Wimbledon ministry ‘delighted’ by first female bishop

A female reverend from the Holy Trinity Church in Wimbledon has welcomed the consecration of the Church of England’s first female bishop.

Monday’s ceremony at York Minster was notable for the interference of Reverend Paul Williamson who mounted the latest in a series of individual backlashes against the women’s ministry.

Contrary to the staunch opposition by firebrand Rev Williamson, Rev Kate Tuckett, Assistant Curate for the Merton Priory Team Ministry, was effusive in her praise at Bishop Libby Lane’s appointment.

“We are all delighted in the Merton Priory Team Ministry about the consecration of the Reverend Libby Lane as Bishop of Stockport, and rejoice at the start of this positive new chapter in the life of The Church of England,” Rev Tuckett told SW Londoner.

Although his attempt at obtaining an ‘absolute impediment’ to the ceremony on theological grounds was drowned out by the congregation present, Rev Williamson’s views are more warmly received by those in his own parish, St George’s Church in Hanworth.

“It was a very brave thing to do, to stand up in front of such a big and distinguished congregation,” said Chris Frazer, a parishioner at St George’s.

“I think what he said was absolutely right. The Bible simply does not allow for female bishops.

“Father Paul is reported in the press today as being ‘a lone voice’ – that is absolutely not right.

“I’m quite sure that a very large minority of regular church-goers, regular ordinary people who go to church, not on a fanatical basis but on an ordinary and regular basis, share the same views as he does. So he is definitely not a lone voice, but voices the views of many.

“It takes a very brave person to do the thing he did.”

Never one to shy away from controversy, or indeed publicity, Rev Williamson has a history of launching frivolous legal objections against his Church.

These have included numerous attempts to blocking women being ordained to the priesthood and having both archbishops arraigned for treason, as well as the marriage of Price Charles to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

In 1997, the Royal Courts of Justice named him as a vexatious litigant preventing him from launching any further suits in England or Wales without permission.

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