About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Your first visit?
Contact us
External links
Good books
Visitor essays
Our forum
New essays
Other site features
Buy a CD
Vital notes

World religions
Who is a Christian?
Shared beliefs
Handle change
Bible topics
Bible inerrancy
Bible harmony
Interpret Bible
Beliefs, creeds
Da Vinci code
Revelation, 666
Other religions
Other spirituality
Cults and NRMs
Comparing religions

About all religions
Important topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handle change
Confusing terms
World's end
One true religion?
Seasonal topics
Science v. Religion
More info.

Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten commandm'ts
Assisted suicide
Death penalty
Equal rights - gays & bi's
Gay marriage
Origins of the species
Sex & gender
Spanking kids
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news


Religious Tolerance logo

Consecration of female bishops
in the Scottish Episcopal Church

horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule

Consecration of female priests as bishops in Scotland:

bullet1985: The first women deacons were ordained by the Scottish Episcopal Church.
bullet1994: The first women priests were ordained.
bullet2002-JUN: The first reading of the motion to accept female bishops in principle passed overwhelmingly at the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church. The existing bishops voted unanimously in favor of allowing women to become bishops. The clergy voted 64 to eight in favor; the laity followed suit with a vote of 64 to seven. 1
bullet2003-JUN: The General Synod met during the week of 2003-JUN-9. The second and final reading on this issue was held. Before the vote, the Rev Trevor Stevens, of Forward in Faith Scotland diocese promoted a delay in the decision. He said: "What may be about to take place is not simply a change in our practice, but it is rather about changing the whole nature of the Church. A few more years to deal with a nagging doubt seems a small price to pay." He told Radio 4's Today program: "In the Anglican communion, of which we are a part, not all churches have made up their mind on this issue. "I feel that in Scotland we need more time for the ordination of women priests to bed down, and time to do more theological work. The Church of England is currently producing a report being carried out by the Rochester Commission, and I feel that waiting a little while longer in Scotland and learning from its answers would be important." 2

He was unable to sway the delegates. The total vote was 124 to 24 in favor of change. The seven bishops voted unanimously for the motion.  A spokesperson said: "We have ended centuries of tradition today while allowing women to become bishops. It is a momentous decision for the church. "
bulletGabrielle Robertson, an organist from the diocese of St Andrews, said: "At the moment I have a male priest, but if I were to be put in a position where there was a woman priest I would be forced to leave. The majority of the congregation are anti-women priests and all that goes with it."
bulletCanon Ruth Edwards, of the diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney, said: "To do less is discrimination. We have had many years now of experience of women in all forms of ministry, a growing number of our candidates for ordination are women, a growing number of our clergy are women, and it seems very strange to fix on them a stained-glass ceiling."
bulletThe Most Rev Bruce Cameron, the primus, or leader, of the Scottish Episcopal Church, said "For some it will be received with great joy, for others with real pain. But I know that most of us want to be part of this same family called the Episcopal Church."

The synod's decision will put additional pressure on the Church of England, which continues its ban on female bishops. There was speculation that when Rt. Rev. Douglas Cameron retires as bishop of Argyll and the Islands in 2004, his replacement will be a woman. Some male priests were so repulsed by the idea of a female bishop that they were expected to resign. Instead, The Rt. Rev. Martin Shaw, a male priest, was consecrated as bishop.  3,4

horizontal rule

Related essays on this web site:

bulletTreatment of sexually active gays and lesbians:
bulletIn the Anglican Communion
bulletIn the Episcopal Church, USA.
bulletIn the Anglican Church of Canada

horizontal rule


  1. Tom Peterkin, "Episcopal synod votes for women bishops," The Telegraph, 2002-JUN-15, at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
  2. "Scottish church backs female bishops. The first female Anglican bishop in Britain and Ireland could be in place as early as next year after a landmark vote by bishops in Scotland," BBC News, 2003-JUN-12, at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/
  3. "Scottish Episcopal Church faces two historic decisions," Anglican Communion News Service, 2003-JUN-10, at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/
  4. Brian Donnelly, "Church votes for women bishops: Episcopalians shatter the 'stained-glass ceiling'," The Herald, 2003-JUN-13, at: http://www.theherald.co.uk/

horizontal rule

See our news feed on women's issues. It shows 20 current news items, and is updated every 15 minutes.

horizontal rule

Copyright © 1996 to 2005 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2005-MAR-24
Author: Bruce A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)

horizontal rule

Go to the previous page or return to the female ordination menu, or choose:

Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.