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Baptist support for women bishop vote

Proposals that will pave the way for female bishops in the Church of England have been welcomed.

The General Synod voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday (378 to eight, with 25 abstentions) in favour of the draft legislation which could allow the ordination of female bishops next year.

The Revd Stephen Keyworth, Faith and Society team leader of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, said he was ‘delighted’ to hear of the decision.

‘This is very good news for the Church of England, as well as being a clear validation of women in ministry,’ he said.

The package was created after Synod narrowly rejected similar legislation last year. The new legislation includes the creation of an ombudsman who would rule on disputes.

The proposals were created by a committee which included those who voted against in 2012. They will now lead to legislation to ordain women bishops, which could come to Synod as early as November next year.

In a joint statement about the committee which put together the proposals, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York said, 'It is significant that the 15 members of the Steering Committee chaired by Bishop James Langstaff of Rochester, who represent the widest possible range of opinion on the matter, have been able to reach substantial agreement on a package of proposals to put to General Synod in November.

'We are also profoundly grateful to all the members of the Committee who have engaged with each other and with their shared task in such depth and with such care and prayer throughout the intense deliberations of the past few weeks.'
Baptist Times, 20/11/2013
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