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The Bishop of Stepney’s sermon at the consecration of Rachel Treweek and Sarah Mullally

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Alastair NewmanFather DavidNeilFr WilliamFather Ron Smith Recent comment authors
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Neil
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Neil

‘He was saying out loud and publicly what so many of us have been saying for a very long time and we thank him for it BUT, reflecting on it later, I did wonder why there is the expectation that it should now be the women bishops who “will disturb us…challenge the conventions of the CofE which continues to be led by people like me…white male, middle-aged professionals”. Isn’t this something the all-male bishops should have been doing for themselves (and us) years ago. Why wait for women to mop up the mess?’ Comments of Sally Barnes on a previous… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

Justin: The challenge, he believes, “is to acknowledge diversity and continue – as Christ instructed – to love one another”.

The challenge, I believe, “is to celebrate and affirm and include diversity”.

At every level of the Church, and in the communities we serve – as Christ instructed – to love one another.

Chris Griffiths
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Chris Griffiths

A good sermon by the Bishop of Stepney, worth reading by all bishops, clergy and laity. It might be worth thinking, however, about the drawbacks of the ‘jester’ model of ministry. The jester, historically, didn’t actually subvert power structures to the extent of changing them. Rather than encouraging one or two to be licensed outsiders who are permitted ‘at court’ to be challenging within certain boundaries, the Church should seek to become a place where all can flourish as themselves.

Father David
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Father David

A good follow on read from the Bishop of Stepney’s excellent sermon would be “The Feast of Fools” by Harvey Cox which is subtitled “A Theological Essay on Festivity and Fantasy”. The chapter on “Christ the Harlequin” may be particularly helpful, relevant and pertinent.

Sally Barnes
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Sally Barnes

On the contrary Justin. The appointment of Chaplain to the Speaker was a brilliant one chosen for her gifts and ability that did much to enhance his respect not diminish it. it was the behaviour of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster on her appointment that caused considerable anger. MPs and others who work in the House consistently speak highly(and in their debates that are recorded in Hansard) and with much affection for her ministry and wisdom. .

Jean Mayland (Revd)
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Jean Mayland (Revd)

I entirely agree with Sally.Rose is a super Chaplain and would make a splendid bishop of whom I am sure the Bishop of Stepney would well approve.She was very badly treated by the Dean of Westminster Abbey.

Father David
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Father David

Correct me if I am wrong but I wish to leap to the defence of the admirable Dean of Westminster. If my memory is correct Canon Andrew Tremlett was appointed as a Canon of Westminster and incumbent of St. Margaret’s. These two posts are usually combined with that of Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons. My understanding is that Speaker Bercow desired to appoint his own Chaplain and chose Rose Hudson-Wilkin. I am pleased to read on the Abbey website that “Canon Tremlett works closely with the Rev’d Rose Hudson-Wilkin”.

Neil
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Neil

The point I wished to raise was about there still being a number of first class high calibre white middle-aged males around, and that people need to be careful when excited about the new not to rubbish the old. 1. The Bishop of Stepney has been consistent in that he has appointed a very young black Archdeacon of Hackney. We shall never know who was passed over of course, in the same way we shall never know how well the first class and excellent Andrew Tremlett would have fared in Rose’s job. If the Bishop of Stepney thinks as little… Read more »

Susannah Clark
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Neil, I really don’t think the Bishop of Stepney should be criticised for appointing a young black archdeacon of Hackney. Firstly, as we all know, Hackney has a large black community, so it is really as unsurprising to appoint a black archdeacon to Hackney as it would be to appoint a Nigerian to be bishop of Lagos. Secondly, it is factually true that there is not enough ethnic diversity in promoted posts in the Church of England. Thirdly, given the decline in young people going to Church, I see nothing wrong with ‘skipping a generation’ and actually getting younger people… Read more »

Neil
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Neil

Susannah – I agree with a lot of what you say, and indeed wrote that we all know what +Adrian means. I’m not criticising the appointment of a young woman as Archdeacon either for reasons you eloquently put. I’m sure from your comments that you too understand the point(s) I am making. On a wider front there are similar issues that faced post-apartheid South Africa. Many first class/talented white people left for Europe, and I know that those who did not will never become heads of department in academic or many other fields in spite of being well beyond those… Read more »

ian
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ian

I really don’t think the Bishop of Stepney should be criticised for appointing a young black archdeacon of Hackney.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the appointment of the Archdeacon of Hackney be in the gift of the Bishop of London as Diocesan?

