In my last post I said that there was a degree of wishful thinking on the part of the traditionalists. Since then I’ve discovered that the Ebbesfleet website (one of the flying bishops) has a draft version of the Act of Synod on its website and claims it’s the actual one. The one that actually passed can be found on the CofE website. (The Wayback Machine verifies it’s been like this at least since 2003 and the site was registered by Andrew Burnham (the then bishop) in 2000).
There are several differences between the draft Ebbesfleet claims to be the act and the act itself. Most notably the Ebbesfleet version starts the ordinations and appointments:
1. There will be no discrimination against candidates either for ordination or for appointment to senior office in the Church of England on the grounds of their views about the ordination of women to the priesthood.
The real version starts
1. Except as provided by the Measure and this Act no person or body shall discriminate against candidates either for ordination or for appointment to senior office in the Church of England on the grounds of their view or positions about the ordination of women to the priesthood.
(Emphasis mine). There are other changes but I’m not a lawyer, and certainly not a canon lawyer. (If anyone wants to read the act it’s linked, and the measure is the act of parliament).
I literally can’t think of a good reason to post a draft version of the act on the website and imply it was the one that actually got passed. And I certainly can’t think of a good reason to have a draft version of the act from 1993 floating around to post accidently ten years later.