THINKING ANGLICANS

Crown Appointments: consultation paper

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have published a press release and a consultation document.

The press release is here: Archbishops consult on Crown Appointments.

The consultation document to which it refers is published as a word processing file here.

An html copy of it is available here.

Here is the Introduction:

Introduction

1. On 3 July the Government published a Green Paper, The Governance of Britain. It contained a wide range of proposals for constitutional renewal. Paragraphs 57 to 66 (copy attached at Annex A) signalled the Government’s wish for some change in the role that Ministers and civil servants play in relation to some Church appointments.

2. In particular, the Green Paper proposed that the Prime Minister should no longer use the royal prerogative to exercise choice in recommending appointments in senior ecclesiastical posts. In consequence, the Church would in future be asked to forward one name for the Prime Minister to convey to the Queen in relation to diocesan bishop appointments. The Government also committed itself to discussing with the Church how changes could be made in relation to cathedral, parish and other Crown appointments (excluding those to the Royal Peculiars) so that the Prime Minister no longer played an active role in the selection of individual candidates.

3. The scheduled General Synod debate on 9 July on the Pilling Report, Talent and Calling, provided the opportunity for the Church to give an initial response to the Government’s proposals. Attached at Annex B is a copy of the motion that the Synod passed by 297 votes to 1.

4. The Synod noted that there would now need to be a process of discussion both within the Church and between the Church and the Government in order to develop new arrangements that would command a wide measure of support. It invited us to report back to the Synod in February.

5. The purpose of this document is to set out some thoughts on a possible way forward and to invite comments from around the Church. The time-scale is necessarily challenging. Those wishing to respond to this consultation document are asked to do so not later than Friday, 7 December, preferably by emailing or by sending written comments to Dr Colin Podmore at Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3AZ (crown.appointments@c-of-e.org.uk).

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badman
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badman

“…the balance to be struck between uniformity and diversity… The Pilling report recommended a number of ways in which the Church could raise its game… A sensible objective might be to aim for such streamlining as will achieve a measure of simplification and clarity without producing a uniformity that squeezes out flexibility or threatens the ‘biodiversity’ of the Church.”

Broad Church anyone?

NP
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NP

Would prefer a faithful church….broadness is not a biblical imperative, badman

trueanglican
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trueanglican

NP never sleeps, does he?

Lois Keen
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Lois Keen

“Broad church” does not preclude faithfulness.
revLois

bls
Guest

“Faithful,” of course, means: keep the gay stuff away from me!

(You see, when it comes to “faithfulness,” holding to the Creeds is basically unimportant and carries no weight whatsoever; what really matters is homosexuality!

Just helpfully translating for the benefit of those who might not speak Modern “orthodox.”)

NP
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NP

just woke up…. but seriously, hardly a radical view that church should be faithful before it is broad, is it?

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“”Broad church” does not preclude faithfulness.” Yes it does! “Faithful”, as far as I can see, means adherent to Law. Implicit in this is the idea that the Law to which one is required to adhere is a rigid interpretation of Scripture as the only revelation of God. Thus, unless one is an Evangelical, and from NP’s point of view not even all Evangelicals are within the fold, only those as rigid as he, then one cannot, by definition, be faithful. Simple. I am faithless because I am an Anglo-Catholic. Worse, I actually have faith that the victory which Christ… Read more »

BobinSwPA
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BobinSwPA

In a recent documentary, here in the states, the remark was made that the fact that no established state church exist has actually benefited religion in America. It further stated that this was the intent of the founders fathers. With the CofE the fear could be that the Evangelicals there would do what they claim TEC is doing to Orthodox here (if indeed the Evangelicals have a majority). If I where a third party I’d be careful supporting some groups less they turn around and force them out Anglo Catholics-Evangelicals). There has to be a place for those who aren’t… Read more »

L Roberts
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L Roberts

I like broad chucrch for itself. But even more, I love the way it seems to imply the extremes. In fact, it holds (or used to) the extreme poles together. Not just filling in the hinterland between them—-but even that is useful–surely ? But i sem to love the extremes too. I used always to go to the early service at my parish church (8am BCP Communion- a service with brea & wine-not a denomination); and then on to high mass at 11 am but a twenty minutes bus ride away. I also loved Evensong & Benediction & charismatic worship… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“hardly a radical view that church should be faithful before it is broad, is it?”

