Thursday, 26 March 2015

Lords Spiritual (Women) Act receives Royal Assent

The Lords Spiritual (Women) Act received the Royal Assent today.

The Church of England issued a press release welcoming the Royal Assent which includes this:

Under the terms of the Act, the Venerable Rachel Treweek, Archdeacon of Hackney, who is announced today as the next Bishop of Gloucester will become the first female diocesan bishop to join the Bishops’ Benches in the House of Lords.

Archdeacon Rachel will take the place vacated by the Bishop of Leicester, Tim Stevens, who retires on July 11. She will be introduced into the House of Lords after the summer recess.

Posted by Peter Owen on Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 9:20pm GMT
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Bishop of Gloucester

Updated

10 Downing Street has announced that the next Bishop of Gloucester is to be the Venerable Rachel Treweek, currently Archdeacon of Hackney.

Diocese of Gloucester: Venerable Rachel Treweek

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Rachel Treweek, BA, BTh, Archdeacon of Hackney, for election as Bishop of Gloucester in succession to the Right Reverend Michael Francis Perham, MA, whose resignation took effect on the 21 November 2014.

Notes for editors

The Venerable Rachel Treweek (nee Montgomery) aged 52, studied at Reading University and trained for the ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. She served her first curacy at Saint George and All Saints, Tufnell Park in the Diocese of London from 1994 to 1997 and was Associate Vicar from 1997 to 1999.

From 1999 to 2006 she was Vicar at Saint James the Less, Bethnal Green and Continuing Ministerial Education Officer for the Stepney Episcopal Area. From 2006 to 2011 she was Archdeacon of Northolt in the Diocese of London. Since 2011 she has been Archdeacon of Hackney. In 2013 she was elected as Participant Observer in the House of Bishops for the South East Region.

Rachel is married to Guy, Priest-in-Charge of two parishes in the City of London.

Her interests include conflict transformation, walking and canoeing.

Gloucester diocese has a page welcoming the new bishop-designate including the following quote

Following the announcement, Rachel said:

“It is an immense joy and privilege to be appointed as the Bishop of Gloucester. I am surprised and, I have to admit, even a little daunted by the prospect, but my overwhelming feeling is one of excitement to be coming to join with others in sharing the love of Jesus Christ with the people of this diocese.

“I am looking forward to encouraging Christians to speak out with confidence about their faith and the good news that the Gospel brings. It will be my privilege to work with churches as we connect with people, wherever they are and whatever their concerns.

“My calling to the role of bishop has been shaped by human encounter. I believe profoundly that relationship is at the heart of who God is. I have been with people through the joys and pains of their lives and it is these experiences that I will reflect upon as I take up this new role.”

The diocese of London also covers the appointment of one of its archdeacons. The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, is quoted:

As Richard of Gloucester is reinterred, Rachel of Gloucester is revealed. Rachel has served her entire ministry in the Diocese of London, excelling wherever she has been. She has twice acted as Archdeacon, in Northolt and then Hackney — two highly demanding and contrasting areas where she has shone in equal measure.

… While we are very sorry to see her go, Gloucester has appointed someone with real quality and distinction. We look forward to continuing to support her in the years to come.

There is also coverage in the press including

several of which note that she is expected to become the first woman bishop to sit in the House of Lords.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 10:01am GMT
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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Alison White to be Bishop of Hull

The Archbishop of York has tweeted “Wonderful news that HM The Queen has appointed the Revd Canon Alison White as the Bishop Suffragan of the See of Hull”.

And here is the announcement from Number 10 (complete with misprint - Hull is in the diocese of York).

Suffragan Bishop of Hull: Reverend Canon Alison Mary White
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
First published: 25 March 2015
Part of: Arts and culture and Community and society

The Queen has approved the nomination of Reverend Canon Alison Mary White, for election as Bishop of Hull in the Diocese of Newcastle.

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon Alison Mary White, MA, Priest-in-Charge of St James’ Church, Riding Mill in the diocese of Newcastle and Diocesan Adviser for Spirituality and Spiritual Direction in the Diocese of Newcastle, in succession to the Right Reverend Richard Michael Cokayne Frith, MA, on his translation to the See of Hereford on the 22 November 2014.

Notes for editors

The Reverend Canon Alison White aged 58, studied first at St Aidan’s College, Durham and then at Leeds University. She trained for the ministry at Cranmer Hall, Durham. She served her curacy as an NSM at Chester-le-Street in the Diocese of Durham from 1986 to 1989.

