Thinking Anglicans

Archbishops' Council

Elections to the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England have now been completed. Here is the full list of elected and appointed members.

Members of the Archbishops’ Council

Joint Presidents
The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
The Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York

Prolocutor of the Lower House of the Convocation of Canterbury
The Revd Canon Simon Butler

Prolocutor of the Lower House of the Convocation of York
The Venerable Cherry Vann

Chair of the House of Laity
Canon Dr Jamie Harrison

Vice-Chair of the House of Laity
Canon Elizabeth Paver

Elected by the House of Bishops
The Rt Revd Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield
The Rt Revd Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely

Elected by the House of Clergy
The Revd Dr Ian Paul
The Revd Sarah Schofield

Elected by the House of Laity
Mrs Lorna Ashworth
Canon Mark Russell

Church Estates Commissioner
Sir Andreas Whittam Smith, First Church Estates Commissioner

Appointed by the Archbishops
Mr John Spence
Mrs Mary Chapman: former CEO, Chartered Institute of Management
Mr Philip Fletcher
The Revd Dr Rosalyn Murphy: Vicar, St Thomas’s, Blackpool
Mrs Rebecca Salter: Medical Researcher
Mr Matthew Frost, former CEO Tearfund

Detailed results of the elections can be downloaded from here.

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Susannah Clark
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I’m struggling to understand how 3 of the 4 ‘Laity’ representatives are canons.

Neil
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Neil

Susannah – Lay Canons. Cathedrals have these.

Richard
Guest
Richard

Lay canons. The head of the Church Army (Canon Mark Russell) is non-ordained. (Maybe ordained in the Methodist church, but not deacon or priest in the Anglican church.)

Nigel LLoyd
Guest
Nigel LLoyd

Because most cathedrals now appoint lay canons and, although in the real world it would seem unusual to call them ‘canon’, in General Synod canons are given the title canon, even if they are not ordained.

Adrian Judd
Guest
Adrian Judd

Lay canons I presume… though deaconesses ordained overseas may just about still be theoretically possible, if highly unlikely.
(Could look them up in Crockfords of course)

Peter Mullins
Guest
Peter Mullins

For the last fifteen years or so it has been possible for the new constitution of any individual English Cathedral to make provision for the appointment of a small number of lay Canons. Because most Bishops are blind to the deep ambiguity of using these to recognise particular dedicated service to diocesan and national committees (very visible to them) rather than particular sacrificial service to local communities and parishes (less consistently visible to them) it is not a surprise that several of those active enough to be realistic candidates for election to the Archbishops’ Council are among the genuinely valued… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

There’s laity and then there’s lay laity! The thrust of Susannah’s comment, with which I have some sympathy, appears to be that the AC might be better served by lay laity!

RPNewark
Guest
RPNewark

Susannah, an honorary canonry may be awarded to anyone who has given long/meritorious/distinguished service to the church (often/usually at diocesan level). The recipient need not be a member of the CofE or even an Anglican. There are a good many representatives of other denominations. They are usually referred to as “Ecumenical Canons”.

Because honorary (as opposed to Residentiary) canons may be lay or ordained it emphasises the need for correct usage in “official” documentation e.g. “The Revd. Canon John Smith”, “Canon Mrs. Jane Smith”, “Canon Prof. Joe Bloggs” etc.

What a lovely country of titles and humbug we live in!

Susannah Clark
Guest

Thank you all for enlightening me!

x
Susannah

Barry
Guest
Barry

isn’t it time for the Church of England to abandon all these honorific titles for clergy and laity? The title Canon could then be properly restricted to a residentiary member of a Cathedral Chapter, to be relinquished with the post.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Leaving titles aside, Ms. Lorna Ashworth, friend of ACNA and opponent of women bishops, has been elected.

“Like a mighty tortoise . . . .”

Laurence Cunnington
Guest
Laurence Cunnington

A mixed bag – though I believe both Prolocutors have inclusive views re LGBT, so that’s encouraging.

