Bishops trial run

The Church in Wales' legislation

We know already that there have been and will be problems introducing and passing a Women Bishops Bill in England's General Synod. The Scottish church paved the way for the innovation in the British Isles, but to little effect, either inside or outside of that province. The Church in Wales, therefore, seems to have been chosen as the better place for the trial run for the new legislation in Canterbury and York.

It is specially useful as it currently has the equivalent of a PEV for faithful Anglicans in the person of Bishop David Thomas. If they (the innovating majority) could simply remove this honourable safeguard and assurance, without putting anything else of substance in its place, how much easier would it then be to do the same in the bigger province.

New Directions will return to further consideration of this inadequate piece of legislation in later issues. For the present, we publish the Bill in full. It has been sent to all members of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales. Bishop David Thomas' response can be read on <www. credocymru.co.uk/home/bill0707-l. html>

WHEREAS the Law and Constitution of the Church in Wales has hitherto not permitted women to be ordained as Bishops.

AND WHEREAS it is now appropriate in the Church in Wales that women may be ordained as Bishops.

AND WHEREAS the Church in Wales is mindful both of the provisions of the civil law relating to discrimination upon the basis of gender and of the need to provide pastoral care and support for those who in conscience object to the ordination of women as Bishops.

BE IT HEREBY ENACTED AS FOLLOWS:

1. Henceforth in the Church in Wales men and women may be ordained as Bishops.

2. The Bench of Bishops will provide pastoral care and support for those who in conscience object to the ordination of women as Bishops.

3. No Bishop shall be obliged to bring proceedings before the Disciplinary Tribunal in respect of a cleric or other member of the Church in Wales who dissents in conscience from the terms of section I of this Canon.

4. For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that wheresoever in the Constitution of the Church in Wales or in any form of service lawfully authorised for use in the Church in Wales reference is made to a Bishop that reference shall henceforth be deemed to include any woman who may be ordained as Bishop in accordance with section I of this Canon.

5. The provisions of this Canon shall come into force and effect on such day as the Bench of Bishops shall appoint.

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