Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Bishop of Winchester

Updated Monday

The Right Reverend Michael Charles Scott-Joynt, MA, the Lord Bishop of Winchester, announced at his diocesan synod yesterday that he will retire on 7 May 2011. Congregations and parishes in the diocese are being informed today, and an announcement on the diocesan website is expected later this week.

Update Official announcement from diocese

Posted by Peter Owen on Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 11:47am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

Good news: Michael Scott-Joynt has gone out of his way to oppose every move towards equality for gay people in the House of Lords in recent years, while bizarrely and illogically having been wildly in favour of the remarriage of divorcees in church.

Thank goodness Graham Dow, Tom Wright and Michael Scott-Joynt can all be consigned to the wrong side of episcopal history where they belong now. Time to move on to a new generation which will hopefully have a better handle on ethical issues & modern British society than this backward-looking crew of naysayers did.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 1:53pm BST

Scott-Joynt was one of those (along with Geo. Carey and others) who said that allowing other religious bodies to conduct civil partnership ceremonies on religious premises would violate religious freedom.

Positively Orwellian.

And solid evidence that an Oxbridge MA ain't worth the parchment it's written on.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 4:20pm BST

A curious phenomenon - this lemming like exodus of so many of our diocesan bishops. I note that the mass exodus is taking place prior to the introduction of the innovation of women bishops and all the little local difficulties that will inevitable follow thereafter. I wonder if, by any chance, the two things are related?

Posted by: Father David on Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 4:37pm BST

Yes, Fr Mark, very good news.

This is the man who in a calculating way set out, in Parliament, to defy the Dromantine Anathema's prohibition of any attempt to "diminish" gay people by proclaiming three times how we were less than the best.

It was Rowan Williams's failure to respond in an appropriate way to this that led me and many others to lose confidence in his ability to defend us or stand by his claims recently repeated in a Times interview.

As Andrew Brown elegantly puts it:
"One does wonder who is supposed to hear this, and who is supposed to believe it."

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 6:22pm BST

Great stuff, Father Mark, glad you're still in fighting voice.

Posted by: john on Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 6:37pm BST

God bless Bishop Michael. I wonder if the conservatives will be driven out of the C of E entirely? It appears that this will be so. Does anyone here have a guess about how long they think it will take before being in synch with the approval of SS relations is mandated? 2 years? Less?

Posted by: goodbye on Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 9:48pm BST

As long as he doesn't retire to the USA...

Posted by: JCF on Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 10:02pm BST

Father David wonders if there is any sinister reason behind this retirement. I doubt it. He'll be 68 by next May and could have gone three years earlier with a full pension entitlement.

Posted by: Wilf on Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 10:13pm BST

Michael Scott-Joynt will be 68 by the time he retires so I don't think it necessary to read an ulterior motive such as Fr David suggests into his retirement announcement - and I'm not clear on his views on the consecration of women but he was certainly a strong supporter of the ordination of women as priests when he was a Canon of St Albans in the early 1980s

Posted by: Maggie on Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 10:19pm BST

"Thank goodness Graham Dow, Tom Wright and Michael Scott-Joynt can all be consigned to the wrong side of episcopal history where they belong now"

Don't forget to add Cassidy of Southwell & Nottingham to the "good riddance" list.

Posted by: Laurence on Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 11:02pm BST

Serial polygamy has lost one of its most able spokesmen!

Posted by: JPM on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 12:17am BST

Perhaps a more propitious exit might have been made on All Fools Day.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 12:23am BST

On the minus side, +John Saxbee retires in the new year.

Posted by: Mynsterpreost (=david rowett) on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 12:29am BST

'I wonder if the conservatives will be driven out of the C of E entirely?'

The poor poor loves. Being rejecting of gay and lesbian people does not make some one conservative.

The bullies posing as victims is not new.

In fact,he is retiring. Can you understand that?

Still, he did do something for divorced people.

Let him rest in peace.


Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 12:46am BST

No, neither sinister nor dexter - merely an observation and a comment that so many diocesans are currently throwing in the towel to be replaced by, as in politics, a "new generation" i.e. no one anyone has ever heard of.
Anyway this retirement business within the Church is a fairly recent development (Pensions Board please note) I believe that Randall Davidson on becoming an octogenarian started the trend as the first Cantuar to retire and Rowan has already stated that he doesn't expect to be still holding the poisoned chalice by the time he's seventy. You don't hear anything similar from either the Queen (Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England)nor the Pope - both now well into their eighties.

