Church of England Bishops and the Amending of Canons

It doesn't sound very exciting - that 2nd item on the agenda this morning for the Church of England's General Synod -'Amending Canon 33'.  And part of me wants to say, why should it be? Today is just the rubber stamping (or so I hope and trust) on a process that goes back decades.

Amending Canon C2 in the way I assume will happen today has been a long time coming. The legislation has gone through General Synod, through both Houses of Parliament and has received the Royal Assent.  Today's business dots the 'I's and crosses the 'T's and should go through without a problem. There will be no additional discussion, just a vote, which is almost certain to gain the required majority. After today we will have these new words at the start of Canon C2:

1. Canon C 2 (Of the consecration of bishops) is amended as follows – 
(a) The following paragraph is inserted at the beginning – 
“1. A man or a woman may be consecrated to the office of bishop.”;

You can read the full Amending Canon 33 text here. And you can follow the live video stream this afternoon from 13.45 to 19.45 and again all day tomorrow. (There are many other items on the agenda.)

After all the heartache, prayer and arguments along the way, going back decades, the Church of England is now saying that a bishop may be a man or a woman - so lets have no more talk about 'women bishops'. Can we just refer to bishops as bishops please? Or is that too much to hope for?

Postscript 14.55 pm 17 November:
Yippee! It's gone through on overwhelming show of hands.


  1. I think it probably is, for a while at least, Nancy. After all people still refer to women priests 20 years on. :(

    1. Yes I did have that in mind when I wrote the post. Mind you I'd rather be called a woman priest than a 'lady priest' which sounds particularly weird to me.


Post a comment