Lambeth Palace has issued this press release:
New Provincial Episcopal Visitors announced
Downing Street has today announced the appointment of the Reverend Jonathan Baker as Bishop of Ebbsfleet and the Reverend Norman Banks as the Bishop of Richborough, both of whom will be consecrated at a service at Southwark Cathedral on 16th June.
In line with the 1993 Act of Synod, the Archbishop of Canterbury has commissioned the Provincial Episcopal Visitors to work with the diocesan bishops to provide extended pastoral care and sacramental ministry, as well as acting as spokesmen and advisors, to ensure that ‘the integrity of differing beliefs and positions concerning the ordination of women to the priesthood should be mutually recognised and respected’.
The Revd Jonathan Baker who is currently Principal of Pusey House succeeds Bishop Andrew Burnham as Bishop of Ebbsfleet.
Commenting on his appointment, Jonathan Baker said:
‘The appointment of two new PEVs for the Southern Province is a real sign of commitment by the Church of England to the growth and renewal of every aspect of its common life, particularly its catholic tradition which I know and love. I look forward immensely to serving as Bishop of Ebbsfleet and to leading the clergy and lay people in my care to have confidence in their faith and in proclaiming the Gospel to all.’
The Revd Norman Banks who is currently Vicar of Walsingham, Houghton and Barsham, succeeds Bishop Keith Newton as Bishop of Richborough.
Commenting on his appointment, Norman Banks said:
‘One of the real pleasures and privileges of being Vicar of S. Mary’s is getting to know so many of the people who visit Walsingham regularly and make the Parish Church part of their pilgrimage.
I am both delighted and honoured that for those in the Richborough area I am about to have the opportunity and privilege of becoming their bishop and visiting them where they regularly worship. From the many recent conversations I have had, I believe that there is real desire across the Church of England to find a way for us to hold together with integrity and generosity. I hope the appointment of two new PEV’s will be seen as both ‘gift’ and ‘sign’ at this crucial time in the life of our Church.’
Welcoming the news, Dr Williams said:
‘I am very happy to welcome two such faithful and gifted priests as colleagues. They are taking up a very demanding pastoral ministry at a time of much upheaval and uncertainty, and will need our prayers and friendship as we work in the Church of England for a future in which there is full mutual respect and constructive work in mission to be undertaken together.
I am deeply grateful to those who have exercised pastoral care for traditionalist priests and parishes in recent months, especially Bishops John Ford, Mark Sowerby and Lindsay Urwin.’
Notes to editors:
Revd Jonathan Baker
The Reverend Jonathan Baker (aged 44), studied at St John’s College, Oxford and then trained for the ordained ministry at St Stephen’s House, Oxford. He served his first curacy at Ascot Heath, in Oxford Diocese from 1993 to 1996. From 1996 he was firstly Curate at Reading St Mark before becoming Priest-in-Charge from 1996 to 1999, and then Vicar from 1999 to 2002. From 1996 to 1999 he was also Priest-in-Charge at Reading Holy Trinity and from 1999 to 2002 he was Vicar. Since 2003 he has been Principal at Pusey House in the diocese of Oxford and Honorary Curate at Oxford St Thomas in the diocese of Oxford.
Reverend Jonathan Baker is married to Jacqueline who is an academic publisher and they have three children, Dominic aged 16, William aged 12 and Caris aged 9.
Revd Norman Banks
The Reverend Norman Banks (aged 57), studied at Oriel College, Oxford and then trained for the ordained ministry at St Stephen’s House, Oxford. He served his first curacy at Newcastle Christ Church with St Ann from 1982 to 1987 and then Priest-in-Charge from 1987 to 1990 in the Diocese of Newcastle. From 1990 to 2000 he was Vicar of Tynemouth, Cullercoats St Paul in Newcastle Diocese. Since 2000 he has been Vicar of Walsingham, Houghton and Barsham in the diocese of Norwich and Rural Dean of Burnham and Walsingham from 2008. Since 2009 he has also been Chaplain to The Queen.
Riazat Butt Guardian Archbishop of Canterbury appoints flying bishops
…Mindful of the rows convulsing sections of the church, Williams welcomed Baker and Banks, describing them as “faithful and gifted”.
“They are taking up a very demanding pastoral ministry at a time of much upheaval and uncertainty, and will need our prayers and friendship as we work in the Church of England for a future in which there is full mutual respect and constructive work in mission to be undertaken together.”
He said they would be a permanent fixture in the Church of England, even though the draft law on women bishops does away with the positions.
At a press conference at Lambeth Palace, Williams said: “I have two new suffragans and General Synod can’t simply take them away. The pastoral need will not go away.”
Still no other UK MSM coverage of this announcement, but some reactions from church organisations:
Women and the Church (WATCH)
Two New Provincial Episcopal Visitors Announced
WATCH is deeply disappointed at the appointment of two new Provincial Episcopal Visitors. They will be bishops who do not recognise women as priests, and oppose the appointment of women as bishops. The vast majority of people inside and outside the Church of England want to see the Church led by women as well as men. The risk of these two appointments is that they will haul us back to a position where women priests and bishops are ‘nearly but not quite’ on a par with their male colleagues.
However the legislation for women bishops is currently out for consultation across the Dioceses. It contains generous provisions for those opposed to women bishops. These two new PEVs will no doubt be invited to play their part in pastoral and sacramental ministry in accordance with the provisions in the draft legislation. In appointing such bishops, who will remain permanently in place (though not as PEVs) after the legislation has been approved, the Archbishop is reinforcing the generosity and adequacy of those provisions.
Women priests, along with countless others, will have been inspired during the royal wedding last Friday when the Bishop of London, quoting St Catherine of Siena, said, “Be who God wants you to be and you will set the world on fire”. We hope that the Church of England will very soon set free women as well as men to become all that God calls them to be.
Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod – copied below the fold.
GRAS press release:
Appointment of two “flying bishops”
Appointing two new PEVs at this stage in the Women Bishop’s Legislation consultation
is deeply undermining of that synodical process and a further institutionalisation of the
fearful ecclesiology underlying the ‘Act of Synod’, the spirit of which will be perpetuated
by these appointments.
At Easter we celebrate the Risen Christ refusing to be locked out by his frightened
followers. So why has this very moment been chosen to appoint two new Bishops whose
reason for existence is to protect a small number of clergy and laity from their fear of
women mediating the Risen Christ in their midst and offering them Peace?