The Church of England wants people to stop using the male pronouns to connote God in order to counter the erroneous belief that the Almighty has a gender.
Rt Rev Rachel Treweek, the Bishop of Gloucester was being introduced to the Upper House today as one of Parliament’s 26 Lords Spiritual.
Speaking before the event, the first female bishop to sit in the House of Lords raised the issue of God’s gender, saying that:
Instead of using either “He” or “She” to describe God, Bishop Treweek said she prefers simply to use the word “God”.
The vicar of Belmont and Pittington in Durham, Reverend Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes who is a member of the General Synod and also vice-chair of pressure group Watch – Women and the Church – which promotes inclusive language in the Church of England, welcomed the bishop’s comments.
She added that:
In January the Church consecrated its first female bishop, the Rt Rev Libby Lane, as the Bishop of Stockport. However, Bishop Treweek, the Church’s third female bishop and the Rev Canon Alison White was named the Bishop of Hull in March and will be the first to join the House of Lords, as hers is the more senior bishopric.
Once a former speech therapist and long-time champion of women’s ministry, Bishop Treweek was previously the archdeacon of Hackney.
When asked whether she was a feminist, she said: “It’s a word that’s heavily loaded. If it means I believe that men and women were created by God as equal but different, then yes I’m a feminist.
The church’s most senior clergywoman plans to use her position in the House of Lords to speak out on social justice, refugees, homelessness and domestic violence.