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Church Society Trust

 Press Releases

2 November 2004
2.30pm For immediate release.

Women Bishops
A response to the Rochester Report

from the Council of Church Society.

If the Church of England proceeds to consecrate women as Bishops then it will act ultra vires. The doctrines, canons and legal establishment of the Church mean that it has no power to establish something that is contrary to Holy Scripture.

The New Testament clearly teaches that leadership in the churches should be exercised by men.
This pattern is not a result of prejudice or inequality. It is an expression of the fact that God has made men and women with different yet complementary gifts and roles.
Leadership in the churches should not have anything to do with importance, power or prestige; rather it is about service and should be modelled on Christ.

Following, and we believe partly as a result of, the innovation of ordaining women as priests, decline in the Church of England accelerated. In the last decade the number of men going into full-time ministry has more than halved, and the numbers of men and children in congregations has fallen by around twenty percent.

The consecration of women as Bishops will exacerbate the problems. Numerous clergy and parishes will be unable in conscience to accept their ministry because it is self evidently against the teaching of Scripture. This will disenfranchise and victimise ordinary Anglicans who believe the Bible.

It is vital to be faithful to the Word of God. For the Church of England to have any value in the modern world it must teach the Bible faithfully. Anglicanism requires the oversight of Bishops who are men of God, and who through the power of the Holy Spirit teach and live in accordance with God's Word. In the absence of such Bishops loyal Anglicans will take whatever steps are necessary to remain faithful to the plain teaching of Scripture.


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