Thinking Anglicans

Bishop Sarah Mullally installed in London

From the website of the diocese:

The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE has been installed as the 133rd Bishop of London at St Paul’s Cathedral. The service coincided with International Nurses Day, Florence Nightingale’s birthday, echoing Bishop Sarah’s own former career in the NHS as a nurse, including as Chief Nursing Officer, before her ordination.

Clergy, staff and friends, from across the Diocese of London, the wider capital, and the Church of England, came together as Bishop Sarah followed the tradition of knocking three times on the Cathedral’s Great West Door with her pastoral staff, marking the beginning of the installation. The full-service sheet can be accessed here [below].

Bishop Sarah’s sermon, on the theme of ‘being subversive for Christ’, remarked that 105 years ago this week, suffragettes placed a bomb under the same seat in which she had just been enthroned as the first woman to be Bishop of London. She also spoke of the need to challenge injustice and inequality, and of the pivotal role the Church has to play across London.

Order of Service for the Installation

Sermon by Bishop Sarah at her Installation in St Paul’s Cathedral

Her biography and links to some other news articles

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Mark Osborne
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Mark Osborne

105 years ago.

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

That’s a good sermon from Bp. Mullally. I couldn’t help noticing, though, that her statement on abuse survivors doesn’t ring with the passion of her paragraphs on knife crime. Contrast ‘Our approach to safeguarding the vulnerable needs to be underpinned by a culture which challenges deference and the abuse of power and we need to create environments where victims of abuse are heard – where they not only survive but flourish’ with ‘We need to speak up for the whole of London, to work to challenge the violence and the crime that have led mothers to clean their own children’s… Read more »

Daniel Berry, NYC
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Daniel Berry, NYC

I understand about tradition and State Church and logistics and the rest of it – but how, on such an occasion, doesn’t the new bishop celebrate the Eucharist with her new charge? To me it doesn’t make theological sense.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Thank you Mark. The typo was (still is as I type) in the press release linked. Have changed my copy.

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

Correction to my earlier post: Bp. Mullally is not I/c safeguarding in the C of E. Peter Hancock (Bath and Wells) is spokes bishop on safeguarding; I understand that Bp. Mullally was tasked with implementing the Elliott Review’s recommendations which you can find here https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2017-11/Elliot%20Review%20Findings.pdf Mullally’s statement in response to the review can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/safeguarding/safeguarding-news-and-statements/elliott-review-findings comment on Elliott Review I cannot see that much, if any progress has been made on implementing Elliott’s findings. Mullally’s sentiments as expressed in her response to Elliott are laudable, but it’s hard to see that they have resulted in much practical action.… Read more »

Fr Andrew
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Fr Andrew

How great it is for a woman to be the Bishop of London, albeit 1400 years too late. How sad it is (if the Observer today is to be believed) that she is happy to peddle the homophobic line.

Father David
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Father David

“Order of Service for the Installation” whatever happened to “Enthronement”?

James Byron
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James Byron

For my part, Fr. Andrew, “sad” would be a heroic understatement. At least those who’ve never experienced discrimination for who they are can be ignorant of the full extent of the harm it does. To have lived it for decades, only to knowingly do the same to others is, well, not language that’d be appropriate here.

I’d like to be celebrating this appointment. On principle, as an overturning of centuries of unjust discrimination, I do: but while equality in one sphere appears, far from helping to bring it to another, to be propping up injustice, it’s a hollow celebration.

David Emmott
Guest
David Emmott

Whatever else might be said about Bishop Sarah, I warmed to the fact highlighted in today’s Observer that not only is she a woman, with vast experience in the NHS, but was educated at a comprehensive school. There is still far too much of the ‘old boy’ public-school network around the House of Bishops and it’s good that someone in such a prominent role can start to change that.

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

So she thinks that Lgbt people should be embraced and valued. (Guardian/observer today) Sorry Sarah, that might have done 20 years ago but it won’t do now. We are now in relationships, marriage and civil partnerships recognised by the law of the land. And we have been for more than a dozen years. It’s far too late to keep spouting the party line about being nice to us. But until and unless you and the church you help to lead recognises us as fully equal in all ways to straight people you words are as sounding brass.

peter kettle
Guest
peter kettle

“Order of Service for the Installation” whatever happened to “Enthronement”? This would make an arcane research project! I have a copy of Gerald Ellison’s Enthronement service at St Paul’s in 1973. Some things stand out: the term ‘Right Reverend Father in God’ as a form of address has gone, and the cover of yesterday’s service book named only Sarah Mullalley – not even Bishop SM! Also, in 1973 there were no Scripture Readings! And what has happened to ‘Lord’ Bishops’?! No mention yesterday though I note that women episcopal members of the House of Lords are still given as such… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Guest

‘whatever happened to “Enthronement”?’

