Thursday, 2 July 2015

Anne Hollinghurst to be Suffragan Bishop of Aston

Press release from Number 10

Suffragan Bishop of Aston: The Reverend Anne Hollinghurst
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
First published: 2 July 2015

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Anne Elizabeth Hollinghurst BA, MSt, to the Suffragan See of Aston.

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Anne Elizabeth Hollinghurst BA, MSt, Vicar of St Peter’s St Albans in the diocese of St Albans, to the Suffragan See of Aston in the diocese of Birmingham in succession to the Right Reverend Andrew Watson MA on his translation to the See of Guildford on 24 November 2014.

Notes to editors

The Reverend Anne Hollinghurst (aged 51) holds a BA from the University of Bristol and trained for the ministry at Trinity College, Bristol. She later studied for an MSt at the University of Cambridge. Prior to ordination she was a Youth Worker on the staff of the Hyson Green/ Basford Team Ministry in inner-city Nottingham. She served her title at Saviour’s Nottingham in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham from 1996 to 1999. She was ordained priest in 1997 and went on to become Chaplain at the University of Derby and Derby Cathedral in 1999. In 2005 she took up the role of Bishop’s Domestic Chaplain and Residentiary Canon of Manchester Cathedral in the Diocese of Manchester before moving to her current post as Vicar of St Peter’s Church, St Albans in St Albans diocese in 2010.

Anne is married to Steve, who is a researcher and trainer in mission and culture, and a part-time tutor for Church Army. Her interests include theatre and the arts, the environment, the history of Christian spirituality and contemplative prayer. She enjoys travel, fell-walking, and real ale pubs.

Birmingham diocesan wesbite ​The Revd Anne Hollinghurst announced as next Bishop of Aston

Posted by Peter Owen on Thursday, 2 July 2015 at 10:37am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

Two outstanding appointments on the same day.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Thursday, 2 July 2015 at 10:57am BST

That's three evangelicals, all safe on equal marriage, in one week, more like it. A traditionalist Catholic for Edmonton and a charismatic for Islington will complete the picture so that the critical tradition of Anglican theology is further squeezed out of the House and College of Bishops. Gongs all round for the Diocesans concerned for cow-towing to Welby. Again.

Posted by: James A on Thursday, 2 July 2015 at 3:50pm BST

James A: We've heard that the next Bishop of Edmonton will ordain women, so parishes will now be able to seek episcopal care from the Bishop of Fulham.

A number of parishes including my own have been busy passing resolutions over the last few weeks

Posted by: Mr L. Matthews on Thursday, 2 July 2015 at 5:26pm BST

It's worth pointing out that most of these 'evangelicals' who are distressing James A and others so much would not have been recognized as 'sound' by evangelical luminaries such as John R.W. Stott, James Packer and much of the previous generation of conservative evangelicals who led the movement to the explosive growth which has resulted in these appointments.

Of course, what goes around, comes around. When John Stott was appointed as rector of All Souls Langham Place in the early 1950s, evangelicals were held in scorn in the C of E, and evangelical bishops were few and far between. And evangelicals accepted this situation; they tended to keep themselves to themselves, operate within their own structures, and see the wider church as a lost cause. They were criticized by the liberal catholic establishment for this attitude.

It was Stott and others like him who encouraged evangelicals to change this way of thinking and engage with the structures of the church. This has caused their 'success', but it's worth noting that the movement hasn't all been in one direction; as I pointed out, many of today's leaders have been strongly influenced by the people they have been in dialogue with. This means that the word 'evangelical' covers a wide variety of viewpoints and emphases today, far more so than in the 1970s when I was a new Christian. I don't think the HOB currently includes a bishop whose theological convictions mirror those of John Stott in all particulars, and yet, just a few years ago he was the recognized leader of the movement!

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Thursday, 2 July 2015 at 5:49pm BST

Well said, James A, the bishops' bench is being well and truly packed. Now the Church of England practices gender-neutral discrimination against its LGBT members. Progress of a kind, I guess, but not a kind I want anything to do with.

Tim, definitions shift. In his turn, I doubt Stott would've been recognized as an evangelical by earlier generations. These appointments undoubtedly slot in to the current mold, that's charismatic (though not in the common sense of the word), "sound" on sexuality, and that finds liberal scholarship alien (or scholarship, as I prefer to term a discipline marked only by its refusal to presume its conclusions).

