In regard to church life, there are two stances that I take
1. I support the calling of all people to all ministries within the church if they are God-given and demonstrable (ie the same marker that I was asked to stand by).
2. I defend the right of anyone to disagree with the above, and believe that a family should be strong enough to accommodate both/other/all points of view
The tension in holding these two views brings with them some consequences for me. I was looking at the Resolutions as they stand at the moment, and given that they are not much published on the web, include them here:
Below are the texts of Resolutions A and B, and the provision for Alternative Episcopal Oversight, commonly known as Resolution C, as they apply to parishes. They should be read in the context of the legislation that put them in place – i.e., The Priests (Ordination of Women) Measure 1992 (Resolutions A and B) and the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod 1993 (Resolution C).
That this Parochial Church Council would not accept a woman as the minister who presides at or celebrates the Holy Communion or pronounces the Absolution in the parish.
That this parochial church council would not accept a woman as the incumbent or Priest-in-Charge of the benefice or as a Team Vicar for the benefice.
Where the Parochial Church Council of any parish has passed one or both of the resolutions set out in Schedule 1 to the Measure, a decision may be taken jointly by the minister and the council to petition the diocesan bishop concerned to the effect that appropriate episcopal duties in the parish should be carried out in accordance with this Act of Synod
I will start looking at parishes soon as I move to incumbency, so rather than making blanket-presumptions, thought it best to examine the Resolutions. My churchmanship means that I am more likely to come across them. For my part, I believe that I could minister in a parish community that has A and B in place. It is not my role, I believe, to agree with a parish community - but rather to defend the rights of others to hold their views with integrity. I am, of course, in favour of the ordination and consecration of woman - and not even that - anyone whom God calls, whatever their 'label'. I would also hope that a confessing community would also allow me the same dignity. Mutual challenge in those situations can only be healthy if undertaken with absolute respect and openness. I cannot minister to a parish with Res. C in place for the following reason: I cook for my kids, and if they decide that they don't like my cooking we will talk about it, but they will not be allowed to invite another dad in to do it for them. Simple.
The inverse of all of this is that some would remove all ability for dissenters to dissent, will force issues in some circumstances, and in those moments, people get hurt and become more entrenched in their political and theological perspective. Dialogue dies with prematurity. Churchmouse brought to my attention today a Paper tabled by Frank Field MP that seeks, to my eyes, to force hands. To force legislation in favour of anything renders it forced. Force removes compromise, silences voices, removes choice. The Church of England may stop being an adverse place for some, but it will surely become adverse for others instead - and I do not believe that any of us really want 'the other side' of any argument to suffer the pain that we ourselves may have suffered (and I acknowledge the endless pain in so much of this). Measures like the Resolutions that allow people integrity of choice are, to me, helpful things. We cannot all agree all of the time, and neither should we. We can listen though.