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 5:44am BST

Goodbye: if My Lord of Winchester is such a beacon of conservative Christianity, can you please explain the logic in his support of remarriage in church for divorcees yet opposition to (to the point of voting against in the Lords) the removal of discrimination against gay people in civil society?

I don't whether, from your use of the verb "mandated", you might be in the US, and therefore less familiar with the recent developments in the law in the UK; but the spectacle of an unelected double-barrelled Old Wykehamist living in a palace (viz, the product of a life of privilege) repeatedly voting against equality for everyone else is not the sort of thing that looks good to many British people.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 8:44am BST

'I wonder if the conservatives will be driven out of the C of E entirely?'

How this comment relates to the voluntary retirement of a bishop I don't understand. Does the writer include as 'conservatives' those who -like +Winton, are vigorous supporters of the ordination of women? Or does 'conservatives' mean, 'others who oppose (some of ?) the things I also don't like'?

That could explain the idea that anyone is being'driven' anywhere. My conservative friends know that they have free choice in their decisions (albeit, of course, informed by conscience) but they are not choosing to go anywhere else. Leaving the C of E is a matter of free choice.

Posted by: Lister Tonge on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 8:45am BST

Winchester is usually a translation. Norwich perhaps?

Posted by: Perry Butler on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 12:00pm BST

""Thank goodness Graham Dow, Tom Wright and Michael Scott-Joynt can all be consigned to the wrong side of episcopal history where they belong now"
Don't forget to add Cassidy of Southwell & Nottingham to the "good riddance" list."


Yep - glad to see liberals can be relied upon to be so gracious and forgiving. Tsk. You forgot Nazir-Ali of Rochester. You do yourselves no credit by sniping thus - Vitriol Online indeed.

While I agree Bp Michael is near retirement, the part of me that likes conspiracy theories can't shy away from wondering whether the individuals named might form the bench of bishops of an Anglican church in the UK (as opposed to the largely non-Anglican C of E*).

In Christ
Elias

*: you doubt me? have a look at Canon A5 and ask yourself how many clergy believe in the documents listed as foundational (also gives the lie to comments that the C of E has no confessional statements)

Posted by: Elias on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 1:39pm BST

If the C of E could fill his position with someone who doesn't make a habit of misrepresenting the internal life of other provinces, we in the U. S. would be most appreciative.

Posted by: Jim Naughton on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 3:39pm BST

Last year, Bishop Michael et al. removed the funding from my beloved chaplaincy (savesotonchaplaincy.co.uk) and he quickly became one of our least favourite people. However, I have since then grown to respect our Bish, and would like to point out he was already beyond retirement age (and, one hears, not the healthiest of men) when both of his suffragans departed for pastures new, necessitating his remaining in post in what was essentially a sinking ship.

In the year that I've been paying attention, Scott-Joynt has been forced to make and/or take responsibility for some very tough decisions, and for that, I cannot help but to hold him in high regard. I do, however, look forward to (one hopes and prays) some very real change and progress in my diocese. God knows we need it!

Godspeed, Bishop Michael.

Posted by: Dan BD on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 5:25pm BST

oh for heaven's sake Elias ! -- we are C of E by birth and no beliefs are required of us-- but we can say the Lord's Prayer in the vulgar tongue. We don't worry about 'anglicanism' if it exists, or the various 'anglicanisms' being touted around the world. Whether we go to church or not, we're still C of E. For myself, I have as little as possible to do this currently anti-gay body-- but I still exercise my free-wheeling, evangelistic ministry as led, and whether they, or you like it or not, I am still C of E - like my birth date and place --it just is -- same as me !

(As for your so-called 'foundational' documents...)

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 5:58pm BST

It's not Vitiol Elias --some of us are just having a Cheery Chuckle !

We don't get much chance of CC these days, what with the antics of the self-appointed 'conservatives' /'orthordox' who want to be free to oppress and bully those who step out of their line -- more like an identity parade. We hate being treated as suspects.

And gather from your Comment that you wish retired bishops like Scott-Joynt to set up in opposition
to the C of E.

If you think Good riddance is Vitriol you have had a sheltered life !

