Thinking Anglicans

suffragan Bishop of Burnley

Updated

It has been announced from 10 Downing Street this morning that the Revd Philip North is to be the next Bishop of Burnley in the diocese of Blackburn:

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Philip John North, MA, Team Rector of the Parish of Old Saint Pancras, in the Diocese of London, to the Suffragan See of Burnley, in the Diocese of Blackburn, in succession to the Right Reverend John William Goddard, BA, on his resignation on 31 August 2014.

A press release from Forwad in Faith comments:

Forward in Faith is delighted at the news that Fr Philip North is to be the next Bishop of Burnley, in succession to Bishop John Goddard.

Fr North is well known for his pastoral gifts, his zeal for mission and evangelization, and his commitment to the proclamation of the Gospel, especially amongst the poor.

We are proud to welcome a new episcopal member of Forward in Faith, and we pray for Fr North as he prepares for his move, and for the whole people of God in the Diocese of Blackburn.

Update (Friday afternoon)
Blackburn diocese is now also carrying this news: next Bishop of Burnley to be the Reverend Philip North and quoting the bishop-designate:

“Some of you might be aware that I withdrew from an appointment as Bishop of Whitby. The fact that I have been invited and have agreed to serve as a Bishop again is testimony to the very different mood across the Church of England since the understandable disappointment that followed the failure in 2012 of the legislation to enable women to be bishops.

“The Church has stated afresh its commitment to enabling all traditions to flourish within its life and structures, and I hope that my appointment will be seen as evidence of that pledge.”

And the Bishop of Blackburn, Julian Henderson, is quoted:

“I want to make it clear that I see Philip’s appointment as a clear sign the Anglican Church in Lancashire is living out these five guiding principles.

“I wanted to have an episcopal colleague who is from the traditionalist catholic constituency and Philip fulfils that role well. He comes to serve the whole Diocese. He will also have particular care for those people who cannot accept the ministry of women as Bishops and Priests in the Church — and he will have my wholehearted support in carrying out this important work.”

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Dan BD
Guest

As if three AEO bishops aren’t enough.

Clive Sweeting
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Clive Sweeting

Excellent news!

Jill Armstead
Guest
Jill Armstead

Wonderful news for the flourishing, and honoured place of traditional Catholics in the Church of England.

SB
Guest
SB

Fr North is a very capable priest and is known for his commitment to warm working relationships with women clergy despite his personal opposition to the ordination of women. Likely to be a bishop irrespective of his views. A good contrast to the churchmanship of the Diocesan as well.

Geoff
Guest

I take it that the see of Burnley is a non-territorial vicariate for “safe” parishes, like Fulham in London or Pontrefact in West Yorkshire?

Henry Dee
Guest
Henry Dee

Congratulations on the appointment. We in the diocese now have a new young bishop who with his experience of the north east (Sunderland and Hartlepool) has a knowledge of life in the north that he can bring. He has a lot of work to do and we have to pray that he receives the support of everyone in doing this.

Iain Baxter
Guest
Iain Baxter

This may be an excellent appointment – I don’t know anything about the man.

However, in general, Linda Woodhead’s recent survey shows that the bishops in the Church of England are considerably more conservative than the clergy as a whole, and even more so than the clergy who are of their age.

Perhaps this should be considered as future bishops are selected. Hopefully, the influx of women to the episcopate may help to rectify this.

The cliche of liberal bishops ruling the church, seems to be a mirage.

Father David
Guest
Father David

Thank you TA for making my day, excellent news. Well done Bishop Julian for making this first rate appointment. Let’s hope that no Churchwarden in the Blackburn diocese decides to start up a petition against this inspired appointment and that Father Philip is at last consecrated to the episcopacy.

Revd Vanessa Baron
Guest
Revd Vanessa Baron

A superb appointment. I have worked with him and can testify to his loyal support and friendship towards women priests. A great preacher and evangelist.

Steven
Guest
Steven

I am full of hope and thanks for this appointment.

Nancy Goodrich
Guest
Nancy Goodrich

As a woman incumbent in the Diocese of Blackburn I am very unsettled by the news of this appointment. Just how can someone who doesn’t see me as having a priestly ministry give episcopal oversight of my priestly ministry?

