Friday, 18 March 2011

rumour about the new Bishop of Salisbury

Hugh Muir in the Diary column of today’s Guardian, is straplined A sensible move by the Church of England - will wonders never cease?

Churchill said the Americans do the right thing when all other avenues have been exhausted – but he could just as easily have been talking about the Church of England. Little is achieved without muddle and controversy. And this sadly characterises the way the powers have handled the future deployment of the Rev Nick Holtam, capable vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, who would have been a bishop by now were it not for the fact that his wife of more than 30 years was previously married and divorced. Conservatives on the bench of bishops used the “taint” of the spouse’s divorce to effectively veto Rev Nick’s elevation. The fact that he’s a liberal didn’t help. But God might well reflect that the Church of England works in mysterious ways. Sometimes that’s good. For it does appear that Rev Nick is going to get a mitre after all. We are told to be watchful of Salisbury. And it is probably no coincidence that the next-door bishop Michael Scott-Joynt of Winchester – the church’s arch Tory bishop who spoke out against the appointment of bishops with divorced wives last year – is imminently for retirement. We’ll miss him but everything may progress more smoothly in his absence. And we’ll get along just fine with Bishop Nick.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 18 March 2011 at 11:27am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

Well, amen. Or... for Winch? That would be immense.

Liberal from (the Diocese of) Winchester

Posted by: Dan Barnes-Davies on Friday, 18 March 2011 at 1:47pm GMT

If the rumour is true, that would be wonderful news for the Diocese of Salisbury and the Church of England in general and very good news for me personally since Salisbury is my diocese and the renewal of my PTO is dependent on the arrival of the new bishop.

Posted by: Colin Coward on Friday, 18 March 2011 at 2:25pm GMT

Regarding divorce, to quote Mel Brooks, "It's good to be the king." Or at least, it was good to be King Henry VIII.
Is there a double standard here? God forbid that a woman should divorce, but it's OK for a man? Or, is it that, once divorced, a person is expected to never marry again, and be chaste and virginal? To get themselves to a nunnery or monkery? Are there any cases in English history where a divorced man marrying a single woman caused public grief for the woman? Or is that "honor" only reserved for men marrying, or seeking to marry, divorced women?
The origins of the Church of England are complex, but it can be argued that the desire of an English monarch to be divorced was the catalyst that brought the CofE into being. So, at some level, the CofE has found divorce and re-marriage acceptable, at least for some people, since the 1500s. I believe the CofE also currently allows re-marriage after divorce for commoners, at least in some instances. So to allow divorce and re-marriage, then turn up your nose in horror smacks of hypocrisy.
Funny thing about the previously mentioned king. His obsessive desire for male heirs turned England upside down, and caused no end of troubles for 100 years or more. But, one of the greatest English monarchs of all time was a daughter he apparently overlooked and dismissed, Elizabeth I.

Posted by: peterpi - Peter Gross on Friday, 18 March 2011 at 5:49pm GMT

Well, to be accurate, Hanry VIII wanted not a divorce, but a decree that his previous marriage was null, invalid. Closer to our time of course is the case of the current heir to the throne.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Saturday, 19 March 2011 at 3:32am GMT

+Alan Wilson was also being talked about.

Posted by: Simon W on Saturday, 19 March 2011 at 5:12am GMT

>> the church’s arch Tory bishop who spoke out against the appointment of bishops with divorced wives last year

Good Lord, saints preserve him from learning about the founding governor of the church of England.

I just presumed, like most thinking people, that marriage was like chicken pox: best to get it over with while you are young.

Posted by: Randal Oulton on Saturday, 19 March 2011 at 5:52am GMT

You wonder sometimes if religious journalists have the brains they were born with. There is no surer way to scupper a candidate for an English bishopric than to leak their being considered (pace Jeffrey John). The CNC and Lambeth HATE confidentiality being compromised.

Posted by: Fr Dougal on Saturday, 19 March 2011 at 4:46pm GMT

A New Bishop of Stepney is due to be announced Next Week by the Diocese of London

Posted by: Jake Fielding on Saturday, 19 March 2011 at 11:43pm GMT

Scott-Joynt has a track record of mind-numbingly stupid comments, including his claim last year that allowing other religious bodies to do something they wanted to to (host civil unions in their buildings) was an attack on religious freedom.

Despite his Cambridge MA, it is entirely possible that Michael Scott-Joynt may be the stupidest bishop in the Anglican Communion.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Sunday, 20 March 2011 at 1:52am GMT

Well it will not be a gay or a will be someone "nice "...married to a professional wife with two children. A safe pair of hands for Rowan.

Posted by: Robert ian Williams on Sunday, 20 March 2011 at 6:52am GMT

They both have good ministries and are good people.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Sunday, 20 March 2011 at 2:05pm GMT

Have I mentioned that I do wonder if the day will come, when Church of England people will want to re-consider the nature of oversight / episcope and the form that ministry takes ?

