Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Two deans become suffragan bishops

Two cathedral deans have recently been appointed as suffragan bishops.

The Dean of Exeter, Jonathan Meyrick, has been appointed Bishop of Lynn (Norwich diocese).
No. 10 announcement
Diocesan announcement

The Dean of Rochester, Adrian Newman, has been appointed Bishop of Stepney (London diocese).
No. 10 announcement
Diocesan announcement

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 at 10:58pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

Adrian is my cousin, of whom my non-religious brothers both said, "If anyone could make me want to go to church it would be Adrian" because he is such a good communicator.

Rather like the idea of a bishop running a marathon, like he did when he was a dean. I can see it now. London bishop in the London marathon.

I'm pleased for him but I'm sure it won't be easy.

Posted by: Susannah on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 at 11:26pm GMT

2 new Bishops for the Church of England! Let's hope they are both 'forward looking' and not wedded to the 'status quo'. Dean Jonathan Meyrick favours the 'loose'collar, one notes. I hope that means a little liberality in his upcoming episcope. I pray for both men (?) as they enter into their new era of ministry. They will need our prayers!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 at 11:31pm GMT

I wonder whether Ven Revd Adrian Newman is Evangelical or a Liberal Catholic? It would be quite strange but good to see an Affirming Catholic Bishop get a role.

Now all that is left pretty much - Bishop of Fulham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet and Bishop of Richborough.

I think +Richard Chartes will keep Fulham closer to home and give it to someone like +Peter Wheatley and leave See of Edmonton Vacant. While Ebbsfleet and Richborough should hopefully be swift but pleasant appointments

Posted by: Nigel Taylor on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 12:05am GMT

Is this not a sad comment on a once great office - that of Dean that it should be considered a preferment to go from it to become what is in effect an episcopal curate? I cannot for one moment imagine the Dean of Durham accepting such a demotion. What has the CofE become?

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 6:44am GMT

Jonathan is always impeccably tailored; he’s been an excellent dean for both the cathedral and the diocese of Exeter and Norfolk is lucky to have him.

Posted by: Stuart, Devon on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 6:52am GMT

Has anyone heard anything about the See of Fulham and What is to happen to it

Posted by: Andrew B on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 5:38pm GMT

oh yes, 'impeccable tailoring' must be essential for ministers - let alone bishops.

Wondering what of the tailoring of Jesus and Peter, Andrew + co ?

'Impeccability' a new mark of church....

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 7:53pm GMT

Far be it from me to question what people wear - but I will! The Bishop of Plymouth (Exeter) insisted that I should wear black clericals as his curate (and I asked - before I was ordained - if any other colours existed: what does that say about me?!)

I know nothing of the usual sartorial elegance of Fr Meyrick, but it has twice been mentioned, by Fr Ron in the Antipodes and Stuart in Devon.

A (very) loose collar (indeed) - or something that Roly Bain wears when clowning in church - with a buttoned stock (worn by exactly who these days?) clearly on top of a blue and white striped secular shirt, just itching to have its tie back, with which he appears on the Exeter Cathedral website. Just prepared for a quiet train journey back to Exeter, methinks.

I'm sure he is an excellent fellow, but hope his episcopate is less sartorially scruffy in public. Not in any way to be guaranteed by some of our Fathers in God (the Diocese in Europe excepted, though we nearly had a Confirmation in chinos recently, courtesy of Iberia Airlines.)

These days, I get comments only about my short-sleeved (black, of course) clerical shirts when the Spanish think it's cold - and this week it has been! Left my pully at the crem today, but back there on Friday...

Before this starts a fashionista thread, I really couldn't give a monkey's - but I personally wouldn't turn up to a photo-shoot dressed like that - not that such an ante-episcopal occasion is likely to occur!

Happy Days - utterly relaxed and Thinking Anglicans.

Posted by: Peter Edwards on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 11:29pm GMT

The abiding memory of the Jonathan Meyrick I knew is of him in a pair of coloured tights (or hose to be more precise) chasing the Princess Fred (AKA David Saint) and promising undying love. That Jonathan was young and wore a swish mustache, not this old crabby fellow.

If my memory serves me right there was a bishop witnessing this amorous pursuit - it was George Reindorp, who WAS always rather elegantly turned out. His Lordship had a shiny pate and spent part of the proceedings (the interval audience participation) singing a song specially written for the day by Paul Lockett (now a Prebend of Lichfield) ...... It went something like .....
"the bishop's got a head like a ping pong ball,
the bishop's got a head like a ping pong ball,
the bishop's got a head like a ping pong ball,
piiiiing, ping pong ball."

The liturgy was called
"Once upon a Mattress"

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 12:55am GMT

I can only imagine that these Very Revd gentlemen aspire to being diocesan Bishops and that as that invariably means having to be an episcopal curate first, that is a pill they are prepared to swallow; and the risk that they might get stuck there, as one they are prepared to take. Why else would a Cathedral dean move from somewhere such as Exeter to become the second choice confirming machine in wind swept East Anglia?

I'm reminded of that wonderful Michael Ramsey story, which I have probly got wrong but which goes something like:

'Tomorrow I have to consecrate two new suffragan bishops. I've not heard of either of them before and I don't suppose I shall ever hear of either of them again.'

Posted by: Jonathan Kirkpatrick on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 2:17am GMT

Thinking sartorial - does anyone else wear a Canterbury Cap these days? I do. It makes some young bucks stop and ask what it's all about, and I'm glad to be able to tell them: Anglo-catholic and Inclusive!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 5:31am GMT

Nigel - Adrian Newman isn't a "Ven" being a Dean he is Very Reverend and on his forthcoming elevation will become a Right Reverend. Only those who hold the office of Archdeacon aren't Reverend being, like Bede, Venerable.
With regard to "impecable tailoring" and sartorial elegance isn't it time we brought back frock coat and gaiters for the higher clergy? It is an oft quoted aphorism that the clergy dropped their gaiters under Ramsey. His predecessor Fisher was never seen in public without them. I believe that the late and great clergyman - Ronald Williams (Bishop of Leicester from 1953 - 1979)was often so attired and was known by the inferior clergy as "Leicester Square".

