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
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