From the Revd Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes and
Sir, - We were privileged and delighted to be in the
congregation in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, last Saturday, to
witness the consecration of the Most Revd Patricia Storey, Bishop
of Meath & Kildare. It was a joyful and solemn occasion.
We were particularly struck by how normal an occasion it was.
Apart from a brief reference in the welcome at the start of the
service to the historic nature of the appointment, and the presence
of a roving TV camera, little was made of the fact that Mrs Storey
is the first woman to be made a bishop in the Church of Ireland,
and indeed in the Anglican Churches of the UK. It was simply a
beautiful service making a well-loved priest into the next bishop
of the Church of Ireland, regardless of her gender. How we long for
this to be the case here.
Lay and ordained members of the Irish Church gave us a very warm
welcome. They were very touched that we had come all this way to
support them, and expressed the hope that they would be making the
return visit soon.
We were saddened, however, to note that, though the Primates of
the Church in Wales and the Scottish Episcopal Church were in
attendance, no bishop had come in support from the Church of
England. Since it has long been established that individual
provinces of the Anglican Communion are free to make up their own
minds about the ordination of women to all three orders, this
seemed an unnecessarily pointed and disappointing omission.
Finally, to those who have worried in these pages about how the
consecration service would need to be adapted for a woman, we can
now say with great confidence: it works just fine.
Miranda Threlfall-Holmes; Hilary Cotton (Chair of WATCH); Sally
Barnes; Ruth Chapman
c/o Belmont Vicarage
Durham DH1 2QW
From Mrs Ruth McCurry
Sir, - While we are in support of the Bishops' declaration about
the ordination of women as bishops, and happy at its reception by
the General Synod, we remain concerned that this new plan does
nothing to help the quiet majority in the diocese of Chichester,
who, whether ordained or lay, long to have at least one bishop who
will ordain women priests and support their ministry.
This is something that is already taken for granted in every
other diocese, and people in Chichester diocese have hoped that any
new move would at least give them some kind of voice.
Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod (GRAS)
7 Clemence Street
London E14 7TR