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Women bishops: Meath & Kildare and the C of E

06 December 2013


From the Revd Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes and others

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
Broomside Lane
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

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