Having been out on the road the past few days there’s been little opportunity to put into words my thoughts and feelings about the failure of the women bishops measure in General Synod. But whilst I collect my thoughts, here’s a salutary posting from Peter Webster.

Webstory: Peter Webster's blog

Picture the scene. The central decision-making body of the Church of England met to decide, finally, on a matter that had occupied hearts and minds for years before. Few on either side of the debate had ever quite asserted that the proposed change went to the essence of the faith; that it was a matter of doctrine, a salvation issue. But if adopted the change would have profound implications for the structure of the Church of England and for the way it presented itself to the nation at large.

On one side were ranged those who might have been called liberals, or progressives. For them, the present situation, an accident of history, should have been borne no longer. It impaired the mission of the church, since it embodied a division that seemed incomprehensible to the nation at large, and only added to the widespread perception that the Church was out…

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