Self-indulgently long in fact.
I tweeted a couple of things on the #synod hashtag yesterday, which got 75 retweets/favourites between them, so must have struck a chord:
"Looking forward to the day when 85 people want to speak at #synod about evangelism" (85 people had indicated that they wanted to speak in the debate)
"Well done #synod, good call. Now back to that tedious old stuff about making disciples of all nations."
It's scandalous that we have taken up so much time, energy and angst over this - yes it's an important issue, but I don't see people queueing up to talk at General Synod about the main thing Jesus set the church up for in the first place, to make disciples of all nations (involving baptising new believers and teaching them the ways of Jesus). It doesn't matter whether a man, a woman or a goat is dressed in a purple shirt if we are not actually making disciples. Yes lets get this right, but lets also remember that it's not the main thing.
Alongside this - and this is where I get thrown out of the CofE completely - is whether we really understand what a bishop is in the first place. The CofE claims to have a 'threefold order of bishops, priests, and deacons'. It doesn't of course, it only has a twofold order of bishops and priests, Deacons used to be a holding pattern for women who were called to the priesthood but not allowed to go there by the church. Now it's something that priests do for a year before, through an episcopally-applied software upgrade, they're then allowed to bless people and run a church (I simplify, of course...).
Several dioceses don't have permanent deacons: people who have a call to be a deacon in the church, and have been ordained specifically to that role. Which makes a bit of a nonsense of the 'threefold order' claim. In the meantime we take a word used for a member of the team leadership of a local church in the NT (overseer/episkopoi) and freight it with 2000 years worth of historical and theological baggage. The God and Politics blog summarises the early part of that history. It's always seemed a bit odd for evangelicals to be debating who should or shouldn't be a bishop, when our understanding and practice has such a slim biblical basis in the first place.
But then, perhaps that's what God intended. The first batch of deacons hardly stuck to the job description: they were supposed to oversee the distribution of food, but we know of one who became a travelling evangelist (Philip) and another (Stephen) got himself killed after doing lots of miracles culminating in a showdown with the authorities. The labels and roles matter less than the authorisation, and the priority, in everything, to get the word out.
In all this there are positive signs - the national priorities of the CofE now include growing the church, and reshaping ministry, so there are signs we're alive to the issues above.
Final point: in the inevitable 'who will the first woman bishop be?' over the coming months, lets keep coming back not to the personalities or the politics, but to the mission of the church. Because if we aren't doing what Jesus set us up to do, then we are not truly the church. Female or male, I'm not that fussed who we have in leadership in the CofE as long as they have the same priorities as Jesus.