||We desire to see oversight in the churches exercised by
men, believing this to be required by Scripture and to be
consonant with tradition and reason.
||We would therefore be unable in conscience to accept women
as bishops and believe that our three organizations represent
most of those evangelicals who take such a view.
||We recognize that the Guildford report has attempted to
chart a difficult course between conflicting interests. Our
aim was to respond to the report explaining how we believe
it could be implemented to provide a viable way forward.
We have a particular series of proposals which we believe
would enable this to happen.
||Implementing the Guildford Report
||We believe the following points will need to be met if
the Guilford proposals are to be acceptable.
Bishops appointed under these proposals would need to be
ecredally and morally orthodoxf. It is not sufficient to
focus on just one issue. Therefore the Bishops should:
- abide by Canon A5;
- accept such core doctrines as the virgin birth, bodily
resurrection and uniqueness of salvation through Christ
as straightforward truths;
- hold to traditional biblical teaching on moral issues,
for example as set out in Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10
and the 1987 General Synod resolution on sexuality;
- and agree that oversight be exercised by men
||It is important that Article 6 is honoured. Those who hold
to a position in conscience, which is also what the church
in the past has clearly held, should not be required to accept
something which cannot ebe provedf from Scripture.
||Evangelicals long for and look for oversight from evangelical
||The TEA bishops would need to have the same status as diocesan
||We welcome the less territorially rigid approach to episcopacy
envisaged by TEA.
||The churches which opt for TEA will need some mechanism
by which they can consult and make certain decisions together.
||The churches which opt for TEA will need to know that their
conscientious position is safeguarded. Therefore, all these
provisions will need to be made in a Measure rather than
in a Code of Practice.
||We see pastoral re-organization as a potential problem
area. On the one hand adequate safeguards are needed for
TEA parishes but equally we recognize the need for reorganization
in many cases. One simple way to accommodate this is a general
provision that parishes which are financially viable have
a right to veto plans for pastoral re-organization.
||Where clergy or laity find themselves in a parish which
has not opted for TEA there should be the freedom to request
personal oversight from a TEA priest or bishop whilst not
expecting that this would in any way be imposed on others.
In the case of laity this would include confirmation. Those
requiring such personal oversight might include post-holders
in certain Diocesan jobs.
||We wish to maintain the highest degree of fellowship possible
between parishes which opt for TEA and those that do not.
||A particular approach.
||We offer the following as a particular way of implementing
the Guildford report which would ease many of the potential
sticking points, whilst providing a more flexible structure.
||The terms eregionf and ecollegef are used, but if these
are too loaded with meaning others could be substituted.
||Three regions would be created (possibly more).
There would be one region in the northern province and two in the southern.
||Each region would have ecollegef of at least three bishops.
The bishops would work collaboratively, though they would need to appoint a chairman.
It may well be that existing diocesan and suffragan bishops also be regional
||A PCC would resolve to request oversight from the college
of their region. Under the legislation this request would
be passed to the college which, in agreement with the parish,
would decide which bishop should provide oversight.
||An alternative suggested would be to establish a single
ecollegef which would sub-divide its work on a more flexible
basis whilst still providing oversight in agreement with
||The membership of the college would need to reflect in
terms of churchmanship the membership of the region. Initially
we would expect that each college would by mutual consent
include at least one evangelical and one anglo-catholic bishop.
In terms of process this would probably mean:
- A period of
time (say 6 months) during which parishes pass resolutions
to request TEA.
- A period of time (say 6 months) during which the
composition of the colleges is determined and any
necessary consecrations take place.
- A day on which the TEA proposals come into effect,
which could be the same day on which other aspects
of the legislation are implemented.
that these proposals can be worked into the TEA framework
and would make it more flexible and acceptable to those
seeking for provision through it.