Chuchu Nwagu
Guest
Chuchu Nwagu

Very good news for the Diocese of Blackburn, the Clergy and People of the Burnley Episcopal Area, Forward in Faith, the Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda and the whole of the Church of England. Fr Philip North is a faithful and wise priest; who will be a huge asset to the life and growth of the Diocese of Blackburn. I had hoped that he would succeed +Peter Edmonton but oh well… I agree with and would like to reiterate the Bishop of London’s comment by saying I shall miss Fr Philip North and his ministry in the Diocese… Read more »

peter kettle
Guest

I want to express my support for Nancy Goodrich – a lone voice so far in these responses; however wonderful PN is, there is for me a bit of a fatal flaw where the ordination of women is concerned – this may be my problem, but, as an admittedly distant observer, I can’t feel totally enthusiastic about the appointment.

Pete Broadbent
Guest
Pete Broadbent

Good news. Blackburn Diocese needed a Trad Cath to complement the pro-women Evos. Philip is excellent. We shall miss him from London.

The Edmonton process has started – and we shall hope to have an appointment mid-2015, with a consecration date next September.

Tristan
Guest
Tristan

I’m afraid that I have to offer a dissenting voice from Nancy and Peter. Fr North’s own personal charisma aside, to not receive the ministry of (as oppose to deny the existence of) women in orders is a valid option for Anglicans, indeed it is the default position of the Church of the East and the West, including the doctrine of the Prayerbook and the Articles. Thankfully, in our church we have two integrities, and the ministry of women in the Church of England has been a resounding success. However, if we say that conservative evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics are allowed… Read more »

Andrew Malcolm
Guest
Andrew Malcolm

As a male incumbent in the Blackburn Diocese, who incidentally supports the ordination of women, I am dismayed at Nancy’s position. We live in a world where views are different and we have to work with others regardless of this. We can’t all have the privilege of working with only those with whom we agree. In the words of ++Welby: “Reconciliation is about dis-agreeing well”. Generosity and openness is what is needed and certainly to the news of Fr Philip’s appointment, more so perhaps when we hear the plaudits he receives,not least from women.

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

No one is questioning that Fr North is a Godly and exceptional priest and leader. But I also wish to express my support and concern for Nancy Goodrich and other ordained women in Blackburn Diocese. It must feel very, very difficult. No ordained man can know what this feels like. The ‘two integrities’ approach has actually only ever attended to needs and conscience of one.

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

Since the new legislation has been passed, we are now under a new dispensation, and thankfully Father Philip’s appointment is evidence, hopefully, of Christian reconciliation at work and an end to the old battles of the past. Whilst Nancy Goodrich’s point is understandable, this is where we are now, and the Church of England has recognised that one cannot ride roughshod over the conscience of individuals. The circle seems, miraculously, to have been squared, so let’s move on and leave behind the old arguments of the past and get on with the mission of the Church.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

I would like to support Nancy Goodrich’s question.

I don’t know the man. But if he is philosophically opposed to women priests, then I am curious to learn how he will handle his new position.

Sometimes new authority goes to people’s heads, and they reveal new colours in new roles.

Even if that doesn’t happen, there surely will be some cognitive dissonance–as there must be now, for other bishops who deny the validity of women priests.

Rosalind R
Guest
Rosalind R

Nancy has said she feels “unsettled”. This is a reality and others may share it. She has not said Fr Philip North should not be appointed as a bishop (and I too respect and value what I have seen of him) but the Bishops’ Declaration cannot remove the reality of how she feels. It is sad that others seem to feel they should make comments that challenge her right to express this. I believe we need to be able to recognise and express our feelings about the tensions that still remain in the settlement, to be able to live and… Read more »

Laurence Cunnington
Guest
Laurence Cunnington

I think I would like to see an answer to Nancy Goodrich’s not unreasonable question.

If the answer is that the new Bishop will behave towards her, in every respect, as though he believed her ministry as a priest to be valid – whilst at the same time believing it not to be! – then I can’t see any real problem. If, however, he cannot or will not, then what will the practical consequences of that be?

