St Mary Magdalene † St Bartholomew † St Alban †
Sunday 2nd December 2012
Just what are they afraid of………?
I was made a Deaconess in 1980 – just after leaving school, obviously! , made Deacon in 1987 and I was ordained priest in 1994.
Over the years, my ability as a minister has occasionally been questioned; there was the person who told the undertaker that she was worried that, as a woman, I might cry while conducting the funeral service - I sometimes come close to it but have never actually wept.
Then there was the person who said she was afraid that they wouldn’t be able to hear my voice – these people clearly don’t live next door to us! – and the person who asked whether, if I conducted her mother’s funeral service, it would be any cheaper – Cheek! I guess you can’t please all of the people all of the time!
We have a fine record of women ministers in this parish and in Newham; there are countless other women minsters serving God and the church in this country who do so with distinction – so why should they not serve God as Bishops? What’s the problem??
So, here’s the text of a petition which you’ll find at the back of the church. If you sign it, I’ll send it.
Many people in our congregations and communities are confused and disappointed at the Church of England National Synod’s rejection of the draft measure which would have allowed women to become bishops. Support from bishops and clergy was overwhelming, but the vote was lost by a few votes among the House of Laity - the people in the pews. If you feel that the House of Laity did not represent your own views in this matter, this is your opportunity to say so, and also to ask Synod to bring back legislation for further consideration within 12 months. This petition is to be sent to the Chair and Vice Chair of the House of Laity, to its Presidents (our Archbishops) and the General Secretary of Synod.