Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Staff changes at Lambeth Palace

From the Lambeth Palace website:

Announcement of staff changes in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s staff at Lambeth Palace

Tuesday 25th June 2013

The Archbishop of Canterbury today announced the following changes in staffing at Lambeth Palace which will take place in October:

Chris Smith, Chief of Staff to the Archbishop since 2003, will move on to pursue other interests in October after 10 years of service at Lambeth. Archbishop Justin today praised Chris’s contribution in the role: “I would like to thank Chris on behalf of my predecessor and the many others who have benefited from his years of loyal service to the Church. I am particularly grateful to Chris for remaining at Lambeth during the changeover of Archbishops, ensuring a smooth handover during this period of transition.”

The Rt Reverend Nigel Stock, currently Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, will join the Archbishop’s staff in October as Bishop at Lambeth, with responsibility for supporting the Archbishop’s work in the House of Bishops, the Synod and the Archbishops’ Council, and being a key point of contact at Lambeth Palace for Bishops. Speaking about the appointment, Archbishop Justin said “I am delighted Bishop Nigel has agreed to come and join us at Lambeth to carry out this important new role and I look forward to working with him”.

Arrangements will be made in consultation with the Bishop’s Council to cover the vacancy in the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich until a new diocesan bishop is appointed to replace Bishop Nigel.

Kay Brock, currently Secretary for Public Affairs and Deputy Chief of Staff, will become Chief of Staff in October, implementing the Archbishop’s strategy, managing Lambeth Palace and having responsibility for the Archbishop’s engagement with public life.

From the St Edmundsbury diocesan website:

Bishop Nigel set for new role at Lambeth

Bishop Nigel spoke of mixed feelings as he announced that he will be leaving the county he loves later this year to take up a senior role.

“The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked me to take up this role which will take effect in late October. The purpose is to support the Archbishop’s ministry with the Bishops and the National Church Institutions, General Synod and the Archbishops’ Council. This will mean being a collegiate member of the Archbishop’s senior team, which works with him to develop and implement strategies for every area of the ministry to which God has called the Archbishop.”

“As Bishop of Lambeth, I will be the main point of contact at Lambeth for Bishops of the Church of England, building and strengthening the Archbishop’s relationship with them. I will also be engaged with ecumenical and interfaith work, and have oversight for other sections of those working within Lambeth Palace. The Archbishop is aiming to work with a smaller staff at Lambeth, but is looking to make it a responsive, courteous and hospitable place from which to conduct his ministry.”

“The Archbishop is working on three priorities for his ministry: a renewal of prayer and the religious life within the country; reconciliation within the Church and the nation; and evangelism.”

“This will be a demanding, challenging, exciting, daunting and certainly unexpected prospect. I am of course only too well aware that this is a very awkward time for the Diocese to be without a Diocesan Bishop. Quite apart from the absence of a Suffragan Bishop there are also the centenary celebrations next year. However in consultation with the Bishop’s Council there will be an appointment of a bishop with full delegated powers to cover the vacancy and an announcement about that will be made shortly. This will be a temporary arrangement, and the processes for the appointment of the next Bishop will proceed as normal. In the light of this vacancy, the See of Dunwich will not be filled until a Diocesan Bishop is appointed…”

  • Bishop Nigel, 63, has held the post of Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich since 2007 and entered the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual during March 2011. He was educated at Durham University and studied for ordination at Ripon College Cuddesdon. From 1976 to 1979, he was a curate at St Peter’s Stockton in the Diocese of Durham. From 1979 to 1984, he was priest-in-charge of St Peter’s in Taraka in the Diocese of Aipo Rongo, Papua New Guinea. From 1985 to 1991, he was vicar of St Mark’s Shiremoor in the Diocese of Newcastle, moving to become Team Rector of North Shields from 1991 to 1998. He was also Rural Dean of Tynemouth from 1992 to 1998 and an honorary canon of Newcastle Cathedral from 1997 to 1998. He was a canon residentiary of Durham Cathedral from 1998 to 2000 and also Chaplain of Grey College, Durham in 1999 and 2000. He became Bishop of Stockport in the Diocese of Chester in 2000 before moving to Suffolk as Bishop six years ago this October.

Some background on Kay Brock

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 at 11:31am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

Very, very good news. This is a very good move, structurally, and Bishop Nigel is a very good choice.

Posted by: Jonathan Jennings on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 at 2:49pm BST

Thank you, Jonathan, for your input (if I may).

We had heard there would be some major changes, including a serious staff reduction.

Posted by: cseitz on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 at 4:38pm BST

Now let's see. So Canterbury has a "super-suffragan" in charge of his diocese and a "super-diocesan" to oversee the bishops in his metropolitical jurisdiction. That should leave him plenty of time to head up the Anglican Communion.

There is something of a difference here with Francis who has embraced his function as Bishop of Rome and teaches from that perspective. My old friends in Rome say it is driving the Curia nuts!

But others tell me this is a great turnabout. They say that when Rowan Williams arrived at Lambeth he went alone and was not allowed to make any changes or take his own staff. Is this true?

Posted by: Fr Alan-Bury on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 at 10:45pm BST

'But others tell me this is a great turnabout. They say that when Rowan Williams arrived at Lambeth he went alone and was not allowed to make any changes or take his own staff. Is this true?'

I have heard that, but who didn't allow him to make changes? Justin is clearly a very different personality and is clearly not intimidated by the Lambeth curia.

