The Bishop of Exeter has said, interestingly, that he does not believe that a Code of Practice would have sufficed after Women Priests were begun. He called for legislation that ensured 'absolute parity of jurisdiction' for male and female diocesan bishops. 'The second principle must be that those who wish to continue to believe and behave as Anglicans have always believed and behaved should be able to and not on sufferance.' Father Simon Killwick, Proctor in Convocation, Chair of the Catholic wing of Synod and Rector of Moss Side helpfully explained that he has, like me, shifted his opinions from supporting a third province to supporting the new Dioceses approach, adding that the Diocese in Europe was only established in 1980, so the precedent is not new.
This news just in, copied from Ruth Gledhill's account of the debate, gives worrying news....
''The Bishop of Portsmouth, Kenneth Stevenson, said: 'When a code of practice arrives on a bishop's desk there's a sigh at another piece of paper but also a welcome that people are going to hold you to account. A code of practice has teeth. It is also the kind of instrument that has a balance between responsibilities and rights... The advantage of a code of practice without legislation means that you can revise it and that is very important.' He warned against 'structural separatism' and producing a church of 'two groups not in communion with each other.' This was an 'ecclesiological nonsense and an ecumenical stumbling block.'
The large, long round of applause that greeted this speech gave a good indication of where the synod is going.''