Thinking Anglicans

Vivienne Faull to be next Bishop of Bristol

Press release from Number 10

Queen appoints new Bishop of Bristol
The Queen has approved the appointment of a new Bishop of Bristol.

Published 15 May 2018
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Very Reverend Vivienne Frances Faull, MA, Dean of York, in the diocese of York, for election as Bishop of Bristol in succession to the Right Reverend Michael Arthur Hill, on his resignation on the 30th September 2017.

There are more details on the Bristol diocesan website: Very Revd Vivienne Faull announced as the next Bishop of Bristol.
Her consecration is scheduled for 3 July 2018.

54
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
54 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
31 Comment authors
JeremyEd JohnstonJanet FifeRPeter Sanderson Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Father David
Guest
Father David

I wonder if the bells in the diocese of Bristol will be rung to welcome this news?

Michael Mulhern
Guest
Michael Mulhern

Now this is more like it. A person committed to full inclusivity, with oodles of ecclesial experience, who has sustained ministry in urban Liverpool, a Cambridge college, and four cathedrals, who has a theological imagination as well as being able to steer institutions through change. One thing is certain, Viv Faull’s enthronement (or whatever you want to call it) sermon will not be an insipid disconnection from scripture- or society.

I know I shouldn’t count my chickens and all that, but I am beginning to ask whether I should renew my faith in the CNC?

Anon
Guest
Anon

Renew faith in the CNC ?

Perhaps a thought for those who campaigned long and hard to ensure we do NOT have to endure more of the same and FOR a diocesan more in tune with the way it is in these parts…

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Bristol Cathedral has eight bells and is the fifth most rung tower in Bristol.

Philip Hobday
Guest
Philip Hobday

An excellent appointment – a priest of vision and of wide experience. This is good news for the diocese and the wider church.

Paul Waddington.
Guest
Paul Waddington.

I think Fr David has sounded the right note.
The Very Reverend Vivienne Faull was responsible for the silence of the bells at York Minster for nearly a year, and a full programme of ringing has not yet been re-established. I think that there may be a special peal of bells at York to celebrate her departure!

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

David and Paul, what was Viv supposed to do when the bellringers refused to follow safeguarding guidelines?

At last we have a bishop who is really prepared to stick her neck out on safeguarding issues.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Dean Faull “modernised” several volunteer groups at the Minster. Under her deanship, the flower arrangers and the broderers were also “reorganised.”

Perhaps it depends on the financial circumstances of the institution being led. York Minster has been well funded since it began to charge admission. And as Jane Austen said, “The very rich can afford to give offence wherever they go.”

Graham Hardy
Guest
Graham Hardy

Anon can be reassured that it will not be ‘more of the same’ with Viv Faull. Bristol has never been an Evangelical diocese, and the recent tenure of two evangelical bishops (both products of the Buckingham episcopal area) has not been an unqualified success: both in terms of morale and growth. When Barry Rogerson retired in 2002, the Diocese was in very good heart, and was confident in its identity as an exemplar of Via Media Anglicanism. Mike Hill arrived and, like all Evangelicals, was convinced he had the answer. When he retired, he was gracious and honest enough to… Read more »

Simon D
Guest
Simon D

I hope she manages to deal with people better than she managed at York.

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

I wish the diocese and the bishop-to-be well. I’m genuinely puzzled as to why such announcements often make so much of local connexions—“my grandparents lived here”, or “I spent my holidays there”, and such and such. Does this really matter? Is it an important factor in CNC deliberations, and if so, why? After all, people are people, their joys and sorrows much the same here as there. I find it a bit cringeworthy—not as much as football allegiances, in-jokes and exclamation marks, just vaguely patronizing. Do diocesan PR officers think we’re stupid, or is it part of the infantilizing strategy… Read more »

tbl
Guest
tbl

So the evangelical takeover is on hold, then?

Simon D
Guest
Simon D

Janet Fife. The York bellringers did not refuse to follow safeguarding measures. They did query what they perceived to be an unfair decision but procedures were followed.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Rev. Janet Fife:
We agree on much, so I’m sorry to have to put this strongly. However, the reputations of 30 other people are at stake.
The Minster has never been able to substantiate that accusation, so unless you have personal knowledge of any “disregard” I would suggest that you please correct your characterization of the facts.
I’m not a canon lawyer, but I personally believe that a libel of 30 people would qualify as “conduct unbecoming or inappropriate” under the CDM.