Posted by: Susan Cooper on Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 12:29am BST

Thank you Susan Cooper, I had thought the Jennings who welcomed the appointment above was the one who was at Lambeth Palace then

Well, my informant tells me it was the bishop at Lambeth, Richard Llewellin, who told Williams he had to accept what he found. Williams never replaced him.

Wasn't the original idea for this bishop at Lambeth post to bring someone from outside the wider Anglican Communion into the heart of the administration?

I see there is an article in the Telegraph saying Welby will be cutting out some more advisors who are blamed for making Williams look so wimpish.

Posted by: Fr Alan-Bury on Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 9:55am BST

Really good appointment. I was a central member of the CNC at the time! The Bishop at Lambeth model worked well and I could never quite work out why it was abandoned after +Llewellyn. ++Cantuar needs more than a Chief of Staff. Having said that Chris Smith has served three archbishops with distinction. He deserves an Honour. Kay Brock no slouch either. Sorted and modernised Mansion House.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 12:22pm BST

Chris Smith served two Archbishops - Williams and Welby - and was indeed awarded a CBE.

Posted by: Jonathan Jennings on Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 8:47pm BST

'Sea (sic) of Dunwich' - never fails to crack me up!

Posted by: Fr Paul on Thursday, 27 June 2013 at 8:17am BST

It would be good to have some background information on the fairly recently introduced Bishop at (not "of") Lambeth post. For example - where can one find a list of those who have held this prestigious post. From memory I can recall Ross Hook, John Yates, Frank Sargeant (all with Lincoln connections) and Richard Llewellin but were there others?

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 27 June 2013 at 12:47pm BST

Here's a list:


Posted by: Laurence Cunnington on Thursday, 27 June 2013 at 5:19pm BST

Does anyone know why Williams did not appoint a successor to Llewellin?
Did he want to stay fully accessible to his fellow bishops?

It would be good to find someone who has some real knowledge ......

Posted by: Fr Alan-Bury on Thursday, 27 June 2013 at 8:52pm BST

Thank you for the list Laurence - I'd forgotten Ronald Gordon but I note Ross Hook isn't included thereupon? Surely he was the first Bishop at Lambeth . Appointed by Robert Runcie who translated him from Bradford to be Chief-o-Staff at Lambeth?

Posted by: Father David on Friday, 28 June 2013 at 5:49am BST

The change from Bishop at Lambeth to a lay Chief of Staff came as the direct results of the implementation of the Hurd review, To Lead and To Serve conducted in around 2001. Its conclusion in relation to the Chief of Staff role was as follows (page 73):
We recommend that:

a) The work of the Lambeth Palace staff should in future be coordinated by a Chief of Staff with authority to ensure that policy preparation is fully coordinated within the Palace and between the Palace and the National Church Institutions, the Anglican Communion Office and Bishopthorpe;

b) To that end, the Chief of Staff should establish more collective working methods (for example, the weekly senior staff meeting, chaired perhaps monthly by the Archbishop) where policy work is debated and coordinated. The objectives should be clarity in long-term planning, and clear and effective lines of communication;

c) The Chief of Staff should be responsible for overall staff and resource management at Lambeth Palace and for the oversight of remaining Metropolitical business and should be directly responsible to the Archbishop for the management of the Archbishop’s diary;

d) The occupant of the post should be a person (probably lay) with considerable private or public sector management experience, a track record of achievement, and high intelligence and energy. It follows that that person should be paid at a commensurate level.

Interestingly, the impetus for a lay chief came from the consultation itself (page 69):

"The principle of coordination has never been in question. There has, however, been some perplexity over the years about how best it should be carried out. For some years now there has been a post of ‘Bishop at Lambeth’ designated as ‘Chief of Staff’. Whilst this initiative undoubtedly improved day to day management at the Palace and has protected the Archbishop from unnecessary involvement in detail, it has not yet evolved into the kind of strong coordinating post that now seems desirable. The present Bishop at Lambeth has recommended change in that direction, and observed that the post does not have to be episcopal.

We favour a Chief of Staff to run Lambeth, with strong administrative ability and experience. Such a background may be easier in practice to find among lay men and women, though there need be no rule to that effect."

The new arrangements now proposed keep the lay chief of staff but restore the bishop function which will undoubtedly extend the Archbishop's ability to engage with and get the best of the House of Bishops and also give proper shape to the structure, especially in relation to the ordained members of staff.

Posted by: Jonathan Jennings on Friday, 28 June 2013 at 8:58am BST

Thank you Jonathan Jennings.
Very helpful

Posted by: Fr Alan-Bury on Friday, 28 June 2013 at 12:32pm BST

It is surely a cause for regret that Ross Hook isn't included in the Wikipedia list of Bishops at Lambeth. Bishop David Say wrote the following about him in his obituary in The Independent:- "The fact that the office of Bishop at Lambeth is now an accepted position on the Archbishop's staff, is due in no small measure to Hook, who had the grace to relinquish the independence of a diocesan bishop to serve the Archbishop as his "Chief of Staff" and as an assistant bishop of Canterbury. His soundness of judgment as well as his refusal to be fussed or appear to be over-busy, meant that when he retired from Lambeth it was to everyone's regret"( 4th July 1996) With such a glowing tribute to the man and to the office it would seem to be both good and wise that Archbishop Justin has now reinstated the post.

Posted by: Father David on Friday, 28 June 2013 at 2:42pm BST
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