following petition was compiled and submitted to the Bishop
of Guildfords' group. Its purpose was to demonstrate the
strength of feeling of those who in conscience cannot accept
the oversight of a women Bishop.
the undersigned, declare our belief in the faith uniquely revealed
in the Holy Scriptures, set forth in the catholic creeds, and
borne witness to by the historic formularies of the Church of
England (Canon C15).
- We affirm and value the ministry of women within the Church
of England along the lines of complementary gender roles
and partnership in ministry, as set out in Holy Scripture.
- We believe the decision of the General Synod in July 2005
to proceed towards the consecration of women bishops is contrary
to the will of God revealed in Scripture and appeal to the
Synod not to proceed.
- We could not in conscience receive the Episcopal oversight
of a female bishop, nor swear the oath of canonical obedience
to a woman. (This latter phrase applies to clergy only.)
- We regret that adequate time has not been given to theological
debate about the specific issue of gender complementarity
in leadership roles in the Church and appeal to Synod to
make time for this.
- If Synod opts to continue, we urge that specific structural
provision be made for those who cannot in conscience accept
the rightness of this change and that this provision should
be contained within a Measure and be without time limit.
in the names of
Right Revd Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes
The Revd David Banting, Chairman of Reform and Vicar of St Peterfs
The Revd David Phillips, General Secretary of Church Society
The Revd Dr Simon Vibert, Chairman of Fellowship of Word and
Spirit and Vicar of St Lukefs Wimbledon Park.
The petition was signed
by 300 clergy, 32 ordinands and around 260 others
including Layreaders and Churchwardens.