Saturday, 13 October 2012

Clerk to the General Synod to become Director of Forward in Faith

Forward in Faith has issued this press release Changes at FiF announced.

It was announced today at the Forward in Faith National Assembly that Stephen Parkinson will be retiring at the end of December, after over 19 years as the Director of FiF. He will be succeeded by Dr Colin Podmore, who is currently the Clerk to the General Synod of the Church of England…

Church House Westminster has issued this press release: Statement from Secretary General on new Director of Forward in Faith.

The Secretary General of the Church of England, Mr. William Fittall, has today issued a statement in response to the announcement that Dr. Colin Podmore has been appointed as the new Director of Forward in Faith:

“Forward in Faith has today announced the appointment of the Dr. Colin Podmore, who currently serves as the Clerk to the General Synod, as its next Director, upon the retirement of the present incumbent.

Colin has accordingly given notice that he will be leaving the Church House staff at the end of March to take up the new role. He will continue to fulfill the full range of his current responsibilities until the end of that six-month notice period, except that, at his request, I have agreed that he will not play a role in relation to the Women Bishops legislation…”

The Forward in Faith press release also contains this biographical note:

Colin Podmore, a Cornishman, read history at Keble College, Oxford, and trained as a teacher at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He taught German at S. Michael’s Church of England High School in Chorley, Lancashire, before returning to Keble to research for his Oxford DPhil in church history. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. His publications include Aspects of Anglican Identity (2005) and articles on Anglican ecclesiology. On the staff of the General Synod from 1988, he was successively Deputy Secretary of the Council for Christian Unity, Secretary of the House of Clergy, Secretary of the Liturgical Commission, and Secretary of the Dioceses Commission. He was also secretary of groups that reviewed the processes for choosing diocesan bishops and making senior church appointments and oversaw the publication of the Common Worship liturgy. As well as being Clerk to the Synod, Colin is also the Director of the Central Secretariat of the Archbishops’ Council and Director of Ecumenical Relations.

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Comments

I am sorry that Colin is leaving Church House Staff to take on this new work. I have always respected him while often disagreeing with him strongly. His talents would be much better used serving the whole church of England instead of this reactionary group.

Posted by: Jean Mayland on Saturday, 13 October 2012 at 4:36pm BST

Jean,
reactionary and progressive are often in the eye of the beholder. And surely you are not suggesting that Dr. Podmore, or anyone, should not go where they are sure heart and calling lie, regardless of which side of the debate they are on?

Graeme Buttery

Posted by: Graeme Buttery on Saturday, 13 October 2012 at 8:43pm BST

Jean Mayland, you are indeed correct in your assessment of Dr Podmore. And you would surely expect someone of integrity to do just what he has ie. follow his theological convictions. FiF is not a reactionary group, as you suggest. I have been a member since its inception and thus take exception to being labelled in such a way. I would hardly call Dr Podmore reactionary. Would you?

Posted by: Benedict on Sunday, 14 October 2012 at 3:58pm BST

'His talents would be much better used serving the whole church of England instead of this reactionary group.'

Under the ancien regime of Bishop Broadhurst and his team it is understandable that FiF were not taken as seriously as perhaps they might have been with better leadership. But they always had within their ranks talented people of integrity, and now they have a new Bishop to lead them, and somebody of the calibre of Dr Podmore, they are undoubtedly more mainstream.

Posted by: Neil on Sunday, 14 October 2012 at 7:08pm BST

I wish Dr Podmore well in his new appointment. But if he is, as others say, a man of principled views then why does it take the acceptance of another job to strengthen his resolve sufficiently to ask NOT to be involved in legislation for the admission of women to the episcopate? The decision is in relation to his employment and not his personal views. Dr Podmore has been thoroughly pragmatic to date and is carrying on in that fashion. He does what the job requires of him. Nothing more and nothing less.

Posted by: Commentator on Monday, 15 October 2012 at 4:19pm BST

Personally, I am glad that FiF people obviously still demonstrate their primary loyalty - to the C of E. Which being so, the rest of us should be as 'accommodating' of them as we can possibly be. And there is quite a lot of elasticity here, given that no one here - least of all intelligent FiF people - is actually delaying the implementation of women bishops.

Posted by: John on Monday, 15 October 2012 at 7:58pm BST

" no one here - least of all intelligent FiF people - is actually delaying the implementation of women bishops.' - John, on monday -

The point is, john, not whether FiF people in the Church of England are delaying the implementation of Women Bishops; but whether, or not, they will recognise their oversight for themselves.

If they do not, then they are separating themselves out from the polity, discipline and ethos of the church that they claim to belong to. If one does not recognise duly lawful authority in the Church of some of its Bishops - on the grounds that they are not really bishops - how can that be a place of 'integrity'?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 at 8:58am BST

" no one here - least of all intelligent FiF people - is actually delaying the implementation of women bishops.' - John, on monday -

The point is, john, not whether FiF people in the Church of England are delaying the implementation of Women Bishops; but whether, or not, they will recognise their oversight for themselves.

If they do not, then they are separating themselves out from the polity, discipline and ethos of the church that they claim to belong to. If one does not recognise duly lawful authority in the Church of some of its Bishops - on the grounds that they are not really bishops - how can that be a place of 'integrity?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 at 8:58am BST

I get your point, Father Ron. But for me, it's not 'the' point, it's 'a' point, which has to be weighed in relation to a whole range of other factors. And the answer to your question, as we all know, is they do and they don't. They don't sacramentally. We all know this. What is the point in reducing everything to a single point? It's pointless. It doesn't remotely do justice to the complexities of the situation. Nor is it sensible. If REFORM (whom I don't esteem) and FiF (about whom I freely admit to having some negative feelings) manage to abort the Women Bishops measure at Synod, as they may do, then I think liberals like yourself will be seen to have acted extremely foolishly and irresponsibly.

Posted by: John on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 at 10:44am BST

John re. no one here - least of all intelligent FiF people - is actually delaying the implementation of women bishops.' - John, on monday - I beg to differ. I suspect there is a contingent of FiF people ( I will not speculate on their intelligence) who will be working extremely hard to delay the implementation of Women Bishops. And if you are skeptical about that I recommend a quick peek at the article in the September issue of New Directions p. 17 entitled 'Diversity smells of Sulphur' which takes the position that anyone willing to even contemplate tolerating Women Bishops (ie Better Together) campaign are playthings of the Enemy, doing Satan's work and recommends 'We should treat our Christian enemies as our Enemy' You can access New Directions through the Forward In Faith Website. To suggest that at least some parts of FiF will not seek to delay the legislation seems a tad naive.
http://www.forwardinfaith.com/news/new-directions-archive.html

Posted by: Lindsay Southern on Monday, 22 October 2012 at 5:14pm BST
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