Archbishop of Canterbury - Copyright Heathcliff O'Malley/REX

Archbishop to be questioned by MPs

Tue 22 Jul 2014
By Antony Bushfield

The Archbishop of Canterbury will appear before the House of Common’s Ecclesiastical Committee later to discuss the Church of England’s approval of women bishops.

Last week the General Synod voted to pass legislation that mean females could be in the Church’s top jobs by the end of the year.

The new rules still need the approval of parliament before they can come into effect and it’s thought MPs will ask Justin Welby to go into more detail about the changes.

The committee are also likely to discuss the reputation of the Church of England following a previous failed women bishop vote in November 2012.

The Synod then didn’t reach the majority needed to pass the legislation but it was amended and eventually passed on July 14.

After that vote Archbishop Justin said: “Today is the completion of what was begun over 20 years with the ordination of women as priests. I am delighted with today's result. Today marks the start of a great adventure of seeking mutual flourishing while still, in some cases disagreeing.

"The challenge for us will be for the church to model good disagreement and to continue to demonstrate love for those who disagree on theological grounds.

"Very few institutions achieve this, but if we manage this we will be living our more fully the call of Jesus Christ to love one another.

"As delighted as I am for the outcome of this vote I am also mindful of those within the Church for whom the result will be difficult and a cause of sorrow.

"My aim, and I believe the aim of the whole church, should be to be able to offer a place of welcome and growth for all. Today is a time of blessing and gift from God and thus of generosity. It is not winner take all, but in love a time for the family to move on together."

The Bishop of Coventry, The Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, is the duty bishop in the House of Lords this week.

He told Premier: "It was damaged in the short time, I think it will be built up in the long term.

"That was an unfortunate development but actually I think we've recovered very well.

"We've worked hard, we've worked pretty quickly as far as the church is concerned and I think everyone agrees we've actually got a better result."

Listen to the Bishop of Coventry here:

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