The Church of England
General Synod decided in November
1992 to permit the ordination
of women as Priests. The legislation was subsequently passed
by Parliament and enacted.
2000 the General
Synod passed the following motion:
That this Synod ask the House of Bishops to initiate further
theological study on the episcopate, focusing on the issues that
need to be addressed in preparation for the debate on women in the
episcopate in the Church of England, and to make a progress report
on this study to Synod in the next two years.
This led to the setting
up of the Rochester Commission.
The Commission gave
an interim report to General Synod.
The Commission completed
its work and published its report in October
General Synod devoted nearly 4 hours to two debates.
Women Bishops in the
Church of England?: A
Report of the House of Bishops’ Working Party
on Women in the Episcopate (GS 1557)
Two motions were passed:
That this Synod
do take note of the report.
Synod welcome the report from the House of Bishops (GS
1568) and invite the Business Committee to make sufficient time
available at the July group of sessions for Synod to determine
wishes to set in train the process for removing the legal obstacles
ordination of women to the episcopate.’
2005 the Synod
are due to debate the following motion:
That this Synod
(a) consider that the process for removing the legal obstacles
to the ordination of women to the episcopate should now be set
(b) invite the
House of Bishops, in consultation with the Archbishops’ Council,
to complete by January 2006, and report to the Synod, the assessment
which it is making of the various options for achieving this;
(c) instruct the Business Committee to make sufficient time
available in the February 2006 group of sessions for the Synod
to debate the report, determine on what basis it wants the necessary
legislation prepared and establish the necessary drafting group.
Letter to the Church of England Newspaper at eve of July 2005
General Synod raising concerns about making women bishops.
If Synod passes the resolution in
July 2005 the future timetable is likely to include:
Debate in Feb 2006 to consider what form legislation should take - in particular
should there be provision for opponents.
Legislation drafting group set up.
General Approval Debate in General
A Revision Committee set-up.
Referral to the Dioceses (this is
deemed Article 8 Business) which could take 12-18 months.
The House of Laity, or Convocations
(Clergy) could ask for a debate amongst themselves.
Debate in General Synod on the report
of the Revision Committee.
Possible further Revision Stage and
Final Approval by General Synod.
This will require a 2/3rds majority in each of the three houses of Synod (Bishops,
Clergy & Laity).
Consideration by the Ecclesiastical
Committee of Parliament.
If 'deemed expedient'.
Debate in House of Commons and House
Legislation will receive the Royal
Development in the Anglican Communion
In the Second World War Florence
Li Tim Oi was ordained on an emergency basis within the Anglican Church in
In 1968 the Lambeth Conference hedged
its bets on the issue but asked provinces not to act unilaterally.
In 1971 two women were ordained priest
in Hong Kong.
In 1974 two women were illegally
ordained in the United States.
The Episcopal Church of the USA voted
in 1976 to allow female presbyters.
Women were ordained presbyter in
Canada in 1976, New Zealand in 1977 and in Uganda and Kenya in 1983.
1989 Women were consecrated as Bishops
in New Zealand and later in the United States.
Women were ordained in Australia
in 1992 (but not in Sydney the largest Diocese).
Women were ordained in the Church
of England in 1994.
The following provinces of the Communion
do not presently permit women to be ordained as presbyters :
Jerusalem and the Middle East,
Papua New Guinea,
South East Asia,
Diaconate only Indian Ocean,
Only three provinces currently have
women Bishops (New Zealand, Canada and the USA) but 11 others permit it in
Provision for Opponents