Influential Christian blogger ‘The Church Mouse’ has broken a self-imposed silence, to warn of dire consequences should the Church of England’s general synod fail to pass legislation allowing women to become Bishops.
The anonymous writer, whose blog is one of the most widely visited Christian websites in the UK, and who is considered an important ‘barometer’ for observers of the Anglican church, announced in June 2010 that he was taking an indeterminate break from writing his blog to spend more time with his family.
But today he weighed into the row over female bishops with a post called ‘Ladies hats’.
Comparing the situation facing the church with the less serious matter of the dress code at Ascot, he said: “…the Church of England has enforced a strict had code amongst its clergy for some time. Women are allowed to wear any hat except for an episcopal mitre. The pointy hat that shows you are a bishop has been strictly reserved for men.”
Writing ahead of next week’s synod vote, ‘Mouse’ said he was returning to his blog for one post only, to plead with synod members to pass the legislation which will allow women to be made bishops.
In a move designed to pacify those opposed to women in mitres, the bill going before the synod will require all diocesan bishops to make provision for traditionalist parishes by allowing a male bishop to oversee female appointees.
‘Mouse’ uses his blog to hit out at ‘legalistic’ opponents to women bishops, who he thinks are in danger of setting back the spread of the gospel in the UK.
He said: “If you thought the PR caused by the appearance of a tented protest at St Paul's was bad, then just imagine the impact of General Synod voting down the legislation on women bishops.
“We have been on the course of admitting women to the episcopate for so many years that to cock the whole thing up now would be a total disaster.
“… This would be disastrous for the cause of evangelism and mission in England, as the rest of the country would be left wondering what planet the Church of England is on.
“For the good of the gospel in this country, Synod members must vote against the proposal to reintroduce the Archbishops' amendment for "co-ordinate jurisdiction".”
January 30th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross