Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Next Bishop of Grantham announced

Press release from Number 10

Suffragan Bishop of Grantham: Nicholas Alan Chamberlain

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
First published: 8 September 2015

The Queen has approved the nomination of Reverend Nicholas Chamberlain to the Suffragan See of Grantham in the diocese of Lincoln.

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Nicholas Alan Chamberlain MA PhD, Vicar of St George and St Hilda, Jesmond, in the diocese of Newcastle, to the Suffragan See of Grantham in the diocese of Lincoln in succession to the Right Reverend Timothy Ellis AKC PhD on his resignation on 26 September 2013.

Notes for editors

Dr Chamberlain was educated at St Chad’s College, Durham, and trained for the ministry at Edinburgh Theological College.

He served his title at St Mary’s, Cockerton, in the diocese of Durham from 1991 and was ordained priest in 1992. He went on to serve as curate at St Clare’s, Newton Aycliffe in 1994 before becoming Team Vicar there in 1995, continuing to serve in this role when it became the Great Aycliffe Team Ministry.

In 1998 he took up the post of Officer for Continuing Ministerial Education and Post Ordination Training in the Diocese of Durham as well as serving as Priest in Charge of St Barnabas, Burnmoor. He took up his current post of Vicar of St George and St Hilda, Newcastle upon Tyne, in the diocese of Newcastle in 2006.

His interests include music, reading, running and cycling.

The Lincoln diocesan website has New Bishop of Grantham Announced.

Posted by Peter Owen on Tuesday, 8 September 2015 at 10:37am BST | TrackBack
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Comments

I note from the Downing Street announcement that Nicholas Chamberlain is not, unlike the next Bishop of Newcastle, described as being "Her Majesty's Bishop" of Grantham but that he does have the Queen's approval. Having been made Deacon by a previous Bishop of Grantham I wish him well and pray that he will be a blessing to the Church and people of "Greater Lincolnshire"

Posted by: Father David on Tuesday, 8 September 2015 at 12:40pm BST

The nomination of a man for a change! Since 17 November 2014, there have been 14 episcopal appointments, three diocesans and 11 suffragans. The suffragans include +Maidstone and +Islington, and the translation of +Crediton to +Plymouth. Two of the three diocesans are women, and five of the 11 suffragans. The gender balance for these new appointments is therefore exactly 50:50, which is not quite as high in favour of women as some might wish, although it's 66:34 for diocesans, and stripping out the three 'special cases' above it is 64:36 overall. The diocesan vacancies are now currently Leicester, Lichfield and Oxford, in anticipated order of announcement. Of these, Leicester might be expected to appoint a woman, Lichfield possibly and Oxford not. The suffragan vacancies, assuming they will be filled, are Tonbridge, Dorking, Sherborne, Repton and Dunwich. Of these, all except Sherborne are the only suffragan sees in their diocese. It might reasonably be expected that the majority of nominations to these will be of women, possibly all of them.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Tuesday, 8 September 2015 at 6:25pm BST

Anthony Archer's predictions will be,I'm sure,prove to be largely true. Vivienne Faull to return to Leicester maybe?
Interestingly with the increasing number of female bishops,I am not aware that any male (or indeed female) priest has been ordained to date by one of their number.When this does happen,as it will,it will present traditionalist catholic parishes like mine with a challenge.We are not yet a "Society" parish and may not be so and one reason is that some of us including our parish priest abhor the idea of a "black list" containing the names of male priests ordained by a woman.Priests with whom no traditionalist priest may concelebrate.This list would of course become longer and longer and I fear that those who wish this would ultimately condemn us to networking in an ever-decreasing clique of the like-minded

Posted by: michael on Wednesday, 9 September 2015 at 9:13am BST

"The suffragan vacancies, assuming they will be filled, are Tonbridge, Dorking, Sherborne, Repton and Dunwich. Of these, all except Sherborne are the only suffragan sees in their diocese. It might reasonably be expected that the majority of nominations to these will be of women, possibly all of them."

