Thursday, 29 January 2015

Consecrators of the Bishop of Burnley

The website of York Minster carries this notice.

The Service of Consecration for the Reverend Philip North
Tuesday 27 January

The Reverend Philip North, will be consecrated as the Bishop of Burnley on Monday 2nd February 2015.

The Reverend Philip North, currently Team Rector of the Parish of Old St Pancras in the Diocese of London, will be consecrated as the Bishop of Burnley in the Diocese of Blackburn on Monday 2nd February 2015. The service will be conducted by the Most Reverend and Right Honourable, Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, assisted by the Right Reverend Dr Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester and the Bishops of Beverley and Pontefract.

Everyone is welcome to attend Philip’s consecration service. The service will begin at 11am with doors open from 9.30am. If you are a Reader or a member of the clergy wishing to attend and would like to robe and process, we do need to know in advance so we can plan seating for you and maximise seating for others. Please contact Hilary Reynolds email: for more information.

Although the notice does not explicitly say so, it seems reasonable to deduce that the Bishops of Chichester, Beverley and Pontefract are the three bishops who will lay hands on Philip North, and that the Bishop of Chichester will preside at the Eucharist.

Posted by Peter Owen on Thursday, 29 January 2015 at 8:45pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

Those three bishops weren’t consecrated by bishops who had ordained women?

Posted by: Bro Daid on Thursday, 29 January 2015 at 10:54pm GMT

The manner in which this whole process has been conducted is highly manipulative. Good faith has been conspicuously absent. I have to say that I think that contempt is sometimes an appropriate moral response.

Posted by: John on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 5:40am GMT

The question now will be as to the identity of Fr. Philip's two presenting bishops, my best prediction would be the Bishop of London and the Bishop of Blackburn.

Posted by: Father David on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 7:10am GMT

Just so readers know - some people have attempted to ask questions about this at the February GS but the questions have been ruled out of order since they are to the Archbishops in their role as archbishops and we may only ask questions to them in other roles (eg chair of House of Bishops)

Posted by: Charles Read on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 10:01am GMT

Yes indeed, Bro Daid, the chief consecrator himself, +Chichester, was consecrated by ++Sentamu, who had by that time laid hands on many women priests. Ironically, this fact was made clear in ++Sentamu's own statement attempting to justify his decision to step aside. So it is all exposed as arrant nonsense. I'm not sure that I'd call it contemptible, but it's certainly pathetic, demeaning and unnecessary.
Regarding the presenting bishops, if last Monday's precedent is followed, it would be Fr North's predecessor, John Goddard, and his diocesan, + Blackburn. But, given the extraordinary arrangements for the consecrators, who knows?

Posted by: Malcolm Dixon on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 10:32am GMT

Speaking as someone who favoured the simplest possible legislation and voted for it regularly at Synod, and as someone who doesn't buy the catholic understanding of sacramental assurance, it seems to me that all the anxiety about Fr. Philip's ordination is quite misplaced. The reality is that the whole point of the legislative package was to have women bishops canonically ordained AND to give an honoured place to those who could not accept women bishops and the way that works out is by others (including other bishops) exercising a gracious restraint so that those who cannot support women bishops can continue to flourish in the Church by their own understanding. It seems that many have forgotten November 2012 and the realpolitik that without this sort of arrangement for bishop Philip, we would not have a bishop Libby either. Of course it's a difficult thing to accept for those on our side of the women bishops argument, but it is no more difficult for us to accept this than it has been for so-called traditionalists to accept bishop Libby. That is what we voted for in Synod in November and this is its natural outworking.

Posted by: Simon Butler on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 11:00am GMT

Charles Read:
That rather begs the question 'is there a mechanism for holding archbishops to account in their role of archbishops and if not, should there be one'

I'd be interested to know whether archbishops have ever accidentally answered less inconvenient questions in their role as archbishops.

Posted by: Leon Clarke on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 11:20am GMT

I think many of you have simply missed the point. The Society of Wilfrid and Hilda has a Council of Bishops - of the nine of them the Bishop of Chichester is the only diocesan Bishop, the Bishop of Pontefract is the Chair, and the Bishop of Beverly is the one who was the northern Province's PEV. The objective point to recognise (whether you like it or not is not relevant) is that this is the consecration of what the next Bishop of what is intended to continue to be a self perpetuating Society (with many of the features of a Third Province or of a Continuing Church without being exactly either).

