Thinking Anglicans

Archbishop of Canterbury announces new Chaplain

Press release from Lambeth Palace
Thursday 28th February 2013

Archbishop of Canterbury announces new Chaplain

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is delighted to announce the appointment of the Reverend Dr Jo Bailey Wells as his new Chaplain, based at Lambeth Palace. Her primary focus will be for the spiritual life at Lambeth Palace and for supporting the Archbishop’s pastoral and liturgical ministry.

Speaking about her new position, Dr Jo Bailey Wells said:

“I am honoured and delighted to be joining Archbishop Justin’s team at Lambeth as he takes on a heavy but exciting mantle. I look forward to supporting him personally and pastorally – above all by praying for his flourishing in that role – and so to facilitating the wider flourishing of God’s people in God’s church.”

The Reverend Dr Jo Bailey Wells was ordained in 1995. Her ministry thus far has focused on nurturing faith, mentoring vocations teaching Old Testament and training leadership – in Cambridge, in the United States and in South Sudan. Previous positions include Dean of Clare College Cambridge and most recently Director of the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies at Duke Divinity School in North Carolina. She holds degrees from Cambridge, Minnesota and Durham and has written two books, God’s Holy People (Sheffield: 2000) and Isaiah: A Devotional Commentary for Study and Preaching (BRF: 2006).

Speaking about her appointment, the Archbishop said:

“Jo is an outstanding speaker, scholar and pastor, with a very wide experience of the Anglican world. I am delighted that she has been agreed to come and work with me at Lambeth.”

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Graham Kings
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Graham Kings

Excellent, wise appointment. Wonderful news. This Monday I returned from 12 days in South Sudan where Jo Bailey Wells’s annual visits to theological colleges are clearly greatly appreciated.

Richard
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Richard

Does she have any parish experience?

Andrew
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Andrew

As an alumnus of Duke University, I am pleased to see the “better half” of the Wells get such an excellent appointment. As you know her husband, The Revd Dr Sam Wells was dean of Duke Chapel and is now Rector of St Martin in the Fields, London.

Duke University, by the way, is affiliated with the United Methodist Church although one might be forgiven for assuming it was Episcopalian after a visit to its superb Collegiate Gothic campus, the center of which is the Chapel.

Cynthia
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Cynthia

This seems to bode really well.

Project Education South Sudan (a small NGO connected to TEC) is a ministry partner with our parish. I am in awe of the work people are doing in South Sudan.

Dennis in Chicago
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Dennis in Chicago

After her comments on the election of Bishop Glasspool I have serious doubts that she will be able to offer anything toward reconciliation. She is a partisan with an agenda. From the perspective a gay American Episcopalian it looks like the agenda is against us. I think we have the right to say that if she is serious about reconciliation she must start by apologizing. That is step one. Apologize, please.

dr.primrose
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dr.primrose

According to Episcopal Cafe, these are the comments by Jo Bailey Wells conerning Mary Glasspool’s election as bishop that Dennis referred to: “‘The Episcopal Church, by its actions, is demonstrating that it no longer values its place under the historic headship of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and therefore the Anglican Communion,’ Wells said. “The confirmation of a second openly gay bishop is even more significant than the first, Wells said, since the consequences—widespread dissent in the communion and persecution of Anglicans in countries where homosexuality is reviled—are clear.” There is no condemnation in this story, I note, about the persecution… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Just to refresh everyone’s memory, Jo Bailey Wells was quoted as follows in a Beliefnet story on Mary Glasspool’s election: “The Episcopal Church has said for years that it is committed to both the Anglican Communion and the full inclusion of gays and lesbians, said the Rev. Jo Bailey Wells, a professor and director of Anglican studies at Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C. Glasspool’s election is, in a sense, a fork in the road. “I think Williams’ statement points out the incommensurability of both agendas,” she said. “Episcopalians are prone to deny the consequences of their actions, because they… Read more »

Cynthia
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Cynthia

This quote from Jo Bailey Wells is making the rounds in the US: “The Episcopal Church, by its actions, is demonstrating that it no longer values its place under the historic headship of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and therefore the Anglican Communion,” Wells said. The confirmation of a second openly gay bishop is even more significant than the first, Wells said, since the consequences—widespread dissent in the communion and persecution of Anglicans in countries where homosexuality is reviled—are clear. 1. Bishops are elected locally and many, many more people voted for Mary Glasspool than had the opportunity to vote for… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

