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Women observe House of Bishops

13 December 2013

CHURCH OF ENGLAND

Participant observers: the eight women welcomed to the House of Bishops' meetings: left to right: back row: the Ven. Rachel Treweek, the Ven. Nicola Sullivan, the Ven. Annette Cooper, the Ven. Joanne Grenfell; front row: the Revd Libby Lane, the Revd Preb. Dr Jane Tillier, the Very Revd Vivienne Faull, the Ven. Christine Wilson  

Participant observers: the eight women welcomed to the House of Bishops' meetings: left to right: back row: the Ven. Rachel Treweek, the Ven. Nicola...

EIGHT women joined the House of Bishops as "participant observers" for the first time this week.

The House of Bishops decided in February that eight senior women clerics, elected by region, would participate in meetings of the House until six women bishops are appointed and are able sit as of right ( News, 8 February).

Held on Monday and Tuesday, the meeting included discussion of women in the episcopate, the Pilling report, the approval of new baptism liturgy, changes to legislative approaches on safeguarding, and the Anglican-Methodist Covenant.

After hearing from members of the steering committee on women bishops about suggestions for the next steps in the process, the House agreed the text of a draft declaration and regulations for a mandatory disputes-resolution procedure for debate at General Synod in February. It agreed to begin at the February Synod meeting the process for rescinding the 1993 Act of Synod, so that all the elements of the new package could be agreed by the Synod in July.

Sir Joseph Pilling introduced a discussion on the report on sexuality by the group that he chaired (News, 29 November).

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