Thinking Anglicans

Bishop Tim Thornton announced as new Bishop at Lambeth

Press release from the Archbishop of Canterbury

Bishop Tim Thornton announced as new Bishop at Lambeth

Tuesday 4th April 2017

Bishop Tim will take up the post in September, replacing Bishop Nigel Stock, who is retiring.

Lambeth Palace is pleased to announce the appointment of Rt Revd Tim Thornton, the current Bishop of Truro, as the new Bishop at Lambeth.

Bishop Tim will take up this post in September, replacing Rt Revd Nigel Stock, who is retiring.

His duties at Lambeth will include supporting the Archbishop of Canterbury’s work in the House of Bishops, General Synod and the Archbishop’s Council.

He will also be heavily involved in the Lambeth Conference 2020, and take on the role of Bishop to the Forces.

Bishop Tim became Bishop of Truro in 2009. During his time as bishop he co-chaired an inquiry into foodbanks which led to the report Feeding Britain, and was President of the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association. He is chair of the Development and Appointments Group which oversees the leadership development work among senior clergy.

Bishop Tim said: “It has been a privilege to serve as bishop in this very special part of the country. I have especially enjoyed being part of the wider life of the county and community, as well as working with wonderful colleagues to implement a strategy for discovering God’s kingdom and growing the church.

“It will of course be a real sadness to leave Cornwall. However I am very much looking forward to working with the staff at Lambeth, and thinking about how we continue to embed Archbishop Justin’s priorities of prayer, evangelism and reconciliation into the life of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.

“I am particularly interested in the Archbishop’s emphasis on spirituality and prayer, and seeing how the incredible work of Thy Kingdom Come continues to flourish.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said:

“I am delighted to be welcoming Bishop Tim to Lambeth Palace. He brings a wealth of experience to the role. He already has extensive knowledge and understanding of the College and House of Bishops, and a heart for those on the margins of society, who are often overlooked. His work on Feeding Britain demonstrates his range of ability and skill in bringing people together.”

Bishop Tim is married to Sian and they have two children and three grandchildren.

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John RochJanet FifeDavid RuncornSusannah ClarkBarry Recent comment authors
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Tom Marshall
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Tom Marshall

What do we read into the fact that the Bishop who was heavily involved with the Green Report, the Talent Pool and the growth of the MBA culture has been ‘kicked upstairs’? The curious thing is that, for all his enthusiasm for business models, Tim Thornton has never worked in the ‘real’ world outside the Church, and has no first-hand experience of the commercial sector. That may be reflected in the fact that Truro Diocese is struggling. When he became our bishop in 2009, he promised much, but has been unable to deliver on much that he promised. Others may… Read more »

Tim S
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Tim S

I think we can read into that fact that this is a highly capable bishop who has been given a highly significant job. I am weary of people who talk about the church not being the real world. When the church ceases to be part of the real world it ceases to be the church. Just because one of its clerics has not worked outside of the church does not negate their capacity as a force and agent for change. I wish +Tim all the best in his new role. He will need all our prayers and not a thick… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

Congratulations on your new appointment. I recall +Tim’s predecessor + Bill (who came over very well in that TV series about the Scilly Isles – particularly when he went for a dip in the sea holding onto his shepherd’s crook) writing an introduction to one edition of The Churchwarden’s Diary when he told the tale about making excuses after a Confirmation Service on not being able to stay on for the bun fight as he had to be in London for a meeting early the next day. On hearing this the Cornish Churchwarden said “Mmmm! London, long way from anywhere… Read more »

Will Richards
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Will Richards

This is disappointing. The last thing Lambeth needs at the moment in another Bishop-cum-Wannabe-Manager. I had started to think about another obvious candidate who has proven intellectual ability, and is theologically imaginative, who might take the rather dull and predictable edge off the Arhcbishop’s pronouncements. With the exception of two (who probably wouldn’t want to be in the firing line of someone recently depicted by Stephen Bates) I couldn’t think of anyone. So, a sigh of resignation in Christ Church, Oxford; and a sigh of relief in London.

Eric Hardy
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Eric Hardy

Those of us from Cornwall will naturally wish Tim Thornton well in his new post. His is a genuinely nice person, even if he hasn’t exactly set the place alight, as we were promised he would, or really understood Cornwall’s distinctive identity. May be that’s just the reality of being a bishop today? As far as Lambeth Palace is concerned, if the Archbishop is looking for a bureaucrat who is ‘on message’ he’s got exactly the right man for the job. A win-win situation.

Kate
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Kate

“He is chair of the Development and Appointments Group which oversees the leadership development work among senior clergy.”

