The House of Bishops of the Church of England has today welcomed eight women as participant observers to its meetings. The welcome follows the election of the eight senior women clergy from regions across the country.
In February of this year the House decided that until such time as there are six female members of the House, following the admission of women to the episcopate, a number of senior women clergy should be given the right to attend and speak at meetings of the House as participant observers. The necessary change to the House's Standing Orders was made in May.
Elections for the eight senior women clergy were held in autumn of this year and the following were elected:
• East Midlands - Ven Christine Wilson, Archdeacon of Chesterfield
• West Midlands - Revd Preb. Dr Jane Tillier, Preb of Lichfield Cathedral
• East Anglia - Ven Annette Cooper, Archdeacon of Colchester
• South and Central - Ven Joanne Grenfell, Archdeacon of Portsdown
• South East region - Ven Rachel Treweek, Archdeacon of Hackney
• South West region - Ven Nicola Sullivan, Archdeacon of Wells
• North East Very Revd Vivienne Faull, Dean of York
• North West - The Rev Libby Lane, Dean of Women in Ministry, Chester Diocese
Having taken up their role on 1st December, the two day meeting of the House of Bishops in York on December 9-10 will be the first meeting at which the participant observers will attend.