Sheffield residents have delivered a mixed reaction to news that Reverend Philip North has turned down the Bishop of Sheffield post.
The Rt Rev Philip North, who had been expected to be elected in April, will remain as the Bishop of Burnley, and the name of an ‘alternative candidate’ will need to be put forward by Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York.
He sensationally revealed he would not be taking the job last night after admitting his presence in the city would ‘not be acceptable’ because of his opposition to women becoming priests.
His controversial stance sparked criticism from equality campaigners and the Labour MP for Heeley, Louise Haigh, described the bishop designate’s views as ‘troubling’. In addition, bishop's clothing in Suffragette colours was placed on the Women of Steel statue in Barker’s Pool by activists.
The controversy has sparked fierce debate on Facebook and Twitter, and now our readers have delivered their verdict on the issue.
Bill Stewardson said: "I just hope the church manages to drag itself into modern times and treat women fairly. Considering what they are supposed to stand for this whole issue is very damaging."
Vicky Seddon added: "Good news for Sheffield - and hopefully Phillip will think again about his views on women."
Diane Smith said: "Women are just as devout as men."
But others spoke out in his defence.
Philip Levick said wryly: "Well that was a nice welcome to Sheffield."
Alma Hodzic added: "Finally we had somebody who stood by his knowledge in this age of nonsense. This will be remembered."