From 1989 to 1993 she was Diocesan Advisor in Local Mission and also Honorary Parish Deacon at Birtley. From 1993 to 1998 she was Director of Mission and Pastoral Studies at Cranmer Hall, Durham. From 1998 to 2000 she was Director of Ordinands in the Diocese of Durham. From 2000 to 2004 she was a Springboard Missioner. From 2005 to 2010 she was an Adult Education Officer in Peterborough Diocese where from 2009 to 2010 she was also Honorary Canon at Peterborough Cathedral.

Since 2010 she has been Honorary Canon Theologian at Sheffield Cathedral. In 2011 she was appointed as Priest-in-Charge of St James’, Riding Mill in Newcastle Diocese and Diocesan Adviser for Spirituality and Spiritual Direction.

Alison White is married to Frank, Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Newcastle. They have family in England and South Africa. Alison has an interest in literature and the arts, enjoys the theatre and is an avid reader. She likes to travel and be in the company of good friends. She enjoys the outdoors, walks and gardening. She is a school governor.

The York diocesan website has this news item: New Bishop of Hull [also available on the Archbishop of York’s website].

The Newcastle diocesan website has this: Alison White appointed Bishop of Hull.

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 10:04am GMT
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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Suffragan sees of Ripon and Wakefield

The names of the suffragan sees of Knaresborough and Pontefract in the diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales were officially changed to Ripon and Wakefield respectively by Order in Council on 19 March 2015. The two area bishops, James Bell and Tony Robinson, can now officially be called the Bishop of Ripon and the Bishop of Wakefield respectively.

Posted by Peter Owen on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 at 11:15pm GMT
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Saturday, 21 March 2015

opinion

Helen De Cruz has interviewed H E [Harriet] Baber as part of a series on Philosophers and their religious practices: The SCP is my Church.

The Guardian Homes in old churches – in pictures

Madeleine Davies Why journalists can’t afford to ignore religion

Helen Pidd of The Guardian has been talking to the Bishop of Stockport: Libby Lane: ‘Whatever the Church’s failings, I really think this is where God has put me’.

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 21 March 2015 at 11:00am GMT
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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Muslim prayer in church building generates controversy

The original report was in the Telegraph: Muslim prayers in Church of England parish.

The Church Times later reported: Canon Goddard apologises for Muslim prayers in his church.

So also did Christianity Today No more Muslim prayer services in churches, says bishop.

The official statements:

Diocese of Southwark 1: A statement concerning recent events at St John’s Waterloo

St John’s Waterloo: Statement from Canon Giles Goddard

Diocese of Southwark 2: A statement from the Bishop of Southwark concerning St John’s, Waterloo

Kelvin Holdsworth has written about this: Welcoming Muslims into church.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 18 March 2015 at 5:17pm GMT
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Saturday, 14 March 2015

opinion

Ian Paul Is ‘discipleship’ Anglican?

John Armstrong Episcopal News Service Canon David Porter shares lessons learned about reconciliation

Christopher Howse The Telegraph The trouble with swearing an oath on a holy book

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 14 March 2015 at 11:00am GMT
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Friday, 13 March 2015

Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill

The Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill completed its passage through the House of Lords yesterday when it received its third reading. As there were no Lords amendments to the bill it does not need to return to the Commons. It now awaits the Royal Assent and will come into force “on the day Parliament first meets following the first parliamentary general election after this Act is passed”.

David Pocklington of Law & Religion UK writes about this and precisely when Parliament “first meets”.

Posted by Peter Owen on Friday, 13 March 2015 at 11:51am GMT
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Thursday, 12 March 2015

EHRC consultation on Religion or Belief reveals widespread confusion

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published its report on the consultation which it launched last August.

The press release is headlined: Largest ever consultation reveals widespread confusion over laws protecting religion or belief.

Mark Hammond, CEO of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:

“How the law deals with religion and other beliefs in work, in providing services and in public debate has become a matter of considerable controversy. We carried out this consultation to gather first-hand evidence of how people deal with this issue in the workplace and in service delivery.

“What we found from the thousands of responses we received was a complex picture of different opinions and experiences. However, what came out strongly was the widespread confusion about the law, leading to some resentment and tensions between groups and anxiety for employers who fear falling foul of what they see as complicated equality and human rights legislation.

“We also found examples of organisations which had taken a constructive approach to dealing with issues of religion or belief, with employees providing positive experiences of diverse and inclusive workplaces. We’ll use this evidence as we examine how effective the law is in this area and develop guidance which we hope will help everyone address some of the issues which have come out of the consultation.”

The report itself is introduced from this page.

The Commission has found that there is widespread confusion over the laws protecting religion or belief in the UK. Our new report ‘Religion or belief in the workplace and service delivery’ contains the findings from a call for evidence launched in August 2014. The aim was to explore the direct and personal experiences of employees and service users concerning religion or belief, as well as the views of employers, service providers, relevant organisations and the legal and advice sectors.

