Thinking Anglicans

Bishop of London to retire

The diocese of London has announced that Dr Richard Chartres is to retire as Bishop of London on Tuesday 28 February 2017. The Bishop writes:

After consultation with the Archbishop I am writing to let you know about the timetable for my retirement. It is business as usual until Christmas, after which I shall hope to clear my desk of more than twenty years’ worth of accumulated debris. The intention is that my last public engagement as Bishop of London will be in the Cathedral at Candlemas, February 2nd 2017, the day when Simeon was granted a vision of Christ in the Temple and prayed “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.” My formal resignation will be dated from the end of the month on Shrove Tuesday.

Her Majesty the Queen has graciously indicated that I should remain as Dean of HM Chapels Royal until the appointment of the 133rd Bishop of London.

Read the press release here.

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Susannah Clark
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I know it’s naughty, and I wish the Bishop well, but I always think of him (in his stage presence and proclamation) as the Brian Blessed of the Church of England.

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

Who next? Any guesses? Looking around the field isn’t large.A surprise I wonder?

cseitz
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cseitz

The appointment is extremely important and will be a bell-weather for the direction of the Church of England.

Father David
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Father David

The best Archbishop of Canterbury we never had!

Graham Williams
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Graham Williams

I am sure Anthony Archer will correct all of us about our guesses considering he is the CNC but I’d suspect as a member of the Diocese of London and hearing the rumours going round that it will be +Adrian Stepney; +Philip Burnley, +Mark Horsham or +Stephen Chelmsford.

Its unlikely that it would be a woman this time round and I suspect that they’ll try to keep +London as a Catholic Bishop; whether that’s Liberal or Traditionalist remains to be seen

DBD
Guest

Any acting bishop/commissary news?

Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

Well, that scotches the rumour that he might have stayed until his 71st birthday, July 2018! Shame really because he is still in full flight and the CofE has enough on its plate without needing to nominate the third highest ranking bishop in the land. History will be kind to him. His episcopal ministry has been forceful and clear. Wish that other diocesans could take a leaf out of his book. However, his inability to ordain women as priests will be keenly noted when it comes to preparing the statement of needs for the diocese. Historically, the see has been… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

Personally I’d like to see someone already ministering in London to be appointed as the new Bishop. Stepney would be outstanding.

DBD
Guest

Interesting to note that Treweek will have completed two years in Gloucester by the time the next London would take their post.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Graham, that is a list of white men, probably all married and all straight. There was a huge fuss this year about a lack of diversity at the Oscars and if the church thinks it is immune from such criticism it is living in the past.

James Allport
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James Allport

Above all I’ll miss the finest speaking voice in the College of Bishops! In all the furore about the Green Report and whether we have a theology of episcopacy or just a model of management, the Bishop of London has been a shining light. He has collaborated really successfully with experts in finance and education to lead a really complicated diocese without ever ceasing to be, first and foremost, a Bishop and pastor. When I fell apart as an ordinand on his watch he was outstanding. The game of guess-the-successor is all the more fascinating for being unobvious. There’s a… Read more »

James Byron
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James Byron

“Brian Blessed of the Church of England” nails it, Susannah!

Chartres has character and integrity, mixed in with a healthy dose of pragmatism. Gruff, doubtless, and disagree with him about much, but one of the best of the HoB.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

It has been said that +Chichester has his eye on the post. I have no idea whether or not that is true.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I’m all for an Anglo-Catholic Liberal. Where will the Church of England find such an exotic prelate?

Kate
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Kate

James, I agree that he has served the Church well and will be hard to replace.

Michael burley
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Michael burley

+nick baines. A shoe in

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

Let’s be imaginative…how about Sam Wells?

Jo
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Jo

@Father Ron Smith

I hear the Dean of St. Albans is still available. Alternatively, if the CofE can look to Wales for an ABC, we’ve got a few liberal Anglo-Catholic Bishops in the SEC…

I suspect, as ever, that the issue is that an Anglo-Catholic liberal who is prepared to hold the line against justice for LGBT people is going to be pretty rare.

Jamie Wood
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Jamie Wood

Anthony, being a bishop is like preaching a sermon. Stop while everyone is still wanting you to continue.

Malcolm Dixon
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Malcolm Dixon

I agree with cseitz that this is an extremely important appointment, which will show how well the ‘settlement’ over women bishops has taken root (or withered, a propos today’s gospel reading!). Anthony, I recall you saying, in earlier threads where this subject has arisen, that you thought it most unlikely that any further non-ordaining diocesan would be appointed, and that provision for dissenters would ultimately only be via the PEVs. I agree with that view, but your post earlier in this thread appeared to allow for that possibility, via the translation of +Chichester. Has something happened to change your view,… Read more »

Graham Williams
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Graham Williams

Malcolm: It will have to be a Diocesan Translation rather than a suffragan translation. +London is a huge job and it will need an individual; who is already a Diocesan to fulfil the role. +Chartres was an exception as he was well placed and was Archbishop Chaplain; but we must remember that London has become a much bigger role since +Richard Londin took over; and the next London will require a certain type of experience. +Adrian Newman is a fantastic candidate but I think it won’t be repetitive of Stepney going to London – +Adrian will get a Diocesan post… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

Graham, your comments are insightful, and you could very well be right. I would, however, like to put an alternative view: that the key requirement and qualification for this hugely responsible position is – the kind of person you are… your qualities… your prayer life… your skills with people from all walks of life. You said yourself, that Adrian Newman is a fantastic candidate. He really is. His communication skills are absolutely outstanding. Combined with that, he has a personal humility (not a fake one) and ability to listen to the person he encounters, to serve the person he encounters.… Read more »

RPNewark
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RPNewark

Well, Graham Williams, given all those requirements and adding the desirability in such a premier appointment of the new bishop holding the post for (say) 5 – 10 years, and noting the unavailability of the archangels Gabriel, Michael and Raphael, that leaves a very, very short list of potential candidates, doesn’t it?

