Although the laws of the Church of England permit female vicars, the local church council has prohibited women from assuming the position, even though the parish has been vacant for four years.
Banning Women Vicars
Christian Post reported that St. Fimbarrus Parish Church's Parochial Church Council had issued a resolution against women serving as vicars. The Rev. Angela Berners-Wilson, the first woman ordained as a Church of England priest, described it as a "shame." Barners-Wilson stated that it was unfortunate they were still without a vicar because they did not want a woman as Priest in Charge, their prerogative under Church-approved legislation. Yet, at least they reportedly let women serve as priests.
The choice of the church in Fimbarrus contrasts sharply with the appointment of Rev. Shona Hoad, who is currently the vicar of the adjoining settlements of Tywardreath and Golant. Sinead Hanks, a local business owner, said that Hoad is an excellent example of a vicar. He praised her as young, engaging, and vibrant. In addition, according to the Los Angeles Times, the Southern Baptist Conference has expelled its second-largest congregation, Saddleback Church.
Popular pastor and author Rick Warren founded one of the largest churches in the United States. The church is located in Lake Forest, Illinois. It was one of five congregations determined not to be "in amicable cooperation" with the conference because they "had a female operating in the position of pastor," according to a statement by Jared Wellman, the executive chairman of the convention. In 2000, the Southern Baptist Conference added its Faith and Message doctrine prohibiting female pastors. Last year, Saddleback was in danger of being removed from the conference, but Warren thwarted the initiative at the organization's annual convention.
Also Read: Female Priests Gain Support Among Catholics as Survey Shows Majority Believe Women Should be Appointed as Priests
Church of England Welcomes Female Vicars
According to the Church of England, the church celebrated 25 years of women's ordination to the priesthood in 2019. On Nov. 11, 1992, General Synod consented to legislation allowing women to become priests. In 1993, the House of Bishops issued a pastoral declaration known as the "Manchester Statement," which opened the way for acceptance in both houses of Parliament. On Nov. 5, 1993, the bill was given the consent of the Royal Family.
Moreover, 2019 is also the anniversary of the first licensing of women as Lay Readers, which occurred 50 years ago, and of the passage of legislation that made it possible for women to be appointed as bishops, which occurred five years ago. Several events were held to commemorate the passage of a quarter of a century when the first women were ordained as priests in the Church of England. The ordination of the first group of women to the priesthood occurred in Bristol Cathedral on Mar. 12, 1994.
After a celebration at Lambeth Palace attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury, services were held at cathedrals and churches nationwide. On Sunday, Bristol Cathedral, which served as the location for the ordinations in 1994, played home to a celebratory Eucharist. The Bishop of Bristol, Vivienne Faull, delivered the sermon at the service.
Related Article: Southern Baptist Convention Cut Ties with Saddleback Church Over Decision of Ordaining Three Women Pastors