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Hope defends Act of Synod

THE ARCHBISHOP of York, Dr David Hope, has spoken strongly against those who wish to rescind the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod. He warned that abolition of the Act “would not only be a tragedy: it would be an act of betrayal and trigger a new crisis for our Church.”

Dr Hope was preaching on Wednesday evening at a service in St Bartholomew’s, Leeds, to mark the tenth anniversary of the Act of Synod and the consecrations of the Rt Revd John Gaisford, the first Provincial Episcopal Visitor (or “flying bishop”), and the Rt Revd Martyn Jarrett. When the latter was made Bishop of Burnley in 1994, he was the first new suffragan bishop consecrated after the General Synod vote for the ordination of women to the priesthood who was opposed to the move.

Dr Hope also accused some of the people who are now questioning the Act of Synod of being “those who were at the time, ten years ago, giving very clear assurances about its continuance”.

He did, however, warn those opposed to the ordination of women that there was no room for “discourtesy, aggression and even abuse towards women who have been ordained”.

The Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod (GRAS) is marking the tenth anniversary of women’s ordination by calling for the Act to be abolished and campaigning against a third province (News, 20 February).
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