Plymouth vicar calling for Synod to vote no to women bishops
A Plymouth vicar is leading the campaign against a new law allowing women bishops as the Church of England prepares to vote on the subject tomorrow.
The General Synod is to hold a series of votes tomorrow which could see bishops, the clergy and lay people deciding to allow women to become Bishops.
The outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and his replacement the Rt Rev Justin Welby, are in favour of the legislation - which needs a two-thirds majority to pass.
But some in the church are against the move - and Plymouth vicar Rod Thomas is calling on the synod to vote against it.
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Prebendary Rod Thomas, vicar of St Matthews in Elburton, and chairman of conservative evangelical group Reform, has called for members to vote against the legislation saying it does not meed the needs of 'traditionalists'.
He said: "The provision [the legislation] makes for people like us is completely inadequate for the longer term.
"We know that it is on a knife-edge - we think that, depending on which way the debate goes on the day, there could be enough people to stop the measure going through."
If approved by the synod the decision will have to be approved by Parliament and Royal Assent before the first women bishops could take office in 2014.
The first women priests were ordained in 1994.
The Reform group believes that women and men should have different roles.
They say it is not appropriate for women to take a position of overall leadership, but that men and women should encourage one another in their separate roles.
Women should not be overall leaders, they say, because the church would become feminised.
The move would "distort the created order" and distort the Gospel.
If the synod agrees to the change, it will also seek to make some provision for those like Preb Thomas who, for theological reasons, will not be able to receive their ministry.