UPDATED: ‘Relief’ and ‘delight’ over Church of England decision to allow women bishops

Revd. Will Pearson-Gee 140212M-A309 ENGPNL00120141202111504
Revd. Will Pearson-Gee 140212M-A309 ENGPNL00120141202111504

Vicars in the region have welcomed the Church of England’s decision to allow women bishops.

Rector of Buckingham, Rev Will Pearson-Gee, said the decision meant the church could now focus on its main purpose for being here.

He said: “I wasn’t surprised but I was very relieved that the vote went through approving women bishops.

“It has been a painful time for the church getting tied up in knots over this when there have been far more important issues at hand.

“If I have a sadness it is that this is a further massive obstruction between the Protestant Church reuniting with the Roman Catholic Church, something I have always felt God would want.

“The reason the legislation didn’t get through two years ago wasn’t so much that people didn’t want women as bishops but because the provision for looking after those opposed to women bishops was poorly thought out and ungenerous.

“Archbishop Justin has used his business skills to forge a decent proposal to which all sides could agree.”

He added although people outside the church were ‘incredulous’ the church didn’t appear to be ‘moving with the the times’, the church needed to modernise without ‘pandering to the prevailing culture of the day.’

Retired Reverend Jenny Shields, from the Lenborough Benefice said she welcomed the news.

“It is great news, but we expected it this time,” she said. “Most of the clergy have been in favour for a long time. Archbishop Justin has put into place all the safeguards those opposed needed so it was welcome. It has been ridiculous – we were so far behind the rest of the world in coming to this stage. Most people couldn’t understand why we were allowed women vicars, but not women bishops.”

Rev Ben Phillips, of St Lawrence Church, in Towcester said he was delighted.

He said: “It has been slow in coming partly because they have been trying look after the few who disagree. It has been so embarrassing – we have not been in a position to make the most of the women we have in the church.”

Yesterday, Monday, the Church of England’s General Synod gave approval to legislation introducing the change by the required two-thirds majority.

A previous vote in 2012 was backed by the Houses of Bishops and Clergy but blocked by traditionalist lay members.

>What do you think of the decision to allow women bishops? Let us know. Leave a comment below or email editorial@buckinghamadvertiser.co.uk