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

My first posting here did not appear – so I am offering it another way. I am genuinely grateful to Fr North for his gifts and willingness to serve in this way – not least in a church that he has deep disagreements with. I am also grateful for the continued graciousness and willingness of priests like Nancy who, as a woman, will continue to serve under episcopal leadership that does not believe her orders are valid. As an ordained man I will ever know what that feels like or what it costs. ED: your first posting went into the… Read more »

Paul Edelin
Guest
Paul Edelin

Back in 2009, Blackburn Cathedral needed persuasion, to abolish the practice of offering wafers previously blessed by a male priest, when a woman priest was presiding.

In 2014 ++Welby chose to deacon for the celebrant at the service in St. Paul’s Cathedral celebrating 20 years of women’s ministry.

Presumably the bright new suffragan bishop of Burnley will have noted the ongoing change in attitudes in those five short years and will use his gifts accordingly.

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

sorry my first post appeared after all! … I think I say it better in my second … and others are saying the same thing -better perhaps.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

To answer Geoff’s query:

Burnley is a normal suffragan see in the Blackburn diocese, in the same way that Pontefract used to be in the former Wakefield diocese. So no, it is not a non-territorial vicariate like Fulham, and neither was Pontefract.

In the new diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales, the see of Pontefract has been changed. There are now Area Bishops with definite territorial boundaries *within* the wider diocese. There is a proposal about to be discussed at a diocesan synod to rename the see as Wakefield. The area is essentially the eastern half of the old diocese.

Roger Antell
Guest
Roger Antell

Benedict, your comment sounds rather close to saying to Nancy – shut up, stop whingeing and go away. I’m sure you didn’t mean to give that impression. After many years, the CofE has not only affirmed in principle but also in practice the full integrity of women’s ordained and sacramental ministry. There is a let out clause, as it were, for those who ‘in conscience’ cannot accept this, but that does not take away at all from the full integration of women within the church’s ministry at all levels, and shortly within the legislature. I agree with David Runcorn that… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Here’s a positive view of the appointment:
http://sammymorse.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/thoughts-on-bishops-who-wont-ordain-women/

I’m pretty much in agreement with this view.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Simon, I would also agree with Sammy Morse’s view, at least on a theoretical level. But that should not mean that women priests directly affected by being placed under the care of a bishop who does not recognise their ministry as valid should not be allowed to say it. Yes, we have an agreement, but that does not mean that we can’t also point out that some people pay a price for it. And while I would not expect a woman priest to be constantly complaining that her bishop is a conservative Anglo-Catholic, it is perfectly acceptable to mention that… Read more »

Pete Broadbent
Guest
Pete Broadbent

This is the deal we brokered. The five principles of the House of Bishops https://www.churchofengland.org/media/1910506/gs%20misc%201064%20-%20hob%20guidance%20note%20for%20parishes.pdf are clear about where we stand. It is of course uncomfortable, particularly for ordained women who feel their ministry is still being called into question. But it’s what we said we’d do. And Blackburn as a Diocese has changed – what was a majority view among the bishops is now a minority view. In London, we have the same debate – perhaps more pointedly because there is a formal Area Scheme in place. But nobody can doubt our desire to make the new legislation work… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

“I wanted to have an episcopal colleague who is from the traditionalist catholic constituency and Philip fulfils that role well. He comes to serve the whole Diocese. He will also have particular care for those people who cannot accept the ministry of women as Bishops and Priests in the Church — and he will have my wholehearted support in carrying out this important work.” The mind of the church on ordaining women to the threefold orders of ministry is now settled and next week that will be a legal reality. The problem with this appointment (leaving aside the undoubted gifts… Read more »

Distant
Guest
Distant

A vital appointment to show that the Church of England is not following the road of the Australian Church in intimidating and abusing those who do not hold a “liberal” view.
The Bp of Blackburn is a courageous bishop of the Church of God and not frightened by the diversity of the Church.

