Sunday, 24 October 2010

CofE news roundup on Sunday morning

The BBC Sunday radio programme has an interview with Bishop John Broadhurst. It starts about 25.5 minutes into the programme and lasts about 6 minutes. Link to it from here.

In the Observer Riazat Butt has a good summary of the overall situation on the Ordinariate and women bishops, in Exodus over women bishops: what will Rowan Williams do next?

News that fewer than 50 Anglicans are converting to Roman Catholicism has set cassocks twitching, leading to talk of an exodus and an earthquake in the Church of England and what the ramifications are for the archbishop of Canterbury, who is only ever described as besieged, beleaguered, embattled or all three…

Meanwhile, over at the Mail on Sunday Jonathan Petre has moved on to what might be the next big story, in Facing the axe: Diocese that has twice as many Muslim worshippers as Anglicans.

A historic Church of England diocese where Muslim worshippers outnumber Anglican churchgoers by two to one is set to be scrapped.

According to sources, the Dioceses Commission is drawing up proposals to axe the cash-strapped Diocese of Bradford in Yorkshire and merge it with neighbouring Ripon and Leeds…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 24 October 2010 at 9:44am BST | TrackBack
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Comments

It is only about a month ago that it was reported that for the first time interviews had taken place in connection with the appointment of a diocesan bishop in England. The diocese was - er, Bradford. The story of the "axing" of Bradford has been on the go for some time, but one presumes that if an appointment is in course, it will hardly be before the *next* avoidance. About standard for the veracity of the Mail's reporting, I think.

Posted by: cryptogram on Sunday, 24 October 2010 at 1:26pm BST

Of course it depends on what you mean by 'historic'. Founded in 1919 the diocese is hardly 'historic' in any real terms. It was one of those carved out of others, partly in a belated response to the concentration of populations in industrial cities and partly to recognise the outward movement from cities such as London into areas such as Surrey and Hertfordshire. The number or boundaries of dioceses should not be immutable. We could argue that there are far too many bishops anyway, every diocesan seems to have a couple of suffragans. Some downsizing in accordance with economic and demographic realities is well overdue.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Sunday, 24 October 2010 at 2:08pm BST

Mr. Ashby writes: "The number or boundaries of dioceses should not be immutable." True enough. But who should have the authority to make such changes? In TEC we have some small dioceses that are examining their financial and programmatic viability, but any proposals or decisions are made by the dioceses themselves (with General Convention ratification). A Diocese is not just a postal code.

Mr. Ashby then writes: "We could argue that there are far too many bishops anyway, every diocesan seems to have a couple of suffragans." Well, that depends on what one thinks a Diocese is, and what a Bishop is. If a Bishop is a CEO, then administrative efficiency may be important. But if a Bishop is a chief pastor, then maybe we should have more of them, not less. Does the average diocesan bishop in the CofE know where the rest room is in each of his parish churches without having to ask? I see that the Diocese of Bradford has 147 parishes. That's fairly large by American standards.

Posted by: Bill Moorhead on Sunday, 24 October 2010 at 8:21pm BST

"the Dioceses Commission is drawing up proposals to axe the cash-strapped Diocese of Bradford in Yorkshire and merge it with neighbouring Ripon and Leeds"

Could this produce another Assize Sermon (and the Oxford Mvt which followed)? [That's mainly a rhetorical question. I'm just recalling that it was eliminating (Anglican) episcopal sees in Ireland that got the ball rolling 180 years ago...]

Posted by: JCF on Monday, 25 October 2010 at 7:09pm BST

Is this report really 'apples and oranges'? Is the number of Muslims given actually the number of regular Friday worshppers or are they occasional attenders, mainly at the Eids? If so they must be compared in size to the numbers of 'C of E members', regulars at Christmas Carol and Remembrance Services etc., ie. about 50 per cent of the indigenous population of the Diocese.

Posted by: Keith Johnson on Tuesday, 26 October 2010 at 12:19am BST

Here is a BRIN analysis of the Bradford statistics
http://www.brin.ac.uk/news/?p=674

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 26 October 2010 at 6:42pm BST
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