From Mrs Sue Johns
Sir, - I am reading the paper submitted by the working group
on women in the episcopate, and have been forcibly struck by its
use of the words "majority" and "minority".
In various dioceses, deaneries/areas, and benefices, the
majority and the minority will be polar opposites to their near
neighbours. So, while reading the paper in the context of the
Church of England as a whole sets the majority in a particular way,
in the interpretation of this essential piece of work, it brings
home to me in a dynamic way what will be required by reciprocity
I continue to pray that we will move forward together to discern
and deliver the simple process that will free us to continue be one
in our mission and ministry to this land.
(Synod member for Norwich)
8 Dragonfly Lane
Norwich NR4 7JR
From the Revd Jesse Zink
Sir, - Since the defeat of the legislation on women bishops
last November, it has been frequently said that the Church is in
"crisis". That may be, but the burden has been borne by only a
portion of the Church's membership.
Those who supported the legislation have been the primary
carriers of the "anger, grief, and disappointment" referenced by
the House of Bishops in their recent report on women in the
One simple way of ensuring that the burden is carried more
equally would be a moratorium on the consecration of any new
bishops until the crisis is resolved, apparently not until 2015 at
the earliest. Such a move would place the burden of the crisis
where it properly belongs - on the entire membership of the
It would also frankly acknowledge something that is widely
agreed: the status quo cannot endure in the Church. As it cannot
yet be changed in a way that would resolve the crisis, perhaps it
can be changed temporarily in another fashion so as to be a
continual reminder that change is needed.
A similar moratorium was proposed in the Episcopal Church in the
United States after the 2003 election of Gene Robinson. Surely,
there are enough retired bishops to continue the sacramental
functions of the episcopate while the Church prayerfully considers
how, not whether, the status quo will change.
Cambridge CB2 3AP