So the SEC – those in Glasgow and Galloway anyway - didn’t choose the first female bishop in the UK. And that’s what the media focus on, just as that was what they focussed on over the whole election. I bet there’s not a cheep out of the Beeb when it comes to the Episcopal election in Argyll and The Isles – not, unless, there’s a number of things which might and might not take place in the electoral procedure before the public stage.
A long, long time ago, when I was young and impressionable and did what Bishops told me, I was on the old Provincial Synod at the time when it was debating the ordination of women. I was, I think, the youngest lay person (not hard – we were in a small minority) and may have been the youngest person there. Just before we were due to travel to Perth for the meeting, Mr B received a phone call from the then Bishop of Argyll. Actually the call was for me, but I was out gadding. The message was brief and succinct: For God’s sake, our bishop said, just tell Christine not to vote for women priests.
The messages here are so glaring that, writing this down, I can scarcely believe it happened. Look at the assumptions: that I would do what my husband told me and what the bishop told me, that a message without discussion would suffice, that there was no need to make more of it because the idea was so crazy anyway. And you know, in that body at that time the idea was crazy. We’ve come a long way since I was the new kid on the SEC block.
But we haven’t come far enough.