NJW
Guest
NJW

It may be worth recognising that the lay Canons elected have been elected by the laity, with none being appointees of the Archbishops. Each English cathedral has three categories to canons those residentiary canons who maintain the daily life of the cathedral and are joined by a small number of other canons (including Lay Canons) to make up the Chapter which is the prime management body of the cathedral. This group (of normally about 8) is then joined by a wider pool of ordained, lay and ecumenical canons who form the College of Canons whose role is both to the… Read more »

Paul Bagshaw
Guest
Paul Bagshaw

On a different topic:

The report of the Dioceses Commission reads as though there will be / is a rapid expansion of the number of bishops.

Has anyone recently looked at the ratios between senior and other clergy, and between both and the number of lay members? This was once a stock question in any examination of the state of the CofE.

I guess one immediate consequence of attempts to revitalise the church is to appoint more managers (as a broad description). Is this a good thing? And do you think they will be evaluated by results?

Tim
Guest
Tim

Rather ungallant …

Peter K+
Guest
Peter K+

Looks a pretty balanced grouping – some definite conservatives, some definite liberals, and some probably in-between.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“Elected by the House of Clergy:
The Revd Dr Ian Paul”

Does this proclaim a preponderance of conservative Evangelical clergy in the Church of England?

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

Father Ron, while he’s not a fan of the term, as a passionate supporter of women’s ministry and nuanced biblical interpretation, Ian Paul’s firmly in what’s usually known as the open evangelical camp. In Anglican terms, you couldn’t get more mainstream.

RPNewark
Guest
RPNewark

Jeremy at 1046 on Tuesday: “Leaving titles aside, Ms. Lorna Ashworth, friend of ACNA and opponent of women bishops, has been elected….”

Examination of the detailed result sheet will show that Jayne Ozanne, of whom we have heard not a little in recent days in connection with Primates 2016 and its aftermath, was only just edged out into third place.

Froghole
Guest
Froghole

As far as I recall, lay canons were a creature of the Howe Report into the management of cathedrals, which led to Section 4 (2) (b) of the Cathedrals Measure 1999 under which the dean and residentiaries are supplemented by an additional cadre of between two and seven members, two thirds of whom must be lay. The object was, presumably, to add an element of professional expertise in financial or management questions, and to forestall a repetition of the acrimony that occurred at Lincoln between Dr Brandon Jackson and Canon Rex Davies. So, I believe that they are a relatively… Read more »

Peter K+
Guest
Peter K+

Father Ron, the method of voting, STV, works towards getting a spread of candidates. It works rather like The different rounds of X-factor – each round the candidates with fewest votes gets eliminated, their votes getting transferred to the next preference candidate, until the winning candidate(s) are all over the ‘line’.

if there are multiple places the voting tends to crystallise into ‘blocs’, but that’s something of a generalisation- some people are popular across the board, or clearly the outstanding candidate for a post, regardless of churchmanship.

Mr David
Guest
Mr David

Paul Bagshaw – where are you seeing about a rapid expansion in the number of bishops please? Bradford until 2014 had its own diocese. This has now been dissolved. Strangely, there is still a bishop of Bradford, but he is now only an Area Bishop and Bradford has become just an “Episcopal Area”. Five of these “Episcopal Areas” form the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales under the Diocesan Bishop of Leeds. So there are three layers of management, Area Bishop, Diocesan Bishop and Archbishop, all within the county of Yorkshire. As if this were not enough, the Diocese… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

So laity serving on the Archbishops’ Council have to be clericalised first. So typical !

Symptomatic of another great weakness in the Church.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

I am appalled at the election of some people who are more than conservative, positively anti-progressive, and in some cases so anti-gay as to make me feel very insecure.

Why are the voters doing this ? Are there a majority of such people, in the corridors of influence in the Church’s bureaucracy ?

It makes me want to have less and less to do with this Church. I have to remind myself they are not typical of many grass-roots anglicans !

Such as my local friary – ‘a place where prayer is valid.’

