Friday, 22 July 2016

Bishop of Sodor and Man to retire

Robert Paterson, the Bishop of Sodor and Man, has announced that he will retire on 11 November 2016: Bishop Robert announces his retirement.

BBC News Bishop of Sodor and Man Robert Paterson to retire

Posted by Peter Owen on Friday, 22 July 2016 at 6:04pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

A rather different vacant see than that of London. For the right candidate it can be very attractive, provided you have got enough interesting things to do away from the island. The bishop is an ex-officio voting member of the Legislative Council, the upper house of the Tynwald, which meets once a week in term time on a Tuesday. I understand the bishop is normally expected to be present and with few members any absence would be noted! The rest of the job can surely be done in the inside of a day, which leaves quite a lot of time left. If the Archbishops can persuade the diocesan representatives, it is a golden opportunity to nominate a scholar theologian to serve in the House of Bishops.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Friday, 22 July 2016 at 8:03pm BST

Anthony Archer's comment is worth attending to: Sodor and Man is a diocese with a great tradition of reverence for catholic piety and practice well as scholarship.

Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC on Friday, 22 July 2016 at 10:20pm BST

They surely won't replace him though? I imagine it will come under an existing diocese.

Posted by: David Runcorn on Saturday, 23 July 2016 at 8:10am BST

A very decent and kind gentleman, who formerly was vicar of the largest and most successful church in the diocese of Llandaff. A lovely wife too.. who always shared his ministry.

Posted by: robert ian williams on Saturday, 23 July 2016 at 8:24am BST

As of yesterday, the Isle of Man now has fully equal marriage. Unlike the rest of the UK, both civil partnerships and marriage are available both to same-sex and opposite-sex partners. See

I note also that registrars aren't allowed to opt out.

Clearly the IoM culture has rapidly changed. Crown Nominations Committee please note, especially in the light of the above comments.

Posted by: Turbulent Priest on Saturday, 23 July 2016 at 8:49am BST

The diocese will not be united with any other. Manx people are fiercely independent -especially of England! The lack of a university theology faculty on the island might inhibit a so-called scholar bishop. However, Manchester is but a short flight away...

Posted by: Charles Read on Saturday, 23 July 2016 at 12:55pm BST

Sodor and Man was a staunch evangelical and low Church diocese, before the last three bishops who preceded Bishop Patterson.

As regards Manx is a tax haven
(with some very dubious banking practices)..having the benefits of the British National health service and a semi-independence outside both the UK and the EU. It also has a very elitist immigration policy.

Posted by: robert ian williams on Saturday, 23 July 2016 at 6:15pm BST

"Unlike the rest of the UK...". A minor point but the Isle of Man isn't part of the UK.

Posted by: Paul Powers on Saturday, 23 July 2016 at 7:24pm BST

Thanks, Paul, you are of course right. I should have written "unlike the UK" (remembering also that NI does not allow same-sex marriage).

Posted by: Turbulent Priest on Sunday, 24 July 2016 at 6:22am BST

RIW you may like to Google Thomas Wilson.

Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC on Monday, 25 July 2016 at 10:09am BST

DB.....Bishop Wilson was a Protestant high churchman, but also an appointment of King William and Queen Mary.Before the emergence of Anglo catholicism. High churchmen were devoted Protestants.

The island's bishops in the nineteenth century and for most of the twentieth century were low Churchmen and evangelicals.Google the history of the diocese.

Posted by: robert ian williams on Monday, 25 July 2016 at 9:28pm BST

There are times when I have felt sorry for bishops, and this bishop in particular. I hope he is happy in his retirement.

Posted by: RevJSmallwood on Wednesday, 27 July 2016 at 7:25pm BST

The idea of merging the Diocese with another was consulted on before the appointment of Bishop Robert and rightly rejected (I believe it was Cumbria being floated at the time).

The uniqueness and long history of the Diocese, and the Isle of Man as a distinct territory, stemming from it's Celtic and Norse roots and links with Iona etc would make merging detrimental to the Manx culture and religious expression, and let's not ignore the fact that it is an established Church by Act of Tynwald rather than Westminster.

The ex-officio role is more important than ever considering the internal political disaffection running rampant on the Island after the rather disastrous and vanity driven leadership of Chief Minister Bell and his administration. A strong Bishop willing to check the excesses of politicians who face little scrutiny of their agenda is sorely needed.

As for Bishop Wilson, it was his writings that led me onto the 'Anglo-Catholic' theology and tradition and I think to describe him as a Protestant is too simplistic. Theologically he is closely linked to the Caroline's and then onto Newman and Pusey, so whether we want to read labels back onto him or not he wasn't'protestant' in the sense you seem to be aiming at. I think it was Bishop Knowles who described himself as 'prayer book catholic' which may have been the best way to describe many churches on the Isle of Man, but things change and I will concede that except for a few congregations which know what they stand for and believe most have become infected with the same 'all things to all people' mentality that is undermining the Anglican Church voice in Britain.

It's unfortunate that Bishop Robert is retiring, but with all that he has had to face understandable, I pray he finds new vineyards to tend.

Posted by: Robert on Tuesday, 2 August 2016 at 12:26pm BST

Any news of women bishops legislation? Maybe they'll get a woman? Or has it just stalled completely?

Posted by: Tony Bellows on Friday, 12 August 2016 at 1:36pm BST

The application of the Measure relating to women bishops to Sodor and Man was approved some time ago. Quite how long it will take the CAC to recommend a successor to Bishop Robert is anyone's guess.

Posted by: Howard on Sunday, 14 August 2016 at 7:41pm BST
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