Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Women bishops

A new first came today - the first woman bishop for the Church of England.

The Reverend Libby Lane has been announced as the new Bishop of Stockport.

Until last month, when the law was changed, women weren't allowed to become bishops

Libby Lane isn't the first Anglican bishop - Massachusetts had one in 1989 and female bishops have now served in the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, South Africa, South India and Cuba. But she's the first C of E one.

About time

It's sad that it's taken the Church of England until 2014, which is, of course, two thousand and fourteen years after the founder of the religion rocked up.

That's an awfully long time to decide that one half of the population is as good as the other. I doubt Jesus would be very impressed.

Bishops representing us all

The ruling about bishops affects more than just the followers of the Church of England.

Bishops sit in the House of Lords. So if there are no women bishops, then that means that the proportion of women to men in the Lords is kept even lower.

Let's look at that again: none of the people put forward by the Church of England to have a say on UK legislation. That's pretty rubbish. We're not a minority group - we're half the population.

I'm very glad that a woman has been appointed to be a Bishop, it's one more small stepping stone on a very long journey to equality. But I'm also sad that it took this long. And as they've been representing all of us in the House of Lords, it's pretty irresponsible.

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