Campaign updates

Update 7 February 2013 So where now? 

In some ways the defeat of the legislation on women bishops in November feels like a lifetime ago.  It was crushing to those of us who were desparately looking forward to the Church doing the right thing, but we have now had the chance to step back and reflect.  This campaign was set up purely to support a YES in November, but after discussions with the team it was felt that we have to keep going.  So we've decided to keep going until we see the admission of women to the episcopate.  Hopefully, this day will not be to far away in the distant future.

In the short term, we'll be hosting a conference in conjunction with Fulcrum to reflect on the issues, the scriptural basis for women bishops and the way forward.  There is clearly a need to keep making the case in the strongest terms.

In the long term, there is a great deal of uncertainty about the future shape of legislation in this area and the timetable for introducing it.  There seems no change of reintroducing legislation in this synod, so we are unlikely to see any real progress for another two or three years, and the process itself will likely take another year or two.

So we have lots of work to do!

Campaign update 10 November 2012: 08.30am

So here we are one week on from the website going live.  What an incredible week.  Not only has the Yes 2 Women Bishops campaign gone viral, but we've got a brand new Archbishops of Canterbury!  Like the rest of the Church, those of us on the campaign will be praying for Bishop Justin, and wish him all the very best in his new ministry.  Frankly, he has one of the toughest jobs in the world, so will need all our support and prayers.  From our perspective it is also great news that he is a strong supporter of women bishops, and said at his press conference that he will be voting for the legislation and urging others to do the same.

In terms of the campaign, we've now seen a great number of responses from synod members, and the good news is that these are overwhelmingly positive.  Some have even got in touch with us directly to thank us for setting up the website, as they receive quite a bit of correspondence from those opposed to women bishops, so they were pleased to see supporters making their voice heard.

Activity on the website has been high, and we've now seen around 1,200 people log on to urge synod to vote YES to women bishops, as well as hundreds following on Facebook, Twitter and downloading the twibbon.

But now we have just 9 days to go until Synod kicks off.  Our chance to have our voice heard is a short one, so please do keep sharing with friends and family to make sure they join the campaign.  If you are a vicar, please also consider including a reference to Yes 2 Women Bishops in your newsheet or church website.

Campaign update 6 November 2012: 8.00pm

Jut a quick note to let you know how things are going.

In one word - amazing!

When we started this thing, we had no mailing lists of supporters, no organisation, no network of supportive churches, no publicity and no funds (still don't).  Yet through the power of social media, the grass roots of the Church are making their voice heard in a totally new way.

At the time of writing we are three and a half days since the website was launched and almost 750 ordinary Church members have logged on and contacted their general synod representatives to urge them to back the legislation on women bishops.

I thought I'd give you an example of the feedback we've been getting from General Synod reps who have been receiving this correspondence, posted on our Facebook page:

At the last count 34 e-mails received - thanks. But to anyone reading this I'd like to keep this up until the day of the vote (or even more each day) I don't mind my in box being full! And please spread the word not only within parishes but into different ones. It really is helpful to have evidence of what many of us know (but some refuse to recognise) - that this really is what the vast majority of people want. The C of E serves everyone not just its congregations, so hearing the opinions of everyone is important. Thank you

The feedback we've heard from Synod members is that lobbying from a small minority of opponents of women bishops has been hard, so your messages of support are making a real difference to redress this balance, and almost all the feedback we've seen has been very positive about the campaign.

So the message at this point is that the initial reaction to this campaign has been incredible and very positive. But we must keep up the momentum and show that support for a YES vote on the 20th is broad and deep within the church.

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