THE governing body of Salisbury Cathedral has backed the call of the Bishop of Salisbury for swift action to be taken on the issue of women bishops in the Church of England.

The Chapter of Salisbury Cathedral released a joint statement today making clear its complete support for the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, who expressed his disappointment in the immediate aftermath of General Synod’s rejection of legislation to enable women to become bishops.

Statement released by the Salisbury Cathedral Chapter:

Salisbury Cathedral Chapter celebrates the fact that the principle of ordaining women as bishops was agreed by the Church of England in 2008 and welcomes the House of Bishops recent statement committing to swift action to create a new legislative package.

Chapter fully supports all that the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, is doing both within the diocese and the wider church to find a way to restart the process that will quickly lead to the appointment of the first female bishops.

The acute disappointment expressed within our own congregation and community has mirrored that felt elsewhere in the Church of England following the General Synod’s rejection of the legislation.

We too were disappointed, and are committed to doing all we can to support our bishop as he provides leadership and guidance throughout the diocese and works within the House of Bishops.

Although this is a difficult time for the Church it is also a great opportunity to show that it can recognise the importance of this moment and make the swift progress which will enable it to minister appropriately to its members.

In the meantime Salisbury Cathedral will remain a focus for church and community life in the diocese and continue to celebrate the presence of God through worship and outreach. In particular the Cathedral will continue its work to promote the cause of social justice and to challenge discrimination and injustice, both at home and abroad.