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No need to reappoint Provincial Episcopal Visitors

08 December 2010


From Mrs Sally Barnes

Sir, — I would like to comment on the advertisement last week re­gard­ing the vacancies that have arisen owing to the resignation of two Provincial Episcopal Visitors (PEVs).

Surely there is no hurry to fill these vacancies when the proposed legislation for women bishops is about to be discussed in the dioceses. If it is passed, the role of the PEVs will be redundant. In the short term, it would be preferable to appoint one or two bishops already in the College of Bishops to these roles in a temporary capacity who are known to be acceptable to those opposed to women bishops.

This would be a more satisfactory solution than appointing two new people who may well have short tenure as PEVs, and would then be serving as bishops among the majority of parishes and people who do not accept their view of women bishops and have themselves no reciprocal arrangements.

The consequences of this would be to perpetuate the damaging divisions that have arisen as a result of the Act of Synod. It is not uncommon for acting appointments to be made when change is about to take place, or, as in this case, until the process of the legislation is complete. At a time of financial cutbacks, when dioceses face deficit budgets and are required to reduce expenditure, making temporary appointments would also be seen to be a far more sensible solution.

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