THE VICAR of Hackney’s world-famous clowns’ church has laid down her terms for becoming the Church of England’s first female bishop.
The promotion has not been offered to her: church conservatives oppose the idea of anything but male bishops. But hours before the start of the general synod, the church’s parliament, the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin has made her position clear with an attack on the church’s leaders, accusing them of talking “nonsense” on the subject.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have mooted a compromise under which women bishops would have male co-bishops in their diocese effectively to mollify any clergy who oppose female bishops.
Hudson-Wilkin, who is also chaplain to the House of Commons, claimed that the Archbishops, Rowan Williams and John Sentamu, were helping to perpetuate “childish” behaviour by opponents of women’s ordination.
“I am not happy with anything that only begrudgingly makes women bishops.”
Talking to the Daily Telegraph, Hudson-Wilkin said: “It is like apartheid. A lot of these guys are saying, ‘Oh, we accept that women have got to be made bishops, it’s just that we don’t really want them to minister to us.’”
Hudston-Wilkin also put her case to Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 today, as several Church of England female laity and priests prepare to meet at Church House in Westminster in support of women bishops.
David Altheer 060212
* Later news: New clowns gallery museum
* The clowns’ church service was held at Holy Trinity Church (aka Trinity Centre) in Beechwood Road, Dalston E8 3DY yesterday 5 Feb 2012.
* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.