While the movement towards women bishops is stalled in England because the revision committee missed their deadline, The Scottish Episcopal Church moves towards the election of a new Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway for which one of the three finalists is a woman.
The Church Times blog reportsthat the next step in the legislative process towards women bishops in the Church of England has been delayed because the revision committee missed the deadline to bring it to General Synod in February.
They say that they won't have their work done till after Easter which means it won't be discussed until July. There is some concern that with the process behind schedule, the clock will run out on the current terms of office for the Synod representatives and that with new elections the process may be delayed further. New delegates to Synod will be seated in October.
Synod members have voiced their concerns over the delay. Colin Slater, from Southwell & Nottingham, who has been on the Synod since 1990, said on Tuesday: “I believe many members of Synod will hear this news with incredulity. The meeting at York in July will be the last in the present quinquennium, prior to new elections in the autumn, and it cannot be a perfect scenario that the most important single issue facing the Church of England is left so late in the cycle.”
Women and the Church (WATCH) has described the revision process as a charade. Christina Rees, who chairs WATCH, said on Tuesday: “I am not alone in being deeply disappointed that the revision committee will not be producing draft legislation for women bishops. I consider there have been major flaws in the entire process, and that Synod — and the Church and its mission — is paying the price for this flawed process.”
In Scotland, the Diocese of Glasgow & Galloway is meeting tomorrow to vote for a new Bishop. The three finalists are The Venerable Dr John Applegate, The Very Rev Dr Gregor Duncan and The Rev Canon Dr Alison Peden.
The website of the Scottish Episcopal Church says that they have allowed women to be ordained bishop since 2003 and describes their process :
The candidates have been selected by a Preparatory Committee (chaired by the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church) consisting of clergy and lay church members who represent the diocese and the wider Church. The next stage in the selection process is a meeting of each of the candidates with members of an Electoral Synod (representatives of clergy and lay church members from the Diocese of Glasgow & Galloway only). That meeting [took] place on 9 January 2010, with the election of the new Bishop taking place on 16 January.
Last week the Synod of the diocese gathered to meet the three candidates and hear the answers to questions generated by discussion groups and then put to the candidates in turn.