Although there was actually initially a strong presumption that Grantham would be filled by a woman as well (there are already two male Bishops in a diocese which was already appointing female deacons-in-charge of parishes twenty-five years ago). It just appears that Nick was the candidate who best matched the quite specific job description, so one can't rule out the possibility that this will turn out to be the case for at least some of Tonbridge, Dorking, Sherborne, Repton and Dunwich as well?

Posted by: Peter Mullins on Wednesday, 9 September 2015 at 4:16pm BST

"some of us including our parish priest abhor the idea of a "black list" containing the names of male priests ordained by a woman.Priests with whom no traditionalist priest may concelebrate.This list would of course become longer and longer"

How is this NOT the heretical theology of taint? If male priests are ordained with multiple people laying on hands, and some of these people are always male, passing on the male apostolic line, how could the mere presence and participation of women NEGATE God's Grace???????

What about priests ordained by Bishop Peter Ball or any other male bishop convicted of crimes of any sort. Are the ordinations invalid? Male criminals are OK but exemplary women negate the line?

The theology is quite bad and unnecessarily insulting to women and demeaning to girls, who will notice.

Posted by: Cynthia on Wednesday, 9 September 2015 at 7:20pm BST

I sympathise with Michael. One of my parishes is AB, the other is not. The AB parish is considering the new resolution. They are coming to realise the ramifications of passing it, and of not passing it. What do they do (after me) about a male priest who has been confirmed by a female bishop or ordained by a female bishop? "Why can we not have the local bishop [a man] just because he has ordained women?" And as for me, the PP, I was ordained by a bishop who ordained women at the same ceremony. Does that make me less kosher? Some parishioners are quite distraught and wonder if they will be forgiven if they "give up" being part of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Chuch (as they see it). It's all very sad. I feel desperately sorry for them. For me, nothing I do will change anything. A good Hindu.

Posted by: Fr William on Wednesday, 9 September 2015 at 9:48pm BST

I am glad to hear, Michael, that there are people in traditionalist catholic parishes who are wise enough to resist the separatist tendencies which the current situation provokes. But your fear of 'networking in an ever-decreasing clique of the like-minded' (brilliant phrase that) was for me a reality in just such a parish from 1994, and was what eventually forced me to leave.
Looking at the website of Dr Chamberlain's parish reveals that it (and he, presumably) is both catholic and inclusive. Very good, but I'm not sure that that description quite fits any of the women bishops so far appointed. But it certainly applies to many of the women on the 'usual suspects' list of those thought most likely to be the first women bishops, none of whom has so far been preferred. The longer that this continues, the more I shall suspect that a different sort of 'black list' is in operation.

Posted by: Malcolm Dixon on Wednesday, 9 September 2015 at 10:29pm BST

" Some parishioners are quite distraught and wonder if they will be forgiven if they "give up" being part of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Chuch (as they see it). It's all very sad."
- Fr. William -

And herein lies the 'theology of taint'. 'Taint good enough! How one might 'give up' on being a member of the 'one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church' is a problem only for those who truly believe they have the sole right to consider themselves to be so privileged.

In the meantime, the rest of us, who also believe we are part of the O,H.C. & A. Church, while yet believing, with Saint Paul, that - "In Christ, there is neither female nor male.. but all are given the One Holy Spirit..." - will be ministering the grace of the Sacraments of The Church, without let or hindrance.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 9 September 2015 at 10:35pm BST

"The suffragan vacancies, assuming they will be filled, are Tonbridge, Dorking, Sherborne, Repton and Dunwich. Of these, all except Sherborne are the only suffragan sees in their diocese. It might reasonably be expected that the majority of nominations to these will be of women, possibly all of them."

And here I was, in my simplicity, thinking that appointments to the episcopate were made irrespective of gender after prayer and waiting upon the Holy Spirit. Silly me.

