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Justin time

From Ancient Briton

The chair of St Augustine of Canterbury is soon to be occupied by the Rt Rev Justin Welby following the confirmation of his election in St Paul's Cathedral on Monday, 4th February. I say occupied because the retired 104th Archbishop demonstrated in his valedictory 'Goodbye to Canterbury' TV programme, that the chair is too big to be filled by one man, or woman as he implied in a typical gender neutral comment, perhaps alluding to an earlier comment that the job was too big for one man.

[...]  The new Archbishop has a difficult job on his hands. The stumbling block of 'second class' women bishops cannot be overcome by going over the same ground which has been deemed totally unacceptable to the women's movement. Much to the chagrin of some in the women's lobby the recognition by the C of E of Free Church of England orders presents the opportunity to be more outward looking. As the Right Revd Christopher Hill, Chair of the Church of England's Council for Christian Unity, said: 'I hope there will be good relations between us and especially in those places where there is a Free Church of England congregation.' Charity begins at home!

No doubt when St Augustine of Canterbury was installed as Archbishop he could not have imagined the prospect of a woman sitting on his chair although we can be fairly confident of what St Augustine of Hippo would have thought about it. However, we can be certain that if three of the greatest theologians of our day, Pope Benedict, Metropolitan Hilarion and Archbishop Rowan had to decide on the ordination of women they would have voted two to one against Archbishop Rowan as would the majority of Anglicans. But now is the time for reconciliation. We have a new Archbishop who has that gift giving us the opportunity for a re-appraisal in the knowledge that we are all members of the One body.
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