THE man announced last week as the first bishop for "headship"
Evangelicals has said that he will not lead a "Church within a
Prebendary Rod Thomas, who is Vicar of Elburton, and chairman of
the conservative Evangelical pressure group Reform, has said that
he will encourage any congregation that he ministers to as Bishop
of Maidstone to engage with its diocese and the Church of
"I have no intention of leading a Church within a Church," he
said in an interview on BBC Radio Devon on Sunday. "My intention is
to provide reassurance to both conservative Evangelical
congregations and dioceses that we can flourish together, and I
will be encouraging those congregations to play a full part in the
life of those dioceses."
Prebendary Thomas estimated that about ten per cent of the C of
E shared his convictions on the issues of women bishops, but said
that, with a few exceptions, he and those in the Church who accept
women bishops are united on more things than divide them.
"Even though we see things differently, we share the same
commitment to Jesus Christ, we are keen to see the progress of the
Gospel, and those things help put everything in perspective."