The present format is very problematic.

With unChristian elements of a worrrying nature.

There are many many ways of doing episcope

imagination needed

+ courage ...........

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Sunday, 20 March 2011 at 2:09pm GMT

The comments to which Malcolm refers are presumably the ones in the House of Lords on 25 January 2010. See

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 20 March 2011 at 3:11pm GMT

Fr Dougal

The situation in this case is surely different, in that the Salisbury meetings of the Crown Nominations Commission were done and dusted in January, whereas the leaks in relation to Southwark occurred while the process was still in motion.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 20 March 2011 at 3:16pm GMT

Will the Dean of Rochester be the next Bishop of Stepney? if so it will mean another evangelical Area bishop replacing a liberal catholic one. Though the Dean is ,I gather , very much an "Open Evangelical"

Posted by: Perry Butler on Sunday, 20 March 2011 at 6:43pm GMT

" This is a permissive amendment and I am utterly persuaded by it. I would be totally opposed to it being a requirement, because many churches would find this utterly abhorrent; but in so far as there are churches and synagogues and other faith places that would like this to happen, it is entirely appropriate and I support the amendment."

- Baroness Butler-Sloss, Lords Debate -

Tight-lipped C.of E. Bishops in the Lords must have been just a tiny bit pleased that Baroness Butler Sloss - together with Baroness Neuberger -differentiated between those faith communities that would like to allow civil partnerships to take place in religious premises (Liberal Jews, Quakers, etc.) and those like the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Churches, that would not! So much for "They'll know you're my disciples by your Love" - from the Head of the Christian Church!

Hurrah for the good Baronesses in The Lords!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 21 March 2011 at 9:39am GMT

We do not know if 'the Church of England' would like to hold civil partnerships, as there has been no discussion whatsoever.

I have no doubt some Church of Enland parishes, and ministers would like to, feel called to, even. The leadership will do all it can to prevent them, is my guess.

But it will come later or sooner ...

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Monday, 21 March 2011 at 8:58pm GMT

Well called Perry, Dean of Rochester announced as Bishop of Stepney today.

Posted by: Will Adam on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 at 6:04pm GMT

.....and another interesting rumour...the Area Bishop of Edmonton to be the suffragan Bishop of Fulham.Only a new Archdeacon of Hackney to be appointed and the new London team will be complete.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 at 8:24pm GMT

should have added a new Bishop of Edmonton if the rumour is true.As the present bishop doesnt ordain women to the priesthood, this could be an interesting one!!

Posted by: Perry Butler on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 at 8:26pm GMT

There is no small irony that, while the current Bishop of Edmonton (Suffragan to London) does not ordain women, the current Bishop of Edmonton (Diocesan in Canada) and the previous Bishop of Edmonton (Diocesan in Canada, now Bishop of Christchurch) are both . . . women.

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 3:06am GMT

@Perry - I have heard that rumour myself, although I doubt it, you knew +Peter Wheatley better than most people, it's unlikely especially if he decided to join the Ordinariate tomorrow.

Although +Richard might decided to do that and leave Edmonton Vacant for a while and eventually give it to Ven Luke Miller or another good Catholic Man.

+Peter has been Bishop of Edmonton for 12-14 Years now and it's been a good run but I in due respect think, Edmonton might just need a change.

But you're not the only one that has heard about that. It's most likely a announcement from +Richard will come out in a few months

Posted by: Nigel Taylor on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 7:41am GMT

I remember Bishop Brian Masters, the previous Bishop of Edmonton, and more anglo-catholic one could hardly get!, had a photo of his (female) Canadian episcopal namesake prominently displayed in his study, Malcolm.I suspect he regarded her as a godly lay-woman!
I am puzzled by the idea of the present Bp moving to Fulham but perhaps ,if true, it is part of +Londin's "grand plan" to have a team that fully represents the wide spectrum of the diocese.The Edmonton Area has changed a good deal since 1995 when I first went there ( soon after the departures over women priests) and I suspect a catholic minded bishop who ordained women to the priesthood would be more widely acceptable now. I would think it most unlikely that +Edmonton would want to enter the Ordinariate.It is interesting just how few London clergy have.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 6:03pm GMT

Pace Perry's comment above,I think we could do with more 'godly lay-women' and men in bishops' posts. It would be a bold-ish and creative experiment. I think its day will come.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 7:51pm GMT

@Perry: I doubt as well he will join the Ordinariate although he could still remain a Bishop in the RC Church.

I would think that +Michael Colclough would be great for the Edmonton Area, a true catholic minded man but still retains the fact that he believes in the Ordination of Women.

The problem with +Peter, he's a true Catholic very traditional but liberal as well in the terms of having Women in his Area such as Cindy Kent.

Only time will tell I doubt he'll stay till he's 70. It will be Luke Miller or Michael Lawson, who are likely to get it.

Posted by: Nigel Taylor on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 8:15pm GMT
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