I am tired. It has been a long drive back from Lampeter. It has, however, been a good day.
Today, the Church In Wales has finally voted for Women Bishops. I had the great privellege to be at the table next to Rev’d Canon Jenny Wiggly, and Archdeacon Peggy Jackson who proposed the amendment that makes this Canon the one that goes down in history. The proposal, which many of us thought might sink the bill, remved the original intention of the Bill. The original intention of the bill was to allow for Women Bishops, but only after provision had been applied.
Many people, myself included, felt that if this was all we could get, then we would take it. Visionaries like Jenny Wiggly and Peggy Jackson decided that it was likely to leave the bill forever being objected too. They worked hard on their ammendment, and showed how the Bill could be.
It was a vision that was infections, and one that when we came to the debate, we were surprised how many people actually saw it the same way.
It was a long, hard day of debate, with much of the debate being about the ammendment. There were, of course, some dissention. People were calling for a Flying Bishop, something that the Bench of Bishops had already ruled out. They also wanted to discuss issues of headship, and a strange notion of “Equal but Different”. Bishop Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St. Asaph, when introducing the Bill, said that these were modern ideas, long removed (thankfully) from the views of the likes of Thomas Aquinas. He suggested that these views were not a theology which led to predjudice, but rather, predjudice in search of a theology.
The Bill does, however, allow for those who dissent with the notion of women Bishops to be protected, to feel welcome and secure in our church. Their place will be guaranteed by a Code of Contact that will be put together by the Bishops, through consultation with the all members, both those on the Governing Body, and those who are not.
It is a good day for the Church In Wales. It is a good day for Christianity in the UK.
It is a shame that it took so long to happen.