In July 2000, the General Synod of the Church of England passed a motion asking the House of Bishops to initiate further theological study on the episcopate, focusing on the issues that need to be addressed in preparation for the debate on women in the episcopate in the Church of England. This report is the result of that reflection.
The report sets out as clearly and objectively as possible the options open to the Church of England in this matter and outlines the surrounding theological and practical issues. The report discusses:
the background to the debate;
the historical development of episcopacy;
the parameters for a theologically responsible debate on women and the episcopate;
the development of womens ministry;
the timing whether now is the right time to ordain women bishops;
the theological and practical consequences of possible future options.