Perhaps we are finally starting to believe the gospels?

Laurie Roberts
Guest
Laurie Roberts

I had no idea that the eucharist was not offered and shared, if so, I would have found it deeply disappointing to have been there, and profoundly unfathomable.(Unless, it had something to do with the contested position of ordained women in the London Diocese– ordinarily,this would be a moment for the bishop and priests to concelebrate together).

‘Where the bishop is, there is the Catholic Church
Where the bishop is, there let the people gather.’

(St. Ignatius of Antioch)

I feel with Daniel Berry.

Btw I cannot get the order of service above to open.

Cynthia
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Cynthia

“How sad it is (if the Observer today is to be believed) that she is happy to peddle the homophobic line.”

Please, tell me it ain’t so…

David Lamming
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David Lamming

Father David: Not every new diocesan bishop is happy with the concept of being ‘enthroned’. It rather ‘jars’ with the idea of servant leadership, as exemplified by our Lord. That said, I note that the order of service includes the Dean saying (before the Bishop knocks on the great west door), “We gather to welcome our new Bishop, to place her in her episcopal throne.” Also, the Order of Service includes a section headed “The Enthronement” (p.13). But the word then used is ‘episcopal seat’. Perhaps we need to reconsider the terminology used for the various places in our cathedrals.

scooper
Guest
scooper

Cynthia … whydya think she was chosen…. midwife experience?

James Byron
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James Byron

“There is still far too much of the ‘old boy’ public-school network around the House of Bishops and it’s good that someone in such a prominent role can start to change that.” They can, but she isn’t: she’s echoing the exact same platitudes as the good ol’ boys. She’s not fighting them: she’s become them. The plucky rebel getting into the clubhouse and shaking things up is, in the vast majority of cases, for the movies. Far likelier than outsiders changing insiders is insiders molding outsiders into their own image. Establishments assimilate more ruthlessly and reliably than the Borg. Not… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

I dug out the Observer piece… And am right narked

“On LGBT equality and same-sex marriage, a controversial issue within the church, Mullally supports its official position that marriage is between a man and a woman, but that LGBT people should be embraced and valued.”

That’s an utter contradiction. You can’t embrace and value us if you can’t accept and welcome us and our relationships and transitions. I think the days of politely accepting people who say they value LGBTI people but won’t embrace our relationships and transitions ought to stop.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

It seems to me – an inhabitant of the ‘other Global South’ in ACANZP – that Installation/Enthronement of a Bishop in the Church should always be in the context of The Eucharist. Does this context for episcopal jurisdiction no longer obtain in the Mother Church of England? If the argument is that of a dodgy understanding of a woman’s authority in the Diocese of London, it doesn’t deserve her. However, if the new Bishop of London does not want to declare the equality of LGBT+ People, then perhaps the implication of koinonia in the Eucharist might not have been a… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

Cynthia, sometimes a woman makes an excellent Company Man.

In my old diocese of Alabama, the first priest to resign in protest of Gene Robinson was a woman.

It apparently didn’t occur to her that according to the literal hermeneutic she applied to Robinson, he might well be a wicked bishop, but he is a bishop nonetheless, while she is simply someone playing dress up.

Father David
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Father David

With regard to the Gospel and our Blessed Lord’s ministry – I did so enjoy singing “Lord enthroned in heavenly splendour” at yesterday’s Eucharist. If it’s good enough for Jesus, then surely, it’s good enough for His under-shepherds here on earth? Remind me, what’s that seat called that is in such a prominent position in Canterbury cathedral, something to do with St. Augustine, or so I believe? If the Dean of St. Paul’s desire was to excise any reference to grandeur in the service, he could quite easily have said “We gather to welcome our new Bishop, to place her… Read more »

Neil Patterson
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Neil Patterson

My understanding is that enthronement/installations of bishops have never been eucharistic, even at Canterbury. Whilst this may have origins in a less sacramental era, it now reflects the extensive and vital inclusion of ecumenical and civic representatives, who may not be communicants.

Fr Andrew
Guest
Fr Andrew

‘Please, tell me it ain’t so…’

The Observer:
‘On LGBT equality and same-sex marriage, a controversial issue within the church, Mullally supports its official position that marriage is between a man and a woman, but that LGBT people should be embraced and valued’

‘Embraced and valued’ but not married, ordained, sexually active or blessed. Strange embrace. Curious value.