Posted by: Barry on Thursday, 10 September 2015 at 8:29am BST

The position for traditionalist Catholics in the Church of England as regards those admitted to holy orders by women bishops is one of sacramental assurance rather than any notion of 'taint' attached to a brother or sister in the Lord. Since we cannot recognise the validity of a female bishop's sacramental actions, it therefore follows that those men and women claiming ordination by her are necessarily incapable of offering Catholics their sacramental ministry. The matter is straightforward and quite distinct from day-to-day working with a female diocesan bishop in her status as an Ordinary. Talk of 'black lists' and an 'ever-decreasing clique' just vilifies those in the conservative minority in a way that is at odds with the spirit of the House of Bishops' Declaration and the Five Guiding Principles.

Posted by: Nigel Aston on Thursday, 10 September 2015 at 10:57am BST

Dear Nigel.

You wrote "The position for traditionalist Catholics in the Church of England as regards those admitted to holy orders by women bishops is one of sacramental assurance rather than any notion of 'taint' attached to a brother or sister in the Lord. Since we cannot recognise the validity of a female bishop's sacramental actions, it therefore follows that those men and women claiming ordination by her are necessarily incapable of offering Catholics their sacramental ministry."

I would very much like to understand your position and to understand the traditionalist theology in this area. So perhaps you could help me by explaining it. If I could understand the reasoning then I hope I would be more sympathetic towards it.

I can understand the idea of sacramental assurance, For an ordination to be valid then there is a requirement for those carrying out the ordination to have had a valid ordination themselves, and for that chain of valid ordinations to be traceable back to Apostolic times. To me that seems like an entirely reasonable argument to make.

But I struggle with asking certain other people NOT to lay on their hands. For example the Archbishop of York refrained from laying on his hands recently when a traditionalist bishop was involved. What is the reasoning or theology behind this restraint? I don't want to use the word taint, but that this what it can seem like.

If a number of valid Bishops are involved to provide sacramental assurance, then if a woman bishop, or a woman ordaining bishop, also laid on their hands simply in a gesture of Christian brotherhood, but with no sacramental affect, then would that be a problem? Surely it would not cancel out the sacramental effect of the liturgy.

It is this area that puzzles me. Not why certain people lay on hands, but why certain others are requested NOT to lay on hands. Or why is co-celebration with a non-valid priest anathema. Wouldn't the valid priest provide assurance, and the presence of the other priest seen as simply a sign of Christian solidarity and love, with no affect on the validity of the Eucharistic sacrament.

I am not deeply theologically trained, working as a Lay Minister, but I would like to understand your position on these issues, and be able to explain it to my congregation. If you could help me understand the theology in this area I would be grateful.

With best wishes

Simon

Posted by: Simon Dawson on Thursday, 10 September 2015 at 3:24pm BST

"it therefore follows that those men and women claiming ordination by her are necessarily incapable of offering Catholics their sacramental ministry. The matter is straightforward"

No, it isn't as straightforward as that. In the typical ordination or consecration, there are multiple clergy doing the laying on of hands, right? So if one or more of those laying on hands is male, then the male line is being passed down. The idea that the presence of a woman negates the sacrament is indeed "taint" and heretical. I'm Anglo-Catholic too, I would think those from the exclusive side would be respectful of the sacraments and understand that if your requirement is met, males laying on hands, that is sufficient.

The idea that the sacrament is fulfilled by men who are criminals, sex abusers, and whatnot, but not fulfilled if a woman is participating, is ridiculous. Are all the priests and bishops ordained or consecrated by Bishop Ball going to be re-ordained? Have the baptisms, marriages, and funerals conducted by those priests been "valid?" If so, then you are saying that God's Grace in the sacraments is robust enough to "take" despite a criminal officiant, but not robust enough to "take" when a woman is participating alongside men.

Because I'm for inclusion, I believe that all ordinations and consecrations should involve men and women. It covers everybody except the Donatist heretics.