Posted by: James Byron on Thursday, 2 July 2015 at 6:33pm BST last someone sees what I have seen. The pattern emerges..moderate evangelicals but rock solid on ssm.

Posted by: robert ian williams on Thursday, 2 July 2015 at 6:50pm BST

When the legislation to enable women to be ordained to the episcopate was seen through Synod in July last year, I remember one wise, experienced and just-about-to-retire bishop telling me that the 'usual suspects' (i.e. those feted by Ruth Gledhill & co as the first to be consecrated) had no cause to rejoice. "Justin cannot cope with dissent on the Board" was his comment. What we have seen this week, and in previous appointments, bears this out. Those hoping that the opening of the episcopate to women would signal a culture-change in the H & C of Bs were too hopeful. After his statement on the TEC equal marriage developments, this week, we know precisely where Welby stands - and he wants that endorsed by his barons.

So, sorry Lucy, June, Jane , Viv, Joanne and co. Your time has passed. You are not 'on message.' Your concern for justice and equality must have limits in the brave new world of Welby & Sentamu's C of E (and soon to be Gumbell's and Hollinghurst's and Lane's and all the other 'safe' and 'compliant' women who have leapfrogged you).

Posted by: Colin Graham on Friday, 3 July 2015 at 7:51am BST

Oh, Colin. So very cynical. So very, very accurate.

Posted by: DBD on Friday, 3 July 2015 at 9:55am BST

Yup, bang on Colin.

Still, let's not get disheartened: realpolitik cuts both ways. Any female bishop who condemns homosexuality is in an extremely vulnerable position. Whatever justifications she offers for liberating herself from tradition while leaving gay people chained, the distinction looks like naked self-interest, and she knows it. She can't speak near as loud as Welby would like.

Hopefully, as Welby keeps packing the House of Bishops, liberals will, at last, start standing up for themselves. Just compare our current quiescence with the fury of Southwark evangelicals when they perceived the reverse. Evangelicals get power. When liberals get it too, then, and only then, will we stop being rolled over.

I congratulate the new appointments, truly. Your side fought and won. You've earned the spoils. Enjoy it while it lasts, 'cause it won't last forever.

Posted by: James Byron on Friday, 3 July 2015 at 3:03pm BST

I hate to disabuse the conspiracy mongers, but Justin doesn't control the appointment of suffragans. The names do of course get agreed with him - but the nominations are those of the Diocesan Bishop. So there is no co-ordinated approach on this. Our three London names emerged from the Diocese, and they happen to be the best people for the role. But no doubt folk here on TA will persist in their single lens approach to these matters. One's support or otherwise for SSM isn't the governing issue for choosing bishops. Some might wish that it was. I guess I could wish that people here could see the bigger picture.

Posted by: Pete Broadbent on Friday, 3 July 2015 at 10:39pm BST

I'm happy to hear that the theological imbalance is just a coincidence, and look forward to all the progressive appointments to come: by progressive, I do mean bishops willing to break collegiality, and advocate for change.

Can I assume that we haven't long to wait for the first announcements?

Posted by: James Byron on Saturday, 4 July 2015 at 4:20pm BST

Somehow, it's not the highest priority to appoint people you would call "progressive". Generous orthodoxy, yes. The rest we can do without.

Posted by: Pete Broadbent on Saturday, 4 July 2015 at 9:59pm BST

Who does +Pete Willesden think he's kidding? Does he really imagine that diocesan bishops will go through the hassle of appointing suffragans of whom Pope Justin will give the thumbs down - complete, I've no doubt, with veiled threats of refusal to consecrate. If that's the game he has played in recent CNCs (St Edmundsbury & Exeter spring to mind - and don't say it was secret, because it wasn't!) I refuse to believe he is not bringing similar pressure to bear on other appointments. We know what the process is supposed to be. Don't insult us by suggesting that it is not being manipulated. Is +Pete seriously suggesting that the archinscrutable politician of Londin would have put forward three names he knew would evoke yet another unleashing of archiepiscopal anger and frustration at the southern end of Lambeth Bridge?

Obviously, +Pete wants a C of E made in his own image and likeness (just like Welby) and this new-found label of "generous orthodoxy" is becoming a euphemism for those who tow current the Lambeth line.

Well, at least we've had tacit episcopal confirmation that Lucy Winkett, Viv Faull, June Osborne & co are out of the running - at least until Welby goes the way of Nazir-Ali.

