following is the text of a submission made by Church Society to
the Bishop of Guildford's group.
remain convinced that the consecration of women as Bishops does
not accord with the teaching of the Bible. Furthermore,
we continue to assert that, in passing the Priests (Ordination
of Women) Measure 1992, the General Synod acted contrary to the
will of God and Canon A5 of the Canons of the Church of England.
believe that the consecration of women as bishops will be detrimental
to the Church and its mission and witness since such an innovation
is against the revealed will of God in Scripture.
loyal Anglicans, by God's grace, we believe and uphold the doctrine
of the Church of England, in particular as confessed in the Thirty
Nine Articles of Religion. We pray and labour with others
to see it provide a faithful, firm, and clear witness to the nation.
We seek to build up the people of God in the most holy
faith, once for all delivered, in the parishes and places to which
God has called us.
any revisionist innovation introduced by the General Synod, and
even supported by Parliament, to permit the consecration of women
as Bishops, we shall remain loyal to Scripture and, in particular,
to the biblical teaching of gender and ministry upheld by the
entirety of the Christian Church since the days of the Apostles.
Furthermore, we shall remain true to our Anglican heritage.
This will, therefore, necessitate that adequate provision
be made for loyal Anglicans.
loyal Anglicans we believe that the office of episkope
is for the good of the Church, it having been part of the polity
of the Church from the time of the Apostles. We ask, therefore,
to be provided with bishops who will conduct their ministry in
accord with Scripture and the historic formularies of our Church.
Such ministry is summarized in Titus 1 verses 5 –
left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put
in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in
every town, as I directed you: someone who is blameless,
married only once, whose children are believers, not accused of
debauchery and not rebellious. For a bishop, as God's steward,
must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or
addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; but he must be
hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and
self-controlled. He must have a firm grasp of the word
that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he
may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those
who contradict it. (NRSV)
who are also presbyters (elders), should accord with these and
other scriptural injunctions appertaining to the office of presbyter.
They are to be men whose personal lifestyle is consistent
with these standards. In addition, they must hold firmly
to the trustworthy word. Our formularies require that they
affirm their allegiance to the supreme authority of Holy Scripture
and to the doctrines of the Church. We believe that bishops,
and all other presbyters, should be required to affirm ex-animo
the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion. They are to
preach sound doctrine and they are to refute error. The
Ordinal reflects this Biblical model.
in the polity of the Church of England, includes the ability to
act on behalf of the body of presbyters they represent, to sponsor
suitable candidates for training, to ordain, to licence for ministry,
to discipline, and to fulfil a representative role within the
wider church and nation.
these biblical convictions and concerns we believe that if adequate
provision is to be made it will be necessary to provide a distinct
and separate dioceses within the Church of England. In
all probability there would be some overlap with the existing
We believe that such provision would prove workable and
in support of such a view we draw attention to the ancient practice
of ‘peculiars', the overlapping boundaries of Anglican Churches
within Europe, the non-territorial models commended in Mission
Shaped Church , and the network models being developed
in other parts of the Anglican Communion. Moreover,
we recognize that there is nothing sacrosanct about our present
They are our servant and not our master.
will also be required in relation to property, church schools,
and the like.
question may be asked about the sufficiency of such dioceses meeting
the requirement for adequate provision. We believe that
there are strong reasons to assert that, though they will be necessary
if the consecration of women as bishops is introduced, further
provision would also be necessary.
in the situation where a woman was appointed to the See of York,
or more particularly to the See of Canterbury, such an appointee
would, in our present legal framework, have some authority over
other bishops. This may well prevent some from being willing
to become a bishop of the new network of dioceses for which we
there is a question of how legislation would apply to the new
dioceses. Of necessity some safeguards would have to be
put in place and, in this respect, this will require some form
of structural provision.
we believe that the best way to arrive at a workable polity is
to create a separate province in which the requirements in relation
to doctrine set out above apply. We think that anything
short of this is likely to create unworkable compromises.
the Church of England
wish to reiterate that such a new province should be part of the
established Church of England. We do not desire to become a continuing
Church nor do we seek to create another ecclesial federation.
order to ensure that a new province remains part of the Church
of England two things will be necessary. First, it must
be protected from doctrinal and structural interference by other
provinces. Secondly, it must itself remain firmly part
of the established Church under the Protestant Settlement.
set out below what we believe are necessary steps to ensure this.
Worship and Doctrine Measure 1974 represents the historic settlement
of the Church of England. Any new province should have
no powers above and beyond the provisions of this measure.
Specifically, they should not be able to change the doctrine of
the church nor authorise any liturgy incompatible with that doctrine.
new province would need to be represented on the General Synod
and any legislation relating to the province would need the approval
of the same Synod.
to safeguard against interference from other provinces, the new
province should have its own provincial synod with the ability
to decide whether to adopt or decline certain legislation enacted
by the General Synod. This would be similar to the way
in which Measures apply to the Channel Islands and the Diocese
of Sodor and Man, and comparable to the way legislation is introduced
in other provinces in the Communion.
we seek a similar arrangement for the appointment of Bishops.
There would probably be a case to request that the composition
of the Crown Nominations Committee be varied depending upon the
province for which an appointment is to be made. Furthermore,
the issue of the chairmanship of the panel would need to be considered
whenever the appointment of an Archbishop of the Province was
made. Other than this, the present mechanism need not be
envisage and request that the diocesan bishops of a new province
be made full members of the House of Bishops and be eligible to
sit in the House of Lords.
behalf of Church Society Council