Nick Nawrockyi
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Nick Nawrockyi

Graham, I think our current Bishop of Lincoln, Christopher Lowson, ticks a lot of those boxes…

Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

“Anthony, I recall you saying, in earlier threads where this subject has arisen, that you thought it most unlikely that any further non-ordaining diocesan would be appointed” I was merely pointing out that if the next Bishop of London is a translation of a currently serving diocesan there is only one candidate who is a non-ordainer. I was not supporting the suggestion of another non-ordainer, which I think would be a disaster for the diocese. I don’t normally comment on particular names, but the Rector of St James’s Piccadilly has time on her side and of course it would be… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

“the key requirement and qualification for this hugely responsible position is – the kind of person you are… your qualities… your prayer life… your skills with people from all walks of life.”

Yes. Which is why consideration should not be limited to existing bishops. There are good candidates outside the House of Bishops as well – Martyn Percy comes to mind but I am sure there are many others.

Christopher
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Christopher

Personally, I would love to see +Christopher Chessum cross the river, but I guess he’s much too liberal.

Graham Williams
Guest
Graham Williams

+Christopher Chessun will definitely move in the next year or two but it won’t be London. The role of the Bishop of London is a huge role and needs someone’s with a certain pazazz and pedigree. It has nothing to do with +Chessun being Liberal as +Chartres could also be described as Liberal but unifying

There are at least 5 credible candidates that fit the bill and it will be for CNC to identify them.

Kate
Guest
Kate

“There are at least 5 credible candidates that fit the bill and it will be for CNC to identify them”

Yes but if the outcome doesn’t visibly deliver diversity then it will also be for CNC to justify that the selection criteria do not themselves discriminate against women, LGBT people and disabled people.

Christopher
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Christopher

While I admire much of what +Richard has done, I think we could do with a little less pzaz and a bit more obvious loving spirituality. +Southwark has this in spades and a total commitment to the poor and to other social issues.

Graham Williams
Guest
Graham Williams

“While I admire much of what +Richard has done, I think we could do with a little less pzaz and a bit more obvious loving spirituality.”

+Richard had a high depth and level of visible/invisible spirituality and this was shown in his personality, his charisma and many more.

I have nothing against +Chessun but he’s not right for the Diocese of London and I think it would be unfair to place him in London. The next Bishop of London takes on such a huge role, a huge team and huge Diocese

Malcolm Dixon
Guest
Malcolm Dixon

Thanks, Anthony for your clarification. I agree with you.

Father David
Guest
Father David

A quotation from this morning’s Times concerning the style of Bishop Chartres:-
“The last of the idiosyncratic prince bishops familiar from Trollope, rather than the bland bureaucrats they go for these days”
Surely we need more like + Richard on the Bench to add gravitas, colour, sparkle, fizz and pizzazz to counterbalance the current bunch of “bland bureaucrats”?

Philip Hobday
Guest
Philip Hobday

One factor which should be considered is the balance of church background / style among the bishops. Allowing that labels are always inadequate, of the five most senior diocesan bishoprics, four (Canterbury, York, Winchester, and Durham) are held by those from broadly evangelical backgrounds. This suggests that those appointing the next Bishop of London should bear in mind the desirability of him / her representing a different tradition – liberal, modern catholic, etc. Ability to reach out across church tradition is also vital in a diocese as diverse and complex as London, as is ability to connect with senior figures… Read more »

Malcome King
Guest
Malcome King

What about the boy bishop of Dudley, Graham Usher? Open Evangelical, a bit conservative with Chameleon pretentions…just the ticket?

Malcome King
Guest
Malcome King

…or even John Inge?

Mike Sermon
Guest
Mike Sermon

‘Chameleon pretentions’ It says it all does it not? This is the trouble with the liberal/open evangelical bishops of these modern times, you can’t pin them down to anything (usually because there isn’t much there to pin down except generic quotes by other more interesting people…have you read his Places of Enchantment book for example?) The trouble is, i have found, is that you don’t know where you or anyone else stands! In my experience these are dangerous people and lust after power rather than the holy spirit. That said, John Inge is a different kind of Bishop and I… Read more »

David Runcorn
Guest

‘Whoever desires the office of a ‘bishop’ desires an honourable thing’ 1Tim 3.1. The passage then goes on at length to itemise the costliest standards of life and faith that go with the job. Perhaps that is why the opening verse starts with such a positive encouragement to those seeking or engaged in this vocation? There is no mention of call. It is about a willingly chosen consecration. Why make this statement? Perhaps because then, as now, it was a thoroughly thankless job and its occupants were variously dismissed as hungry for power, featureless bureaucrats, empty of actual principles or… Read more »

Anna Ford
Guest
Anna Ford

and we wonder why the average cofe parish church is empty and dry and, nationally, irrelevant!

Confused Sussex
Guest
Confused Sussex

London can have +Chichester – then we can have a modern Bishop who will inspire the diocese rather than maintain the 19th Century view of lay people needing to keep to their place