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Dissenters air grievances during women bishops debate

18 July 2014

SAM ATKINS

"Told I was wrong": Susie Leafe and, behind her, Dr Philip Giddings

"Told I was wrong": Susie Leafe and, behind her, Dr Philip Giddings

"AS DELIGHTED as I am for the outcome of this vote, I am also mindful of those within the Church for whom the result will be difficult and a cause of sorrow."

The Archbishop of Canterbury had in mind on Monday evening the group of conservative Evangelicals who, throughout the debate, continued to voice their dissent.

One complaint was the failure to appoint a single bishop who shared their views on headship, despite, one speaker said, 69 appointments' having been made in the past seven years.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said after the vote: "The traditional Catholics have got PEVs. They can see what we have done with them over the last 20 years." The Archbishops have pledged to address this concern with urgency.

Other grievances were aired in the debate. Susie Leafe, the director of Reform, gave an unhappy account of the facilitated talks, during which she was told that her deepest concerns were "off the table, because the . . . Church thought I was wrong".

The group was most unhappy when speakers referred to changes in society.

"How will we prevent the argument that says scripture applied then, but it no longer applies now when we come to other sorts of arguments and situations?" asked the Revd Angus Macleay.

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