Bishop of Blackburn welcomes moves to ordain women bishops

The  Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, The Bishop of Blackburn,
The Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, The Bishop of Blackburn,

The new Bishop of Blackburn has welcomed the Church of England moves to enable women to be ordained as bishops.

On Wednesday the General Synod approved a package of measures as the next steps towards enabling women to be ordained as bishops in the Church of England. The proposals received broad support: 378 votes for, eight against and 25 abstentions.

In February the draft legislation will return for revision in full synod, a simpler and quicker alternative to the usual method of revision by Committee. The House of Bishops will also present a draft declaration, including proposals for a mandatory disputes resolution procedure for discussion.

Bishop of Blackburn the Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, welcomed the encouraging degree of consensus in the Synod, and the warmth of the proposals.

He said: “The sense of agreement by the majority of synod members over the package of proposals for women to be ordained as Bishops was extremely encouraging and bodes well for the next stages. There was a warmth about the proposals that had not been present before and synod seems to have found a better way of handling its business.

“I am very hopeful we may have found a way forward that for the sake of our mission to the nation keeps those opposed to this development in the mainstream rather than the margins of the Church of England,

Bishop of Burnley the Rt Rev. John Goddard, also welcomed the tone of the debate. He said: “The atmosphere of trust and respect for each other in the General Synod was at a considerable level. We have now voted for the process to bring final proposals before the Synod. The debate on the matter of principle will take place then.

“My hope is that the trust and respect we look for in Christians will continue in that debate.”