My instant reaction is to be careful of anything that Graham Kings thinks wise. He and the small leadership group at Fulcrum have a pro-women position balanced by a determined (and rather nasty) anti-gay stance, so I am deeply cautious. On the other hand, I remember all too well the context of Mary Glasspool’s election and the fears being circulated that there would be mass murder of Christians in certain non Christian countries if more partnered gay people were openly ordained. Rowan Williams had gathered wide support for his policy of appeasement, in part based on such widespread fears, and… Read more »

Francis
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Francis

It is not in itself evidence of ‘anti-TEC bias’ to point out that there are tensions between TEC’s new commitments regarding LGBT inclusion and its membership in a global communion which only partly shares those commitments. I read Jo Bailey Wells as making a statement of fact, rather than of prejudice. It would be a convenient world if our moral stances only had the effects we wanted them to, but TEC’s decisions about sexuality do not stop having consequences at the borders of the United States, and are not understood solely in the context of American history, with its distinctive… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
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This article by Jo Bailey Wells may be of interest
http://today.duke.edu/2007/01/jowells_oped.html

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

With everything, it’s the tone that matters as much as the opinion voiced. And to ignore completely TEC’s repeated affirmation of the Anglican Communion and its desire to remain a part of it and to say that “The Episcopal Church, by its actions, is demonstrating that it no longer values its place under the historic headship of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and therefore the Anglican Communion,” is more partisan than necessary. It was just as easy to have said “although we know that TEC is a committed member of the AC, we fear they may be misjudging the consequences of… Read more »

Cynthia
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Cynthia

Francis I was listening when you noted that in TEC we tend to filter our thoughts via the Civil Rights movement. It became the language for womens and LGBT rights. You lost me at the “exceptionalism as showing our enlightenment” part. LGBT persons are real flesh and blood people. I’m one of them. And what I heard from Rowan and Bailey is that TEC is supposed to throw us under a bus. My suffering, and that of my brothers and sisters, matters. The discrimination and senseless destruction of my career matters, as does the depression I went through and the… Read more »

Cynthia
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Cynthia

Thanks for linking the article Simon. Same story though. LGBT suffering in the US (and Canada and perhaps elsewhere) is to continue unabated because of “appeasement.” The US Supreme Court is taking up marriage equality. They are being bombarded with briefs of support from both the right and the left. It’s hard to say what they’ll do, a handful of them are intransigent hardliners. But if 5 of them support marriage equality, then our country will be in a new place. To ask the churches to be behind society on moral issues is not a formula for a robust and… Read more »

Cynthia
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Cynthia

Also, in the article, she’s writing about the Northern Virginia churches in 2007. I’m from Northern Virginia. Those churches tend to get filled with people from the various Presidential administrations. In 2007 it was the administration of GW Bush and so there were a lot of neocons filling those churches. Neocons whose lives and careers hinged on being fire-breathing culture warriors.

All politics are local. Including church.

Cynthia
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Cynthia

One more thing. Wells said that all churches of all denominations are impacted globally by TEC’s following of the example of the radical love of Jesus Christ.

I have news for Ms. Wells. In the US and many global churches, including in England, there are denominations that are more progressive than TEC. The Quakers, Unitarians, UCC, Reformed Jews, and more. She is hardly speaking for all denominations.

That article was uninformed and ill-conceived.

Old Father William
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Old Father William

There’s a frivolous but fun game, called “Lent Madness,” currently available to members of TEC. Each day,it pits one saint from our calendar against another, and asks for votes. It’s interesting that, when Martin Luther and Martin Luther King, Jr. were “competing,” Dr. King won,albeit by small majority. Yes, we do filter our thoughts through the Civil Rights movement,and see justice as pivotal to the proclamation of the Gospel. When the Civil Rights movement was in progress, some people said that we weren’t ready for such changes yet,and we needed more time for discussion. They were wrong. We don’t need… Read more »

Sara MacVane
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Sara MacVane

Reading the Jo Bailey Wells’ article made me think that although she was living and teaching in the USA at the time she wrote it, she really didn’t understand America and TEC very well at all. Yes, we do see things through the eyes of civil rights (praise the Lord) as Obama said, the road leads from Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall. The other cultural ‘difference’ between TEC and C-of-E that strikes me (once again) in her article is the ‘pretense’ or ‘hypocrisy’ that no C-of-E bishops are ‘openly’ gay or partnered. That’s not what I hear, and I… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

And just to put a little bit more perspective on this ……

When Rowan Williams did get the chance to begin appointing his own team, he gave the job to a family friend, Jonathan Goodall, a supporter of Forward in Faith.

Jonathan remains on the Lambeth staff, Williams promoted him to head the ecumenical team some time ago.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Looks as though Dr. Bailey Wells was willing to throw TEC under the bus when the then-Archbishop of Canterbury thought this was needful.

