Thinking Anglicans

Deans moving on

Modern Church has announced that the Very Revd Dr Jonathan Draper has been appointed as General Secretary of Modern Church, with effect from 1 September 2017. Dr Draper is currently the Dean of Exeter.

It has also been announced that the Very Revd Dr Frances Ward, Dean of St Edmundsbury, is leaving in October to “study for a second doctorate and contribute to the life of the Church as a writer, author and theologian”.

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James AllportPaul SwalesCharles ReadMichael MulhernEdward Prebble Recent comment authors
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Concerned Anglican
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Concerned Anglican

Interesting to see the important appointment of Jonathan Draper to Modern Church. Not only is this liberal theological society probably the oldest Anglican theological society in existence, it continues to be a major voice of reason in an increasingly polarised and divided Church.

Edward Prebble
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Edward Prebble

I am familiar with Frances Ward’s scholarship. The book she and others wrote on Studying Local Churches is excellent. With another Doctorate behind her, she would still be young enough to add some theological gravitas to the Bench of Bishops.

Michael Mulhern
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Michael Mulhern

“With another Doctorate behind her, she would still be young enough to add some theological gravitas to the Bench of Bishops.” Edward Prebble is being positively hopeful – a hope I would share, by the way. But is not Frankie Ward’s decision more likely to be that, in the current climate, she doesn’t tick the Wash House boxes for the House of Bishops? She has, rightly, seen the writing on the wall. There’s no way that Welby would want an intellectually able woman, especially one who would not be afraid to challenge him head-on, in the House of Bishops. He… Read more »

Charles Read
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Charles Read

Yes indeed Edward that book is excellent and we use it in theological reflection along with other things she has written, but I gather she has repudiated all that stuff in a turn to a version of Radical Orthodoxy.

Paul Swales
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Paul Swales

I may be reading too much in to this, but isn’t it a little depressing that the only way Frances Ward feels she can contribute to the life of the Church as a theologian is to resign the Deanery of St Edmundsbury and become a full-time academic. What happened to the paradigm of the Anglican priest-scholar? George Herbert must be turning in his grave.

James Allport
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James Allport

There may be some force in the comments others have made above. But I think there is also something here about seasons of life: Dean Ward’s husband is about to start formation for ordination himself, so I wonder if part of her move is to support him. The Deans I know also work seriously hard, so it maybe that after a few years she wants to step off the treadmill for a bit.