Monday, 10 August 2015

Report from Independent Reviewer on All Saints, Cheltenham

The second report of the Independent Reviewer in relation to resolving disputes arising from the operation of the House of Bishops’ Declaration is now available and can be read here.

Report from Independent Reviewer on All Saints, Cheltenham
10 August 2015

As part of the settlement by which the Church of England agreed to the ordination of women as bishops in 2014, it agreed to an ombudsman-style procedure by which those with concerns about the operation of the new arrangements could appeal to an Independent Reviewer.

In October last year the Archbishops of Canterbury and York appointed Sir Philip Mawer as the Independent Reviewer in relation to resolving disputes arising from the operation of the House of Bishops’ Declaration.

Sir Philip’s report on All Saints, Cheltenham is published today.


Further details on the work of the Independent Reviewer can be found here.

This report considers the “licensing of the Revd Angela Smith as an “Associate Priest in the North Cheltenham Team” despite the fact that the Team Benefice included the Parish of All Saints where, by virtue of paragraph 43 of the House of Bishops’ Declaration, the PCC was to be treated as having passed a Resolution under paragraph 20 of the Declaration”.

Forward in Faith has issued this statement.

David Pocklington of Law & Religion UK writes about this second report.

Posted by Peter Owen on Monday, 10 August 2015 at 1:35pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

Full of interesting details, not least of all this:

"15. On 25 June the PCC of All Saints voted by 11 votes to 7 to confirm the resolution in the
form set out in paragraph 20 of the House of
Bishops’ Declaration and therefore to
request that arrangements be made for it in accordance with the Declaration."

Not exactly a bastion of conservatism then. If this were a vote in GS it would have failed for lack of a two thirds majority...

Posted by: Alastair Newman on Monday, 10 August 2015 at 3:33pm BST

I wonder why it hasn't occurred to FiF that maybe, just maybe, the reason that the number of women excluding churches in the diocese of Gloucester is declining has nothing to do with any alleged lack of any encouragement from the Diocesan. May be it's because of the increasing realisation of clergy and laity in the affected parishes that there are no valid theological objections to the ordination of women to the priesthood. It may also be that the example set by the women priests around them has been sufficiently persuasive to overcome the inherent conservatism of the congregations concerned.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Monday, 10 August 2015 at 3:38pm BST

More fees for lawyers here, but some useful clarifications by the Independent Reviewer, who is certainly earning his stipend. However, a scandalous assertion by Forward in Faith was contained in the expression of concern, regarding a perceived negative attitude on the part of the former Bishop of Gloucester and the continuing diocesan leadership team towards traditional anglo-catholics in the diocese. Bishop Perham's letter (the final appendix) is worth reading and makes abundantly clear how he exercised his ministry towards traditional catholics in the diocese. FiF should withdraw the allegation unreservedly. Failure to do so will cause significant reputational damage to FiF and fuel the cause of those who are not so charitably disposed towards them. Sir Philip Mawer correctly points to the new ministry of +Treweek as being an opportunity for all concerned to make a fresh start, but she will have much more important matters to focus on in the early days of her new episcopal ministry.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Monday, 10 August 2015 at 6:26pm BST

As I said on August 7, in the chrism-masses thread, "But that's no reason for anyone to accept, even terminologically, the ludicrosities to which the CofE will soon descend, in order to promote the 'flourishing' of discrimination."

This is the first.

The question is, where does Sir Philip draw the line? What is he willing to do for traditionalists who feel out of communion with male bishops who ordain women priests?

The road to theological ghettoisation, and resulting schism, is paved with good intentions.

Posted by: Jeremy on Monday, 10 August 2015 at 10:00pm BST

So can a woman be a part of a "team" when one of the parishes has opted out - the "solution" here seems to change the legal relationships rather than relying on personal relationships, and I thought this wasn't about legal separation but mutual respect - where is the mutuality here. The text seems to suggest that all the relevant parties were in favour of the appointment - so why change it?

Posted by: Mark Bennet on Monday, 10 August 2015 at 10:13pm BST

As I have pointed out in an on-site comment in the official article linked to this contentious issue, may I ask whether:

If women clergy licenses are now to be endorsed as 'non-effective in F.i.F. parishes' will the same restrictive conditions need to apply to the licences given to women bishop in diocese containing F.i.F. parishes?

This question may become important for future administration, and another point of contention about the jurisdiction inequities of bishops in the Church of England being based on gender, rather than spiritual qualification.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 11 August 2015 at 12:29am BST

As normal FiF display their misogyny and lack of christian charity in 'protecting' their constituency from the taint of women's ministry.

Posted by: confused sussex on Tuesday, 11 August 2015 at 11:30pm BST

Under the former resolutions it was perfectly possible for one church in a team to have passed them and the others not and have women licensed to the team. I know of at least two where this happened and whilst many here will decry such cases in both they seemed to get along. Again after WATCH's case it seems FiF are also fighting on the wrong ground

Posted by: paul on Wednesday, 12 August 2015 at 1:04pm BST

It seems that this review has helpfully clarified the processes that are in place - though no legal safeguards will ever suffice where there is no trust. Furthermore the Bishop of Tewkesbury has been very gracious is admitting, with hindsight, where the process may have been lacking. But it is quite another thing to claim the Bishops in this diocese are hostile in relation to those parishes that cannot accept the ministry of ordained women. The parish concerned made no complaint at the provisions put in place for them. The accusation of hostility is made without evidence. It is firmly denied, with abundant evidence, by the former Bishop of Gloucester. I agree with Anthony Archer. The allegation should be publicly withdrawn by Colin Podmore and FinF.

Posted by: David Runcorn on Friday, 14 August 2015 at 8:23pm BST
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