Preparing for General Synod

WATCH prepares for General Synod

Women bishops cartoonDear WATCH friends within inclusive Church

Thank you for your comments and support over the past few weeks. The WATCH Committee are now involved in a multitude of conversations and planning meetings about how best to approach July Synod. There are two specific things that you can do to support us, and indeed all members of General Synod as we all try to discern God's will for the Church of England at this moment.

1. Please pray: Available to download is a service/set of prayers for groups to use: why not use it at parish prayer meetings, or gather a group together to pray before Sunday worship? There are two formats:

Click here for a version in Word that contains leader's notes and can be adapted for your own use.

Or Click here for a ready-to-print pdf.

More resources are on the WATCH website www.womenandthechurch.org                             

2. Please let your Diocesan bishop know of your concerns about the amendments to the Measure. This is irrespective of whether you think General Synod should vote for the amended Measure or not. The House of Bishops has been taken aback by the strength of the opposition to the amendments, and it seems to us that bishops need to be made aware of the great damage their actions have done to the morale of clergy- and lay-women. We hope they might welcome an opportunity to reconsider, especially as the amendments look unlikely to meet the desired effect of smoothing the passage of the legislation through Synod in July. Please contact your bishop asking for an appointment with him at his earliest convenience, to talk to him face-to-face about this. As his diary is likely to be pressured, if you know of others who will also wish to see him perhaps you can arrange to do so together. If it is impossible to see him, please do write to him as soon as possible.

We are of course very aware that many WATCH members, dismayed and uneasy though they may be about what the bishops have done, believe that voting in favour of the amended Measure will be the best way forward for the Church of England at this point. If that is your position then we hope you will still want to express your dismay and unease to your bishop, to raise his awareness of the way the amendments have been received in his diocese.

Although the WATCH Committee has decided that we cannot support the amended Measure, General Synod members will need individually to decide how they vote in July.

With all good wishes, and grateful thanks for your support,

Hilary

Hilary Cotton

Tel: 01483 856827

Vice-Chair, WATCH (Women and the Church)

www.womenandthechurch.org

"The ordination of women as deacons and priests is, the ordination of women as bishops, when finally it comes, will be, immense joy for the Church, deep enrichment of its life, a transforming influence on men and women alike, an overdue embracing of the will of God." Bishop Michael Perham, Pentecost 2012