"Good riddance" is quite a cheerful thing to say

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 6:05pm BST

We Quakers try to live up to George Fox's belief that there is "that of God" in everyone, so I don't want to join in the sniping about Michael Scott-Joynt. However, I do want to record that he seems to have been responsible for inaccurately briefing (mostly conservative) media against the amendment to the Equality Bill, mentioned above in thie thread,to allow Quakers (+ liberal Jews and Unitarians) to celebrate civil partnerships in our own meeting houses (etc). Both before and aftger the amendment was passed, several media reported, quite incorrectly, that it would force an unwilling C of E to do the same. There was never any foundation to this story, which was widely repeated.,

Posted by: Iain McLean on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 6:49pm BST

+ Michael Winton and Dale Winton - I wonder if, by any chance, they are related?

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 7:03pm BST

There is a generational shift going on, as several have pointed out, but this wave of retirements (now including three out of five of the senior bishops, I think?) assumes considerable significance, given its timing.

David Cameron has let it be known that he wishes the Church of England would "get over it" and accept the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people. The new Prime Minister seems to be taking a more active role in the appointment of bishops, and (witness Rochester) prefers the peacemakers to the outspoken.

The tone and direction of the Church of England, under this new leadership, is likely to change considerably over the next few years. For the first time in a while, I see hope for the Church of England's future.

Posted by: Charlotte on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 7:16pm BST

The Bishop of Winchester
Updated Monday

I was intrigued to this TA headline today !

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 7:46pm BST

I would rather have thought the point was you cannot have a retired Queen - whereas one does have retired bishops. A 'retired' Queen would be 'abdicated' where as a bishop is still a bishop, just not in full time work.

Posted by: Rosemary Hannah on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 8:22pm BST

Elias: "glad to see liberals can be relied upon to be so gracious and forgiving."

My Lord of Winchester votes, ex officio, in the House of Lords to make laws for the whole of British society. In such a position, someone who repeatedly tries to skew the legislative process against equality (and quite contrary to the weight of public opinion) deserves, and can expect, robust criticism, as can any other member of the legislature pursuing an anti-human rights agenda. He does not represent me in any way, and I am ashamed that he links the image of the Church to illogical dislike of gay people (although not to an equally traditional dislike of divorce, or of women speaking in churches, for example).

As for "foundational documents," that means what it says. What were important details to Henry VIII or the governors of Edward VI are not necessarily equally so to all of us nowadays, I'm afraid, although what they did for the C of E was doubtless foundational.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 9:03pm BST

I think rather that it is two not three out of the five senior bishops who are going or have gone - the three most senior remain i.e. Canterbury (Number 1), York (Number 2) and London (Number 3. Durham (Number 4) has already gone and Winchester (Number 5) has announced he is going.

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 10:27pm BST

I, too, have no reason to be a fan of +MSJ, for several reasons. However, my view has warmed since a recent ad hoc Q+A, when he was asked what "orderly separation" would mean for the CofE and his own Diocese. He stepped outside his formal episcopal mode of delivery and was clearly struggling to find a suitable answer. The pastor in him was gracious enough to concede that it would be very painful indeed.

BTW, I have heard it alleged that +M's views on the remarriage of divorcees in church was changed by his own pastoral experiences. Can anyone substantiate that, please?

Posted by: ezlxq on Monday, 11 October 2010 at 11:11pm BST

How many years do TA commentators believe it will be before any Bishops/clergy/parishes opposed to SSBs and ordinations of Gay/Lesbian clergy will be acceptable in the Church of England. It would be helpful to understand what the timetable and parameters for it are.

Posted by: goodbye on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 3:42am BST

Of course there is "that of God" in everyone. That doesn't mean that all of everyone is "of God" - and that's the part that can be safely sniped at.

I do get rather tired of liberal guilt.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 9:04am BST

Iain McLean is, as ever, generous - and his contribution fully in keeping with his Quaker tradition.

But when Oxford's Professor of Politics tells us that Scott-Joynt was responsible for "inaccurately briefing" and "There was never any foundation" to the story he was putting about - many less charitable souls might just say Bishop Michael was a liar.

Indeed while we are limited to expressing rather tempered view here - the real "Vitriol" drips from this bishop's lips in our Parliament. It is the end of this deliberate deception we are glad about.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 9:55am BST

Goodbye: "How many years do TA commentators believe it will be before any Bishops/clergy/parishes opposed to SSBs and ordinations of Gay/Lesbian clergy will be acceptable in the Church of England?"

