Women bishops won’t increase CofE attendance

James Higham’s excellent post describes everything that is wrong about today’s Church of England.

We should congratulate him for reading Cranmer’s recent posts and comments. I tried but felt seriously sick to my stomach halfway through.

It’s difficult attending CofE services when all one can think of are stances in recent years on sharia, marriage, euthanasia and, now, women bishops.

Upholding Scripture counts little to CofE clergy and laity. Therefore, it is not surprising that Anglican churches in England are largely empty on Sundays.

The Guardian reportsย government pressure on Justin Welby and the Synod to approve women bishops:

The synod had been threatened with parliamentary action if the measure had failed, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, had prepared contingency plans to dissolve it and call fresh elections if the vote had gone the wrong way.

In other words — as with EU referenda — keep voting until the desired result is achieved.

What a sham.

After the vote Welby said:

he was “absolutely delighted by the result; grateful to God and to answered prayers” …

Actually, he is grateful not to God but to what the New Testament calls ‘the world’.

Christian Today interviewed several Synod members. As one would expect, many felt they were doing the right thing. However, some members voted in line with Scripture, risking their own popularity (emphases mine below):

Samuel Margrave of Coventry voted against. He had received and continued to receive “a great deal of grief” but he did not agree with people voting in favour for political reasons, or because they were worried about losing their seat on synod. “People are thinking far too much about re-election, or what other people will say when they go back to their dioceses.”

Only one person interviewed mentioned the Bible as informing his vote:

Chik Kaw Tan, of the Lichfield diocese, said that the arguments being used for the consecration of women were the same as those used to “redefine marriage”. Said clear scriptural teachings on the different roles of men and women meant he had to vote against the legislation.

As with women’s ordination in the early 1990s, none of the publicised arguments supporting women bishops discussed what the Bible says. Whilst both the Old and New Testaments include many references to powerful and influential women, none were priests.

Instead, the predominant CofE discussions revolved around moving the Church forward in line with today’s culture.

It’s difficult to believe that, if women priests haven’t increased CofE membership, women bishops somehow will.

Another Guardian article notes:

Professor Linda Woodhead, of Lancaster University, has polling data showing that each successive cohort of Anglicans is more liberal than its predecessor, in the sense that it rejects authority more and trusts its own judgment more when making moral decisions.

Just so. This is why people shy away from the CofE. A small number have joined a denomination which upholds Scripture. More often, however, many have left the Church altogether.

After all, why get up on Sunday to listen to a clergyperson parrot what one can get from news media and television?


19 comments for “Women bishops won’t increase CofE attendance

  1. July 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm


    After all, why get up on Sunday to listen to a clergyperson parrot what one can get from news media and television?

    One thing I’ve observed is that when the church gets involved in civil matters, it is rarely with any reference to scripture.

    When I went to church as a lad (I’m not religious now) our minister would sometimes talk about things in the news, sport or politics, but make a direct and well-observed link to Christian teaching.

    But Archbishops don’t do that. John Sentamu is currently calling for the “living wage”, but as far as I know, there’s nothing in Christian teaching about that.

    If Christian leaders actually stuck to preaching rather than politicking they might get a few more through the doors. And they might see a lot less people leaving who are more interested in souls than Guardianista opinions.

    • July 15, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Well said — agree 110%.

      The primary purpose of clergy is to share the Gospel and save souls. As you say, if they’re going to comment on secular issues, they should be tying it in with Christian teaching.

  2. Leonard Silk
    July 15, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    “If Christian leaders actually stuck to preaching rather than politicking … ” on the whole they do. Anglican members make up less than 4% of the Christian faith so maybe “if Anglican leaders actually ….. ” would be more correct.

    The Church of England is unique in that it now exists in one of the most “liberal” and politically correct countries in the entire world, small wonder that it should have forgotten God in the same way as the rest of the establishment, but it in no way represents Christianity as a whole.

    Yes I know the usual canard about the Catholic clergy but on the whole the Catholic church, the Protestant faith and all the Orthodox churches are very much interested in souls rather than liberal opinion.

    • July 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      I rather disagree on the last paragraph but appreciate your perspective.

