1. May 15th: Ordination of junior bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles, likely to be the Rev Canon Mary Glasspool.
Expect protests from conservatives and appeals for calm from the Archbishop of Canterbury when America’s liberal Episcopal Church ordains its first openly lesbian bishop.
2. July 9th: Start of the York meeting of the General Synod, the Church of England’s governing body. Top of the agenda will be amendments to the current plans to introduce women into the episcopate.
The revision committee has been trying to balance the requests for compromise measures from traditionalists and the desire for equality, and the process could be derailed if it is felt they have gone too far in either direction.
3. September 16th: Arrival of Pope Benedict XVI in Britain. The first papal visit in a generation is being billed as a “no frills” trip, with no gold carriages or stays at Buckingham Palace.
But tens of thousands of Catholics will gather wherever he goes, and the event is likely to culminate in the long-awaited beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman.
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