Movement for the Ordination of Women in the Anglican Church in Australia


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MOWatch at General Synod 2007: Report by Judy Little, National Secretary

MOWatch committee members in front of our display at 2007 General Synod

[above: Kathleen Toal, Judy Little and Val Graydon]

National Executive members, Val Graydon, Alison Gent, Kathleen Toal, Christine Middleton and myself attended the 2007 General Synod, which was held at Rydges Lakeside Hotel in Canberra from 20-25 October. MOWatch had a stand in the foyer outside the main meeting hall; it was very noticeable and well visited.

Since the Appellate Tribunal has ruled that the Church's Constitution does not prevent the consecration of a woman priest as a bishop, the main purpose of our stand was to ask the next big questions - Where? When? Who?

We also distributed leaflets about the MOWatch Conference being held in Perth next year, when our Guest Speaker will be Dr Esther Mombo, a distinguished theological educator from Kenya. We weren't planning to sell our tea towels - they were just part of the display, but we had so many requests, we started taking orders. Kathy Toal is organising this, so if you would like one, let me know.

Discussion at Synod which interested us particularly included:

  • Rev. Kay Goldsworthy from Perth called on the National Synod Standing Committee to apply the principle of equal representation of women in its appointments to Commissions and Working Groups, wherever legislatively and practically possible. It was noted that there were only 52 women among the 247 national synod delegates. Sue West from Bathurst argued that "there is no way the church can afford to leave half its brain power on the shelf."
  • Archbishop Freier from Melbourne asked the synod to welcome the decision of the Appellate Tribunal and the clarity it brings to the debate on women and the episcopate. Importantly, his motion was seconded by Sydney Regional Bishop, Glen Davies. He said he did not "welcome" the decision but did welcome "the clarity" because the decision meant the church had a chance to move ahead. Synod endorsed the Freier motion. The House of Bishops will meet next April to consider possible protocols to accommodate those who may not accept women bishops.

I believe our trip to Canberra was well worth while. We met and talked to many women delegates. We thank the women who have helped along the way and especially Muriel Porter who has worked so hard to achieve this result. Now we look forward to welcoming our own Australian woman bishop.


Last updated by webmaitresse 11 November 2007
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