Friday, 1 May 2015

“Bishop for church-plants”

We reported in March on the Bishop of London’s proposal to revive the suffragan see of Islington to provide a “bishop for church-plants”. The Dioceses Commission has now given its approval to the proposal.

The official press release is here, and is copied below.

Go ahead for church planting bishop for See of Islington
01 May 2015

The Dioceses Commission has given its approval to revive the See* of Islington paving the way for a new bishop to lead on church planting within the Diocese of London.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has written to the Commission expressing his strong support for the new See. The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, formally submitted a proposal to the Commission laying out the support of both the Diocesan Synod and the Bishop’s Council.

Most bishops exercise their ministry within a defined geographical area. The proposal to revive the See of Islington is innovative as the bishop would hold a particular brief for church-planting initiatives primarily in the Diocese of London but to provide advice for other dioceses across England as invited to do so by the local bishop.

The Commission first looked at the Bishop of London’s proposal to revive the See of Islington at its meeting in September last year before it was being discussed by the London Diocesan Synod.

The Bishop of London has emphasised that the new bishop would be accountable to him and be part of the London Diocese’s senior team, playing his/her part in carrying out episcopal functions, such as confirmations, in the diocese and in particularly in supporting clergy in pioneer ministry.

Professor Michael Clarke, Chair of the Dioceses Commission, said: “The Commission looked very carefully at the Bishop of London’s proposal, and, in the light of clarification of the intended role of the new bishop, gave it a green light. As with our recent scheme radically reshaping dioceses in West Yorkshire, we are keen to play our part in adapting the Church’s structures to meet current mission needs.”

Following the Commission’s consent, the way is now open to appoint someone with a view to the new bishop being consecrated later in the year.

See also Diocese of London.

Notes for editors

The Dioceses Commission has particular responsibility for episcopal oversight across the Church of England and suffragan sees, such as this one, cannot normally be filled without its agreement. The creation of wholly new sees would nevertheless also require the consent of the General Synod. In this case the See of Islington had been created in the late 19th Century but had been left unfilled since 1923.

Church-planting was given a stimulus by the seminal 2004 Church Report Mission Shaped Church. This report recognised that ‘the existing parochial system alone is no longer able fully to deliver its underlying mission purpose…’ and that ‘a variety of integrated missionary approaches is required’ with ‘a mixed economy of parish churches and network churches.’ It described church plants as ‘creating new communities of Christian faith as part of the mission of God to express God’s kingdom in every geographic and cultural context.’ It is estimated that there are c.1,000 such Fresh Expressions across the Church of England attended by c.30,000 people. (See here.)

Posted by Peter Owen on Friday, 1 May 2015 at 10:07pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

"Church-planting was given a stimulus by the seminal 2004 Church Report Mission Shaped Church. This report recognised that ‘the existing parochial system alone is no longer able fully to deliver its underlying mission purpose…’ and that ‘a variety of integrated missionary approaches is required’ with ‘a mixed economy of parish churches and network churches.’ It described church plants as ‘creating new communities of Christian faith as part of the mission of God to express God’s kingdom in every geographic and cultural context.’" - extract from above post -

Does this mean that, with very little tweaking, the AMiE - and other like intrusive innovations by the Gafcon Primates - could be accommodated under this existing protocol?

If that is the case, it could be 'anything goes' in the Church of England in the future. That could be a worry for the C. of E. - but not for the rest of the Provinces of the ACC.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 2 May 2015 at 1:29am BST

Step forward Nicky Gumbel.
Is this part of the Church of England's plan to increase the number of bishops by 50% before the year 2020?

Posted by: Father David on Saturday, 2 May 2015 at 4:01am BST

Please can we have a bishop for churches that take theology seriously?

Posted by: Fr William on Saturday, 2 May 2015 at 12:50pm BST

David: obviously it is. William: obviously we cannot. Mostly because to 'take theology seriously' could mean any number of things, many of them awful. Like 'bible-believing', but with an extra spray-on veneer of intellectual snobbery.

Posted by: DBD on Saturday, 2 May 2015 at 6:45pm BST

Oh good! I have an aspidistra wanting a bishop in London.

Posted by: June Butler on Saturday, 2 May 2015 at 11:03pm BST

Will he minister to St. John's wort, as well?

Posted by: Jeremy on Sunday, 3 May 2015 at 2:41am BST

Since Acts 6 the church has appointed new leadership to cope with growth in ministry. Thank goodness that part of the CofE is actually growing. Unfortunately when the CofE declines we keep all the same structures (and bishops) that we had before as if nothing had changed.

Posted by: David Keen on Sunday, 3 May 2015 at 7:37am BST

DBD: Oh dear. Area managers only then. I suppose we need lots of new bishops more likely to be filled be men (plants, conevos) so that the women can have the others.

Posted by: Fr William on Sunday, 3 May 2015 at 7:48am BST

Fr William: No! Rather so that all ordained clergy both male or female, liberal or traditionalist, catholic or evangelical can fill these roles.

Posted by: Chuchu Nwagu on Sunday, 3 May 2015 at 12:50pm BST

At a time when Reform and Renewal seem to be stressing the importance of the "parish" as the basic unit that people identify with it seems that the "diocese" is becoming less and less important with Flying Bishops and the soon to be "Church Plant Bishop" of Islington being given freedom to roam whereever the wind blows.

Posted by: Father David on Sunday, 3 May 2015 at 1:11pm BST

Fr David, yes indeed. Anyway, to most in my congregations, bishops are at best peripheral. Our diocesan is retiring and when it came to considering a donation for a gift, some said 'why, he's never been here' Others 'he's only been once'. They look like coughing up 30 quid between them. I said I would rather the money go to those who knock at the vicarage door (I've always been a soft touch).

Posted by: Fr William on Sunday, 3 May 2015 at 2:24pm BST
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