Meeting heralds new era for episcopacy

From Church Times

THE House of Bishops must be ready for a change of culture now, before the final vote on accepting women into the episcopate, Dr Williams heard on Monday.

A day-long conference was hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace on Monday, after discussions with groups such as Women and the Church (WATCH), and the women Deans, Archdeacons, and Residentiary Canons group (DARC).

The day was reflective and wide-ranging in its discussions, said the Rector of St James’s, Piccadilly, the Revd Lucy Winkett. “People talked about issues like clergy couples and flexible working, and the impact on a priest’s vocation — all issues that have been highlighted by the ordination of women. “But we talked more about what it meant to be a priest in a modern age.

There was a general feeling that priesthood has been bureaucratised. “There will be a great culture change for the House of Bishops if women are made bishops, and there was a strong feeling that it would be healthy for more than one woman to be appointed as a bishop at first.” Women had now been priests for more than 17 years, she said, and, as the women-bishops legislation neared its final stages, it was felt that there was a need to look ahead to the future.

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