Posted by: Colin Graham on Sunday, 5 July 2015 at 8:48am BST

As I said, I can't convince you out of your conspiracy theories. But if there is a line, it's not there to be towed - it would be toed - we're not into haulage here, but into stepping towards a mark. (Come and see me after class!)

And the line is about people who are missional and believe in the gospel as a power to save people through encounter with Jesus Christ. The major criterion for choosing a bishop in the ordinal is not, I fear, related to seeing where they stand on one particular issue. This is Thinking Anglicans, not Thinking LGBT - though it seems to have become the latter. Thinking Anglicans will want Bishops who can engage with theology and culture, can argue good apologetics, can get to grips with the depth of spirituality, can engage with the task of the re-evangelisation of England. Thinking Anglicans might welcome (for example) Graham Tomlin and Alison White in that regard, rather than just trying to work out whether they are for or against Same Sex Marriage. When we interviewed people for the three posts in London, the LGBT issue was not a major preoccupation. You may think it ought to be - we'll have to agree to differ.

Posted by: Pete Broadbent on Sunday, 5 July 2015 at 10:09pm BST

+Pete defines "generous orthodoxy" as "missional and believe[s] in the gospel as a power to save people through encounter with Jesus Christ." I'm content with that. So why does that rule out people who are theologically "progressive"?

I get the clear impression that what this really means is only people who can peddle the tribal vocabulary, who understand mission in one-dimensional terms, who continue to bang-out the same slogans irrespective of whether people are listening or not, who are insulated against the massive cultural shifts going on around the Church of England and... above all, the preservation of the institution at all costs. When Justin Welby trots out (for the umpteenth time)his slogan about "faithfulness to Jesus Christ" what most intelligent, thinking, non-religious people understand by that equates to legitimising prejudice, aligning yourself with reactionary social and cultural attitudes, and a complete unwillingness to dialogue.

I have every sympathy for +Pete's view that the LGBT question is in danger reducing ecclesiastical discourse to "one issue" - but that is hardly the fault of LGBT people and those who regard the Church's stance as a profound issue of injustice. While people like +Pete and +Welby and +Sentamu continue to collude with this injustice - and the world beyond the Church looks on at the deeply embedded hypocrisy at the heart of the Church - our capacity to be "missional" and show the world that we "believe in the gospel as a power to save people through encounter with Jesus Christ" will be seriously flawed and compromised. Unless, of course, we are just in the business of attracting people who think like +Pete and his friends and welcome people on their terms only.

Posted by: Tom Marshall on Monday, 6 July 2015 at 7:50am BST

The Church of England is alas becoming increasingly lop-sided. If we want evidence that the Established Church has now become nothing more than another Protestant Body then the latest comment from Bishop Broadbent is all the evidence that we need.

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 6 July 2015 at 8:23am BST

In his book of the same name ( Brian McLaren describes himself as having a 'generous orthodoxy' in that he is:

"missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, anabaptist/anglican, methodist, catholic, green, incarnational, depressed-yet-hopeful, emergent, unfinished Christian"

I think I could live with that.

Posted by: Alastair Newman on Monday, 6 July 2015 at 3:12pm BST

I wouldn't agree with Father David's second sentence but do whole-heartedly endorse the first. I wonder if Bishop Pete would explain to us why the process as currently implemented isn't corrupt.

Posted by: John on Tuesday, 7 July 2015 at 10:51am BST

So the argument goes like this:

"People who support the views of some LGBT Christians aren't being appointed as bishops"

"Therefore the process is corrupt."

There seems to be a small leap of unstated inference in that particular progression...

Posted by: Pete Broadbent on Tuesday, 7 July 2015 at 11:09pm BST

Gross caricature, Bishop Pete, especially if it's meant to cover Father David as well. Bishops really should do better.

Posted by: John on Wednesday, 8 July 2015 at 4:31pm BST

I'm actually trying to understand why you think that "the process as currently implemented (is) corrupt." Perhaps you'd care to fill in the gaps in your argument? What process? What corruption? Your comment makes no sense to me.

Posted by: Pete Broadbent on Wednesday, 8 July 2015 at 5:50pm BST

You're not really trying to understand. You should at least admit that your last remark was cheap. There are no 'gaps' in my argument. It's absolutely clear: if, along the line, apart from necessary concessions to FiF and Reform (which I support), more or less everyone appointed belongs to 'friends of Justin or John' and equally worthy or in my opinion better candidates who are not 'friends' etc. are not appointed, it's corrupt. Sorry you can't see it.

John Moles,
Professor of Latin,
Newcastle University.

