Week 29: Hero – The General Synod of the Church of England

by Ray_North on July 20, 2014

hero_icon2This week’s heroes are the Bishops, Clergy and Laity of the General Synod of the Church of England

We’re not really Church goers on this site – we’d be lying if we said that there was a great deal of faith or belief amongst us – but credit where credit is due, the General Synod of the Church of England, has taken a positive step this week by allowing women to become Bishops.

Now, I’ll admit this is not much of a week for heroism, with the terrible events in the Ukraine and Gaza, this has been a week for villains – in fact we were scratching our heads for a hero – and this award comes with a number of caveats: first, it can’t be described as a ‘brave step’ because there is nothing brave about recognising the self-evident fact that inequality of opportunity amongst the sexes is a totally regressive. Nor can it be described as a ‘pioneering step’ – I mean, this is the twenty first century and almost every other institution in the Uk has long since realised that it is inherently wrong to bar half the population from higher positions, because of their gender.

But, as I said, credit where it is due, the Church of England is an instinctively conservative institution and has, in the past, been blinded to social change – so, the decision to allow woman to take up the office of the Bishopric must be a step in the right direction.

I doubt very much that it’ll get George, Jackie or myself onto a pew next sunday morning, but it does mean that our female mates, some perhaps who read this blog, who might have a faith and religious persuasion can go to Church in the knowledge that it is no longer quite as institutionally sexist as it used to be.

Good luck to them.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Killingworth July 20, 2014 at 8:46 pm

The churches which are “in communion with” Canterbury, such as the American Episcopalians and the Anglicans in the various Commonwealth countries have allowed women to become bishops for some time.

I think you might have given the award to Archbishop Welby himself: he has been a strong supporter of gender equality in his Church, and seems to have achieved it without leading to any significant number of his flock going off to graze elsewhere.

And no, I’m not a Christian either – I’ll tell you what I am sometime if you’re that interested…

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Ray_North July 20, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Mike – pray tell! I am very interested!!

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Mike Killingworth July 21, 2014 at 10:02 am

http://www.unitarian.org.uk/

I was even a lay preacher for some years until I had my heart operation.

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Fionauk512 July 21, 2014 at 5:47 pm

As a female reader of the blog, with an interest in religious matters (teacher of religion and philosophy – although personally I am an atheist) the synods decision is long overdue. Many of those who objected have still got haven in Anglo Catholicism, where they can retain the patriarchy of their church.

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