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Let’s be clear about how few votes it takes to get elected to the Archbishops’ Council. Taking the Clergy for example, there were only 142 votes cast, and it took only 45 votes for the second place candidate to get elected.

https://www.churchofengland.org/media/2444021/ac_clergy.pdf

Peter K+
Guest
Peter K+

Simon, yes and no. The electorate isn’t huge, certainly, but you’re speaking as though the voters (ie General Synod members) have no electoral backing themselves. There are 2 clergy and 2 laity places on the AC, so to get elected you basically need over a third of the vote to get over the line (discounting the small number of ‘non-forwarded’ votes when people get eliminated.) “45 votes” may sound small, but “1/3rd of the clergy General synod members” sounds a lot more demanding – and it is. Also, each of the GS voters need a decent proportion of their diocesan… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

But there are far more than 142 members of the house of clergy, in fact it is around 196 IIRC. So it’s not in fact 1/3 of the house that got these candidates elected.

Chris Routledge
Guest
Chris Routledge

“But there are far more than 142 members of the house of clergy, in fact it is around 196 IIRC. So it’s not in fact 1/3 of the house that got these candidates elected.”

Which raises the question: “Why did over a quarter of the clergy on Genera Synod fail to cast a vote in this election?”

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“Which raises the question: “Why did over a quarter of the clergy on Genera Synod fail to cast a vote in this election?”

It goes further than that, because Deanery Synod voting rates for General Synod were abysmal to, so strictly speaking, we have no idea how representative General Synod is either.

The big question is why there is this general inertia.

Peter S
Guest
Peter S

The concept of “Lay Canons” in the Anglican Communion was a colonial invention of the Diocese of Melbourne in 1869 when its synod passed a Cathedral Act, that included both laity and clergy as members of the Cathedral Chapter. This reflected the principle of lay involvement in church governance adopted when the synod was itself created in 1856. (Sydney pipped Melbourne to the post in 1868 by including lay members of its Chapter, but didn’t term them as “Lay Canons” till much later.) As in synodical governance, the Church of England caught up a hundred years later.

Tobias Haller
Guest

Being elected by something less than a third of the actual members of an assembly seems very odd to me. But then, I am an American, and election normally requires a majority. All of our major elected offices in the church require greater than 50% of the vote. When more than one seat is to be filled each elector has that number of votes to cast, but each individual “winner” has to receive a clear majority. The English system seems to be both complex and distorted, and not well geared to reveal the actual wishes of the majority of members.

Peter K+
Guest
Peter K+

Tobias, the election was for 2 places on the Archbishop’s Council, but everyone gets one (transferable) vote. The maths of it is that if you get over a third of the votes you get elected, since only one other person can get more than you – you’ll automatically be in the top two. That is a good question about why only about 75% voted. I certainly did. Maybe online voting could help. But I think the bigger point is that Ian Paul (whose voting figures Simon highlighted) is a respected figure who represents and articulates a substantial body of opinion… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

Thanks, Peter K+. That jibes with what I was able to make of the tables of the election results. It still seems odd to me, in that it means, in this case, that neither of those elected actually was elected by a majority even of those voting (to say nothing of those who for whatever reason abstained. BTW, that is not permitted in our General Convention — all Deputies must vote on every question and election.). It seems to enshrine a kind of constituency representation as opposed to a majority representation, which may leave minority groups totally on the margin.… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

Tobias: the Single Transferable Vote system is precisely designed to ensure that minority groups are represented. Otherwise a majority will likely win every vote, and a minority will be unrepresented. With STV if one place is to be filled you need more than half of the vote; if two places, more than a third; if three places, more than a quarter; and so on. (The “quota” is (number of votes plus 1) divided by (number of places plus 1).) And the voters specify the order in which their votes are transferred from one candidate to another. Transfer happens when a… Read more »

Peter K+
Guest
Peter K+

Simon, great analysis. I’m glad I’m not the only one fascinated by voting systems!

Tobias Haller
Guest

Thanks, Simon. That was what I meant, though I realize on rereading my earlier comment that the referent might be unclear. The English system does seem to ensure that minorities do get a chance at a seat. This is the first time I’ve read about the system, I see its strong point in giving seats to the [possibly] underrepresented. Thanks for the detailed explanation about the “transfers” as I wasn’t clear at all how that worked.