THINKING ANGLICANS

Peterborough speaks some more

Andrew Brown has been talking to the Bishop-designate of Peterborough.

See Donald Allister on the Bible.

On behalf of religious writers everywhere I think should welcome the choice of Donald Allister to be the next Bishop of Peterborough. He will be good for business…

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Davis d'AmblyCynthia GilliattKennedyBill MoorheadGrumpy High Churchwoman Recent comment authors
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Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

TEC requires candidates for ordination to attend either a TEC seminary for three years or to top off seminary education at, say, Duke University [Methodist] with a year at a TEC seminary. This is on top of having earned a 4 year undergraduate degree,usually a B.A. [There are exceptions, but this is the normal course.] I can think of NO TEC seminary, with the possible exception of Trinity, that would regard believing that God stopped the sun for Joshua as historical truth. Even the RCs have abandoned that one. So what is seminary education like for C of E candidates… Read more »

Fr John Harris-White
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Fr John Harris-White

Fundamentalists from whatever religion are the cause of the hate, distrust and conflict in the world, and between faiths, and within faith. Backward in spirit, stullified in history are two descriptions of them, that come to mind.

How can such a person lead the family of God in a diocese?

Peterborough diocese deserves all our prayers. Im sure the diocese can withstand a person so limited in understanding of folk, and the ongoing life of the people of God.

Fr John

Bill Moorhead
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Archbishop Williams wets his gaiters over the election of Mary Glasspool as a Suffragan Bishop of Los Angeles, but I assume will be chief consecrator of Donald Allister as Bishop of Peterborough. As far as I know both Canon Glasspool and Archdeacon Allister are faithful and devoted in their personal family lives. Canon Glasspool is by all accounts an outstanding pastor and proclaimer of the Gospel of Christ. Archdeacon Allister is by all appearances a Biblical looney-tune. I continue to wonder whether someone has kidnapped Our Rowan and replaced him in Lambeth Palace with a diabolically clever plastic replica.

Kurt
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Kurt

That a man like Donald Allister could be consecrated a Bishop in the Church of England says a lot about the Evangelical rot that has spread throughout the Church in the past 60 years.

toby forward
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I take great exception to Bill Moorhead’s calling Donald Allister a ‘Biblical looney-tune’.
I have enjoyed many a happy and harmless hour watching Looney Tunes and have never been incited by them to genocide or homophobia or misogyny. I hope, Bill, that you will retract this slur on a fine body of work.

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

Absolutely bang on Fr. John Harris-White. Fundamentalism is a scourge that needs to be challenged head on, wherever it crops up it’s ugly little head. Mark my word, it will (and has to much degree in our small towns of the USA) set back Christianity hundreds of years.

peteri
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peteri

I have met Christian evangelicals or fundamentalists who felt that the Jshua story was literally true. But, for one to believe that Joshua literally stopped the sun from moving, it seems to me that either a) one has to believe that Copernicus and 500 years of science is wrong, that the Roman Catholic Church was right in condemning Galileo, and that the Earth is indeed the center of the Universe, or at least our solar system, or b) one is capable of a huge cognitive dissonance by believing that Joshua stopped the Sun AND believing that modern astronomy is correct.

Simon Robert Dawson
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Simon Robert Dawson

Whilst I have little support for biblical fundamentalists, can we at least be fair? Before we criticise the Bishop too much please look CAREFULLY at the article by Andrew Brown. How much of it the Bishop’s actual belief, and how much of it is put into the mouth of the Bishop by the journalist. Far from making any statement on the story of Joshua, the Bishop refused to comment, making the sort of verbal barrage that we all make when faced by a pushy jounalist trying to create a story. And as someone who personally believes 99% of biblical narrative… Read more »

Davis d'Ambly
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Davis d'Ambly

His responses would seem to say a great deal about the process of “appointment” of bishops in the CofE.

Davis d'Ambly
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Davis d'Ambly

His responses would seem to say a great deal about the process of “appointment” of bishops in the CofE.

Frozenchristian
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Frozenchristian

Kurt –
I think you will find that Donald Allister’s appointment has not been greeted with unqualified enthusiasm by all evangelicals.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

He is going to be a gift to any journalist looking for ‘loony vicar’ stories.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

“I have nothing to say on genocide”…. Could someone ask the Bishop whether he meant “on genocide in the Old Testament”, or whether he applies this truth to today also? And “non-Christian religions in general are to be regarded as arising from a sinful perversion of natural revelation”…. What worries me less than one isolated example of what counts as a moral Christian these days is the fact that sufficient people must have believed this man to be an appropriate choice for a bishop, or must at least have believed that his views are not reasonable grounds for questioning his… Read more »

Andrew Brown
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Well, of course I was hoping for a story. The question is whether I found one. I think I represented pretty fairly his views. I certainly quoted accurately what he said. Had he wanted to say “of course not” he could have done so, and I would have reported it, too. But he didn’t. He wanted to assert the primacy of biblical revelation over scientific truth, or law, if you would rather. I am reasonably certain, Erika Baker, that he meant that he had nothing to say about genocide in the OT and did not want to claim that if… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
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Andrew Brown’s last paragraph is even worse, in my mind.

