Like many people in the church I am hoping and praying that this will finally go through. The latest version of the legislation has thankfully altered the clause which allowed parishes to reject the authority of their bishop according to theological preference, which would have set in stone the current practice of many of the ‘traditionalist’ churches of, to all intents and purposes, denying the legitimacy of the orders of those they consider to be ‘unsound’ or ‘tainted’ by their support for the ordination of women. The current phrasing of the legislation does allow wriggle room for coming to terms with deeply held differences without giving legal sanction to internal sectarianism, but would necessitate charitable behaviour and a willingness to talk over differences in the future. Which perhaps many of us could have worked harder at than we have, in the past!
Certainly with Justin Welby at the helm, with his commitment to the ordination of women bishops, his evangelical background , and his passion and skill at maintaining respectful converstaions, we might just stop being a scandal and become better known for how we live with differences, without evading decisions, than as an organisation which can’t resist airing its dogmas in public.
I know I will be accused of liberalism for saying so, but Jesus’ s preaching was about breaching the walls of habit in obedience to God’s love. But how we hug to ourselves our man-made traditions!