Posted by: Cynthia on Thursday, 10 September 2015 at 5:05pm BST

"And here I was, in my simplicity, thinking that appointments to the episcopate were made irrespective of gender after prayer and waiting upon the Holy Spirit. Silly me."

All episcopal appointments are Crown appointments. However, the patronage for suffragan sees lies with the diocesan bishop (after due process and reflection, and having consulted widely and with the name being submitted to Downing Street via the archbishop of the province concerned). It would be odd if gender was not a factor, although some bishops might be forgiven for not realising this, given the Church's recent history. Gender balance in the senior leadership team of a diocese is now a key consideration. Parliament got that in spades, legislating to fast track women diocesans as Lords Spiritual, for a ten year transitional period.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Thursday, 10 September 2015 at 9:14pm BST

Does that mean that in a couple of years time when +London is due to retire it is likely that a female bishop would be appointed?

Posted by: Verulamius on Thursday, 10 September 2015 at 11:12pm BST

Given that +London (following his predecessor's precedent) doesn't ordain priests of any gender---which is really odd, of course, given that sacramentally this is one of the things a bishop is for---the question of how a female bishop would operate is particularly pertinent. Arguably some extension of this bizarre situation would remove all the objections!

Posted by: Turbulent Priest on Friday, 11 September 2015 at 6:05am BST

Given the current 'odd' arrangements in London referred to by Turbulent Priest, it would be a big step to appoint a woman bishop there in 2017. Many of us however profoundly hope and pray that it may be someone who will ordain both men and women as priests. And after that, who knows?

Posted by: Malcolm Dixon on Friday, 11 September 2015 at 12:40pm BST

The London situation isn't that odd. It reflects our very devolved system, whereby clergy swear a double canonical obedience to the Diocesan and the Area Bishop. All deacons are ordained by the Diocesan. When they've served a year in their parish in the Area, those who are to be priested are priested. I don't see that arrangement changing. What will be different is that now all the Area Bishops will ordain women.

As to whether the next diocesan will be male or female, there's no vacancy at present!

Posted by: Pete Broadbent on Friday, 11 September 2015 at 5:33pm BST

Pete: Do you think a non-ordainer apart from +Fulham; could ever operate/be appointed again in the Diocese of London? Do you think it's right that +Edmonton is now an ordainer of women considering for the last 30 years +Masters and +Wheatley didn't? and Do you think +Londin will be able to get away with it and stay on till 2020 to fulfil the end of Capital Vision?

My thoughts on all these issues are open-minded. I think a non-ordainer could probably be appointed in the Diocese; the +Edmonton situation didn't please me too much but it's done and it's time to get on with it and I think that Bishop Richard should try and find away to stay on till 2020 but it would be good to get your thoughts on this

Posted by: Graham Williams on Friday, 11 September 2015 at 6:23pm BST

"As to whether the next diocesan will be male or female, there's no vacancy at present!"

It is idle to speculate and I have already speculated too much concerning diocesan and suffragan sees that are currently vacant. However, the elephant in the room on all this (which has been aired much on TA) is will there ever be another appointment as diocesan of a non-ordainer (regardless of the London Plan in that diocese)? My own view on that is very clear, and it has nothing to do with the Guiding Principles, which are silent on the point and not designed to cover it. The mind of the church is now settled on women's ministry in all three orders and there can be no unity in mission if a future diocesan will not ordain women. So the next +Londin will ordain women, whether as deacon, priest or both (save for a most extraordinary composition of the relevant CNC, largely unthinkable), but whether the successor will be a man or a woman remains to be seen. When it comes, the CNC will want to ensure gender balance on the shortlist.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Friday, 11 September 2015 at 9:23pm BST

'Since we cannot recognise the validity of a female bishop's sacramental actions, it therefore follows that those men and women claiming ordination by her are necessarily incapable of offering Catholics their sacramental ministry.'

