Church of England Says There Is ‘No Official Definition’ Of A Woman

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Church of England bishop

There is “no official definition” of a woman according to the Church of England.

A senior Bishop said that the meaning of the word woman was previously “thought to be self-evident” but “additional care” was now needed.

Rt Rev Robert Innes made the pathetic comments in a written reply to a question submitted to General Synod as institutions grapple with the ongoing debate surrounding trans rights and what defines “a woman”. 

His admission has stirred some criticism.

MSN reports: While the new stance has been welcomed by liberal wings of the Church, the comments have also provoked criticism – with gender-critical campaigners saying that “whether your starting point is biology or the Bible”, the answer to the question of what is a woman remains the same.

Rev Angela Berners-Wilson, England’s first woman priest, said that she is “not totally happy” with the answer, but added that the issue is “sensitive”.

‘We need to be very sensitive’

Church officials are currently engaged in Living in Love and Faith (LLF), the institution’s ongoing and landmark project aiming to tackle how questions about identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage fit with the Church.

The issue of defining what a woman is emerged in written questions to the General Synod, the Church’s legislative body, in which Adam Kendry, a lay member of the Synod and a representative of the Royal Navy, asked: “What is the Church of England’s definition of a woman?”

In response, Dr Robert Innes, the Bishop in Europe, said that “there is no official definition”.

The Bishop in Europe, who was also replying in his role as chairman of the Faith and Order Commission, said in his written response: “There is no official definition, which reflects the fact that until fairly recently definitions of this kind were thought to be self-evident, as reflected in the marriage liturgy. 

“The LLF project however has begun to explore the marriage complexities associated with gender identity and points to the need for additional care and thought to be given in understanding our commonalities and differences as people made in the image of God.”

Rev Angela Berners-Wilson, who became the first woman to be ordained as a priest in England in 1994, and  who has recently retired, told The Telegraph in response to the Bishop of Europe’s answer: “I’m not totally happy with it. I mean, I do think certain things like men can’t have babies just to say the complete obvious thing. 

“But I think we need to be very sensitive and maybe we need to reexamine our boundaries.”

‘Shocking’ answer

Maya Forstater, executive director of the Sex Matters campaign group, described the Bishop’s answer as “shocking”, saying that “the concepts of male and female did not need to have a formal official definition” because “they are older than human life itself”. 

She added: “When the Government redefined women through the Gender Recognition Act, the Church of England could have stuck with its long-established understanding, which makes sense whether your starting point is biology or the Bible. 

“It is shocking that they so readily gave up the definition of man or woman for the state to amend, as if this fundamental truth did not matter.”

However Jayne Ozanne, synod member and founder of the Ozanne Foundation in 2017 – which works with religious organisations around the world to tackle prejudice and discrimination of LGBTQI people – described the question as “passive aggressive”. 

She said: “Mr Kendy’s question is sadly a prime example of a passive aggressive question that is designed to upset the LGBT+ community and particularly the trans members in our midst. 

“It’s time these anti-LGBT attacks stopped and that we learnt to acknowledge that life is not quite as black and white as some appear to think it should be.”

Dr Jane Hamlin, president of Beaumont Society charity, which supports trans people, added: “I am puzzled why some people are so obsessed with defining ‘woman’. Why might this be an issue for the Church of England? 


  1. A woman is born that way. Not modified altered manufactured post production to resemble a biologically born normal healthy female mammal with operating mammary glands ovaries womb and normal hormones skeleton and reproductive capacities. Some can be defective in some areas due usually to medications or damage from sciences creations, but fundamentally has the equipment to conceive birth and rear

  2. Shocking! Church of England is declared a subsect of the Church of Satan by virtue of its stance on “what is a woman”.

    Seems to me that GOD gives each a role in life and gives to women the role to BEAR CHILDREN. Therefore, one definition of woman would be the ABILITY TO BEAR CHILDREN. If you are NOT BORN with a uterus, you cannot be a WOMAN. Therefore, if a church recognizes a man who “identifies as a woman” or “has surgery and takes drugs to simulate being a woman” as an “actual woman”, that church is following the DOCTRINE OF SATAN.

    GOD has determined the ROLE of WOMAN is to bear children and a MAN WHO “IDENTIFIES AS A WOMAN” CANNOT BEAR CHILDREN, therefore, that MAN – IN THE EYES OF GOD IS STILL A MAN no matter what the man claims or what surgeries he has had done or drugs he has taken.

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