Monday, 1 February 2016

Archbishops' Council

Elections to the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England have now been completed. Here is the full list of elected and appointed members.

Members of the Archbishops’ Council

Joint Presidents
The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
The Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York

Prolocutor of the Lower House of the Convocation of Canterbury
The Revd Canon Simon Butler

Prolocutor of the Lower House of the Convocation of York
The Venerable Cherry Vann

Chair of the House of Laity
Canon Dr Jamie Harrison

Vice-Chair of the House of Laity
Canon Elizabeth Paver

Elected by the House of Bishops
The Rt Revd Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield
The Rt Revd Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely

Elected by the House of Clergy
The Revd Dr Ian Paul
The Revd Sarah Schofield

Elected by the House of Laity
Mrs Lorna Ashworth
Canon Mark Russell

Church Estates Commissioner
Sir Andreas Whittam Smith, First Church Estates Commissioner

Appointed by the Archbishops
Mr John Spence
Mrs Mary Chapman: former CEO, Chartered Institute of Management
Mr Philip Fletcher
The Revd Dr Rosalyn Murphy: Vicar, St Thomas’s, Blackpool
Mrs Rebecca Salter: Medical Researcher
Mr Matthew Frost, former CEO Tearfund

Detailed results of the elections can be downloaded from here.

Posted by Peter Owen on Monday, 1 February 2016 at 7:54pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod

I'm struggling to understand how 3 of the 4 'Laity' representatives are canons.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Monday, 1 February 2016 at 11:39pm GMT

Susannah - Lay Canons. Cathedrals have these.

Posted by: Neil on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 12:44am GMT

Lay canons. The head of the Church Army (Canon Mark Russell) is non-ordained. (Maybe ordained in the Methodist church, but not deacon or priest in the Anglican church.)

Posted by: Richard on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 5:38am GMT

Because most cathedrals now appoint lay canons and, although in the real world it would seem unusual to call them 'canon', in General Synod canons are given the title canon, even if they are not ordained.

Posted by: Nigel LLoyd on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 6:29am GMT

Lay canons I presume... though deaconesses ordained overseas may just about still be theoretically possible, if highly unlikely.
(Could look them up in Crockfords of course)

Posted by: Adrian Judd on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 7:51am GMT

For the last fifteen years or so it has been possible for the new constitution of any individual English Cathedral to make provision for the appointment of a small number of lay Canons. Because most Bishops are blind to the deep ambiguity of using these to recognise particular dedicated service to diocesan and national committees (very visible to them) rather than particular sacrificial service to local communities and parishes (less consistently visible to them) it is not a surprise that several of those active enough to be realistic candidates for election to the Archbishops’ Council are among the genuinely valued people who have been rewarded in this way. You’ll note the careful use of the style ‘The Revd Canon’ in full for the non-lay Canon on the list.

Posted by: Peter Mullins on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 8:04am GMT

There's laity and then there's lay laity! The thrust of Susannah's comment, with which I have some sympathy, appears to be that the AC might be better served by lay laity!

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 8:16am GMT

Susannah, an honorary canonry may be awarded to anyone who has given long/meritorious/distinguished service to the church (often/usually at diocesan level). The recipient need not be a member of the CofE or even an Anglican. There are a good many representatives of other denominations. They are usually referred to as "Ecumenical Canons".

Because honorary (as opposed to Residentiary) canons may be lay or ordained it emphasises the need for correct usage in "official" documentation e.g. "The Revd. Canon John Smith", "Canon Mrs. Jane Smith", "Canon Prof. Joe Bloggs" etc.

What a lovely country of titles and humbug we live in!

Posted by: RPNewark on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 8:24am GMT

Thank you all for enlightening me!


Posted by: Susannah Clark on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 9:45am GMT

isn't it time for the Church of England to abandon all these honorific titles for clergy and laity? The title Canon could then be properly restricted to a residentiary member of a Cathedral Chapter, to be relinquished with the post.

Posted by: Barry on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 10:06am GMT

Leaving titles aside, Ms. Lorna Ashworth, friend of ACNA and opponent of women bishops, has been elected.

