Livewire - November 22, 2013

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By Jacqui Morley

The Church of England’s General Synod has voted overwhelmingly in favour of women bishops exactly one year after previous legislation was brought down by traditionalists.

The dramatic turnaround by all three strands of the Synod - bishops, clergy and laity - has been described by one bishop as “nothing short of miraculous”.

But our own straw poll on the streets of Blackpool revealed a more down to earth attitude.

“What else could they do?” argued Jackie Wells,58, of Red Bank Road, Bispham.

“They have stood in the way of progress for too long. The last decision made the Church of England a laughing stock. I think it came as a wake up call to them.”

Vera’s daughter Heather Thompson, 31, of Bolton, is a regular church goer - and also believes the decision is a force for good within the Church of England.

“It’s been long overdue. At this time the church should be in step with society and not alienating itself from it and we have women in all walks of working life right now so why should the CofE be different? “

Heather was born in Fleetwood and attended a local church until leaving school .

“We went and worshipped as a family until we moved to Bolton - mum has only just moved back to live with a friend in Bispham.

“I started going to church again because I wanted my child to go to a church school and I thought it would be hypocritical to just attend until she was accepted and then drop it.

“My sister married a Catholic and converted and does a lot of work within the church -she says the biggest breakthrough will be when the RC Church approves women priests. And given the problems within that church perhaps they should follow suit sooner rather than later.”

Charity shop worker Jack Baker, 33, of South Shore, harked back to the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey’s warning the CofE is one generation away from extinction unless it attracts young people. “This is more about self interest in survival - and less about women’s rights,” he said.