Posted by: John on Wednesday, 8 July 2015 at 8:00pm BST

Well, at least you've now exposed the unstated middle assumption (which I believe to be erroneous). If it were the case that those being appointed were, as you put it, "friends of..", then indeed it might be accused of being a corrupt process. But in point of fact that isn't what happens. Diocesans (via CNC) and Suffragans (via panels) are subject to interview and discernment against criteria set out in a role description. There isn't some secret list of Justin's mates. It's you who have brought cheap assertion to the discussion, not me.

Posted by: Pete Broadbent on Thursday, 9 July 2015 at 7:41am BST

It's a widely-held view, as you perfectly well know, not only on this thread - across virtually the whole spectrum of opinion - but among some senior C of E people (they've told me this is their view). But to focus on a specific example: could you please comment here on the treatment of Jeffrey John? Conscious as one is of one's own frailties, one is continually amazed by the low ethical standards of our bishops (and archbishops).

Posted by: John on Thursday, 9 July 2015 at 8:17am BST

Conspiracy Theorists (of whom there are a fair few in these debates at both ends of the spectrum) can believe a number of things before breakfast and reassert them endlessly on the internet until they become "true". I'm unimpressed by generalisations about "senior" (whatever that means) CofE people and their views. The acid test is "were they present at the interview where this alleged corrupt practice took place?" I'm telling you that we interviewed candidates and that there wasn't a list of "friends of..." to which we had to have recourse. I therefore take no heed of "the whole spectrum of opinion" who think that something different happened, but who weren't actually present.

Similarly, the CofE gossip factory is a wondrously stupid thing, fueled by people who need to stop gossiping and get a life. If I had a fiver for all those who told me they knew who was to be the Bishop of Edmonton (announced today) but were entirely wrong, I could buy quite a few rounds of drinks at the York Synod.

As to JJ, I have never been on a CNC where his name was discussed. So I don't know what happened. I have read Colin Slee's account of one CNC. So you have evidence from that about his candidature when Rowan was Archbishop. As to what has happened since, because the proceedings of the CNC are confidential, neither you nor I have any idea.

Nobody deserves episcopacy. Many of us didn't wish for it. JJ does deserve not to be used as a campaigners' totem as though the CofE needs to measure itself against whether one man becomes a bishop or not. It's not fair on him - and it personalises a discussion about doctrine and practice which frankly needs to take place without dragging personalities into it.

Posted by: Pete Broadbent on Thursday, 9 July 2015 at 5:01pm BST

Hello Bishop Pete, lovely that the London team has taken shape and many thanks to all involved in the process. Contemplating the seven bishops, and remembering the bishop of Fulham’s words to me last year, “I have always been quite clear that my visits to St Mary’s - as to many other parishes across the Diocese - have been made in my capacity as Suffragan Bishop for the whole Diocese of London. I am glad to have the encouragement of all at senior staff level in the Diocese to function in this way, precisely to ensure that the ministry of the Bishop of Fulham is made more widely available than to the petitioning parishes alone”, I find myself thinking that perhaps there should be an Eighth Bishop, also called Suffragan, who might roam around the Diocese in the same way as +Jonathan but might happen to be a woman. Joking aside, do hope that at some point a discussion on practice will take place, even if only to ask whether seven male bishops alongside an all-male roster for director of ministry and warden of licensed lay ministers, director of ordinands, and head of children’s and youth ministry support really makes the best sense for the Diocese. But a happy summer before that, and thank you as previously for your straightforward presence here.

Posted by: Julia Redfern on Thursday, 9 July 2015 at 10:57pm BST

There is a major issue for us in London about the need to reflect gender and ethnic diversity in our leadership. I'd love there to be a woman bishop on the team, but there were no vacancies in the two Episcopal Areas where that would be easiest to facilitate. The Transformations and Turning Up the Volume agendas are intended to address the women and BAME questions - and we shall be working very hard on these over the coming years.

Posted by: Pete Broadbent on Friday, 10 July 2015 at 8:15am BST

Many thanks +Pete - v helpful reply. Happy Synoding.

Posted by: Julia Redfern on Friday, 10 July 2015 at 10:21am BST

Lest there be any misunderstanding, I posted a reply to Bishop Pete's last reply to me that the TA management evidently judged to be too peppery. However, I hope they will allow me to state loud and clear that I think ALL Bishop Pete's responses have been evasive.

Posted by: John on Friday, 10 July 2015 at 8:57pm BST
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