Carey tries to patch up rifts

THE ARCHBISHOP of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, appealed yesterday for generosity as the way to overcome the problems which threaten the Church of England, writes Andrew Brown.

The agenda of the Church's General Synod, meeting in York this weekend, is dominated by proposals to minimise the disruption caused by the ordination of women. The House of Bishops has produced a plan for those who reject women clergy to have as little as possible to do with bishops who accept them. Opponents regard this as insufficient, while many supporters feel it makes too many concessions.

Dr Carey's address to the synod appealed to both sides to show generosity of spirit.

He denounced parishes which threaten to withdraw funds from dioceses in protest against decisions they disapprove of.

Such action was not in the spirit of Christ and would endanger the mission of the Church, he said, making it less national.

One Anglo-Catholic opponent of women's ordination, asked privately how an archbishop in favour could consecrate 'flying bishops' to cater for opponents, said: 'It's a bit like making love to a woman you don't like. I think we'll just have to ask George to turn off the cathedral lights.'