Yesterday, Sunday 13th July 2014, the current Archbishop Of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was very sanguine in a television interview that this time he was confident that the Church Of England, (C of E) would approve the creation of women Bishops in their Synod on the morrow, Monday 14th July 2014.  Oh, and he kind of hoped, (with a big wide actor’s soppy smile) that he would see a female Archbishop in his lifetime. With the ‘modern’ dynamics  of the male clergy,  (and a few women members)  relating to the  promotion of women to relatively senior management in the C Of E, I can understand why the Archbishop reacted as he did.  Who would openly admit in an important television programme, or, in any public forum  that the odds for that happening, were weak. It would be a totally undiplomatic admission, which could lead to all sorts of uncontrolled internecine developments.

Welby is a supporter of women’s progression in his church family. The man has inherited and is working with, what has been for others, a poisoned chalice.  Welby knows the subject is a potential minefield, which, to his credit, in the short time he has been top dog in the kennel, he has tackled and which, for now, he has managed to put under wraps.

Today, Monday 14th July 2014, it was announced, as Welby expected, that the C Of E has agreed to the ordination of women Bishops.  As I am not conversant with the C Of E politics in any depth, I am not sure how Archbishop Welby has  managed to reverse the narrow negative vote achieved two years ago in Synod on this same subject.  Is the achievement as historic for the C of E as it sounds?  There are bound to be terms and conditions – what might you call them…compromises -to placate the patriarchy.  It is tempting to get onto a feminine, (not feminist) soap box about glass ceilings, about the beneficial role of women in our society not being adequately represented in many areas of life and in general, in the echelons of faiths in the world.  To paraphrase… “One small step for women, that’s one giant leap forward for womankind…



  1. Interesting to read your thoughts! I’ve written more of the ‘process’ on mine. Adopting symbolic language, I would say that women have ‘broken through’ a roof-fall in the mine – now to widen the tunnel and see what lies beyond. It will take a lot longer to change the culture in the church, not least in my own diocese which is ultra-conservative with the added fun that they come from both wings, the trad evangelical and the trad catholic too.

  2. Hi Gillyk,

    I have placed a comment on your post.

    It will be interesting to see how and when the vote translates into visible action and change beyond the Synod halls and the Cathedrals of Canterbury and York.

    All the ‘excitement’ about there possibly being a female appointment in 2015 is a niggle. Why 2015 and why ‘possibly’ ?

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