Frank Field MP: Early day Motion to force the Church of England to accept women bishops

Over the weekend I noted this article in the Telegraph:

A group of influential MPs will tomorrow call for Parliament to intervene over the historic reform as fears grow that the Church will reject plans allowing female bishops.


However, Mr Field has tabled an early day motion, which could abolish the Church’s current exemption from equality laws relating to gender discrimination and ultimately force it to consecrate women.

….read all

This is the wording of the Early Day Motion:

That this House welcomes the current moves by the General Synod of the Church of England to pass legislation permitting women to be bishops; notes that the Synod is currently engaged in consulting the Dioceses on the Women in the Episcopate: draft bishops and priests (consecration and ordination of women) Measure; further notes that General Synod expects to debate the final approval stage of the Measure in July 2012; encourages the House of Bishops to commend the Measure as currently drafted; and calls on Her Majesty’s Government to remove any exemptions pertaining to gender under existing equality legislation, in the event that the Measure has overwhelming support in the dioceses but fails through a technicality to receive final approval in General Synod.

I found this so odd on a number of fronts, I decided to wait for analysis from other bloggers.

Clayboy and the Church Mouse have now blogged on this and very much confirm my initial thoughts.

I urge you to hop over to their blogs, as I would simply echo their observations:

The Church Mouse – MPs: accept women bishops or we’ll change the law to force you

Clayboy – A catholic word against Frank Field’s Erastian bullying


UPDATE: Maggie Dawn has now blogged on this also.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Cranmer’s Curate has blogged on this and notes that Frank Field MP is chairman of the King James Bible Trust.

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12 Responses to “Frank Field MP: Early day Motion to force the Church of England to accept women bishops”

  1. Jill Says:

    I am disappointed with Frank Field. He has long been a hero of mine, as a man of principle, but I feel utterly let down. Not only is he Chairman of the King James Bible Trust as you have noted, webmaster, but he is a Vice-President of the Prayer Book Society. He should know better. Actually, I am sure he does. I cannot think why he is doing this.

    He must know that women already have equality in the Church, and always have had. That doesn’t mean they are interchangeable. Most Christians through the ages have understood this. I am certain Frank Field understands this. I really don’t know what he is up to, unless it is some kind of smart tactical move which I don’t understand.


  2. Cabal Says:

    Bet that whole secularism thing is looking a bit more appealing to some now.

  3. webmaster Says:

    @Cabal, yes indeed. This move rather does strengthen the case for the separation of church and state.

  4. Cabal Says:

    @Webmaster – hopefully this situation will at least make people realise that far from destroying religious presence, secularism in fact protects it. The fact that the CofE is technically establishment means it is vulnerable to moves like this.

    I find that Christians are against secularism when they feel they are in the majority or that they have historically held a major stake in a country’s power that is now under redress – I’ll bet if Christians were in the minority and legislation was afoot to restrict their practice of belief they’d change their tune.

  5. John Richardson Says:

    It’s come to something when I find myself agreeing with Church Mouse and Clayboy on the same issue (hoping for Maggie Dawn as well would be too much).

    What Field describes as “a technicality” is what the rest of us call a vote according to the constitution. Is this yet another instance, though, of the Labour mentality of making us do what (they think) is good for us?

    The only possible reply, surely, is John Keble’s Assize Sermon.

  6. Roger Pearse Says:

    I think this sort of thing is what happens when one side of the political spectrum has so much power, and total control of the mass media, that the idea that anyone might dissent escapes them.

    It would be useful to know who the six Fascists are, tho.

    Pity about Frank Field; I always had some time for him, hitherto, as a politician who seemed to be sincerely trying to make the world better. Getting policemen involved in the Church of England, tho … yuk.

