Thinking Anglicans

Diocese of Southwark: Christopher Chessun nominated

From No 10:

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Christopher Thomas James Chessun, MA, Area Bishop of Woolwich, for election as Bishop of Southwark, in succession to the Right Reverend Thomas Frederick Butler, BSc, MSc, PhD, on his retirement on the 5th March 2010.

Notes for Editors

The Right Reverend Christopher Chessun (aged 54) studied for the ordained ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge. His first curacy was at St Michael and All Angels, Sandhurst in Oxford Diocese between 1983 and 1987, and he become a Senior Curate at St Mary, Portsea in Portsmouth Diocese from 1987 to 1989. He then became Minor Canon and Chaplain of St Paul’s Cathedral from 1989 to 1993 and between 1991 and 1993 he was also a Vocations Adviser in the Diocese of London. From 1993 to 2001 he was Rector of St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney and Area Dean of Tower Hamlets from 1997 to 2001. He became Archdeacon of Northolt in 2001. Since 2005 he has been Area Bishop of Woolwich. In May 2010 the Archbishops of Canterbury and York appointed him Bishop for Urban Life and Faith in addition to his other Episcopal responsibilities.

Christopher Chessun has an identical twin, and his interests include music, history, travel, deaf – hearing integration, reconstruction in Zimbabwe and links with Churches overseas.

From Southwark: Tenth Bishop of Southwark is announced includes more details

Bishop Nick Baines writes: Bishop of Southwark

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Bill Dilworth
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Bill Dilworth

So there’s just one name on the list of nominees?

Kennedy Fraser
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Kennedy Fraser

I see that Rev Kevin Pearson was today elected (by the SEC College of Bishops) as the Bishop of Argyll and the Isles in the Scottish Episcopal Church.

See http://www.scotland.anglican.org/index.php/news/entry/new_bishop_elected_for_argyll_and_the_isles/

JPM
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JPM

Thank goodness he’s not a wound on the church, like that awful Jeffrey John!

susan hedges
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susan hedges

Bill, he was on the short list and has been named from that. He is the new bishop.

Tim Chesterton
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That’s the way the British system works, Bill. From the nominees (two, I believe, but others can correct me?) chosen by the Crown Appointments Commission, the government chooses a name, the Queen ‘nominates’ that person to the dean and chapter of the cathedral and commands them to elect him as bishop.

Neil
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Neil

The Bishop of Woolwich is an excellent man, and a good choice for unity – especially since he seems to have a good reputation with evangelicals and liberals, and comes from a liberal catholic stable. Great choice of a godly person.

Philip Hobday
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Philip Hobday

Mr Dilworth: The language of ‘nomination’ rather than ‘appointment’ is used because technically speaking The Queen is nominating a person for the formal approval of the College of Canons of the diocese and the College could refuse to approve the proposed candidate (it’s unheard of for them to do so, though). Before the nomination is announced, the Crown Nominations Commission (local and national church representatives) discusses a long list and then a short list of possible candidates before they vote to choose two – a preferred candidate (whose name goes forward) and a second (in case the first is unable… Read more »

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

Yes Bill, the Queen sends a conge d’elire ( or leave to elect) to the Dean and Chapter with the ( sole) name of the person they are to elect.See Wikipedia on Appointment of Church of England Bishops. Your fellow countryman Ralph Waldo Emerson had some wry comments on the matter. I think it has been the case since 1559..perhaps someone could put me right if the date is wrong, it could be earlier.

Kelvin Holdsworth
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No, Tim Chesterton, that’s not the way the British system works.

Its the way the English system works.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

The commendation of his new Diocesan Bishop by Bishop Nick Baines gives us hope for the ministry of Christopher Chessun as his Diocesan. Bishop Chessun’s term of office as Area Bishop of Woolwich will have given him valuable experience of how the diocese works as a whole – under Bp. Tom Butler, who, himself, was a formidable advocate of justice and human dignity. No doubt his successor will carry on with that tradition.
God grant him the grace he will need.

Bill Dilworth
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Thank you everybody for the very interesting explanations.

Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

A good and interesting appointment. ‘Inside appointments’ are comparatively rare, but we have recently seen + James Newcome move from Penrith to be Diocese of Carlisle. I cannot recall another one in modern times, except + Richard Chartres from Stepney to London in 1995. His predecessor + Winnington-Ingram was translated from Stepney in 1901 and went on to serve until 1939!

Tim Chesterton
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My apologies, Kelvin Holdsworth!

