The UK news and media have been full of comments and editorial on the surprise rejection of women bishops by the Church of England. I was surprised too and disappointed, whilst I found my wife tearful on watching the new break.
The senior leadership of the Church of England seem appalled and shocked as much as anyone.
Steve Clifford who heads up the EA has written a thoughtful post on some of the issues. He highlights that in an extensive survey, 71% of Evangelicals in the UK seem to support women in all levels of leadership.
Mind you the comments in his post show some of what is at stake. One side who are adamant that scripture rejects women in leadership (I do find it strange when people talk about offending scripture, as if the bible was a person of the godhead), whilst others take the opposite view. Those fighting it out in the comments miss the point of Steve’s post alas.
The Church of England is an established church, part of our legal and governmental structures, and is unique in that situation for the UK. Because of that, I have sympathy with the MP Ben Bradshaw, who wants to see the Church of England’s exemption from the equality act removed.
And Bishop N T Wright has weighed in with an article in the Times that the need for women Bishops is not about ‘progress’ but is about the bible.