Well, how many years' shelf life do you give homophobia in British society? Then add 30 years, if the Church and sexism are anything to go by.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 10:33am BST

"You do yourselves no credit by sniping thus". Elias.

For as long as these people hold unelected seats in the legislature, I shall continue to snipe. Disestablish the church and I shall cease to have an opinion on what the Church of England gets up to - it would be of no more interest to me then than the constitution of the local golf club.

The previous dicoesan bishop in the diocese where I live voted against every piece of equality legislation. Membership of the Church of England in this diocese is approximately 1.8% of the general population and his views reflected those of only a small proportion of that tiny percentage.

Posted by: Laurence C. on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 11:58am BST

'How many years do TA commentators believe it will be before any Bishops/clergy/parishes opposed to SSBs and ordinations of Gay/Lesbian clergy will be acceptable in the Church of England. It would be helpful to understand what the timetable and parameters for it are.'

Posted by: goodbye on Tuesday, 12 October 2010.

Ah, the victim cry again ! Those who bully and exclude lgbt people and condone worse in Nigeria and other countries, are to be painted as poor wronged lill victims ! Not buying that one.

BTW -- marriage is next on the agenda. Not SSB.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 6:18pm BST

I don't recognise much 'sniping' but then I have lived as a gay person in unreformed Britain and its churches for 60 years and 'sniping' does not cover the treatment meted out to us, by church, state and health service etc.

We have every right to be angry about that, and angry with those at ease in Sion who seek to with-old from us our human rights, civil liberties and the wonderful liberty of the children of God.

(As did Scot-Joynt among many others down the years, in Parliament and beyond it. The behaviour of the privileged blights the lives of people without voice or influence.).

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 6:57pm BST

Laurence C: 'Membership of the Church of England in this diocese is approximately 1.8% of the general population and his views reflected those of only a small proportion of that tiny percentage.'

Laurence Roberts: 'oh for heaven's sake Elias ! -- we are C of E by birth and no beliefs are required of us-- but we can say the Lord's Prayer in the vulgar tongue. We don't worry about 'anglicanism' if it exists, or the various 'anglicanisms' being touted around the world. Whether we go to church or not, we're still C of E. F... whether they, or you like it or not, I am still C of E - like my birth date and place --it just is -- same as me !'

Seems to be a difference of opinion here about what constitutes 'membership' in the C of E.

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 7:48pm BST

eems to be a difference of opinion here about what constitutes 'membership' in the C of E.
Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Tuesday, 12 Octobe

I am going by the Book of Common Prayer and the practice of the C of E down the years. 'Membership'* may not be quite the right word in fact,(I know I used it) it's more like DNA, a birthright or incontravertable belonging. When I was well enough, I think my parents brought me to church one Sunday afternoon and I was Christened. My having been Churched one weekday morning some weeks before. Nothing more* was required of them - or me. - dear old Cranmer....

* We're all parishioners - right. Baptised or not.


Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 9:36pm BST

Who'd be a bishop? How would any of us have managed it? Sad to see such uncharitable comments towards fellow Christians being aired publicly. It's tough when Christians, not least Anglicans, disagree so profoundly, but what does it achieve to air some of the views expressed here?

Posted by: Simon Winn on Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 10:01am BST

"but what does it achieve to air some of the views expressed here?"

People ought to know the impact they had on other people's lives.

As far as I can see, no-one here posted anything that is abusive or wrong, they merely pointed out facts and expressed gratitude that someone who has so clearly and publicly worked against a minority of committed Christians and a minority of those in whose name he was participating in the legislative process, will now be leaving.

Why should that not be allowed?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 12:47pm BST

Scott-Joynt felt he could vilify gay and lesbian people and relations in public, and convive to make their lives harder.

It may well be that such forums as these are the only form of accountability he may ever face. (Until of course a close family member or friend, or godchild or whatever comes out, and that will be its own form of testing. Or maybe they're afraid to speak to him about it. No one lives a life free of gay people - they just hope they do, as they go around with closed eyes, ears and hearts.

I think the comments here are pretty moderate by and large. (Cf the vile stuff on some other 'christian' sites in America). The powerful and articulate who give vulnerable groups a hard time
usually cry victim, when in receipt of some feedback and accountability -- or others speak up for them, as now. Will Simon Winn speak up for lesbian and gay people whose lives have been shattered by religion-based attacks on them ?