Posted by: Peter Mullins on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 11:22am GMT

"The manner in which this whole process has been conducted is highly manipulative. Good faith has been conspicuously absent. I have to say that I think that contempt is sometimes an appropriate moral response."

I disagree. I do believe the ABY (and I presume in consultation with the ABC) is attempting to establish future working practices that are in accordance with the agreed principals that will allow a dissenting minority space and space to flourish within the lawful new framework now established.

I commend the ABY for his moral courage, and I feel very sorry that some are using words like "contempt" and are attempting to discredit this initiative with the word "taint".

It is time to show some generosity of spirit.

Posted by: Labarum on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 11:23am GMT

Thanks, Labarum.

I have consistently shown 'generosity of spirit' on this site and on others (as you well know). I emphasised 'the manner' - and I still do. I am in favour of 'special arrangements' for those who do not accept women priests or bishops, and have consistently said so. But there can be legitimate questions about the degree to which 'traditionalists' reciprocate (often meanly and ungenerously), about boundaries, about process and about unseemly secrecy. This is a stitch-up by a discredited and unrepresentative elite.

Posted by: John on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 11:44am GMT

But, contra Simon Butler, this precisely what we did not vote for at GS. Arrangement such as these were suggested to the working party and rejected. It was made clear that many on 'our' side of the debate would find such arrangements served to undermine the ordination of women bishops. Philip is not being ordained as a PEV or a 'Society' bishop (what a marvellous image!) - he is an ordinary / regular suffragen in Blackburn diocese.

Posted by: Charles Read on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 12:19pm GMT

I think the most relevant question here is whether those who voted for the relevant Measure in the General Synod knew (or had it explained to them) that this sort of arrangement was an inevitable consequence of the Measure, and if *not* whether that would have changed how they voted.

By "this sort of arrangement" I mean a bifurcation of the Bishops along the lines of not only (1) the gender of the bishop and also the gender of the bishop who ordained and consecrated them (i.e. a man ordained and consecrated by a man ordained and consecrated by a man etc etc etc)* but also (2) the views and beliefs of the bishop on the ordination and consecration of women as priests and bishops, and their practice in doing so.**

* - everyone must have expected bifurcation along these lines
** - clearly not everyone expected bifurcation along these lines. I certainly didn't, but then I'm not a GS member and didn't read all of the papers or hear every bit of every debate.

Posted by: Alastair Newman on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 12:35pm GMT

Peter Mullins:
The point is that no-one seems willing to admit that.

Posted by: Leon Clarke on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 12:58pm GMT

No, Peter Mullins, I think that it is you who have missed the point. Although SSWSH describes itself as an ecclesial body, it has no status within the C of E and is not mentioned in any of the legislation. Similar ideas were explored at an early stage in the discussion over women bishops, but were rejected then. It is precisely because of its similarities to a third province that so many are opposed to it, and to the provisions for Fr North's consecration.
What is proposed will not contribute to mutual flourishing, but will lead to an ever increasing separation as the pool of bishops deemed worthy to consecrate a dissenting bishop becomes ever smaller. That is why I and so many others deplore it.

Posted by: Malcolm Dixon on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 2:18pm GMT

¨pathetic¨ sums it up just fine, again (and where, oh where has The Very Reverend Jeffrey John/Gone gone).

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 3:15pm GMT

Soon after Bishop Libby's ordination, I thought I saw what looked like the back of the Bishop of Chichester's head in a photo taken inside York Minster. Two days ago, I saw a similar photo which was indeed of +Martin Warner, robed in red chimere among the attending bishops.

At that stage, +Martin knew that he would be the principal celebrant at the Eucharist, and one of the co-consecrators at the Bishop of Burnley's ordination. He clearly did not tangibly associate himself with +Libby's laying on of hands; but he showed gracious restraint in being present at her ordination; and they will probably get on just fine at subsequent meetings of the House of Bishops and even some ordinations. They may all yet have to work out if it's OK for both genders to lay hands on a male who is more than happy for both to do so.

Still only 20 years ago, there were a small number of people in my last two parishes for whom it was OK for my women colleagues to concelebrate with me - whoever presided; but if they flew solo in my absence, these folk would not receive HC.

It was (and remains) tempting to harrumph at such antics, but gracious restraint takes many forms, including not insisting that I am right and you are wrong.

