Letter: Anglican flocks leaving the fold

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Sir: Peter Stanford's article (22 April) was illustrated by a photograph (above) captioned 'Tears of joy after last November's General Synod decision: but it may lead to the departure of 1,000 vicars'. The tears of joy were genuine, I'm sure, but the photograph also shows an apparently disconsolate 'vicar' passing by and, by implication, preparing to depart from the Church of England.

Since I am that 'vicar' - and indeed look extremely unhappy - I feel the need to distance myself from the photographic message.

I voted for the ordination of women to the priesthood. Of course, I also recognised the momentous importance of the decision that we had just taken, and that a significant minority of Anglicans would be deeply distressed by what had taken place. However, the truth is that my discomfort, so evident in the photograph, was physical: the result of a long and serious debate, and (sign of old age and ailments) an urgent need for a loo.



St Michael's Rectory

Basingstoke, Hampshire

22 April