Bill Broadhead
Guest
Bill Broadhead

Living within shouting distance of York Minster, I have always found Dean Faull to be an intelligent preacher, someone with her pulse on the life of the city of York, and who is not afraid to face people down when she believes change is required. Yes, I’ve heard one or two people saying (in the spirit of Ken Clarke) that she can be a ‘bl**dy difficult woman’; but you don’t lead a large institution into the future by pleasing everyone all of the time – especially not the flower ladies! I think her determination to weed-out people trying to hide… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

It was said in the comments about the Bishop of London that Sarah had been selected because she could be easily managed. I don’t know about that, but certainly we often criticise bishops here for being unwilling to speak out. I think Vivienne has proven that she is cut from very different cloth and will fight and speak out for what she believes to be right. Is she as polished and smooth as most bishops? No. But I would rather have a fighter than another oleaginous bishop. I wish her well. But why, oh why, do dioceses still think it… Read more »

robert ian williams
Guest
robert ian williams

The bells will certainly ring in York…..

Simon D
Guest
Simon D

Janet Fife. The York bellringers did not refuse to follow safeguarding measures. They did query what they perceived to be an unfair decision but procedures were followed.

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

Jeremy, I would not want to falsely accuse anyone, and am happy to post a link to a Church Times account of the case.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Janet, if you examine the Church Times article of October 19 closely, you will find it contains no facts of that kind whatsoever.

You might also recall that in another case, Lord Carlile has accused the Church of England of a safeguarding “oversteer” in the exact same month, October 2015.

Think of what that (deceased) person’s niece, Barbara Whitley, has gone through. And then multiply that by 30 living people and their families.

Richard
Guest
Richard

As a member of a Forward in Faith church in Coventry in the 90s, Viv co-prepared me for confirmation by the then Bishop of Ebbsfleet. I continue to be a traditionalist and continue to think her a very fine person and pray very much for her personally and for the diocese she will lead as Ordinary. I don’t really understand why she wasn’t made a bishop earlier.

T Pott
Guest
T Pott

This Friday, May 18th, is St Dunstan’s Day. Dunstan is patron saint of bellringers, and with Mafeking on Thursday, the Royal Wedding on Saturday and Whitsun on Sunday, what a joyful week this is turning out to be.

Alan Howarth
Guest
Alan Howarth

“The reputations of 30 other people are at stake” @ Jeremy. Really? I was under the clear impression that many of the former bell ringers at York had been re-recruited, precisely because they had agreed to follow the safeguarding procedures. As for ‘oversteer’: what would he prefer? ‘Understeer’ a la Chichester in the 1990s? I think if Jeremy talks to cathedrals other than his former place of employ, he will find that York’s current policy is fairly standard for many other English cathedrals. He might also take into account that, compared with every other member of the EU, Great Britain… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

To move away from bells – I wonder what words will grace the front cover of Bishop Faull’s Order of Service when she is “put in” at Bristol? Her predecessor in his Farewell Address (which was – like the curate’s egg – “good in parts”) referred to the time when he was “inaugurated into this cathedral”. Surely “Installation” and “Inauguration” are both prosaic and lack the dignity of “Enthronement”

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

Jeremy, the CT article I tried to link to, but which didn’t appear, gave both sides of the controversy. There was an issue over safeguarding; the facts were presented very differently by each side. The fact that a number of bellringers were re-appointed makes it clear that they were not personally considered safeguarding risks; and also that they had now agreed to follow the guidelines. I note that the new tower captain (I’ve forgotten the exact title they use at the Minster) is one of the former ringers and also a primary school head with a keen appreciation of the… Read more »

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

Re. the references to Dean Faull’s family connections in Bristol, I think the purpose of that is to help Bristol people to relate to her. If they’re stuck for something to say to the new bishop, they can always ask more about her family, and perhaps discover that their grandparents went to the same school as her grandparents, or something similar. It’s a bridge-builder, it helps make connections. Re. enthronements, the word hardly seems consistent with Jesus instructions not to lord it over people. ‘Installation’ may be prosaic but it’s clear and factual and doesn’t put on airs. I was… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Alan Howarth, there are at least 4 errors in your post.
The ones that matter are that you perpetuate the slander that a procedure wasn’t followed in the first place, and you accept the premise that in order to get safeguarding right, the Church should be allowed to defame the living and the dead.
No other organisation needs to act so lawlessly. Why does the Church?