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 5:49am GMT

It has just occurred to me that a lack of sartorial elegance could be the ultimate heterosexuality test for would be Bishops. A wife and offspring having been an unreliable test, having them dress in a way that no self respecting gay man would ever dream of might be a more reliable way of ensuring that the bench of Bishops is as heterosexual as can be humanly engineered.

Posted by: Jonathan Kirkpatrick on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 9:56am GMT

How many of the present Deans are scholars? I always thought that is where scholars should be preferred. But I suppose now that Cathedrals have to run as businesses and there is so much fund raising ,the role has changes and increasingly managerial Deans move on to be managerial bishops.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 11:35am GMT

Neither of these gentlemen would be in gaiters - as they were not worn by deans. Gaiters served (in theory) to protect the calves of those clergy required to move around the countryside, archdeacons and bishops, and were not needed by those whose duties were confined to the close.

Posted by: Stuart, Devon on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 2:09pm GMT

I beg to differ, Stuart, having with my very own eyes seen a photograph of The Very Rev'd Robert McCarthy, Dean of St. Patrick's cathedral in Dublin (successor to Dean Swift) wearing frock coat and gaiters.

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 7:00pm GMT

"But I suppose now that Cathedrals have to run as businesses..." Perry Butler

Indeed! I was in a meeting recently where the Dean - in response to some wafty, impractical suggestion from another clergy person - said "This is the trouble with spiritual people - they aren't businesslike" - clearly not considering himself to be a spiritual person! Me, I'd rather have a businesslike Dean where everything is run well and s/he leaves the spiritual stuff to the Canon Pastor and Canon Precentor.

Posted anonymously for their benefit not mine :-)

Posted by: Anon on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 7:01pm GMT

@ Fr David - and what about women bishops? gaiters for them as well? (we're all just kidding I know, but still don't you think women add some reality touches....)

Posted by: Sara MacVane on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 9:06pm GMT

Speaking of things sartorial, an English priest asked me several years ago, why American priests so often wear the "dog collar" instead of the little tab which slips into the front of the shirt. I had no answer. Any suggestions? Isn't it Americans who are all for convenience?

Posted by: Old Father William on Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 11:52pm GMT

Well tailored indeed! What a poor criteria for a Bishop.

Posted by: Robert ian Williams on Friday, 25 March 2011 at 6:10am GMT

Sara, as with men - it all depends on the shape of the leg and whether or not they are at ease with equestrianism. Speaking personally, I have the perfect calves for gaiters but the call has never come! There again I am not at ease riding horses - no brakes! (only kidding)
As to those who are entitled to wear them - after extensive research - I may, after all, be coming round to Stuart's way of thinking. I base this observation on my knowledge of that marvellous televisual programme - "All Gas and Gaiters". The bishop (William Mervyn)and the Archdeacon (Robertson Hare) were often seen sporting them but I don't ever recall seeing the Dean (John Barron) so attired. Certain Deans may be seen occasionally wearing gaiters but this may well be highly irregular.If this practice continues I fear a Consistory Court may be in the offing and those Deans who persist in wearing them could well be de-gaitered.

Posted by: Father David on Friday, 25 March 2011 at 7:06am GMT

I think Dean Hewlett Johnson is the chap to settle this issue.


Posted by: toby forward on Friday, 25 March 2011 at 12:20pm GMT

"Speaking of things sartorial, an English priest asked me several years ago, why American priests so often wear the "dog collar" instead of the little tab which slips into the front of the shirt. I had no answer. Any suggestions? Isn't it Americans who are all for convenience?"

I can advance a hypothesis, as a citizen of the U. S.:

We don't have an official state religion, so default for "priest" doesn't settle on "Episcopalian" - rather, when saying "priest" a typical U. S. citizen thinks "Catholic" (i.e. Roman Catholic). The dog collar, as opposed to the tab, provides a visual distinction of Roman Catholic and Episcopal/Anglican.

Again, it's a hypothesis based on the fact that I've had people ask why "that guy" has the "whole collar thingy" instead of the "little white thingy in front?" If this is the actual basis for the practice, I can't say.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Saturday, 26 March 2011 at 3:57am GMT

Indeed so, Toby, but there again the Red Dean always was a bit of a rebel and not only in things sartorial - ask Fisher!

Posted by: Father David on Sunday, 27 March 2011 at 6:31am BST

"Well tailored indeed! What a poor criteria for a Bishop" - RIW -

Well, Robert, your own lot (RC cardinals and bishops) certainly seem to go for 'matching outfits' whenever they concelebrate in Saint Peter's. Do they get a special 'set' for each and every occasion? I wouldn't mind sharing in the profits from the Vatican Tailor.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 30 March 2011 at 11:24pm BST

When I was at Worcester in the 1950s the Dean wore gaiters as a matter of course in and around the Cathedral close, and in the rest of the city as well. He was a scholarly man, with a considerable interest in church history, and I am sure that he would not have been improperly dressed. In those days cathedral clergy wore surplice, scarf and hood for all services, and I cannot help feeling that this was preferable to the gaudy uniforms that are adopted today. I once came across a delightful comment in one of Archbishop Benson's published letters. 'Coloured stoles,' he wrote,'are so unmanly.' What a sensible man he was!

Posted by: Christopher on Saturday, 6 August 2011 at 12:42am BST
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