Posted by: Peter Edwards on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 3:55pm GMT

Simon Butler wrote:
"It seems that many have forgotten November 2012 and the realpolitik that without this sort of arrangement for bishop Philip, we would not have a bishop Libby either. Of course it's a difficult thing to accept for those on our side of the women bishops argument, but it is no more difficult for us to accept this than it has been for so-called traditionalists to accept bishop Libby."

This is my view too. Amid the furore about the theology behind the consecration arrangements, it has been overlooked that a set of regulations was agreed, just a few short months ago, which allows a place within the Church of England both for the supporters and opponents of female priests and bishops.

Posted by: Tim M on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 5:38pm GMT

As a woman incumbent in the Diocese of Blackburn I have decided (after much thought) to go to Philip North's consecration to support him and to support the diocese. Since the appointment was announced I have met Philip and he is clearly a person of integrity and ability.
We do all need to respect the 5 guiding principles and ensure there can be mutual flourishing. This requires that there are bishops who have a degree of separation who are not interchangeable. Philip's own position on the ordination of women leads to a degree of separation anyway.
The traditionalist desire for apartness is in tension with Blackburn's need for a suffragan bishop to be a bishop for the whole diocese. These consecration arrangements are not achieving 'the highest possible degree of communion' in line with the 5 guiding principles. There can be only a tiny number of parishes in this diocese who would refuse Philip if the Archbishop of York were to consecrate him on Monday, and many, many more who feel that he is being set further apart in a way that is costly to our diocese.
It does appear that we have begun to create a third province in all but name, with the combination of a consecration that is separate from diocesan structures, together with the SSWH's 'pureblood' ordination list. There is doubtless someone somewhere who really needs this extreme degree of separation, but it is certainly not necessary for the people of Lancashire.

Posted by: Nancy Goodrich on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 5:46pm GMT

The problem with the notion that tainted bishops are going to hold themselves back--and that it what is going on here--is that it sacramentalises heresy and schism.

Sacraments are outward signs of an inward and visible grace.

The outward sign here, however, will be that only some bishops are pure enough to lay their hands on those who wish to remain similarly pure.

The CofE should be very careful about going down this road any further. It should do nothing to encourage the development of a church within a church.

Posted by: Jeremy on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 7:01pm GMT

"have women bishops canonically ordained AND to give an honoured place to those who could not accept women that those who cannot support women bishops can continue to flourish"

From the POV of Ignorant Yank over here, that "AND" means a double-standard (for ordained women), and "continue to flourish" is time-indefinite.

When TEC approved the ordination of women back in the 1970s, it did so also w/ a double-standard, but WITH time limits on that double-standard. No one wants to overwhelm traditionalists w/ "the Shock of the New", but we either believe ordination equality is the WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, or we don't. "Continue to flourish" sounds, to me, like a house divided against itself.

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 7:47pm GMT

++Sentamu brought this upon himself by agreeing to the nomination of Fr North as Bishop of Burnley. He has of course faced a similar difficulty (resolved rather differently) with the vacant See of Whitby. That he wanted to offer a consolation prize is understandable. I repeat my comments elsewhere on TA. There is the world of difference in consecrating a non-ordainer to a suffragan see than as a PEV. Nothing I read in the Guiding Principles requires traditionalists to be consecrated bishops within diocesan structures. Mutual flourishing does not presuppose that traditionalists must be appointed either to diocesan bishoprics or to suffragan sees. The PEV machinery has been continued for a reason. The communion and collegiality of the House of Bishops is crucial and, once women are members, it is unconscionable to suppose that colleagues who won't recognise their episcopal orders can be a part. In the same way, how can a traditionalist's ministry be acceptable to other than resolution parishes in a diocese? They petition under the new arrangements. The statement by WATCH is spot on and deserves clear answers. To those who are members of General Synod and who want to ask questions on this, the answer is to ask the Chairman of the House of Bishops a question about the Guiding Principles and then ask a supplementary on their outworking in the light of the recent consecrations.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 11:06pm GMT

Even the latest editorial in 'The Tablet' (R.C.) questions the advisability of the lack of an official Roman Catholic presence at Bishop Libby's episcopal ordination. One wonders whether there might be one at Fr. North's consecration? And what would that say about Rome's understanding of F.i.F.'s catholicity?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 30 January 2015 at 11:46pm GMT

'"Continue to flourish" sounds, to me, like a house divided against itself. '

And yet, we see *continually* that the Archbishops are shocked and puzzled by the decline and instability in the CofE! Then the response is along the lines of "Maybe, if we have a 'Daughters of Eve and perverts aren't so horrible' day! Or a raffle! Or . . . or . . . something . . .? I've GOT IT! We'll make sure there's a permanent place for people who want to oppose and undermine everything we *say* we believe in and want to accomplish! Yay! Problem solved!"