I am a cynic, aren’t I?

Leslie J Payne
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Leslie J Payne

I wish Bishop Tim, every good wish that anyone would want.As far as I am concerned, he has done a splendid job in Cornwall and the Diocese of Truro and I am sure, that many parishioners would join with me and wish him well for the future with a big thank you, for all he has done in the past 8 or9 years. May God Bless you and all that you do!!
Sincerely, dear Brother in Christ.
Fra Leslie. KGCT.

David Hunter
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David Hunter

I asked a retired bishop-friend of mine whether Tim Thornotn is a prefect or a prophet. I was not encouraged by the answer I received. I think we can expect, as Kate has hinted, something akin to a ‘cabinet enforcer.’

Father David
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Father David

When Robert Runcie became Archbishop of Canterbury after his time at St. Albans his two Suffragan bishops became diocesans – Alex Graham to Newcastle and Peter Mumford to Truro – both dioceses being as far away as possible from Lambeth yet still remaining within the Church of England. It was a great pity that in Bishop Lightfoot’s time Northumberland (and Lindisfarne especially)was lost to the diocese of Durham in 1882.Five years before that the diocese of Truro was detached from the diocese of Exeter and Edward White Benson became its first bishop. Leeds has led the way by becoming the… Read more »

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

‘To make them feel at home in rural Dorset +Tim began his sermon with a bit of a riddle by asking the congregation if they knew the meaning of the phrase “Tin, Tin, Tin”? This, apparently is Yorkshire dialect for “It isn’t in the tin!”‘

I have lived and worked in West Yorks and now live in North Yorks, and have never heard of either the ‘dialect phrase’ or its translation!

Paul Tomkins
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Paul Tomkins

It’s good to have Fr David’s recollection of one of Bishop Tim’s anecdotes in a sermon. We’ve heard a lot of them over these past few years. He is good at anecdotes. Was it followed by any thorough engagement with Scripture, by any chance? He’s no theologian; but he’s certainly a fixer. If Justin Welby is looking for an ideas person, and there are other people who can effectively implement those ideas by bringing people with them, then the Archbishop has done well and got the right man for the job.

turbulent priest
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turbulent priest

The communications department at Church Central could do with someone with Eric Hardy’s nuance of expression!

Stephen Griffiths
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Stephen Griffiths

What? No mention of hiking, baking, real ale or travel. How is he going to relate to the good folk at Lambeth Palace?

David Runcorn
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Fr David Your suggestions re Bishop North and Truro make clear you have not understood the concerns that led to his standing down from Sheffield. They would and should be concerns in Truro or any other diocese.

David Emmott
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David Emmott

How could you join Truro (Cornwall) with Exeter (England) without provoking an international war?

David Emmott
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David Emmott

‘To make them feel at home in rural Dorset +Tim began his sermon with a bit of a riddle by asking the congregation if they knew the meaning of the phrase “Tin, Tin, Tin”? This, apparently is Yorkshire dialect for “It isn’t in the tin!”‘

I have lived and worked in West Yorks and now live in North Yorks, and have never heard of either the ‘dialect phrase’ or its translation!

Posted by: Janet Fife on Thursday, 6 April 2017 at 9:22am BST

It’s not dialect obviously but an attempt at phonetic spelling. Seems authentic enough to me, a Keighley lad.

Barry
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Barry

“[Bishop Tim] is good at anecdotes. Was [his anecdote] followed by any thorough engagement with Scripture, by any chance?”

Sorry, but this comment cuts no ice today. Those offering themselves for ordination are expected to pepper their homilies with inane “jokes”, and will be criticised by assessors if they do not. To approach preaching with gravity and careful thought is decidedly out of favour with Church of England plc, especially with those who are determined to abolish extended and residential priestly formation.

Tim Newns
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Tim Newns

Well said, @Barry. I have grown up in Truro Diocese, and we are in no doubt what our soon-to-be-former-Bishop thinks about residential formation. The consequence is that (to use R.S. Thomas’s description of Wales) we have become ‘sick with inbreeding.’ Very little new blood has been brought in from outside to invigorate the Diocese at a strategic level, and the senior staff team is almost entirely home-grown. We would certainly welcome someone of Philip North’s depth and wider catholicity here. He would have a firmer grasp of the Diocese’s unique identity, as well being able to envision its future as… Read more »

ClericalError
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ClericalError

I have similar experience to Barry of insistence on preaching “lite” in the CofE e.g. curates being asked, “What commentary do you use?” i.e. singular, and possibly for all books of the Bible. I have heard curates say they write the sermon according to their own opinions and then maybe take a look at a commentary after drafting it, if they have time. There is a mania for demanding to know how long it takes to plan and write a sermon, as though the incubation process should be obviously quantifiable. What of the ideas that come to us in the… Read more »

Andrew
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Andrew

The role of Bishop at Lambeth was originally a Chief of Staff type post. Now Lambeth has a CoS and plenty of other ‘senior’ managers. Surely this is an unnecessary appointment?