Jean Mayland (Revd)
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Jean Mayland (Revd)

I think that Rose could reasonably have expected to be Vicar of St Margaret’s and Canon of Westminster Abbey as have all chaplains been before her.I believe there was deep hurt but she never made an open fuss

Father David
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Father David

Nay, surely the convention has been that all Canons of Westminster who have also been Incumbents of St. Margaret’s have by long tradition been Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, rather than the other way round? I suppose it all boils down to who is responsible for choosing members of the Chapter of Westminster Abbey? I presume that the Dean has more sway in that direction than Speaker Bercow but surely the Abbey, being a a Royal Peculiar, Her Majesty the Queen is probably ultimately responsible. However, I am sure that our Gracious Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Excellent sermon by +Stepney. Perhaps the single most important comment was contained herein: “It’s hard to escape the fact that Jesus chose the outsiders of his world to share his life with, those whose very existence was disturbing and disruptive to the accepted norms of belief and behaviour. He lived and preached a gospel of radical inclusion, and it upset the apple-cart of conventional religion.” So, when will the Anglican hierarchy get serious about embracing the ‘outsiders’ among the LGBT community.’Conversations are important, but only insomuch as they lead to positive action along these lines. A good start is being… Read more »

Fr William
Guest

The churches to which I am privileged to minister contain all sorts of outsiders, of whom I am pleased to be one. People say “I’m not coming to church:l it’s full of oddballs.” I say “yes, isn’t it wonderful that we fell at home somewhere.” I feel a bit sorry for bishops (only a bit sorry, they could say no) who find themselves locked into an exclusive and secretive club (only a bit sorry, they could nake a noise about this) and who, if their experience is anything like mine, know that many chuches are full of outsiders. This is… Read more »

Alastair Newman
Guest

Anyone reading this would think that the posts of Rector of St Margaret’s and Chaplain to the Speaker have been linked since time immemorial. To wit Fr David: “These two posts are usually combined with that of Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons.”; “surely the convention has been that all Canons of Westminster who have also been Incumbents of St. Margaret’s have by long tradition been Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons” and Neil: “I’m surprised the process was not challenged at the time.” But a little investigation reveals this simply not to be… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Alastair – I’m surprised it is allowed in employment law for the Speaker to exclude WMMAProfessionals from the job and to say so. That is what I meant by the process.

Father David
Guest
Father David

Alastair, a little research into Chaplains to the Speaker of the House of Commons in the 20th century alone will reveal that this post has been combined with being a member of the Westminster Abbey Chapter and the living of St. Margaret’s for a lot longer than “A mere 38 years”. All these Speaker’s Chaplains of the last century were also Canons of Westminster Alan Don Michael Stancliffe David Edwards John Baker Trevor Beeson Robert Wright Alan Don was Speaker’s Chaplain from 1936 to 1946. In 1941 he also became a Canon of Westminster and parish priest of St. Margaret’s.… Read more »

Alastair Newman
Guest

Fr David, Edwards, Baker, Beeson, [Gray], and Wright all fall within my “mere 38 years” so their mention does nothing to change my assertion. It is only for that “mere 38 years” that the posts seem to have been contiguous. As to Don and Stancliffe, Don was Chaplain to the Speaker from 1936 (to 1946) and then subsequently became a canon of Westminster and Rector of St Margaret’s (in 1941). Don’s elevation to Dean of Westminster meant he ceased to be Speaker’s Chaplain, the role appearing to lie unoccupied until Stancliffe. I have no idea if he continued to be… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

In which case, Alistair, why was there such a hue and cry about Rose Hudson-Wilkin not being appointed a Residentiary Canon of Westminster Abbey and incumbent of St. Margaret’s?

Alastair Newman
Guest

Touche. I have absolutely no idea.