  7. george57 Says:

    we should not really be hard on him, as he maybe in the k , j, bible,,but i dont think he has read it ever, we are now in end times, we see the Liberal Thinking ,comming into the church bigtime, as last year the chuch of scotland, voted in a gay, pastor, why ,,his people liked his preaching, truth doesnot matter now, so now the world has come into the church , we give false teachers to much power to and then we are to scared to stand up and say, sorry mr field, go and shut up , +read your bible, if christ wanted women, he would have told us,, as its plain in the bible that women have a role to play, in gods plan,and men have a role, its time we got back to the bible, and truth, god bless george

  8. Cabal Says:


    When exactly did Jesus not saying anything about female leadership in the church turn into a command against it?

  9. george57 Says:

    ok, lets not go around in a spirital ,war let go to bible, The structure of 1 Timothy 2:11-14 makes the “reason” perfectly clear. Verse 13 begins with “for” and gives the “cause” of Paul’s statement in verses 11-12. Why should women not teach or have authority over men? Because “Adam was created first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived.” God created Adam first and then created Eve to be a “helper” for Adam. This order of creation has universal application in the family (Ephesians 5:22-33) and the church. The fact that Eve was deceived is also given as a reason for women not serving as pastors or having spiritual authority over men. This leads some to believe that women should not teach because they are more easily deceived. That concept is debatable, but if women are more easily deceived, why should they be allowed to teach children (who are easily deceived) and other women (who are supposedly more easily deceived)? That is not what the text says. Women are not to teach men or have spiritual authority over men because Eve was deceived. As a result, God has given men the primary teaching authority in the church, so why did not christ have any women, on his team, lot be clear in lots of churches the women are the backbone in their given gifts, but the church would be in a sorry state , in respect of its the womens that have the children, thats a blessing from god, and to raise them, keeping a home, so her trying to fit a pastors role never works, God has ordained that only men are to serve in positions of spiritual teaching authority in the church. This is not because men are necessarily better teachers, or because women are inferior or less intelligent (which is not the case). It is simply the way God designed the church to function. Men are to set the example in spiritual leadership—in their lives and through their words. Women are to take a less authoritative role. Women are encouraged to teach other women (Titus 2:3-5). The Bible also does not restrict women from teaching children. The only activity women are restricted from is teaching or having spiritual authority over men.

  10. george57 Says:

    george57: is hopping Cabal has not falling out with him, we need women in the church, the gentle gifts are a blessing to lots of churches, but if paul makes it clear as stated god has limited to most things except in a leadership and teaching role in all true churches, we must give in to the bible, its nothing to do putting women down, ok let me ask you a question, on a other subject, is the catholic church true or false, is it ok to pray to dead saints, and if mary is born free from sin, then does that not make marys mother also had to be free from sin, then marys mother ,,mother free from sin, yes you know where i going with, now in the bible i took it that we meaning all mankind, had been born in sin, thats what romans 3:10-12 says ,, would you agree, if a person believes all teaching of the pope, and this church, can they still be christian, paul says to the Galatians, dont try mix the gospel with the law, why,, because christ only not any type of works, Cabal do you agree or not, if not please give me your reasons sorry for chating to much, but taking bible is great, are catholics saved, if they die does their purgatory ,exist, may god bless you all ,,,george57

  11. Judgemental Says:

    An emerging fact is that many of the Deaneries are peddling the 400th Anniversay of the King James Bible and or the Bible Society, as their Mission Project for the year. Led mainly by female priestesses. Is it purely a coincicence that Frank Field MP the pilot of the Early Day Motion, to provide the Primary Legislation to allow women to be ordained as Bishops, is the Chairman of the Bible Society. On the other hand is this the battering ram to be used to ram the legislation through Parliament.

  12. Judgemental Says:

    I also think that this is not going to be the easy ride through Parliament, that many are TAKING FOR GRANTED. After all his Holiness the Pope has said Women Bishops in the Church will be a criminal act. Where does that leave Catholic MPs and others not C of E, notwithstanding C of E and MP’s of other faiths, who might be leant on heavily by their Catholic constituents and/or those of the Church of England who are not in favour. I cannot help thinking that somewhere along the line Frank Field has a great deal to gain from all this. May be not financially but with HRH The prince of Wales as the Patron of the Bible Society, I am sure Frank will enjoy a Knighthood for efforts at the very least.

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