Simon R
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Simon R

Frankly, I thought the sermon was very thin gruel indeed. Here was a superb opportunity for a new Bishop of London to restate the Church of England’s commitment to the service of wider society, and to connect with the vast numbers of those who are alienated by the Church’s self-referential culture. Leaving aside the rather perfunctory and unimaginative engagement with scripture, what was this sermon actually saying? It’s all very well banging-on about relationships (as if that’s the only focus of scripture); but if you can’t speak to the societal values and political policies that create the conditions for isolation,… Read more »

Michael Mulhern
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Michael Mulhern

He will raise the ire of the usual suspects for saying so, but I am glad @Simon R has said what I was thinking. On reading Sarah Mullally’s (if I’m honest) rather over-hyped sermon, I turned to the sermons preached by David Jenkins, John Habgood, Michael Ramsey, John V Taylor and Rowan Williams at their enthronements. Simply no comparison: both in terms of the carefully crafted content; and their clear engagement with the wider context. No risk of the ‘church speaking to church’ there.

Kate
Guest
Kate

“If it’s good enough for Jesus, then surely, it’s good enough for His under-shepherds here on earth?” We have such different perspectives. Nativity plays are fantastic evangelism (and their decline in schools might be a significant factor behind the shrinking of the Church of England) but it is important that the boy playing Jesus does not forget he is playing a role. In High Church liturgy (eg installation) a bishop in his/her grandeur is playing a role, representing the majesty of God. Just so long as they don’t forget that it is only theater and that they aren’t in anyway… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

From the text of the sermon: “One hundred and five years ago this week suffragettes placed a bomb under the seat in which I have just been enthroned …I do not come carrying bombs – or perhaps not literal ones anyway! But I am aware that as the first woman Bishop of London I am necessarily subversive…” I think this paragraph requires a bit of a hermeneutic of suspicion. It could be read as ‘radical washing’. But then, I grew up looking at the ‘subversive’ ministries of The Florence Li-Tim Oi, The Berrigan Brothers, Fr.Malcolm Boyd, and Archbishop Ted Scott.… Read more »

Richard Grand
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Richard Grand

@Simon R: Why should that be any surprise. The Church’s leadership has always been tamed. Few, if any, leaders in most churches have reached their position because they were bound to do anything radical or threatening. I notice that bishops often appoint deacons and archdeacons who are “company” people and no threat. Loyalty is the only qualification. We see much the same thing in the secular world. This is human nature, so we shouldn’t expect much different in the third most significant spot in the C of E.

Will Richards
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Will Richards

Amen to Simon R and Michael Mulhern. This was a lost opportunity to make an impact – and not even the Diocesan spin machine can gloss this over. Subversive? Er, no. Just predictable, I’m afraid. Interesting, too, I thought, that the first major item we read in the order of service is a reproduction of Welby’s ‘Charge’ at the confirmation of Sarah Mullally’s election. This has aroused my curiosity. Has this been done before – and anywhere else? I only ask because it strongly suggests that Sarah Mullally, as Bishop of London, is somehow accountable to the Archbishop of Canterbury… Read more »

Clive
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Clive

@Fr. David: That mitre made a classic Private Eye cover, in fact: http://www.private-eye.co.uk/covers/cover-777

crs
Guest
crs

“Now there is a necessarily subversive bishop.”

Yes, let’s be sure to anticipate a really “subversive TEC bishop” doing something subversive in the context of this wedding in the UK.

Why? And what?

Whew.

David Runcorn
Guest

Fr Andrew’s caution – ‘if the Observer is to be believed’ is a necessary one – and it is for reading any media coverage of the world of faith. The Observer is a newspaper that rarely shows much interest in things Christian or church at all. Whilst I think the article is quite well written the statement picked up and repeated on this discussion thread is not actually a quote from the Bishop is it. It claims to be a summary of her view. I read that section as Bishop Sarah expressing her part within the agreed process now underway… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

“This is human nature, so we shouldn’t expect much different in the third most significant spot in the C of E. “

Jesus was crucified for subversion. If our bishops – our clerics – are chosen by discernment, isn’t it odd that they are generally not subversive?

Or maybe, in the Church of England discernment works something like this…” God, we have chosen Sarah to be a bishop. Does that meet your will?”… (brief pause)… “OK, thank you. No lightning bolt or earthquake. She is your choice then.”

RPNewark
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RPNewark

I think, Peter Kettle, (but am open to correction) that Bishop Mullally is just that, not Lord Bishop – yet. I can find no reference to her having been “introduced into the House (of Lords)” and it is at that point that she becomes the Lord Bishop of London.

CofE diocesan bishops who do not have seats in the HoL are always described as “X by Divine Permission Bishop of Y” Only those who have taken up their seats are described as “A by Divine Permission Lord Bishop of B”. It’s just one more of those quaint quintessentially English customs.

