The decision of Philip North, bishop of Burnley, not to accept the invitation to be the next bishop of Sheffield is to be welcomed by all who wish to end the embedded discrimination against women in the Church of England. Bishop North, archbishop Sentamu and virtually the whole hierarchy continue to argue that the church must learn to live with theological difference over the validity of women’s orders, as if this were a minor matter compared to “transforming a nation in the name of Christ”, to quote North. Does North not see that the Christ of the gospels refused to discriminate between Jew and gentile, embraced the ministry of women and broke through the institutional barriers of the religion of his day through the radical inclusion of loving acceptance?
Rev Adrian Alker
Chair, Progressive Christianity Network Britain
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