Christian student group limits female role

Dec. 6, 2012 at 1:38 AM

BRISTOL, England, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- The head of a Christian student group at an English university says limits on women's preaching are actually an expansion of their role in the organization.

Matt Oliver, president of the Bristol University Christian Union, said only married women working with their husbands will be allowed to preach at the weekly meetings and at residential retreats and missions, The Daily Telegraph reported. But he said women will be free to preach at other events.

Oliver said the limits were imposed out of respect for the views of those who believe the Bible bars women from leadership.

"Bristol University Christian Union has no formal position on the role of men and women in the church," he said in an Internet posting. "We respect those of our members who hold strong biblical convictions in this area and seek to find the most practical way of expressing this inclusivity."

The student newspaper The Tab obtained a copy of his email.

The action comes soon after the Church of England General Synod rejected a move to allow women to become bishops. Both suggest conservative Evangelicals are growing in strength.

The Rev. Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, a former Durham University chaplain, sent a critical Twitter message: "Bristol CU's idea of compromise is rather like the CofEs -- ban women so as not to upset anyone who might object to them."

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