Query whether Dr. Bailey Wells was expressing her own view, or was simply trimming her sails to accommodate the then-prevailing winds.

Either way, it doesn’t look like a good start towards reconciliation–either with TEC or with LGBT people in England.

Cynthia
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Cynthia

Sara has it right, Wells doesn’t “get it.” I understand about Christians who live alongside Muslims and that creates issues. I disagree that a proper response is denying human rights elsewhere, but I acknowledge the dynamic. There is no sensitivity from CoE leadership to the fact that our society has extremists completely unlike anything in the UK (as far as can tell from living there for around 8 months or so). The fact that powerful interests push the message “God hates fags,” has hurtful consequences. And that awful message needs a healing response from TEC and the other liberal denominations.… Read more »

Cynthia
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Cynthia

I said “I understand about Christians who live alongside Muslims and that creates issues…” This needs clarification. I understand that in some places in Africa, this is a problem. In the US, on a train on the East Coast, my partner inescapably overheard the following conversation between two young Muslim men (shortly after our 9/11): “If we want respect and equality in the US, then we’ll have to respect plurality. We’ll have to accept gay marriage, for example, because that freedom insures our own freedom.” Christians and Muslims are living side-by-side in the US and generally getting on just fine.… Read more »

Helen
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Helen

“When you (TEC) are out of step with the rest of us…”
I’m not sure who the rest of us are, Francis. I have often had the distinct feeling of being out of step with many representatives of the hierarchy of the CoE, Rowan Williams downwards, as, I think, are many members of the CoE when it comes to LGBT rights, gay marriage etc. When I look across the Atlantic at TEC, I see a church that looks much more like the kind of church I want to belong to.

Cynthia
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Cynthia

Yes, Helen, just right.

The majority of CoE members support WB’s and marriage equality, and CoE leaders are going to tell TEC that we’re out of step?

We elect our leaders. I wonder what CoE would look like if their leadership truly and deeply respected the voice of their own people?

Francis
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Francis

Sorry – when I said ‘the rest of us’, I meant the other churches of the communion, considered as institutions. I didn’t mean that I was speaking for some mass of uniform anti-inclusive opinion among individual Anglicans around the world. I absolutely agree that a majority of lay opinion inside the C of E is pro-gay marriage, and pro-women bishops, and that the question there is how to translate that lay majority into an institutional settlement. (I am part of that majority of ‘liberal’ opinion; I am close to people who are working hard to get the church to shift… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

I’m no sure that some of the comments here capture the drama and swings of policy that TEC underwent from 2003 to 2010. I was using these pages to bemoan the vaguaries of TEC particularly following the passing of BO33. This ENS piece captures the atmosphere rather well in the run up to the subsequent meeting of General Convention that saw the passing of DO25. http://archive.episcopalchurch.org/81803_106665_ENG_HTM.htm While reiterating a hope that she be given space to develop in her new job, there must be many who share some of the concerns here and I think that it should be remembered… Read more »

Cynthia
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Cynthia

I very much appreciate your conciliatory words, Francis, because Wells words were very hurtful. I am really completely unaware of TEC forcibly exporting our sense of progressive justice on others. I am keenly aware that Rowan, as ABC, punished our church and treated our bishops in a very shabby manner. All because we were moving “in step” with human rights organizations, such as at the UN and the EU, and moral figures such as Desmond Tutu. It will be hard for gay Episcopalians and our 2.4 million friends and family to forget that the coercion was about insisting that TEC… Read more »

Cynthia
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Cynthia

I understand that “the rest of us” meant institutions in your context, and likely that of Ms. Wells as well. But institutions are made of people. Unlike CoE (and Nigeria and Uganda) TEC is highly representative, we the people made those decisions. We were tuned into the Holy Spirit as deeply and honestly as we could be. We heard the cries of injustice in our country, past and present, we responded to the enormous need. Our journey includes enormous suffering resulting from having gotten it very wrong: slavery, lynchings, total disruption of native peoples, gun violence, hate crimes against women,… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

What Cynthia said.

I find your comments on this thread and throughout TA very very encouraging, Cynthia.

Also, knowing that TEC was there, with its bold, inclusive witness, has kept me going for decades.

Cynthia
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Cynthia

Thanks Laurence. For the record, I LOVE the UK and the sense of community I have with Anglicans there, and our worship together. I appreciate how CoE is trying to hold everyone together. We tried very hard and failed. If CoE managed to do it, really do it, without diminishing WB’s, and eventually LGBT persons, it would be miraculous. And a truly great example. Although I am hopeful of that miracle, and believe that if ANYBODY can do it, it would be the British, long history indicates that justice, is justice and that doesn’t leave much room for those who… Read more »