First of all I need to report the result of the PCC’s consideration of a resolution regarding the ministry of female bishops and priests.
The following was passed by the PCC on 15th June 2017:
“The members of Padiham Parish PCC request that on grounds of either theological conviction, or for some, the need to maintain the unity of our congregations, arrangements be made for the parish in accordance with the House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests.”
17 members were in favour, 1 against and 1 abstained.
There were those who supported the resolution out of theological convictions but, as the wording of the resolution indicates, there were some in favour of women’s ordination but gave their support to the resolution for reasons of unity in the Parish.
A letter is being sent to Bishop Julian to inform him of the decision and to explain the thinking behind it. In practice the resolution means that a female bishop wouldn’t be invited to minister in our Parish; our relationship with Bishop Julian is not affected.
Guidelines produced by the Church of England state that the PCC is expected to review its decision from time to time and, should the post of Incumbent become vacant, it would be required to do so.
At the end of the discussion and vote I expressed my thanks for the thoughtful way PCC members had approached the decision and for the gracious spirit of the discussion.
There are a couple of other things that need flagging up:
1. We need to have a serious think about Walking Day. Everything was well organised with the road closures on 11 June and the Walk was well supported by members our churches – my thanks to all who played their part. We even had a full complement of Banner bearers though sadly their fun on a nice breezy day had to be curtailed (the cross beam on one of the banners snapped and the wrong pole got put in the wrong holder with the other!). But once again there were very few people watching. Since the police stopped marshalling Walking Day we have to find over a thousand pounds to pay for the road closures and the band. Obviously we need to ask if it’s worth it in its present format. The PCC will have a discussion in October but do start thinking about it now and let PCC members know what you think.
2. 2019 will see the 150th anniversary of the dedication of St Leonard’s Church (the actual date was Thursday 8th January 1869) How are we going to mark this?
Yours in Christ