The issue of women bishops continues to divide, irritate and enrage people, both Christians and non-Christians. The Church of England has, in its own inimitable style, decided not to decide until later in the year. Luckily, the Church of the Dead Dad is on hand with a solution:
The Church of England should create a brand new church that allows only women bishops. This church, which we might call the Church of Wengland, will allow men in all other clerical roles but they will be forbidden from being bishops in this new church. In all other aspects, the new church will be identical to the existing Church of England.
Of course, there will be quite a bit of administration necessary to create the new structure, as well as some tough choices over how to find suitable venues for worship and how the Church of Wengland might be funded in its early years. I’m not exactly proposing a schism, but it would be reasonable to expect there to be some transfer of existing worshippers from the current Church of England to the new church. Given that the Church of Wengland will expect its funding to be separate from the Church of England, this could create some divisions. However, I do not consider these insurmountable.
Having created the new church, all criticisms of the Church of England’s position on women bishops would be instantly illegitimate. It could be pointed out that women can be bishops, just in the Church of Wengland, not the Church of England.
OK, some of you might be protesting. “But the Church of Wengland isn’t the real church; the Church of England is”.
To which, I respond: so why are we so tolerant of the England national football team? The England national football team is, for some reason, spared the incessant criticism the Church of England faces. Why? Football is, in many ways, in a far worse and intolerable state than the Church. Unlike the Church, football is totally dominated by men at all stages, including management, coaching and ground staff.
We will, I am sure, see women bishops in the Church of England within the next ten years. At what point might we see a woman football player playing in the England football team? Why is that prospect so remote? Why aren’t the same people who want women bishops demanding women strikers?
One can only conclude that criticism of the Church of England is motivated more by rabid atheism than by genuine concern over gender equality.