Geoff
Guest

Thank you, Simon. I admit that the vagaries of English canon law are often lost on me, but is it fair to say that +Pontrefact and +Burnley are/were (informally?) designated to minister to parishes in their dioceses in a way similar to the Bishop of Fulham? This paper [ http://www.wakefield.anglican.org/images/uploads/news2012/katetayloryorkpostarticlenov2012.pdf ] seems to suggest this was so at least in Wakefield’s case. In the US, Dallas and Fort Worth used to work something like that: they too both remained geographically-defined entities, but by friendly agreement cooperated in such a way that the bishop of Dallas cared for parishes in DFW… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Guest
Simon Dawson

Can I add my voice to the support for Nancy Goodrich.

In many postings on this thread people have said that Philip North’s appointment has made them feel happy and joyful. If it is acceptable to express emotion on this website, then surely Nancy has an equal expectation that she be allowed to express how she feels unsettled.

She did not state her opposition to the appointment, but simply asked an entirely reasonable and sensible question about how her new bishop will support her, in her particular situation.

It seems to be an entirely reasonable post for the present circumstances.

Father David
Guest
Father David

Doesn’t Nancy now have an issue with her Diocesan bishop as well in his heart felt expression of “wholehearted support” for the next Bishop of Burnley and seems to be both “happy and joyful” to have made such an inspired appointment? How did Nancy get on with the last Diocesan Bishop of Blackburn? Knowing Bishop Nicholas, I am sure that he would offer wonderful pastoral care to all minsters of religion within his former diocese, I am also sure that Bishop Philip will be similarly pastoral to all in his care and cure. Well done Bishop Julian for shewing us… Read more »

Malcolm Dixon
Guest
Malcolm Dixon

Thank you Anthony Archer, for getting to the nub of this issue, and the unavoidable tension at the heart of the recent ‘settlement’. I entirely agree with you (and have said it before in these pages) that +Chichester should be the last non-ordaining diocesan appointed, and that the PEVs (enhanced if absolutely necessary) should form the main provision for traditionalist catholics. It would be cleaner if all such provision was made through the PEVs, but I don’t have a major issue with non-ordaining suffragans, provided that they do not hold devolved responsibility for defined areas of their diocese. It is,… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

Malcolm, how does your suggestion that +Chichester be the last non-ordaining diocesan connect with the new spirit of mutual flourishing? If Traditionalists are truly allowed to continue to flourish then there must surely be Traditionalist Diocesan bishops appointed in future. Not to allow and consecrate such would be an invidious form of discrimination. I am sure that Bishop Philip North would, in the fullness of time, make an excellent Diocesan bishop. What a waste of talent it would be to allow one so young and so talented to languish forever as a Suffragan. Again, full marks to Bishop Julian for… Read more »

Charles Read
Guest
Charles Read

I have posted thus at the original article: “It depends on the nature of Philip’s disagreement with the ordination of women. The five principles on which the legislation was built are explicit that the Church of England does ordain women and so such women really are ordained. You cannot, it seems to me, be a bishop if you think they are not. You can , however, think we should not have done this or not at this point. I am not sure I know what Philip”s reasons for not accepting the ordination of women are. If they are the former,… Read more »

Commentator
Guest
Commentator

May I suggest that the Church of England allows priests whose bishop(s) do not recognise the validity of the Orders of women the same privileges as it does to priests who cannot accept a bishop who does recognise the validity of the Orders of women? They should be allowed an alternative episcopal oversight, a bishop who shares their theological integrity.

Mark Mesley
Guest
Mark Mesley

I think that +Chichester probably will be the last traditionalist to be appointed as a Diocesan bishop; once we have women in the episcopate it will be very difficult, but not impossible, to promote a suffragan bishop like Fr Philip North to a vacant Diocesan See. However, I think that we will continue to see a few traditional Anglo-Catholics being appointed to Suffragan Sees, it is possible that the new suffragan Bishop of Plymouth (Exeter Diocese)will be a Anglo-Catholic who will not ordain women to the priesthood. Such an appointment would be most welcome to those of us in Cornwall… Read more »

Malcolm Dixon
Guest
Malcolm Dixon

We have had this debate before, Father David, more than once in earlier threads. In this case, however, the suggestion that no further non-ordaining bishops be appointed as diocesans came from Anthony Archer, and I was only agreeing with him. Anthony went further by suggesting that non-ordainers should not be appointed as suffragans either, so perhaps Anthony should answer your question? My own answer is that it clearly would not contribute to the flourishing of traditionalists, any more than requiring women priests to swear obedience to a bishop who does not believe their orders to be valid contributes to their… Read more »

Laurie Roberts
Guest
Laurie Roberts

We can’t all have the privilege of working with only those with whom we agree.’