Nearly 2,500 people responded to our call for evidence, making it the largest ever carried out by the Commission. Respondents included people holding a wide range of religious beliefs as well as humanists and atheists, and covered employers and service providers across the public and private sectors….

The full text of the report is on this page.

And there is an executive summary here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 12 March 2015 at 4:45pm GMT
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Categorised as: equality legislation

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Proposal to revive the See of Islington

The Church Times reports: Chartres sets out plan for ‘Bishop for church-plants’

A NEW “bishop for church-plants” has been proposed by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres. The aim is to support the burgeoning movement as it spreads across the country.

The plan, which involves reviving the see of Islington, vacant since 1923, will be given final consideration by the Dioceses Commission later this month.

In a report presented to the London diocesan Bishop’s Council last Wednesday, Bishop Chartres argues that there is an “urgent” need for church-planters to be given “knowledgeable support and mentoring in the early years”. The Bishop of Islington’s ministry would be “inherently episcopal but not territorial; thoroughly collegial but with an independent sphere of responsibility”…

The full text of the report can be found here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 11 March 2015 at 10:00am GMT
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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Consultation on scripture and sexuality

The Church Times reports on a consultation organised by the Church of England Evangelical Council: ‘Good disagreement’ breaks out at CEEC meeting by Madeleine Davies.

..The “consultation on scripture and sexuality” was held at St James the Less, Pimlico, and organised by the Revd Dr Andrew Goddard, associate director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, and a member of the Council. There were 22 people present, invited as holders of “a variety of different views”. Before attending, they had been issued with a report commissioned by the Council from Dr Martin Davie, tutor in doctrine at Wycliffe Hall: Studies on the Bible and Same-Sex relationships since 2003. The report urges the Church to pursue “a path of radical and uncompromising discipleship” by upholding the Church of England’s “existing teaching on sexual ethics”…

Ian Paul has written about this: Good disagreement?

So has Colin Coward Church of England Evangelical Council Consultation on Scripture and Sexuality

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 10 March 2015 at 10:43pm GMT
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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Bishops of Tonbridge and Dorking to retire

Updated Sunday evening

Brian Castle, the suffragan Bishop of Tonbridge in the diocese of Rochester, recently announced that he will retire in the autumn.

I missed the announcement, which I am told was made a couple of weeks ago. This might be because, although it is online at the bishop’s personal website, it has yet to appear on the diocesan website or, so far as I know, anywhere else.

Update

A comment on another entry advises that Ian Brackley, the suffragan Bishop of Dorking in the diocese of Guildford, also announced his retirement last month; he will leave on 30 September 2015. Again this has not yet appeared on the diocesan website, although I have found a brief mention at the end of this item in a local paper.

Posted by Peter Owen on Sunday, 8 March 2015 at 12:16pm GMT
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Saturday, 7 March 2015

opinion

Andrew Stephens-Rennie An open letter to parishes hiring youth workers

Ana Marie Cox The Daily Beast Why I’m Coming Out as a Christian

Anna Tims has been talking to Tim Pike for The Guardian’s Work & Careers page: How do I become … a priest.

Theo Hobson New Statesman The problem with church schools? They run counter to Christian values
Nigel Genders (Church of England Chief Education Officer) Church schools: No problem

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 7 March 2015 at 11:00am GMT
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Thursday, 5 March 2015

General Synod Electronic Voting Results - February 2015

The detailed results of the four electronic votes at last month’s meeting of General Synod are now available for download. The files include the text of the motion being voted on.

Tuesday 10 February

Item 504 - Draft Naming of Dioceses Measure

At present a diocese must be named after the see city. This draft measure would have allowed a diocese to be named after a geographical area or the see city, and in the former case the diocesan bishop’s title could also be the area. This vote on clause 1 of the measure was in effect a vote on the whole measure, and a no vote was a vote against the measure.

Item 501 - Draft Amending Canon No. 35

Wednesday 11 February

Item 13 - Church Commissioners’ Funds and Inter-generational Equity

Thursday 12 February

Item 15 - Canon B 38

Posted by Peter Owen on Thursday, 5 March 2015 at 10:30am GMT
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod

Suffragan Bishop of Hertford

Michael Beasley has been appointed as the new Bishop of Hertford in the Diocese of St Albans.

Diocesan press release: Priest and scientist appointed Bishop of Hertford.

10 Downing Street press release: Suffragan See of Hertford: Canon Noel Michael Roy Beasley

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 5 March 2015 at 10:03am GMT
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Categorised as: Church of England