Vicar 'sickened' by vote on women bishops

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 23 November 2012 Updated: 23/11 10:46

A REDDITCH vicar says she is 'sickened' by the Church of England's decision not to allow women bishops.

Rev Jo Musson, from Headless Cross based The Bridge, said the outcome of the vote did not reflect the views of the wider Church.

Plans to introduce women to the second highest rank in the Church needed to be supported by two thirds of voters in each of the houses of Synod - bishops, clergy and laity. But despite achieving a majority in two of the houses, the move failed as 74 lay members voted against compared to 132 in favour. Had just six members of the laity voted for instead of against, the measure would have passed.

Rev Musson said: "It is frustrating for all those who work so hard to be inclusive that a minority of people have managed to hamper progress yet again, because when local churches and dioceses were consulted, 42 out of 44 dioceses across England gave their support for women priests to become bishops.

"I want to reassure residents of Redditch and especially those in our parish in Headless Cross and Southcrest that the outcome of the vote is not in our name here at The Bridge. We want everyone to know they are loved and respected as equals and I know many other local churches and Christians will want to affirm this too."

Her frustrations were shared by the Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, who had been a strong supporter of the legislation.

"Very many people indeed will be disappointed and hurt by this decision, not least the huge numbers of women whose ministry as priests has enriched the Church of England immeasurably over the past 20 years," he said.

"I want all of them to know, especially those in the Diocese of Worcester, their ministry is greatly valued by me and many others both inside and outside of the Church and they are in my thoughts and prayers.

"I remain confident that, though it will not happen as soon as many of us had hoped, women will be ordained bishop in the Church of England before too long."

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