BUT Forward in Faith and other anti-OW people DO expect to have this very privilege.

Women priests should not have to serve under bishops who do not believe in them.

To expect women to submit to such bishops is inhumane.

All this talk suddenly of ‘two integrities’ ?

Please it does not stand up to (much) scrutiny on the ground, any more than vis-a-vis lgbt folk.

Does it ?

Father David
Guest
Father David

Thank you Malcolm for your most recent considered contribution. As you suggest, I look forward to Anthony’s response seeking to justify why Traditionalists should be discriminated against in our mutual flourishing by being prevented and barred from becoming Diocesan bishops.
I would be astonished if the bishops of Blackburn and Burnley were not to receive the Blessed Sacrament from one another, even though they differ significantly in their understanding on the ordination of women to the priesthood and the consecration of women to the episcopacy.

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

Father David This discussion is not about men managing to agree or break bread together. No one is questioning their orders. But what does the blessed sacrament mean and express in this context? And might breaking bread be actually a dishonouring act of exclusion within the whole body of Christ? Once again this debate continues as if women do not exist or matter. As Laurie points out only one integrity has received energy and attention in all this time. We men continue to be very good at looking out for each other.

Chuchu Nwagu
Guest
Chuchu Nwagu

Mark Mesley: Please feel free to write to Bishop Robert with your views about +John Ford’s successor. We need more individuals like yourself to stand up and testify about how the working relationship between a Bishop who doesn’t ordain women and those in support of women’s ministry including female clergy has worked in their own Diocese/Area. We tend to forget the pastoral qualities individuals bring to the role of a Bishop and bog ourselves down about the theological convictions of the individuals… Theological Conviction is only one segment of an individual and doesn’t make up their whole being. I am… Read more »

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

Let’s be really clear: the official position of the Church of England is that Diocesan Bishoprics are open to both those who are in favour of the ordination of women and those who are opposed. That is not going to change. Its part of the church’s commitment to mutual flourishing. Personally I look forward to the appointment to Diocesan roles, over time, of traditionalists (Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals) who will add breadth and balance to the House of Bishops.

Father David
Guest
Father David

Good to have that reassurance Erasmus but time will tell whether or not this assertion bears fruit and Traditionalists continue to be appointed as Diocesan bishops, here’s hoping it may be so.

Malcolm Dixon
Guest
Malcolm Dixon

Thank you, Erasmus, for your very clear exposition of ‘the official position of the Church of England’. But pray, do tell us, where is this position so clearly stated? If you are indeed as learned as your nom-de-plume implies, then you may well be right, but I, doubting Thomas as I am, would still like to know the source. Anthony Archer, who does post under his own name, and who does have experience of the senior appointments process, clearly takes a different view, and I still agree with him. And, if I may turn around Fr. David’s earlier question to… Read more »

Jonno
Guest
Jonno

Wow! Despite having won the war it seems that some women priests still cannot cope with the fact that a minority of Anglicans (ordained and lay) cannot accept their orders. This makes me very depressed for the future of any “mutual flourishing”.

Jean Mayland (Revd)
Guest
Jean Mayland (Revd)

I fully support Nancy and all women who feel like her. No amount of ‘sweet talk’ will alter the fact that women are still not fully accepted in the Church of England’s Mnistry

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

“As you suggest, I look forward to Anthony’s response seeking to justify why Traditionalists should be discriminated against in our mutual flourishing by being prevented and barred from becoming Diocesan bishops.” It is now the settled mind of the Church of England that the threefold order of ministry should be open to men and women on an equal basis. There is no theological objection to the new development. It will therefore not be open to anyone to question the episcopal status of any bishop on ground of gender. There must be mandatory recognition. That being the case, a traditionalist candidate… Read more »