When will religious employers be brought into line with everyone else? We hear today of a parish in the British West Midlands has banned women from applying to be its vicar, because the church there feels parishioners would be horrified and run away.
This has happened at St Mary the Virgin Church at Enfield, where the former vicar – a man – has just fulfilled a seven-year contract.
The interregnum priest, David Blackburn, says everyone has agreed that a woman priest is not wanted.
Why the hell can’t these people be brought into line with employment law, and be told that a woman will be given as much chance as a man? We know why these nincompoops don’t want a woman: Jesus chose men for his apostles. Well just look at the times he was operating in! Could a women have done that in those times? Nope.
But today a woman can. And we’ve had women priests for years now, and there are women bishops in the USA.
I think that, if I were the Parochial Church Council for that church, I’d be asking my collective self: do I really want parishioners who are so damned bigoted that they’d ban women from applying for a job that women are perfectly capable of doing?
There are 1,543 ordained women within the Church of England at the moment, and a total of 6,880 ordained men.