"Like a mighty tortoise . . . ."

Posted by: Jeremy on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 10:46am GMT

A mixed bag - though I believe both Prolocutors have inclusive views re LGBT, so that's encouraging.

Posted by: Laurence Cunnington on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 2:38pm GMT

It may be worth recognising that the lay Canons elected have been elected by the laity, with none being appointees of the Archbishops.
Each English cathedral has three categories to canons those residentiary canons who maintain the daily life of the cathedral and are joined by a small number of other canons (including Lay Canons) to make up the Chapter which is the prime management body of the cathedral. This group (of normally about 8) is then joined by a wider pool of ordained, lay and ecumenical canons who form the College of Canons whose role is both to the cathedral and as a body containing wisdom on which the Bishop can draw as well as the Dean and Chapter. This can (though admittedly doesn't always) bring a richness to cathedral or diocesan life that would not otherwise be there if the only Canons were those resident and tied to the day-to-day life of the cathedral.

Posted by: NJW on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 3:48pm GMT

On a different topic:

The report of the Dioceses Commission reads as though there will be / is a rapid expansion of the number of bishops.

Has anyone recently looked at the ratios between senior and other clergy, and between both and the number of lay members? This was once a stock question in any examination of the state of the CofE.

I guess one immediate consequence of attempts to revitalise the church is to appoint more managers (as a broad description). Is this a good thing? And do you think they will be evaluated by results?

Posted by: Paul Bagshaw on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 4:45pm GMT

Rather ungallant ...

Posted by: Tim on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 7:25pm GMT

Looks a pretty balanced grouping - some definite conservatives, some definite liberals, and some probably in-between.

Posted by: Peter K+ on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 8:57pm GMT

"Elected by the House of Clergy:
The Revd Dr Ian Paul"

Does this proclaim a preponderance of conservative Evangelical clergy in the Church of England?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 9:03pm GMT

Father Ron, while he's not a fan of the term, as a passionate supporter of women's ministry and nuanced biblical interpretation, Ian Paul's firmly in what's usually known as the open evangelical camp. In Anglican terms, you couldn't get more mainstream.

Posted by: James Byron on Tuesday, 2 February 2016 at 11:57pm GMT

Jeremy at 1046 on Tuesday: "Leaving titles aside, Ms. Lorna Ashworth, friend of ACNA and opponent of women bishops, has been elected...."

Examination of the detailed result sheet will show that Jayne Ozanne, of whom we have heard not a little in recent days in connection with Primates 2016 and its aftermath, was only just edged out into third place.

Posted by: RPNewark on Wednesday, 3 February 2016 at 12:05am GMT

As far as I recall, lay canons were a creature of the Howe Report into the management of cathedrals, which led to Section 4 (2) (b) of the Cathedrals Measure 1999 under which the dean and residentiaries are supplemented by an additional cadre of between two and seven members, two thirds of whom must be lay. The object was, presumably, to add an element of professional expertise in financial or management questions, and to forestall a repetition of the acrimony that occurred at Lincoln between Dr Brandon Jackson and Canon Rex Davies. So, I believe that they are a relatively recent innovation, although there were instances in the sixteenth century of laymen being appointed to the deaneries of Carlisle (Sir Thomas Smith), Wells (Robert Weston) and St Patrick's, Dublin (Weston again), etc. Honorary lay canons seem to be more recent still, and appear to have sprung up over the last decade - probably as a consequence of there being too many positions in greater chapters relative to the number of ordained clergy below retirement age.

There was a portent of the 1999 Measure in Section 2 of the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 1995 which allowed two lay canons to be appointed to Christ Church, Oxford - and Section 2 (3) allowed for the laicisation of the Lady Margaret professorship of divinity and the regius professorship of ecclesiastical history (following the sudden death that year of Canon Peter Hinchliff). The ecclesiastical history chair was laicised promptly, and went to the early medievalist, Henry Mayr-Harting of St Peter's College (a Roman Catholic, and a great success) - in 1997; and the Lady Margaret chair - the oldest in the university and the nominal head of the faculty - went to its first layperson, Carol Harrison, in 2015 following the migration of George Pattison to Glasgow in 2013. This approach was in contrast to the fate of the regius chair of Hebrew in 1959 (vacated by Cuthbert Simpson on his elevation to the deanery), which was taken out of the chapter altogether at the behest of the eminent Hebraist, Sir Geoffrey Driver (himself the son of a distinguished former regius professor) - lay canons being unheard of at that time, although Simpson's two immediate successors (William McHardy and James Barr) were both ministers of the Church of Scotland. It is likely that these chairs will remain in lay hands.