  3. Lord T
    July 15, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    I’m all for the government legislating where groups fail to conform. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Now that CoE has given up when will we see a quota for Women Imams. If they don’t introduce them then the legislation will flow quick and fast. ๐Ÿ™„

  4. David
    July 15, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Actually the Bible does talk about workers having the right to fair pay. Of course that could also be used in favour of the benefit cap – I don’t quite know why no one in the CE mentioned that.

    • July 15, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      The thing is, CofE clergy — and perhaps others — do not mention it.

      Saying there is only one way to God — via Jesus Christ — is offensive (yes, truth is offensive), therefore, secular campaigns have become the essential talking points these days.

  5. July 15, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Would anyone reading and/or responding to this be willing to attend church more often if clergy — CofE in particular, but any will do — were more mindful of Scripture in their preaching and teaching (e.g. commenting on socio-political issues)?

    Thank you in advance for your consideration and your responses.

    • Woman on a Raft
      July 16, 2014 at 12:40 am

      Oh dear, this is very shallow of me, but I do tourism, not commitment. However, the places I am likely to visit more often have the following features:

      – they tend to be nice to look at. This can be modern but obviously I like a touch of Gothic. Classic and Baroque are OK too, but modernist architecture has to be very pure to compete. I have been in a lovely wedge-shaped church which had an entire plane of glass for one face and the other made of steam-pressed ply wood. It was beautiful, like being inside a wave.

      – they have been sympathetically updated with background heating and nearby toilets.

      – a soundproof room with service relay so that children can see, but not be heard, works. I have been in an ex-carpet warehouse which had a thriving congregation because it took care that families could attend without it being a chore. No rushing out with a crying infant.

      – The service needs to be seen as a live performance. If I want complex analysis that is generally available online. A preacher has much in common with a stand-up comedian; they are both limited as to the academic depth can be fitted in to a presentation and it will generally go better if they keep it short.

      – A proper sermon relates any readings chosen to current events, or else why bother with them? It also discloses what the preacher believes and why they commend it to the world. However, they should not cross the line in to telling everyone else what they must believe. It is counter-productive and tends to make people draw away huffily.

  6. July 16, 2014 at 2:43 am

    Jesus did mention work, several times. The ‘talents’ parable dealt with investment and the ‘workers in the field’ dealt with individual contracts and differences in pay rates. He even dealt with the role of soldiers in occupying armies, praising the soldier who wanted his servant’s illness cured.

    The Church of England is a heretic church. It broke away from the One, True, Holy and Apostolic Church established by Christ and opened a floodgate for other ‘Individuals’ to set themselves up as arbiters and interpreters.

    The Authority lies with the Magisterium. But even the Catholic Church, the last bastion of Christianity, is in deep trouble with Liberalism. A New York priest has been sacked by the local Archbishop for daring to support the Tridentine Mass. And the same Archbishop (Dolan) supports the presence of Gays at communion and has put enormous pressure on one chuch in the diocese that refuses to give the Sacrament to unrepentant gays. (St Xavier’s).

    Woman on a Raft has some interesting points. I too prefer churches with an ‘air’ about them, just as I prefer a latin Mass, preferably sung. The environment of reverence and worship aid a deeper appreciation and acknowledgement of the Sanctity of the Mass.

  7. July 16, 2014 at 7:36 am

    It was James who said that works or deeds were the evidence of faith. As a Christian I have no option but to ensure that the actions in my life provide enough evidence to ensure that I would be found guilty if being Christian were a crime. I therefore expect my faith to affect how I behave from Monday to Saturday and not just on a Sunday.

    It is not only the Church of England which fails to be Christian and obey the teachings of Holy Scripture. Few denominations are exempt from this. Catholics do the same by worshiping Mary and placing so much emphasis on relics and artworks. It was so corrupt at the time of the Reformation that it needed major cleansing and the hierarchy was unwilling to provide it, so to call it the one true ‘Holy and Apostolic Church’ is a bit much. The collusion amongst members of the hierarchy in concealing clerical child abuse is another reason why it, like the Anglicans,can be described as a synagogue of satan. Methodists in the UK failed to discipline the “Crystal Methodist”, Paul Flowers, despite a C.V. that suggested a long term rejection of Scriptural teaching. However should we ever find a perfect church,we had better not join it or we will spoil it,,because, as Paul wrote to the Romans,”All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.”.

