THE Bishop of Chichester, the Rt Revd John Hind, has announced that the new Bishop of Horsham will not ordain women priests, so maintaining the situation in the diocese in which none of the three bishops ordains women, writes Ed Beavan.
Speaking at the diocesan synod last weekend, Bishop Hind said that whoever replaced Bishop Lindsay Urwin, who is moving to Walsingham, would not ordain women, although he had set up a consultation process on the new appointment. At the moment, women priests in Chichester are ordained by the Rt Revd David Wilcox, a retired bishop who lives in the diocese.
Some lay members of the diocesan synod expressed disappointment that the Bishop appeared to have pre-empted the findings of the consultation. They had hoped that a similar situation could be set up to those in the dioceses of Blackburn and London, and in Europe, where there is one suffragan bishop who ordains women, as the diocesan bishop does not do so in conscience.
David Guest, a spokesman for the diocese of Chichester, said that the Bishop was maintaining the status quo in the diocese.