14. Mutuality reflects the Church of England’s wider commitment to sustaining diversity. It means that those of differing conviction will be committed to making it possible for each other to flourish. All should play a full part in the lives of the deaneries and dioceses and be prepared to engage with the diocesan bishop whoever he or she is.

 

15. Equal treatment, for example in relation to resource issues and the discerning of vocations to the ordained ministry, is essential irrespective of convictions in relation to gender and ministry. In discerning vocations bishops will continue not to discriminate on the grounds of a candidate’s theological conviction on his issue. In addition, ordination services for deacons and priests should be planned and conducted in a way that is consistent with the five guiding principles set out in paragraph 5 above.

 

Here the Declaration again stresses the Church of England’s ‘commitment to sustaining diversity’. Forward in Faith will be monitoring how successful dioceses are in fulfilling this commitment.

 

Paragraph 14 stresses that we should play our full part in the structures of the Church of England. That is crucially important. It is only by being involved that we will gain respect for our views and have the opportunity for the conversations that will enable us to win people over to our position. And clergy who have shown no interest in the wider Church of England are unlikely to be appointed to roles that involve responsibility for the wider Church.

 

The commitment in paragraph 15 to equal treatment in relation to resource issues is important too. Our parishes must be treated fairly where the allocation of financial resources and clergy are concerned.

 

Paragraph 15 also says that there must be no discrimination against traditional catholic ordinands.

 

The Act of Synod similarly outlawed discrimination against candidates for ordination, but it made no specific provision with regard to the ordination of traditional catholic candidates.

 

By contrast, the Declaration says that ordination services must be arranged in accordance with the five principles. Ordinations are conducted under the authority of the diocesan bishop, and the archdeacon – male or female – has the right to present the candidates (Principle 1). But ordinands cannot flourish (Principle 4), and sacramental provision cannot be made (Principle 5), if the arrangements (for example concerning presidency and the laying on of hands) violate the consciences of those who are to be ordained. Again, if these commitments are broken we can now raise concerns with the Independent Reviewer.