Synod to make time for this.
  6. If Synod opts to continue, we urge that specific structural provision be made for those who cannot in conscience accept the rightness of this change and that this provision should be contained within a Measure and be without time limit.

Circulated in the names of

The Right Revd Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes

The Revd David Banting, Chairman of Reform and Vicar of St Peterfs Harold Wood

The Revd David Phillips, General Secretary of Church Society

The Revd Dr Simon Vibert, Chairman of Fellowship of Word and Spirit and Vicar of St Lukefs Wimbledon Park.

The petition was signed by 300 clergy, 32 ordinands and around 260 others including Layreaders and Churchwardens.



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