"...Following the discussion with the working group, the House went on to consider issues arising from its current all male membership. It 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 intention is that eight members would be elected regionally from within bishops’ senior staff teams (that include deans, archdeacons and others). The necessary change to the House’s Standing Orders will be made in May..."We are often hectored by theological liberals (and those generally who have no idea of how a real Christian Church should conduct its decision-making) about the need for more 'democracy' in the Church. Democracy in its only civilised form includes a certain healthy and unwavering respect for structures and procedures, including the need to establish a degree of consensus on controversial issues (yes, I know, tell that to the present Government,) something which, in turn, goes a long way to ensure respect for the rights of everyone who participates in the process, most particularly those of minorities. It would seem that by pre-empting a new synodical vote in this way, the C of E has instead chosen the path of 'Cuban democracy,' a system where there is no chance of a vote ever going the 'wrong' way.
So, what, then, are the qualifications for being a member of the Church of England's House of Bishops? Welcome to the Alice in Wonderland world of modern Anglicanism. Welcome to the Mad Hatter's tea party.