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The EFCW Summer Conference and Annual General Meeting
was held on the 17th of June, 2017 at Gorslas Church Hall
Click here for the conference report

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Some Observations from EFCW on The Code of Practice in Relation to the Ordination of Women as Bishops in the Church in Wales

[The Church in Wales Code of Practice in relation to the Ministry of Bishops following the Canon to enable the Ordination of Women as Bishops can be downloaded here.]

EFCW is composed of men and women, lay and ordained and also includes those for and against the inclusion of women to the episcopate.
EFCW accepts that both convictions are sincerely held and based on Scripture. It therefore encourages an attitude of respect and courtesy towards those whose views differ.

A significant proportion of the EFCW membership believes that the Church in Wales has not made adequate provision for those who out of conscience cannot accept the ministry of a woman bishop. Three factors stand out.

1. The Code speaks only of those who cannot accept the “sacramental ministry” of women bishops. For evangelicals the concern is not solely sacramental; foremost for them is the scriptural understanding of the role of female and male in Christ. The C of E guidelines talk about “pastoral and sacramental care”, a phrase which encompasses concerns of Evangelicals over Scripture.
2. Provision 2 suggests individual members can access alternative provision on grounds of conscience. However, from Provision 3 it seems this is dependent on the support of their parish priest, and makes no provision when that is not forthcoming.
3. The Code was made by and can be amended by the bench of bishops alone with no reference to Governing Body.
If these factors are not addressed, EFCW is concerned that those who for scriptural reasons cannot accept the episcopal pastoral oversight of a woman could in time be excluded from the Church in Wales.

EFCW would therefore welcome in the Code:-

1. A clearer statement of the acceptance as loyal Anglicans of those who on scriptural grounds cannot accept women in the episcopate, and clarity as to what provisions will enable them to flourish within the Church in Wales.
2. Either the removal of the word “sacramental” from the Code or the addition of “pastoral” or some other wording that acknowledges the validity of scriptural concerns over the role of male and female in Christ.
3. Confirmation that individuals can, on grounds of conscience, receive alternative episcopal provision regardless of the support of their parish priest.
4. The involvement of Governing Body in amending the Code.

The Executive Committee of EFCW
6th of December, 2016

Please click here to view the Bishops' reply to the above. It was signed by all six Diocesan Bishops in January, and they are happy for us to share their reply with you.

• If you have news or details of events that you’d like to share with EFCW members, please do contact us.