The whole Wycliffe Hall business, which made page three of the Guardian this week, is quite sad. Back in 1979 Wycliffe was one of the theological colleges at which I considered training. Good point was that we stayed in the Principal's massive house as his personal guests and he, a little man called Jim Higginbottom (not sure of spelling), carried our luggage personally. Bad points were compulsory chapel at 7.30 a.m. and the impossibility of affording property in Oxford. There was no problem over theology.
According to the Church Times today the current Principal, the Rev'd Dr Richard Turnbull, has '...made public his belief that women should not teach men.' What? This man who has lived a stretch of his life through a female Prime Minister, sworn an oath of allegiance to the Queen and, I'll bet a penny to a pound, learned at least some of the things he knows due to the competence of some female primary teachers, does not believe that women should teach men.
'Forgive me father for I have sinned, today I accidentally learned something from a woman.'
'Say three Hail Marys (a woman who may well have accidentally taught Jesus a thing or two by the way) and try not to be so easily influenced next time.'
I sort of get the anti-women's priesthood argument from the Forward-in-Faith bunch. It's a load of old lingerie but at least the argument has an internal consistency. But not letting women teach men? The arrogant stupidity of it all. If we are to believe the resurrection accounts in the Bible we would have had no good news at all if the female witnesses hadn't taught it to some men. On behalf of all reasonable men everywhere (which might be quite a small number) I apologise.