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Saturday, 31 January 2015 at 6:42am GMT

I am all for gracious restraint, but for the five guiding principles to work it is of critically important that Fr Philip North is seen to be a Bishop of the Church of England, nothing more and nothing less. Gracious restraint means understanding he may not be able to ordain women to the priesthood and episcopate. But if there is anything to suggest that he is not as fully a Bishop of the Church of England as Libby Lane then the Church of England has failed in its mission to hold together unity in diversity, and we will fail to benefit from all that we have to learn from Bishop Libby and Bishop Philip. Finally, will there be Old Catholic and Porvoo partners taking part in this consecration?

Posted by: Peter on Saturday, 31 January 2015 at 10:09am GMT

I don't want to start crowing with "I told you so"; but I did, in fact, flag these arrangements up back in December. Two things follow.

First, the Archbishop of York could have avoided this unseemly circus of speculation and made these arrangements public in December. Yes, of course, there would have been a furore from WATCH and co; but it would have meant that it was out of the way well before Libby Lane's consecration last week.

Second, Charles Read & co are shouting "foul play" and insisting that this is not what they voted for in agreeing the Five Principles. Really? I remember saying to a bishop of the Society of SWSH, as these proposals were being brought before Synod, that my reading of them allowed for this very scenario. He agreed. When I asked whether Christina Rees and the various lobby groups had picked this up, he replied "I don't think they have - and it will be interesting to see if they realise it before the summer [i.e. GS in York July 2014].

I thought Julian Henderson's take on the Sunday programme, this morning, on Radio 4 was very clearly steering away from taint towards sacramental assurance. More to the point, as Diocesan, he is clearly looking forward to working with Philip North as an episcopal colleague who is a vigorous ambassador for the Christian faith.

Posted by: James A on Sunday, 1 February 2015 at 9:42am GMT

I denounced this cobbled-together compromise by GS as a half-measure. I told you so, several times; and people suggested that I was making the perfect the enemy of the good.

Experience is beginning to suggest, however, that I was making the good the enemy of what is both novel and awful.

Thinking Anglicans, take note: We still need to organise around electing better representatives to Synod.

If enough people ask the Archbishops the right questions, then this sort of taint-inspired schism-sacramentalizing will cease. Not soon enough, of course.

It's beginning to look as though Justin Welby is not a political genius, but a babe in the woods. It's unfortunate that he managed to convince the CofE to go along with a compromise that is so anti-Chrstian.

Posted by: Jeremy on Monday, 2 February 2015 at 4:01am GMT

I may be one of those who have been accused of not showing sufficient generosity of spirit over this issue. I have heard or read in the last few days that:
i) +Martin Warner was present last Monday at the consecration of +Libby Lane.
ii) Libby Lane will be present today at the consecration of Fr Philip North, at his personal request
iii) +Blackburn said on the Sunday programme on Radio 4 yesterday that there will be an installation service for +Philip North at Blackburn Cathedral, at which he will receive communion from +Blackburn.
All these things seem to me to be good, affirming of mutual flourishing, and consistent with a balanced view of the Five Principles. And yet, in only a few minutes time as I write, actions will take place at York which are wholly contrary to mutual flourishing, and which give excessive regard to only one of the five principles whilst ignoring all the others.
I continue to believe that Fr North and many of the principal participants in this matter are showing the right spirit, but undesirable and divisive arrangements have been imposed on them by their Provincial, who simply doesn't 'get it' and should perhaps 'graciously consider' his position. And, all the while, we have only silence from ++Justin on the matter.

Posted by: Malcolm Dixon on Monday, 2 February 2015 at 10:53am GMT

I think the ABY (presumably in consultation with the ABC and other bishops) have got this about right.

Posted by: Labarum on Saturday, 7 February 2015 at 8:03pm GMT
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