Charles Read
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Charles Read

Ahem, Barry. Are you prejudices showing? Since I teach Reader candidates and ordinands perhaps I can set the record straight. We would mark down a sermon with no Biblical / theological content (and we do) and we would also mark down a very erudite sermon that did not actually communicate. On our part residential course, all our students are studying in the context of local church ministry and mission and usually secular employment too. That seems like a good context out of which to preach.

David Runcorn
Guest

Barry I don’t need to be a DDO and recent theological tutor to know this is complete nonsense.

Barry
Guest
Barry

David Runcorn: Please give your concrete evidence that what I have said is “complete nonsense.” I am speaking from meeting with those prospective ordinands who have been criticised for not using “humour” in their homilies. Charles Read: please do not assume that I have prejudices. A “context of local church ministry and mission and usually secular employment” is excellent, but the content of the Faith has still to be taught. The preacher must preach to the people where they are, but that does not mean that their approach to preaching must not be serious and require serious listening. My complaint… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

Goodness, who would have thought that three little words “TIN, TIN, TIN” would produce such a backlash on homiletics? Still, makes a nice change from the usual TA subject! As for the fairly recent appointment of Bishop at Lambeth this was an innovation introduced by Robert Runcie (makes you wonder how the poor dears managed without one before then?)in 1984. Tim Thornton being the sixth such in line of succession. His predecessors include three former Diocesans (Portsmouth, Gloucester and Eds & Ips) and two former Suffragans (Stockport and Dover) Ronald Gordon 1984-1991 John Yates 1992-1994 Frank Sargeant 1994-1999 Richard Llewellin… Read more »

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

I’m still agog to know what ‘Tin, tin, tin’ and ‘It’s not in the tin’ mean? Can someone please explain and I’ll add them to my list of dialect words and phrases! If ‘tin, tin, tin’ is phonetic (for what?) it might sit happily alongside ‘put wood in tole’. (Bradford: translation ‘shut the door’; lit. ‘put the wood in the hole’).

Barry
Guest
Barry

Charles, reflecting again on your comment in the clear light of day, I realise I must do what I did not do in my rather irritable initial response and acknowledge that you are in a far better position to know the facts than I am. Thank you for correcting me. I hope we would agree on the vital need in the Church for preaching which is rooted in the lives of congregations, while having solid doctrinal teaching and the potential (by the Grace of God) to be inspiring and challenging.

Susannah Clark
Guest

It isn’t in the tin, Janet.

“‘T in’t in t’ tin.”

Hope this helps. Not that this Scottish lass knows much about Yorkshire expressions!

Quite what it has to do with Christianity I have no clue whatsoever.

Probably as much as Labradors, which Tim assures us elsewhere are gorgeous, lovable creatures, but which in my experience tend to be slobbery, plodding and slightly stupid… at least compared to cats.

David Runcorn
Guest

Barry encouraging the use of humour in public preaching is hardly the same as being told to ‘pepper their homilies with inane “jokes”‘.
Nor does the advice to sue humour mean ‘preaching with gravity and careful thought is decidedly out of favour with Church of England plc.’
Nor does the use of humour mean anything is being trivialised.
Jesus himself used it.

David Runcorn
Guest

Barry I did reply but it didn’t appear. Humour is an essential (if difficult) skill in preaching – as in any public speaking. I expect it to be part of good preaching training. And if an ordinand’s sermon is dry and dull then encouraging them to use humour is good feedback – not least if you want anyone in the congregation to actually listen. But you appear to assume two things from this. That the’ CofE plc’ (plc?? – sound of axes grinding in the background here) expects clergy, as official policy, to ‘pepper their homilies with inane “jokes”‘ and… Read more »

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

Tin tin, tin – thank you Susannah! Still wondering what ‘it isn’t in the tin’ means, google is no help….

I agree with you about labradors. Also, they shed a lot. I prefer terriers, probably because I can be rather terrier-like myself!

John Roch
Guest
John Roch

Tin tin tin is one of those examples of Yorkshire dialect that you (usually) find in books aimed at tourists.

It isn’t in the tin
‘t in’t int’ tin
tin tin tin