John Roch
Guest
John Roch

The whole point of the Curate’s Egg joke is that the whole egg was wholly bad.

Charles Read
Guest
Charles Read

I am with Alan and Janet re. the bellringing issue. These boards have been filled on occasions with people complaining (often rightly) that the Church of England has been lax in reporting and dealing with safeguarding issues. If Viv Faull had done nothing or less than she did, she would have been added to the list of senior clergy routinely called out here for safeguarding errors / complacency. She seems damned if she does and damned if she does not. As to the parallel with Bishop Bell, this seems to me bogus. Bell is dead, has been accused of something… Read more »

David Lamming
Guest
David Lamming

Has anyone else noticed the bare minimum details of this appointment as announced in the No. 10 press release? Has the writer been reading comments on this blog relating to announcements of previous episcopal appointments, I wonder?

John Roch
Guest
John Roch

Thank you Janet for your comment on the press release.

With every announcement we get comments on here about the relevance of family, hobbies, local interests and connections. And I swear at the screen every time when I see them.

The press releases are not aimed at us: they are written for the papers and local radio stations to use, with little or no editing, to give the general public some background information that a local reporter would have been expected to ask about.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Janet, you are doing it again–implying that 30 people refused to follow safeguarding “guidelines,” without any factual basis for that implication. When will you stop? The Minster has re-engaged some ringers–but did the Minster ever publicly apologise to them, thus clearing their reputations? No. This failure leaves them open to implications such as yours. Perhaps the new Dean will apologise, though Dean Faull will not. You mention the new head ringer. Did some of the sacked ringers also have safeguarding as part of their day jobs? Yes. Were some of them teachers, and of course parents? Yes. The Church needs… Read more »

David Emmott
Guest
David Emmott

Isn’t the ‘throne’ in Enthronement the chair of a pastor and teacher rather than a monarch? ‘Enthronement’ might convey secular pomp and glory, but installation is what you do to a washing machine or a fridge. ‘Enchairing’ should be a word.

Paul Waddington
Guest
Paul Waddington

Some things should be made clear about the York bell ringers: Firstly, the bell ringers were locked out of the tower without notice. Secondly, when an explanation was sought, the reason given was Health & Safety. The safeguarding issue was introduced at a later date by the Archbishop. Thirdly, it has never been claimed that there was any breach of safeguarding procedure. Fourthly, so far as has been reported publicly, no member of the bell ringing team has refused to comply with any safeguarding condition. It soon became apparent that Health & Safety had nothing to do with the matter,… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

I appreciate Janet Fife’s perspective here. My knee-jerk reaction is generally to support musicians, but I found the Church Times article convincing in that some action was appropriate and wise. I’m glad to hear that some of the ringers were re-appointed and that it’s because they agreed to the safeguarding requirements. That is very telling. She sounds like she’ll be a great bishop. I hope I get to meet her sometime. Our experience with Bishop Lee of Swindon was very positive, we met him on the day of the Aurora movie shooting back home in Colorado, some of my friends’… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Cynthia says, “Some action was appropriate and wise.” Perhaps that may have been the action that the Minster took in April 2015, of banning one person from its grounds. (That person, by the way, was later awarded costs against the North Yorkshire Police.) But here I am speaking here of the Minster’s treatment of 30 other people. Cynthia then says some ringers were allowed to ring again because “they agreed to the safeguarding procedures.” Here again, someone is falling for the Minster’s line–which is not substantiated anywhere in the Church Times article. Again, what evidence is there that any of… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

FWIW, Jeremy, at my parish no one can hold a key to the church if they haven’t taken the “Safeguarding God’s Children” training. So having bell ringers sign on to safeguarding practices seems perfectly reasonable. It looks as if the bell ringer leadership may have been stubborn (weren’t some related to each other, creating a potential conflict of interest?). Given the seriousness, sacking the program and then bringing back the ones who sign on may have been the only way to achieve safeguarding compliance. There are probably details that we’ll never know. But that’s my speculation. We had a case… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Guest
Rowland Wateridge

Canons, both Honorary and Residentiary, and Deans are ‘installed’ to occupy a fixed stall in the cathedral. The bishop doesn’t have a stall – his or her seat is a chair. A throne is a chair by another name!

