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 Issues | Ministry | Women and ordained ministry

Women and the Anglican ordained ministry.

In 1992 the Church of England General Synod voted to allow women to be ordained as ‘Priests’ in the Church of England. The most numerous opposition to this came from anglo-catholics but many evangelicals also rejected the change. Church Society was amongst those upholding the traditional line and the Society took legal action to block the legislation as being beyond the powers of the General Synod.

These pages seek to explain why the Society continues to maintain that women should not be presbyters or priests in the Church of God. In the

Part 1 : The Nature of Christian Leadership

What can we learn from the Bible about the nature of Christian leadership and how does this relate to Anglican ministry today?

Part 2 : Biblical teaching on gender and ministry – is it still relevant?

Part 3 : Biblical teaching on gender and ministry – key texts

Some key texts and how they fit into the message of the Bible as a whole.

Part 4 : Some common objections to the classical evangelical position.

What about slavery? Head or source? And other objections people raise to the classical interpretation of scripture.

Part 5 : Responding in the Parish


Resolutions A, B & C. The Priests (Ordination of Women) Measure provision for opponents and the Episcopal Ministry act of Synod establishing ‘Flying Bishops’.

Part 6 : Church Society’s legal action


Christians in the past accepted the Bible's teaching


Some quotes from the early church and reformers.

Publications relevant to this issue.

Women as Bishops - Introduction & Links
In 2005 the Church of England began to consider whether it should take the next step and consecrate women as Bishops. The issues related to this are considered separately, though classical evangelicals consider Bishops to be Presbyters/Priests with a wider area of ministry, and therefore the theological issues are fundamentally the same.

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Downloads of articles from Churchman and Cross†Way

Cross†Way 82 : Women Priests

Should Women be Ordained? Cross†Way article (1982) by John Cheeseman.

Judicial Review of the Priests (Ordination of Women)Measure 1994.

The Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod Evangelicals Caught in the Act

Nigel Atkinson argues why evangelicals opposed to the ordination of women priests should use flying Bishops (Churchman Article)

A Biblical Perspective on Women's Ministries. Jessica Bowen outlines what the Bible has to say on women's ministry and discusses the ways in which women can serve today.

Roman Wives, Roman Widows : The Appearance of New Women and the Pauline Communities - Churchman Review Article by Sharon James.

As Night Follows Day? David Phillips explains why the acceptance of women ministers inevitably leads to acceptance of homosexual practice in the church. Cross†Way article, Autumn 2009.


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Related Links
Women Priests
BulletNature of Christian Leadership
BulletRelevance of the Bible
BulletWhat the Bible teaches
BulletResponding in the Parish

BulletChurch Society's Legal Action
BulletViews from the past


Ministry Pages
BulletLay Office Holders
BulletClergy Discipline
BulletFalse Teachng
BulletClergy Terms of Service

Ministry - Other Sub Issues
BulletConsecration of Women Bishops
BulletSenior Appointments

Other Issues
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BulletNational Church
BulletGeneral Synod
BulletAnglican Communion
BulletOther Faiths

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