I really don't understand what it means to be a 'Catholic' in a Church some - soon, perhaps, many - of whose bishops' sacramental actions, including ordination, you believe to be invalid and therefore some of whose priests - in the future many of whose priests, perhaps in neighbouring parishes - you believe to be offering invalid sacraments.

Either the Church we belong to is Catholic or it isn't. Either we Anglicans are all Catholic or none of us are. You can't surely be a Catholic in a Church which isn't, by and large, Catholic? Or is my understanding of the word 'Catholic' wrong?

I worry that some very un-Catholic - indeed more Congregationalist - ecclesiology is creeping in here. I say this as someone not unsympathetic to 'traditionalists' and as someone whose belief in the Catholic nature of the Church of England is taking something of a battering in recent months.

Posted by: Fr Rob Hall on Friday, 11 September 2015 at 10:07pm BST

"I think that Bishop Richard should try and find away to stay on till 2020"

I am no expert on this, but s3 of the Ecclesiastical Offices (Age Limit) Measure 1975 is relevant here and there is probably no leeway, depsite the fact that we have a unwritten constitution and can do things by convention (e.g. the Church can nominate its own bishops). Firstly it is a matter for the archbishop of the province concerned and secondly there can be an extension only for 12 months. Bishop Nigel McCulloch (Manchester) retired on his 71st birthday. +Londin was born on 11 July 1947, and will therefore attain 71 on 11 July 2018.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Friday, 11 September 2015 at 10:31pm BST

What a great loss Richard Chartres will be to the Church of England, by Law Established, when he does decide to retire from the See of London in a few years time. One of the very few bishops who brings a bit of gravitas to the Bench and doesn't seem to be much affected by the current trend to instil managerial and business qualities into the episcopacy. He will be greatly missed.

Posted by: Father David on Saturday, 12 September 2015 at 7:42am BST

I'm not going to be drawn on the question of Bishop Richard's retirement. The Age Limit Measure is (unless someone - not us - overturns it through an age discrimination appeal) a complete barrier to anyone (unless they are in a Guild Church) going on beyond 71.

The most important thing about the next Bishop of London is not gender, or whether it's a man who doesn't ordain women. It's the absolute commitment to mission, church planting, mixed economy church and entrepreneurial leadership within the boundaries of generous orthodoxy. That's what Richard has promoted and modelled - and the last 3 episcopal and archdiaconal appointments are all about that. No new bishop can come in and try to draw the Diocese back into timorous defensive retrenchment. We're here to work with God as he grows his kingdom. End of.

As for Edmonton, it simply couldn't have continued as a protected fiefdom where the issue of women in priestly and episcopal orders just wasn't talked about. I've encouraged Edmonton clergy who aren't yet convinced of women in holy orders to talk to their colleagues in Stepney, Kensington and Willesden in order to get ready for the new way of mutual flourishing with which they will now have to engage. It works in the rest of London; it will work in Edmonton.

Posted by: Pete Broadbent on Saturday, 12 September 2015 at 4:15pm BST

I am always so amused by the use of the "yet" in regards to people's conviction on women's ministry.

I doubt there will be a time when everyone will be convinced on this issue, it will always be a contentious issue but hopefully over-time a less contentious issue.

Liz Adekunle's appointment is a good one for a number of reasons but the Diocese of London is still lacking essential representations in its senior leadership team.

Posted by: Graham Williams on Sunday, 13 September 2015 at 12:18am BST

I don't think encouraging the Edmonton clergy will be much use Bishop Pete - The parishes that won't accept his ministry just will ignore him and won't play a part in any new way of mutual flourishing (which is a shame).

The Bishop of London knew this would be the case when he made the appointment and doubt anything will change in the near future but at least Bishop Jonathan Baker has a job for life.

Posted by: Tariqq Kelly on Sunday, 13 September 2015 at 2:07am BST

Regarding the appointment of the Suffragan Bishop of Grantham.
What is the difference between 'Her Majesty's Bishop' and having 'Her Majesty's approval'?
Has this position been vacant for two years with this specific job description - or has it just been advertised with this job description?

