Women priests ‘hurt’ by vote

Rev Nancy White, who is also education officer at Halifax Minster
Rev Nancy White, who is also education officer at Halifax Minster

Women priests in Calderdale have spoken of the “hurt and rejection” they feel at the vote to not allow women bishops in the Church of England.

The general synod voted narrowly against the appointment of women as bishops on Tuesday.

Rev Sandie Maude, assistant vicar of St Michael’s Church in Mytholmroyd and St John’s Church in Cragg Vale and chaplain at Ravenscliffe Special School, said she cried on hearing the news. “I didn’t realise the hurt and rejection I’d feel. You try and and not see it as a rejection of women and more a rejection of the instituion but it was hurtful. I believe passionately in an inclusive society. I’ve worked most of my life in education, with young people with learning difficulties and challenging behaviours within the church, to make it an inclusive, welcoming place. And so it was jsut so sad that one of the places I hold dear to my heart can’t yet be called completely inclusive.

“However the church - ie the people that I have been called to serve and love - are still out there and so we begin a new day.”

Rev Nancy White, of Todmorden churches and education officer at Halifax Minster, said: “I was very very disappointed and frustrated. It’s frustating that a small minority have ruled for the majority. That’s the very difficult thing for us to swallow.

“I think it’s very sad for those women who are being called by God to be bishops, that this opportunity is not going to be there probably before they retire.”