No, but it’s an incredibly narrow minded, judgemental, and arrogant attitude to assume that to be ‘broad’ is to be faithless. Ever stop to think that it is the broad churchers who are the faithful ones? Ever question that, maybe, you have it wrong? Literal interpretation of Scripture conveniently takes away the agony of self doubt, though, doesn’t it?

NP
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NP

Ford – sorry, I shall have to retain, in your judgnment, an “incredibly narrow minded, judgemental, and arrogant attitude” because I am afraid the bible is very clear about the qualities we ought to see in church leaders and I do not feel I have the authority to deviate from it (since it is “inspired” by you know who and all that)

(1 Tim 2) “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.”

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Coming back to the topic, I think it will effectively make no real difference in that there are hardly any occasions of direct influence by the PM. Carey’s success is down to that, certainly, but there are hardly any other examples

The real issue is whether the actual status of establishment will be affected. A combination of the church moving further away from social reality and King Charles may encourage this, but I think as it stands, this is a non-story.

Matthew B
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Matthew B

Merseymike: +Jim Thompson is another example of Thatcher’s meddling: she refused to forward his name for the see of Birmingham in 1987 on account of his liberal churchmanship. And what about ++Rowan? I thought the choice of him over Nazir Ali was due to the direct influence of the PM and his advisors? I assumed that the choice element was designed to prevent one wing of the church becoming too dominant (which is why Nazir Ali would have been a bad choice to follow Carey). On the other hand, the Carey shenanigans demonstrated that decisions made in this way do… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Well, I think the chances of Nazir-Ali being chosen were nil, so if he was the other name, then its obvious that it was a one-horse race and who the PM would pick.

Thompson – yes, wasn’t that more about his left-wing politics than his churchmanship. Of course she chose Mark Santer instead who was if anything, even more left wing!

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

NP,
“I do not feel I have the authority to deviate from it”

LOL! So, you just go ahead and deviate from it without authority?

Simon Sarmiento
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Please comment on the substantive topic, proposals for the reform of part of the the appointments system, and not on unrelated issues. Comments that do not do so may not be published.

John Bassett
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John Bassett

From my admittedly American perspective, the whole thing seems like it ought to be opened up and made more democratic. I know that there are representatives from the local diocese present when the choices for bishop of a vacant see are discussed, but why can’t the diocese meet synodically and vote? Where’s the process to determine what the people of the diocese need or want in a bishop? The whole point of establishment, at least in theory, was that the Crown represented the entire nation and not the interest of particular parties in the Church. So, if the Crown isn’t… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

I am not sure that the appointments system is really reformable — no system is so irreformable (& corrupt) as oligarchy — at least some Prime Ministers made some good appointments (can’t the Holy Spirit act through PMs, or is that too much to ask even of the deity?)

JBE
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JBE

Just be clear, NP, on the basis of (in fact) 1 Tim 3, no single man is eligible for the office of bishop. You confirm that?

David Walker
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David Walker

John Basset asked ” where’s the process to determine what the people of the diocese need or want in a bishop”. We’ve been through this in the last year. Every Diocese has a Vacancy in See committee with a majority of elected members (I think elected by the Synod). The Bishop’s Council has (limited) power to co-opt to ensure it has a range of representation (across the diversity spectrum). This committee then produces the Diocese’s statement of needs and wants and elects 6 of its number to join the 6 national (elected by General Synod) reps and the two archbishops.… Read more »

NP
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NP

JBE – I am sure you aware that the NT is very clear that marriage and singleness are both ok for Christians….