Posted by: Corrine Rivers on Sunday, 13 September 2015 at 7:48pm BST

[Since this is about the "Bishop of Grantham", I surprised no one has made a Downton Abbey joke! Then again, I've heard DA is a bigger deal here on the Yank side of the Pond, so...]

"How one might 'give up' on being a member of the 'one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church' is a problem only for those who truly believe they have the sole right to consider themselves to be so privileged."

Thank you, Fr Ron, for providing a succinct example of what (so-called) "sacramental assurance" is: I get it now!

Posted by: JCF on Monday, 14 September 2015 at 7:28am BST

Corrine, to take your questions in reverse order...

Over recent years as one or two specific Suffragan sees have fallen vacant it has been decided not to fill the position again - although in reality the only such 'cut' to have been made is that of the Bishop of Hulme in the diocese of Manchester while elsewhere new Suffragan sees have actually been created. The initial policy decision was that Grantham would be one of the sees 'cut' in this way, which is why it was left vacant. Subsequently it was decided that the diocese would in fact like a new appointment to be made, a case for this was put to the church's national scrutiny body which allows such things, and a quite fresh job description was prepared.

In accordance with usual Church of England practice, once the whole internal church selection process was complete, the name of the candidate was then given to the Prime Minister's office for the technical process of Royal approval and then the appointment announced from the Prime Minister's office as being a Royal appointment. Meanwhile, I honestly think the whole 'Her Majesty's Bishop' thing in relation to another appointment was simply a careless bit of phraseology - and a mistake the Prime Minister's office will not make again.

Posted by: Peter Mullins on Monday, 14 September 2015 at 8:00am BST

I have only ever watched one episode of Downtown Abbey (A Christmas special) but isn't Highclere Castle in Hampshire rather than Lincolnshire and therefore comes under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Winchester rather than the Bishops of Lincoln and Grantham? The Earl and Countess of Caernarfon reside there rather than Lord and Lady Grantham - the successor to the famous Lord Caernarfon who funded Howard Carter's quest to discover the tomb of Tutankhamen. Many years ago I did my Probationary Teaching year at St. Wulfram's, Grantham, a town famous for producing our first and so far only woman Prime Minister. In an opinion poll it was voted the most boring town in England. More recently nearby Boston, where I served my title, was declared the town with the most obese population in England. I hope this information is of interest to American readers, one of whom has made the connection between DA and Grantham.
The late Bishop Simon Burrows who retired to Winchester was for a long time Suffragan Bishop of Buckingham he once told me that when he was on Sabbatical (I think it was in America) he encountered a gentleman who was most interested in his title but alas soon cut him dead when he discovered that he had nothing to do with Buckingham Palace! God Save the Queen.

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 14 September 2015 at 8:34am BST

Highclere Castle is in fact in Berkshire, Fr David, but you are right about it being in the diocese of Winchester (but only just - some adjacent parishes are in Oxford diocese). However, the fictional Downton Abbey is set in Yorkshire. How confusing, and very little to do with the subject of this thread!

Posted by: Malcolm Dixon on Tuesday, 15 September 2015 at 12:49am BST

Not wishing to quibble Malcolm but Wikipedia informs me that Highclere Castle is in Hampshire, 5 Miles South of Newbury which is, of course, in the Royal country of Berkshire - a long way from Grantham.

Posted by: Father David on Tuesday, 15 September 2015 at 6:55pm BST

You are right, Fr David - wikipedia does indeed say that, but if you Google Highclere Castle, the first entry gives the address as Highclere Park, Newbury, West Berkshire. The castle's own website gives the same address, but omits any reference to a county. And Google also links to several newspaper articles, all saying it's in Berkshire. It must be a case of the postal address being at variance with the administrative location. Even more confusing!

Posted by: Malcolm Dixon on Wednesday, 16 September 2015 at 12:32pm BST
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