Monday, 5 January 2009
Gregory Cameron goes to St Asaph
The Diocese of St Asaph has elected a new bishop.
See the official Church in Wales press release.
A senior adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury was today elected as the next Bishop of St Asaph.
The Rev Canon Gregory Cameron, 49, who is Deputy Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Office in London, was chosen by members of the Electoral College of the Church in Wales meeting at St Asaph Cathedral.
The announcement was made by the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, at the west door of the cathedral on the first day of the meeting.
Canon Gregory Cameron will be the 76th Bishop of St Asaph, an area covering the north-east corner of Wales – the counties of Conwy and Flintshire, Wrexham county borough, the eastern part of Merioneth in Gwynedd and part of northern Powys. His election follows the retirement in December of the Rt Rev John Davies who served as Bishop of the diocese from 1999.
A Welshman who was ordained in the Diocese of Monmouth, Mr Cameron has been involved in the ecumenical relations of the Anglican Communion at global level for the past five years. Previously, he served as Chaplain to the Archbishop of Wales, then Dr Rowan Williams.
Married to Clare, the couple have three sons, aged 11, nine and six…
The first press report is here.
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Monday, 5 January 2009 at 6:21pm GMT
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Church in Wales
Rowan Williams will miss him, he's been a (good) power behind the throne.
Really healthy spiritual NEWS!
Felicidades from America Central to the Bishop-elect, St Asaph, Canon Gregory Cameron !
... a very good man. Congratulations.
An inspired appointment, and really good news. Wales's gain will be our loss in London.
Isn't he one of the people who back the Anglican Covenant thing? I may have him confused with somebody else. If he is, then he's better off in the hinterland than whispering in Rowan's ear. Apologies in advance if I've got him mixed up with someone else. Obviously, I think the Covenant is a very bad idea.
I don't like the Covenant either but I hope Gregory Cameron would be assessed more generously and on a larger canvas. If the liberal part of the Church becomes a single-issue constituency what hope for Anglicanism!
Anyway, even St Asaph has the electric telephone.
"Anyway, even St Asaph has the electric telephone." LOL!
When the Diocese of Virginia set up a toll-free number to reach diocesan offices, I, here in the Shenandoah Valley, called the diocese about something. Now y'all should know Richmond is about 120 or so miles away ... but you do have to cross mountains to get there. Anyhow, when I said I was calling from Harrisonburg, the operator is Richmond said, "Really? The 800 number even works out THERE?"
You're quite right to call me on tending to be a one issue person - always a danger for all of us who feel passionately about things.
PS: Am also old enough to remember the number you told the operator in my grandparents' small Missouri town [no fancy dial phones there in the 1950s]. It was "Nine Eight," and the operator as like as not would say, "Oh, you're Dr. Day's grand-daughter!"
I don't know anything about the new Bishop and I expect that he is a fine man. But I am so happy that the Church in Wales has made sure that we know he is married and has three children. So that's all right then.
The press release also mentions that Canon Cameron is "a strong devotee of Dr Who" (a British science fiction series, for those of you outside the UK). I don't read this to mean that all new bishops must show their orthodoxy in the key issues of whether the new Doctor is too young, for example.
Press releases try to put in background information to make their subjects more interesting. Like it or not, someone's family is part of that - it is not part of the Church in Wales trying to scream "and he's not gay!"
Good luck to Canon Cameron - I believe that St Asaph Cathedral is quite cold...
Well said, Richard.
It is worth noting, of course, that being married has never guaranteed being 'not gay', even in the Church and even amongst our bishops.
There was a serious point behind my cynicism about the inclusion of the Bishop's marital status.
The inclusion of a statement that the Bishop (or indeed any one else holding public office) has a wife and children means that it increasingly 'normalises' marriage as the only state for office holders, meaning that those who are not married are regarded with curiosity at best or suspicion or worse by others. In the real world you can't even ask a question about marital status (or age) on a job application form, there should be no reference to it at interview either and it is regarded as irrelevant for post holders.
However, in this sexually aware age and especially with the church being in such a funk about homosexuality it does seem to me that a statement that a bishop or priest is married is deemed to be essential to stop awkward questions being asked. I do wonder, too, whether such preconceptions are deterring highly suitable people applying for or being selected for senior positions because thay don't match the increasing norm of being married.
The other thing is about the attempt to 'humanise' the appointee. The new Bishop is married with kids and likes Dr Who. It's a bit like politicians who these days seem to have to be followers of some top flight football team or to wake up to the music of some rock or pop band. It is an attempt to give these people something of the common touch, probably so that we can 'relate' to them in some way and feel that really they are just like us. Well actually they aren't like us and indeed if they were then perhaps light and amity would break out in the church and the world. But that's me being cynical again.
Happy new year
Richard Ashby wrote: 'The other thing is about the attempt to 'humanise' the appointee. The new Bishop is married with kids and likes Dr Who. It's a bit like politicians who these days seem to have to be followers of some top flight football team or to wake up to the music of some rock or pop band. It is an attempt to give these people something of the common touch, probably so that we can 'relate' to them in some way and feel that really they are just like us.'
I can, if I stretch my mind back, remember several of Gregory Cameron's idiosyncratic hobbies (we were friends at university some 30 years ago and shared some of them). There is no reason to doubt that a real interest in 'Dr Who' was among them! It's not something invented for the present-day media.
And what, pray, does the new Bishop-elect have to say about The Simpson's, I wonder. n.b., As a friend and colleague of the ABC he probably quite likes them. At least the Simpsons are not afraid to broach the forbidden world of homosexuality.
A press release from the Church in Wales? There was nothing on its website in advance of the election as there had been for other meetings of the Electoral College. That and the speed with which this election happened does make one question whether this was a 'done deal'. - And it is also worrying that this could bring with it 'covenant creep', unless Father Cameron has come out from under the shadow of Dr. Williams.