1 Corinthians 7:9 “But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

John Bassett
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John Bassett

Thanks David for the clarification. I knew there was local representation on the committee, but you explained how it worked to me better than I knew before. I suppose there are large cultural differences between the US and the UK which are inevitably reflected in the two churches. Our Constitution is based on the ideas of popular sovereignty and the division of power, and our church governance also reflects those notions. The British Constitution, at least in the classic description of it given by Bagehot and his followers, rejects both those notion and believes in the central power of the… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

But, NP, a bishop, sorry, “overseer” (I have such an image of Simon LeGree) should be a husband of one wife, then one who is husband of NO wife would be, in your words, not fit to be a bishop. I’m wondering, NP, should a bishop be defrocked if one of his children disobeys him, or does something illegal? And, in reading Timothy, I noted something. How many of the women in HTB wear their hair styled, or wear jewelry? Why have you not gotten them to stop or ejected them from the fellowship? Paul is quite clear on these… Read more »

JBE
Guest
JBE

NP – I know what Corinthians says. I want to know if, specifically on the basis of 1 Tim 3, you agree that Bishops have to be married. That’s what The Bible says. Do you agree, yes or no?

Simon Kershaw
Admin

David Walker outlines the current English process and in particular the local diocesan element in it. However, I think there is some scope for improvement (okay, there’s scope for radical reform, but that’s not going to happen right now!). For example, the vacancy-in-see committee get to draw up a statement of diocesan needs. It might be thought appropriate for this to be debated by the diocesan synod before being adopted. The v-i-s committee could still have the final say, but endorsement by the synod would carry some weight. The other ‘national’ members of the Crown Nominations Commission (or some of… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

I don’t usually agree with NP, but where in 1 Tim 3 does it say that bishops should be married? It says they should be the husband of “but one wife”, meaning no more than one.

David Walker
Guest
David Walker

Simon Kershaw reflects on the English system as I described it. The reason why the v-i-s statement is not put before the Diocesan Synod is that it is felt that it needs to be a document where criticism of the previous diocesan’s style, performance, priorities etc can be frank. This would be much less likely to happen in something to which the press had access. It’s a judgement call as to whether frankness is better than wider democratic endorsement. I think I marginally favour the status quo but would be happy to work it the other way, in which case… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

Thanks David, I agree that there are some aspects that are better done in a confidential way. Perhaps there is scope for both, with most of the document being public and open to endorsement by the synod and some of it remaining confidential. The CNC can then see what differences there are between the two parts and draw their own conclusions. In addition to the choice of bishops, mention might also be made of cathedral deans. I do wonder whether more responsibility ought to be given (in most cases) to the cathedral council, which is specifically there as a body… Read more »

JBE
Guest
JBE

Erika – it says, “mias gunaikos andra” – husband to one wife. No buts, no onlys. That’s what The Bible Says. And I’m waiting for NP and Reform and their fellow-travellers to take a stand for Scripture, the plain truth of the Bible rather than the interpretation they’d like to put on it and campaign for the removal, or at least the non-attendance at Lambeth of single bishops.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

JBE
“”mias gunaikos andra” – husband to one wife.”

This just goes to show how tricky it is to rely on English bible translations – thanks for that!

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Erika,
NP trumpets his adherence to the “plain word of Scripture”. Well that plain word requires a bishop to be husband of one wife. No more no less. NP’s being hoisted on his own petard.

David Walker
Guest
David Walker

Simon Kershaw suggests an enhanced role for cathedral councils in the appointment of deans.

Form what I recall the intention of the proposals is that as far as posible the appointment of deans should parallel that of parochial clergy (especially as many deans are incumbents of a parish church cathedral). Hence to involve the cathedal council too much would be to go beyond what happens for parishes. I can’t remember the details but it would seem reasonable to ask the Cathedral Council to produce the equivalent of a section 11 statement (or parish profile).