Cf the recent spate of teenage suicides in America following anti-gay attacks in policies and hateful words.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 2:31pm BST

"Who'd be a bishop? How would any of us have managed it? Sad to see such uncharitable comments towards fellow Christians being aired publicly. It's tough when Christians, not least Anglicans, disagree so profoundly, but what does it achieve to air some of the views expressed here? "

Yes, especially for a man in New Hampshire.

Posted by: evensongjunkie on Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 7:05pm BST

If my memory is quite accurate, the last time I saw one, the 'Get In Free' card supplied by the cathedral of the diocese of Oxford was available to any 'Member of the Church of England in the diocese of Oxford'.

If we behave like a sect we deserve to be treated like one.

Posted by: Lister Tonge on Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 9:12pm BST

"It's tough when Christians, not least Anglicans, disagree so profoundly, but what does it achieve to air some of the views expressed here?"

For God's (quite literally) sake, do you not get that - when you accept the episcopate, you are saying that you have been given a special grace of leadership and pastoral care? Uncharitable? Towards someone who has failed to fulfill the office toward which he took solemn vows? The whole office of bishop is predicated on the idea that a human, if he/she cooperates with the Holy Spirit, will do a superhuman job, not merely some glorified regional manager. If they fail, it's entirely their failure, and a wide-reaching, faith-rupturing failure, at that. He. Must. Be. Accountable.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Thursday, 14 October 2010 at 5:34am BST

Thanks Martin Reynolds for "outing" me as a professor of politics - but I don't claim any special authority by virtue of that!

Lister Tonge - haven't checked your report (and am in the USA at the moment). But what you report, if correct, reflects a rather common accidental Anglican imperialism. I represented Quakers at a Millennium service at Oxford cathedral. The Lord-Lieutenant came up to us with some prayers he wanted the Quakers to read. We said, "Sorry but it's not in the Quaker tradition to say set prayers". His face fell. "Oh, sorry, we've already printed the programme". So we did.

To be fair, the fault may have been with the Ld-Lieut's office, not with the cathedral authorities. But that is what you get with a state church.

Posted by: Iain McLean on Thursday, 14 October 2010 at 2:04pm BST

I think we can all expect to fail. (After all Jesus did, if we need a permission for it). Is nt the reality and possibility of failure, the basis of our stepping out on any enterprise ? If I cannot fail, I am not free to succeed either.

'O felix culpa !'

And in our traditional stories, look at what God made of Adam's failure, and of Jesus' betrayal and death !

Lawrence Jaffe writes movingly of this, and of failure in the life of Carl G Jung, the founder of analytical psychology. (Celebrating Soul,Inner City Books).

http://www.cgjungpage.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=174&Itemid=40

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Thursday, 14 October 2010 at 2:56pm BST

As far as I can see, the criticisms of Scott-Joynt have to do with how he has conducted himself as a bishop. There are no personal attacks here.

Compare that to the tenor of the comments at the so-called "orthodox" sites, which tend to be pure ad hominem.

Posted by: JPM on Thursday, 14 October 2010 at 4:19pm BST

Of course we all fail, that's not the point; the point is that someone who accepts the episcopacy - and no one is forced to! - is willingly taking public responsibility that means his/her failures ex cathedra have a greater theological and spiritual significance than mere personal peccadilloes.

This is a direct consequence of the classical understanding of a bishop as a charism rather than merely an appointment to a level of administrative management.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Friday, 15 October 2010 at 5:35am BST

Those who feel that 'Thinking Anglicans' are given to abusive criticism should taker a peep at the American web-site 'virtueonline' which, at the the heading claims to be the largest *Orthodox Anglican* web-site in the world!

Having read the vitriolic comments of the host, David Virtue, whose consistently venomous barbs against TEC are legendary, I found myself even more troubled by his correspondents on the site, for whom insults against the US Presiding Bishop, and against traditional Anglicanism are almost a daily event. Take it from me; TA is friendly by comparison.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 15 October 2010 at 9:26am BST

The Bishop of Winchester lives in a flat within the palace. Much of the palace is let as office space and generates useful revenue. And he can't help having a double-barrelled name!
I am neither for nor against Bp Michael; I just want to set the facts straight.

Posted by: Julia Fennell on Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 8:42am BST
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