7 July 2006
For immediate release
As the General Synod once again debates the possible admission of women to
be bishops, and after 13 years of women priests within the Church of England,
there remains a substantial minority who are firmly opposed to the innovation.
Whilst anglo-Catholics remain the largest grouping of those opposed and despite
a number who have left the church in the last decade the evangelical opposition
has not diminished. Over three hundred evangelical clergy signed
a petition sent to the Bishops last year and many of these are ministering in some of
the largest parish churches in the country.
Evangelical opponents have always focussed on the issue of authority in the
Church asserting that the Church of England is committed by law to the supreme
authority of the Bible. They are strongly in favour of women’s ministry
but maintain that, in accordance with Biblical teaching, the role of teaching
and authority within the churches should be exercised by men.
This understanding is by no means new, it has been the view of almost all
churches for the last two millennia and remains the predominant view within
the churches worldwide today. They see no reason or evidence to think that
maintaining this compromises their work or witness today.
The related file,
the evangelical position, was circulated to all members of
General Synod in advance of this weekend’s debates.