Objectors to female bishops – update

ABC promises action following WATCH letter on objectors

On 20 July, WATCH (Women and the Church) issued a Press Release commenting on the presence of objectors at the consecration of female bishops, and hoping that at the next consecration of female bishops, “things will be arranged differently”. In response to its letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, on 9 August WATCH posted:

“The Archbishop of Canterbury has informed us that conversations are in progress with the relevant people so that, in future, objections such as that at Canterbury Cathedral in June will not be allowed.

Thank you to those who have written in support of our statement.”


Our post of 25 July Acclamation, assent and disruption concluded that there seemed seems to be little justification, other than the management of expected dissent, for cathedral authorities to facilitate the delivery of an objection as indicated in the WATCH letter. However, this leaves the authorities with the dilemma of how “things will be arranged differently”, without recourse to investigating the applicability of the heavy-handed legal options that might be applicable. The indication that “conversations are in progress with the relevant people” suggests that an internal “management” solution is being sought, as changes to the congregational acclamation would probably require the approval of General Synod.

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Objectors to female bishops – update" in Law & Religion UK, 9 August 2016, https://lawandreligionuk.com/2016/08/09/objectors-to-female-bishops-update/

7 thoughts on “Objectors to female bishops – update

  1. On each of the two occasions when I’ve attended the consecration of a new suffragan bishop for our Diocese (the most recent of which was a woman) I have had to obtain a ticket for admission from our Diocesan Bishop. I was under the impression that tickets were only issued to people invited by the Diocesan Bishop or by the people to be consecrated.
    How does this objector, who since it appears to be the same person in each case is presumably are not connected to the Diocese in which the new Bishop is to serve, get a ticket?

    • The same thought had crossed my mind, but in the absence of first-hand experience such as yours, I was not in a position to comment. dp

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  3. I would have thought that a consecration was a public service and tickets are just to guarantee a seat. As far as I recall, from those I have attended, it has been possible for members of the general public to attend – I would be concerned if that were not the case. But I don’t see why the provision for congregational acclamation requires provision for dissent – the remedy for those who do not assent is to remain silent.

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