Father David
Guest
Father David

If it’s true humility we are seeking in order to emphasise the servant ministry of the chief pastor in each diocese then why not place a small stool in front of the bishop’s throne in every cathedral? In the North East of England, a small stool is also known as a cracket. Thereafter at the “putting in” of the new Diocesan s/he could then be Enstooled or Encracketted (in the dioceses of Durham and Newcastle). Problem solved.

David Runcorn
Guest

So is a chair a throne by any other name?

Alan Howarth
Guest
Alan Howarth

@Jeremy says there are four factual errors in my last post. One of which he addresses, but doesn’t actually disprove. What are the other three?

In the meantime, I have always valued Robert Runcie’s dictum that, after leaving a sphere of ministry, ‘spitting on the deck’ devalues both the ship and the person doing the spitting. Lot’s wife and all that…

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

Jeremy, I feel at a disadvantage here since you know who I am (and possibly know me personally), and since you don’t give your surname I don’t know who you are. Judging by the passion behind your posts, I’m guessing you have some personal links to the bellringers, or possibly some history with Vivienne Faull. I did try to post a link to an article giving both sides, but the link didn’t appear and I now can’t find the piece. I’m not sure it would have helped much anyway, since my previous effort to say that it’s clear most of… Read more »

T Pott
Guest
T Pott

“They answered and said unto him ‘If He were not a malefactor we would not have delivered Him up unto thee'” – John 18v30 The chief priests of Jerusalem were shocked that Pilate asked for evidence. The mere fact that the chief priests wanted Jesus eliminated was proof enough, in itself, that Jesus must have been a malefactor. That attitude thrives on in the Church of England. If the bellringers were not malefactors the chief priests of York would not have eliminated them. If the Reverend X Y Z had been a malefactor the chief priests of Sussex would have… Read more »

cryptogram
Guest
cryptogram

‘Enkathedrization’ is clearly the word to use. In comparison with the Enkathedrization of Bristol the Defenestration of Prague sounds quite Anglicanly bland and inoffensive.
This thread is really sorting the gnats from the camels.

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

“As for ‘oversteer’: what would he prefer? ‘Understeer’ a la Chichester in the 1990s?” This is a case where the metaphors lead one astray. To quote the current head of trackside operations at Ferrari, who has engineered multiple world champions and knows a thing or two about cars, “Understeer is when they hit the Armco with the front of the car; oversteer, on the other hand, is when they hit the Armco with the rear of the car.” Neither is good. But the reason why the metaphor confuses is because they are both about the behaviour of what is being… Read more »

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

Given the legal hornets’ nest that beckons, I’ll say only this: as I said at the time, I was appalled by the treatment of the York bellringers, and remain so; and this latest appointment reaffirms all my views about the majority of English bishops and their means of selection.

On the general issue of “safeguarding,” there’s a world of difference between an organization covering up known abuse and shielding known abusers, and an organization casting aside the presumption of innocence and treating mere suspicion as guilt. Both are deeply wrong, and both have the same root cause: valuing reputation over people.

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

Someone mentioned that Bristol is not an evangelical diocese: the Statement of Needs produced stated that Bristol is “a diocese with an increasingly confident and generous evangelical culture”. We also need to look at the greater diocese, that which is beyond the Church of England. The statement of needs also outlined the need for a bishop “who is incisive, articulate and engaging, both theologically and in public affairs”. Viv has not been appointed for one or two churches but for the whole region. People with and without faith, with and without a church connection. Her experience, coupled with that of… Read more »

Peter Sanderson
Guest
Peter Sanderson

Janet, Cynthia, Alan et al: As the former ringing master I’m restricted to what I can say on a public forum such as this but if you wish to contact me I can try to help your understanding of what happened. There are some important aspects which you have misunderstood. I hope I would be able to persuade you to change at least some of your views. peter@hopgrove.uk

R
Guest
R

Obviously most of us outsiders aren’t privy to enough information to really make a fully-informed assessment of whether the administrative decisions of the Dean and Chapter regarding the bell-ringers were reasonable and proper. It would be easy to get caught up in such a discussion, but I’ll resist the temptation! However, what did surprise me exceedingly at the time was the authorities’ unwillingness to ever offer any real olive branch. It would have been very easy for them to say “We still think that the steps we took were appropriate, but perhaps we took those steps in a tactless manner… Read more »

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

I have been in touch with Peter Sanderson and am happy to withdraw my statement that ‘the bellringers refused to follow safeguarding guidelines’. I offer my apologies to Peter and the other bellringers concerned.