THE vote to allow women to become bishops within the Church of England has been welcomed by a Redditch lay reader.
Rosie Humphrey, the newest member of the team serving St John’s, Greenlands, said the move by the General Synod was a good one for the Church, ending 20 years of bitterness and division over the issue since women were allowed to become priests.
“It is important though that any person appointed is given the opportunity on ability. The worry is that the pressure is on now to make the first appointment but it cannot be a token move,” she said.
“It won’t be for everyone – the Church of England is very broad and it’s not a case of one size fits all.”
A previous vote on the issue of women bishops in 2012 failed when 74 lay members objected to the move, preventing the required two-thirds majority in the house of laity. But this time only 45 lay members voted against with 152 in favour.
Among them was Inkberrow resident Robin Lunn, one of just three elected members of the House of Laity from the Diocese of Worcester. He added: “The package which has been passed is considerably better than that which was rejected. Among other things it offers a Code of Practice and an Ombudsman for those priests and parishes who may have issues with how the working on the ground impacts on them.
“The Diocese of Worcester voted 61-1 in its Diocesan Synod back in April to agree the new legislation. This shows how strongly our local diocese wanted the matter to be brought to a close, and it was vitally important as one of the three elected
House of Laity members from the Diocese of Worcester that we did this.
“This historic vote will finally end the long and weary debate. It will enable the Church to do what it has always tried to do and play its full part in Society, unencumbered by the perception that it did not fully accept women. It makes the Church more relevant, and my only regret is that in taking so long to pass this, so many women have been deprived of achieving their calling and full potential.”