Fr Andrew
Guest
Fr Andrew

Can I say that I trust the Observer’s reporting more than any other newspaper, and that, with just a bit of digging around, it’s clear that they got that line from a variety of previous verbatim reports. I don’t think there’s any doubt from anyone about the Bp London’s public position on equal marriage. But, if I’m wrong, I’d be delighted to be shown to be. Whether you like the term ‘peddling’ or not, that position- the formal position of the Church of England on equal marriage is indisputably and unpleasantly homophobic. Given the blasphemous vileness of homophobia I think… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

Here are some synonyms for the word “subversive” –
troublemaker, dissident revolutionary, insurgent,
insurrectionist, renegade, rebel and mutineer.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

My name is Rod and I love debates. ( : However, I’ve been wrestling with comment participation for sometime. TA is one of the few places where I still comment as of late. At least for awhile, I hope to limit my comments to one or two per thread. It has do with a convergence of several things; deepening retirement, what is life giving, it gets addictive, and perhaps something of a moral conversion as Lonerganians call it. I could use more contemplation. Plus I have to see if I have the self-discipline to keep my every opinion to myself.… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Guest

‘If it’s good enough for Jesus, then surely, it’s good enough for His under-shepherds here on earth?’

Except that he never told his under-shepherds to expect earthly thrones. Rather the opposite.

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

“The notion that she was appointed because she was easier to ‘manage’ is frankly sexist.” If it’s on the basis of her sex, then yes, and I have no time for such essentialism. In any case, as the lamentable spectacle of episcopal company men shows, in England, male bishops defer to no-one in toeing the corporate line. However, there’s a flip-side of this: a sex-based inversion of Interested Observer’s racism of low expectations; the sexism of exaggerated feminine virtue. Echoing the ancient old Victorian prejudice that women were too pure for politics, far too many on the church’s progressive wing… Read more »

Flora Alexander
Guest
Flora Alexander

Certainly I wouldn’t give that sermon a high score for subversiveness. But surely we all know that you don’t get into senior management of any institution if you look likely to rock the boat significantly. It’s not surprising if, as the first woman to move into an important and sensitive position, Bishop Sarah chooses to move cautiously. She is chair of the Social and Biological Sciences Working Group which will be contributing to the forthcoming Episcopal Teaching Document on sexuality, and she is quoted as hoping that this process will not amount to kicking the issue into the long grass.… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

“This is a long way from ‘Peddling a homophobic line’.” I disagree. If someone says that equality is a focus and *repeatedly* mentions equality for all sorts of other groups but never LGBTI people that is definitely homophobic. Different groups need different things: women need pay equality and protection from abuse; the homeless need better social policies from the Government;and lesbians and gays need her to fight for marriage equality. Not believing in marriage equality doesn’t make someone an homophobe, but someone who claims an action focus on equality across the board but doesn’t fight for marriage equality is an… Read more »

Peter Owen
Guest

Bishop Mullally is scheduled to be introduced into the House of Lords on Thursday 24 May 2018 at 11.00 am.

https://calendar.parliament.uk/calendar/Lords/Main-Chamber/2018/5/24/Daily

Bernard Silverman
Guest
Father David
Guest
Father David

Dear Tim, Assuming that bishops are the present day successors to the Twelve Apostles, how about Matthew 19:28 as a reference to the promises of Jesus –
“And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
That’s quite some promise!

crs
Guest
crs

Wise comment, James Bryon.

T Pott
Guest
T Pott

The phrase “by divine permission” in a bishop’s style can be msunderstood, as if permission meant approval or endorsement or even appointment. In fact, God permits many bad things, in that He does not intervene to prevent them. He permitted the Black Death. Archbishops are “by divine providence” which is more positive. It is not clear whether Mr Welby, for example, is said to hold his position due to General Providence, simply as a consequence of the playing out of the laws of nature and humanity, or Special Providence suggesting some divine influence specifically directed towards acieving his appointment. The… Read more »

peter kettle
Guest
peter kettle

RP Newark: The minutes of the Privy Council supplied by Bernard describe her at her swearing in as LORD Bishop!

christopher
Guest
christopher

I think Michael Mulhern is being a little unfair in comparing Bp.Sarah with such great forebears! Not everyone can be in that league – sadly. And one must have some appreciation of how difficult her position is – I am not surprised that there was no Eucharist as a substantial portion of her clergy including her own archdeacon would not have felt able to receive.

Simon R
Guest
Simon R

To reassure James Byron, my point about being ‘easy to manage’ has nothing to do with Sarah Mullally’s gender, and everything to do with the fact that she is part of the ‘soft evangelical’ mindset that reads from the same page as Welby. The other candidates were too experienced in episcopal orders to take too much direction from Lambeth; or, in the case of another, intellectually robust and confident in being able to think for himself.

Tim Chesterton
Guest

Father David, you think ‘the regeneration’ (NRSV, NIV ‘the renewal of all things’, RSV ‘in the new world’) has already taken place, do you?