Spirit of Vatican II
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Spirit of Vatican II

Isn’t this bishop a graduate of Peterhouse, Cambridge? If so, one must wonder what British education is coming to.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“… a story that some people might think far-fetched. But Jesus talks about Jonah as if he was a real historical character. And that means that at the very least it’s not the sort of story we can discount.” – Bishop-elect Donald Allister – Jesus told stories in mostly allegorical terms. His parabolic style of preaching should warn us not to be too literal about the ‘story-telling’ of Jesus. We were meant to see his stories about Biblical characters as revelatory of an underlying truth – apochryphal, perhaps, but non-theless having a valid message – like the O.T. generally However,… Read more »

Liz W
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Cynthia – the usual training for priests in the C of E is an undergraduate degree (usually 3 years, sometimes 4 depending on subject) plus 1 year of theological college if the degree was in theology, and 2 years if it was not. There are also part-time equivalents for those who cannot study full-time; these usually take twice the time to complete.

Jeremy Pemberton
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Jeremy Pemberton

I suppose this makes me wonder, if the the Church of England elected its bishops, like other provinces, would Donald Allister be going to Peterborough?

Hugh of Lincoln
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Hugh of Lincoln

“More to the point, what educational qualifications does the bishop-designate of Peterborough bring to the table” – Cynthia I understand the appointee has a strong interest in medical ethics, so might be a thorn in the side of a future Health Secretary once his turn for getting a space on the benches of the House of Lords comes his way. Alternatively he would most certainly be qualified as, say, a trustee on the board of a hospice in the diocese. “Just who made that choice and on what grounds?” – Erika The appointment of a bishop must be one of… Read more »

Wilf
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Wilf

Liz W is slightly mistaken about the length of time spent at seminary (theological college) in the C of E. Essentially, to train full time, it is three years for those under 30 (including non-graduates) except for theology graduates who get out in 2 (unless they do a research degree for which they are given more time). It is two years full time for those over thirty. Part-time training is almost always over three years. There are always a small number of exceptions for whom different programmes apply (e.g. a mixture of residential and non-residential or shorter or longer times).… Read more »

Frozenchristian
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Frozenchristian

LizW is not quite right – it’s a flexible system nowadays but usually a theology graduate does 2 years at college full time or maybe 2 or 3 part time on a course. Others do 2 years full time or 3 part time if over 30 and 3 full time if under 30.

Hugh of Lincoln
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Hugh of Lincoln

“training for priests” – Liz

Far better for the priesthood to be entirely voluntary, with ministers out in the real world doing jobs the rest of us have to do, and spread the duties amongst the laity.

It would wipe out the need for the parish share system at a stroke.

Grumpy High Churchwoman
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Grumpy High Churchwoman

Well, if ever there was an argument for increasing the episcopal gene pool in the CofE (say, oh I don’t know with women maybe) this is it.

Bill Moorhead
Guest

Toby Forward’s criticism of my previous comment is very well taken. I apologize to Looney Tunes, and to the Warner Bros. cartoon oeuvre generally.

Kennedy
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Kennedy

FYI The shortlist for the candidates for the office of Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway has just been released. They are: The candidates are: The Venerable Dr John Applegate (born 1956), Course Principal, Southern North West Training Partnership, Diocese of Manchester & University of Manchester The Very Rev Gregor Duncan (born 1950), Rector of St Ninian’s Church, Pollokshields and Dean of the Diocese of Glasgow & Galloway The Rev Canon Dr Alison Peden, (born 1952), Rector of Holy Trinity Church, Stirling; Chaplain of Forth Valley College, Stirling and Canon of St Ninian’s Cathedral, Perth. The new bishop will be elected… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

Thanks for information about the education of priests in C of E. In the States, the person is also required to do a summer quarter of Clinical Pastoral Education, usually at a big teaching hospital. Most dicoeses expect people to also do a summer internship – this could be a mission trip or a parish placement. During the last two years in seminary, one has a parish field placement for more hands-on experience. All are required to have psychological examination before seminary and when leaving. {I expect on the theory that if you’re not crazy starting out,you might be by… Read more »