Posted by: Froghole on Wednesday, 3 February 2016 at 12:17am GMT

Father Ron, the method of voting, STV, works towards getting a spread of candidates. It works rather like The different rounds of X-factor - each round the candidates with fewest votes gets eliminated, their votes getting transferred to the next preference candidate, until the winning candidate(s) are all over the 'line'.

if there are multiple places the voting tends to crystallise into 'blocs', but that's something of a generalisation- some people are popular across the board, or clearly the outstanding candidate for a post, regardless of churchmanship.

Posted by: Peter K+ on Wednesday, 3 February 2016 at 7:58am GMT

Paul Bagshaw - where are you seeing about a rapid expansion in the number of bishops please?

Bradford until 2014 had its own diocese. This has now been dissolved. Strangely, there is still a bishop of Bradford, but he is now only an Area Bishop and Bradford has become just an "Episcopal Area". Five of these "Episcopal Areas" form the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales under the Diocesan Bishop of Leeds. So there are three layers of management, Area Bishop, Diocesan Bishop and Archbishop, all within the county of Yorkshire.

As if this were not enough, the Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales also employs a further suffragan bishop, that of Richmond, who doesn't have an Episcopal Area at all.

The latest figures show 576 people confirmed per year in the whole diocese; that's less than 2 per bishop per week.

The diocesan website displays "temporary logos for the new diocese" but warns "please be aware that a new diocesan logo will be designed at some point in the next 6 - 12 months". That presumably is keeping some of them busy.

Gilbert, of Gilbert and Sullivan, wrote in the Gondoliers: "Bishops in their shovel hats Were plentiful as tabby cats-- In point of fact, too many"

Posted by: Mr David on Wednesday, 3 February 2016 at 1:10pm GMT

So laity serving on the Archbishops' Council have to be clericalised first. So typical !

Symptomatic of another great weakness in the Church.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 3 February 2016 at 9:16pm GMT

I am appalled at the election of some people who are more than conservative, positively anti-progressive, and in some cases so anti-gay as to make me feel very insecure.

Why are the voters doing this ? Are there a majority of such people, in the corridors of influence in the Church's bureaucracy ?

It makes me want to have less and less to do with this Church. I have to remind myself they are not typical of many grass-roots anglicans !

Such as my local friary - 'a place where prayer is valid.'

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 3 February 2016 at 9:27pm GMT

Let's be clear about how few votes it takes to get elected to the Archbishops' Council. Taking the Clergy for example, there were only 142 votes cast, and it took only 45 votes for the second place candidate to get elected.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 3 February 2016 at 10:17pm GMT

Simon, yes and no. The electorate isn't huge, certainly, but you're speaking as though the voters (ie General Synod members) have no electoral backing themselves. There are 2 clergy and 2 laity places on the AC, so to get elected you basically need over a third of the vote to get over the line (discounting the small number of 'non-forwarded' votes when people get eliminated.)

"45 votes" may sound small, but "1/3rd of the clergy General synod members" sounds a lot more demanding - and it is.

Also, each of the GS voters need a decent proportion of their diocesan electorate to vote for them, say 35 on average for clergy, so it's not unfair to say that both Ian Paul & Sarah Schofield's support come with the indirect backing of over 1,500 rank-and-file clergy.

The same principle applies for the laity as well.

Posted by: Peter K+ on Wednesday, 3 February 2016 at 10:39pm GMT

But there are far more than 142 members of the house of clergy, in fact it is around 196 IIRC. So it's not in fact 1/3 of the house that got these candidates elected.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 3 February 2016 at 11:38pm GMT

"But there are far more than 142 members of the house of clergy, in fact it is around 196 IIRC. So it's not in fact 1/3 of the house that got these candidates elected."

