"see women take their place alongside men as bishops and at every level in the Church of England."WATCH had urged the House of Bishops not to make any amendments to the draft legislation.
Now that the House of Bishops have made amendments the response from WATCH will be among many important contributions to the ongoing debate about not 'if' but 'how' women can be bishops in the C. of E. (The 'if' question was settled a long time ago). A detailed statement is being prepared, which I await with bated breath. Meanwhile, a short initial status update has appeared on their Facebook Page as follows:
"Firstly, thank you to everyone who sent us their responses, both many members and other interested groups. WATCH spent today discussing and considering them fully and a paper including a more detailed statement will follow in due course. But for those of you waiting to hear our conclusions, here goes. The vast majority of the responses expressed dissatisfaction with one of the changes made by the House of Bishops. As a result, our conclusion is that we have grave concerns about the amendment to clause 5, and would find it difficult to support. However, it will fall to General Synod members not WATCH, to make up their own minds and decide how to vote on the legislation that comes before them. WATCH remains prepared to work constructively with others to come to a solution that does not create a Church divided in Law."This seems to me like a softer approach than I had feared, while expressing the grave concerns about the amendment to clause 5. I share these concerns, but still feel that it would be right for General Synod to vote for the legislation even as amended.
Little by little, inch by inch. (See Women Bishops and the lessons of history).
Image Credit: WATCH (Women and the Church)