THE next stages in the path towards fresh women-bishops
legislation have been outlined to members of General Synod.
"Intensive" facilitated discussions are to be held on Tuesday
and Wednesday next week by the working group on wome bishops. The
group has invited an additional 15 people to participate. Their
names will not be released until the conclusion of the
The news came in a statement sent to all Synod members today by
the Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, the Rt Revd Nigel Stock
(above), who chairs of the working group. He writes that
the decision to invite the additional 15 was made at the group's
first meeting on 3 January. The group had "sought nominations for
some of these places from interested groups, and issued some
invitations to named individuals." The group had met again
On Wednesday evening, at the conclusion of discussions, the
working group will meet the Archbishops and other members of the
House of Bishops Standing Committee in preparation for a special
meeting of the House of Bishops the following day.
Bishop Stock said that it was his "expectation" that the House
would then issue a statement to give the working group "a fresh
mandate for its next phase of work", and that, "shortly
thereafter", a consultation document would be circulated "enabling
all Synod members to make a contribution". Responses would be
sought by the end of February.
The working group was established on 11 December by the House of
Bishops to advise it on the preparation of fresh legislative
proposals for women-bishops, to be brought before the Synod in July
News, 21 December). It is comprised of ten people drawn from
all three Houses of Synod. Two of its members - the Bishop of
Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, and the Chair of the House of Laity,
Dr Philip Giddings - voted against the legislation at the Synod
last month (
News, 23 November).