Which raises the question: "Why did over a quarter of the clergy on Genera Synod fail to cast a vote in this election?"

Posted by: Chris Routledge on Thursday, 4 February 2016 at 7:41am GMT

"Which raises the question: "Why did over a quarter of the clergy on Genera Synod fail to cast a vote in this election?"

It goes further than that, because Deanery Synod voting rates for General Synod were abysmal to, so strictly speaking, we have no idea how representative General Synod is either.

The big question is why there is this general inertia.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 4 February 2016 at 10:27am GMT

The concept of "Lay Canons" in the Anglican Communion was a colonial invention of the Diocese of Melbourne in 1869 when its synod passed a Cathedral Act, that included both laity and clergy as members of the Cathedral Chapter. This reflected the principle of lay involvement in church governance adopted when the synod was itself created in 1856. (Sydney pipped Melbourne to the post in 1868 by including lay members of its Chapter, but didn't term them as "Lay Canons" till much later.) As in synodical governance, the Church of England caught up a hundred years later.

Posted by: Peter S on Thursday, 4 February 2016 at 12:35pm GMT

Being elected by something less than a third of the actual members of an assembly seems very odd to me. But then, I am an American, and election normally requires a majority. All of our major elected offices in the church require greater than 50% of the vote. When more than one seat is to be filled each elector has that number of votes to cast, but each individual "winner" has to receive a clear majority. The English system seems to be both complex and distorted, and not well geared to reveal the actual wishes of the majority of members.

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Thursday, 4 February 2016 at 3:57pm GMT

Tobias, the election was for 2 places on the Archbishop's Council, but everyone gets one (transferable) vote. The maths of it is that if you get over a third of the votes you get elected, since only one other person can get more than you - you'll automatically be in the top two.

That is a good question about why only about 75% voted. I certainly did. Maybe online voting could help. But I think the bigger point is that Ian Paul (whose voting figures Simon highlighted) is a respected figure who represents and articulates a substantial body of opinion in the C of E - it's in no way an outlier result.

Posted by: Peter K+ on Thursday, 4 February 2016 at 8:00pm GMT

Thanks, Peter K+. That jibes with what I was able to make of the tables of the election results. It still seems odd to me, in that it means, in this case, that neither of those elected actually was elected by a majority even of those voting (to say nothing of those who for whatever reason abstained. BTW, that is not permitted in our General Convention -- all Deputies must vote on every question and election.). It seems to enshrine a kind of constituency representation as opposed to a majority representation, which may leave minority groups totally on the margin.

I've had a few e-conversations with Ian Paul. He seems very bright but at times unwilling to grapple with hard questions, and as with many on his side of the debate falls into restating the premise rather than arguing for it.

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Friday, 5 February 2016 at 4:09pm GMT

Tobias: the Single Transferable Vote system is precisely designed to ensure that minority groups are represented. Otherwise a majority will likely win every vote, and a minority will be unrepresented. With STV if one place is to be filled you need more than half of the vote; if two places, more than a third; if three places, more than a quarter; and so on. (The "quota" is (number of votes plus 1) divided by (number of places plus 1).) And the voters specify the order in which their votes are transferred from one candidate to another. Transfer happens when a candidate has more votes than they need in order to be elected, or if a candidate has so few votes that they must be eliminated in that round of counting.

Posted by: Simon Kershaw on Friday, 5 February 2016 at 4:47pm GMT

Simon, great analysis. I'm glad I'm not the only one fascinated by voting systems!

Posted by: Peter K+ on Friday, 5 February 2016 at 5:09pm GMT

Thanks, Simon. That was what I meant, though I realize on rereading my earlier comment that the referent might be unclear. The English system does seem to ensure that minorities do get a chance at a seat. This is the first time I've read about the system, I see its strong point in giving seats to the [possibly] underrepresented. Thanks for the detailed explanation about the "transfers" as I wasn't clear at all how that worked.

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Friday, 5 February 2016 at 7:30pm GMT
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