    Attendance at church worship services will not increase until and unless we have a general revival in the land. The secret is in the name, worship services. Their prime raison d’etre is to worship the Lamb, not entertain His sheep.

  8. Ed P
    July 17, 2014 at 12:38 am

    I do not wish to offend, but how would you feel receiving the Sacrament from a menstruating Bishop?

    • uk
      July 17, 2014 at 9:31 am

      Which sacrament? If it were baptism by immersion, that would depend upon her choice of sanitary protection. If you are talking of the Eucharist, would that be any worse than receiving it from a homosexual paedophile who had an erection under his vestments, thinking about what he would like to do with one of the altar boys?

      UK Fred

    • July 17, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      Thanks, Ed. I never understood the issue about receiving Communion from a menstruating (woman — specifying here, to avoid jokes) priest.

      I’m still in a quandary about whether a woman should be ordained according to the New Testament, but menstruation never entered into it.

      If you would like to elaborate, I would appreciate knowing.

      • Ed P
        July 18, 2014 at 5:56 pm

        In most cultures menstruation is considered unclean and menstruatig women are shunned or even separated from their families. This is not an unreasonable attitude, especially in countries where access to washing facilities is scarce. It’s not pure blood, as from a cut, but a bodily waste product containing amongst other things womb-lining cells (and maybe one or more eggs).
        Despite the adverts (run, swim, work out, etc.), many women prefer to modify their activities during menses, partly because of pain or discomfort and partly because they do not feel so willing to over-exert themselves. This seems a reasonable attitude to take.
        So a female bishop/priest might wish to avoid strenuous duties for one week per (lunar) month. Whilst this is quite understandable, will the church provide cover? If not, is this “conduit between God & man” unaffected by her condition as she administers to her flock?

    • July 19, 2014 at 3:59 am

      Catholics do NOT worship Mary. That is an absurd idea. Barely any Catholics concern themselves with ‘relics’. Artwork is just artwork.

      The Protestant agitprop from Henry 8ths day have long legs, but you do not have to race them to absurdity.

      • July 19, 2014 at 10:43 am


      • July 19, 2014 at 11:04 am

        If Catholics do not worship Mary, then why do the sing hymns to her and pray for her to intercede with God? Scripture clearly says that only Yeshua was without sin yet Catholics teach that Mary was also without sin. Scripture tells us that there is one intercessor between us and The Father, the man Yeshua but Catholics also squeeze in their clergy and Mary. Which part of “only” do Catholics not understand.

        Scripture also tells us to call no man father but the Catholics want their clergy to be called father. This Mary worship is simply another part of the Catholic church’s wholesale rejection of the teachings of Scripture.

        As for artworks being just artworks,what about the statues that have been worn away by constantly being touched or kissed by visitors, and how does that relate to the commandment, “Thou shalt not make unto Me any graven image”.

        Yeshua also said “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit.” Nobody needs me to list the bad fruit of the Catholic church, which from the time of Martin Luther,was unwilling to accept rebuke and correction as Peter accepted it from Paul over his dealings with the Gentiles.

        Further more,Scripture tells us that Jesus sacrifice was made once for all upon the cross yet Catholic dogma tells us the clergyman recreates it each time he says the mass. Again it is teaching contrary to Scripture.

        Amfortas, I reject completely your allegation of Protestant agitprop, but I say again that the Catholic church is not a Scripturally based Christian church based on truths that are uncomfortable to Catholic ears. Look for yourself and see that you have been misled and become a Christian instead of settling for some second-rate counterfeit.

        • July 23, 2014 at 1:31 pm

          UK Fred, sir. I can only suggest that you study Catholicism. Your current view of it is quite warped. I doubt if a conversation here is going to change your mind or correct the errors you have clearly accepted. I guess one day, after we are both gone, we shall meet at the Pearly Gates and find out who was righter. ๐Ÿ™‚ Meanwhile I suggest you ask your opthamologist for a beam extraction. God Bless.

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