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We won’t derail legislation, says FiF

21 February 2014

GEOFF CRAWFORD

Glass ceiling: the roof of the debating chamber of Church House, Westminster

Glass ceiling: the roof of the debating chamber of Church House, Westminster

FORWARD IN FAITH has advised its members to vote against the women-bishops legislation whenit comes before diocesan synods in the Article 8 reference. This should not be interpreted, however, as an attempt to derail the passage of the legislation, the organisation's leadership said on Monday.

A statement issued by the council said: "When legislation is referred to the dioceses because it touches the sacraments of the Church, Forward in Faith believes that synod members should give their votes according to principle and conscience.

"For members of Forward in Faith, that is likely to involve voting against the Measure and the Canon because, for reasons of theological conviction, we cannot endorse the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate. This will be the only opportunity for members of diocesan synods to vote on the principle in accordance with their theological convictions.

"We wish to underline that in making this recommendation we are not seeking to hinder progress towards a final resolution."

On Tuesday, the new chair of WATCH, Hilary Cotton, welcomed the statement. WATCH's work would not finish once the legislation had been passed, she said. "I am on the watch for women with less experience who hold themselves back because they think they don't quite fit what the Church is looking for in senior appointments."

On Wednesday, the director of the Church Society, the Revd Lee Gatiss, called on the Archbishop of Canterbury "to make the claim that he wants Evangelicals like us to flourish in the Church truly credible"

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