Sara MacVane
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Sara MacVane

Last year I went to Southwark to be interviewed for a job in Camberwell and the day before the interview Bishop Christopher asked me to come in for a chat simply because we had met very briefly in Rome where I was curate. He wasn’t on the selection board and I didn’t get the job, which at the time was a very big disappointment, but the bishop’s kindness, welcome, and encouragement have remained with me long after the disappointment disappeared.

Commentator
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Commentator

How quickly we are appeased and forget the scandal of the CNC’s rejection of the Dean of St Albans! If you were making a simple choice between the two men, who would you actually choose?

Michael Ardern Mason
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Michael Ardern Mason

The comment posted by JPM on Wednesday 6 October at 3.17pm is uncharitable and offensive.

Simon Sarmiento
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I think you missed the irony in JPM’s comment!

Peter Edwards
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Peter Edwards

Though we missed each other by a whisker in the Woolwich Area, as I moved to Spain, and the totally different but equally sincere and honest +Colin Buchanan exited stage-left, I have heard good things about +Christopher. Commentator should, I think, read +Nick Baines’s own comments on his article supportive of +CC before commentating thus on ‘the scandal of the CNC’s rejection of (Jeffrey John.)’ (Not to mention all the others on both the long and short lists.) Jeffrey would doubtless be as good a bishop as many, and a lot better than some. There are many in Southwark who… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

“How quickly we are appeased and forget the scandal of the CNC’s rejection of the Dean of St Albans!”

Absolutely. And the scandal of none of the other 6 or so on the shortlist being chosen either.
Rejected for political reason, every single one of them.

The only scandal in that case was that Dr John’s inclusion on the shortlist was leaked precisely because everyone would turn it into a gay issue again.
It may have been, it may not have been.
We have absolutely no way of knowing.

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

Did the leak specifically say JJ was on the SHORT list? He may have been on A list. I imagine they start with 20+ names and the short list is 6 or less. Since it is all shrouded in secrecy we will never know. Lets at least rejoice that Southwark has a thoughtful liberal catholic bishop with a good pastoral/parochial track record and is a man behind whom, it would seem, most shades of opinion in the diocese can unite.Woolwich and Stepney are now both vacant….both are relatively high profile suffragan sees and we have Bradford,Durham and Lincoln to come.

Simon Sarmiento
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And after Bradford, but before the other diocesan sees, we have Salisbury.

Father David
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Father David

Brilliant suggestion – Peter Edwards – I’d never thought of that one – Jeffrey John for Durham. They seemed to weather David Jenkins O.K. and take it all in their stride – indeed my home diocese was rather pleased to have such a controversial “celebrity” bishop as their Father in God. So, let’s hear it for + Jeffrey Dunelm.

JPM
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JPM

“Wound on the church” is not my phrasing, but Rowan Williams’s.

He really does have a talent for always and everywhere saying the worst possible thing, doesn’t he?

Simon
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Simon

Interesting co-incidence that +Tom Butler was a former Archdeacon of Northolt and so is +Christopher – and much loved and appreciated for his thoughtful, compassionate but firm ministry in his short time in the Willesden Episcopal Area.

Pete Broadbent
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Pete Broadbent

I’m rather hopeful that the current Archdeacon of Northolt will keep that trend of moving into episcopal ministry…

Charlotte
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Charlotte

If not Durham, then perhaps Winchester?

Father David
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Father David

I think Durham for JJ rather than Winchester – for a start Durham is in the Northern rather than the Southern Province and Archbishop Sentamu rather than Archbishop Williams will be chairing that particular vacancy in see committee meeting. Twice JJ has been vetoed for a teacosy in the Province of Canterbury – hopefully he’ll stand a better chance in the north where the folk are more friendly and accepting. Durham needs a scholar of JJ’s standing.

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

As I understand it Durham needs a bishop that will grapple with the desperate financial situation in the diocese, one of the most problematic in the C of E I believe.

Commentator
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Commentator

In response to Fr Peter’s comments: I have taken the time to read and re-read the comments of the Bishop of Croydon. I have also bothered to read the Diocesan Profile – it was available on the Diocesan website. As neither the Bishop of Croydon nor I have had access to the papers submitted to the CNC, we cannot say whether the Dean of St Albans ‘fitted’ the profile other that on the basis of our shared ignorance. And should we support the choice of a candidate simply on the grounds that they would cause less dissention in the ranks?… Read more »

Peter Edwards
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Peter Edwards

Commentator – I think only thee & me are still reading this thread; but we both still are!

Those of us who know JJ know that his gifts, talents, expertise and interests are not the same as those of +Christopher whose CV bears witness to what he has got stuck into, even before he was a bishop. These bits of known-knowns can be measured against the Diocesan Profile.

As for the rest of your observations, I am in total agreement. But we remain – largely – in ignorance of what went on behind closed doors.