Friday, 7 October 2016

Theological review of work of Crown Nominations Commission

Press release from the Church of England

Theological review of work of Crown Nominations Commission
07 October 2016

As General Synod were advised in July 2016, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have commissioned a theological review of the work of the Crown Nominations Commission.

The group will be chaired by Professor Oliver O’Donovan FBA and the other members are:

Professor Sarah Coakley - Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge
Professor Tom Greggs - Marischal Professor of Divinity, University of Aberdeen
The Most Reverend Josiah Idowu-Fearon - Secretary General of the Anglican Communion
Professor Morwenna Ludlow - Professor of Christian History and Theology, University of Exeter
Father Thomas Seville CR - Faith and Order Commission
The Revd Dr Jennifer Strawbridge - Associate Professor of New Testament Studies, University of Oxford
The Revd Canon Dr James Walters - Chaplain and Senior Lecturer, London School of Economics

The Commission has been very active over the last few years and as it is anticipated that there will be fewer vacant sees in the near future, it is timely to review the way in which it works. The focus of the group will be to explore and provide the theological framework for the Commission as it discharges its responsibilities and to make any recommendations on process in the light of this. The group will be inviting a number of people to meet with it as well as receiving written submissions. It is very conscious of its responsibility to ensure that the full richness and diversity of Church voices are represented and starts its work this week.

It is anticipated that the group will make a report to the Archbishops who have commissioned the work. They have committed to sharing it with General Synod in 2018.

More information about the Crown Nominations Commission

Posted by Peter Owen on Friday, 7 October 2016 at 10:29am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod

I understand both Profs Ludlow and O'Donovan are ordained, so only two of the 8 members of the review are laity.

Posted by: anne foreman on Friday, 7 October 2016 at 1:06pm BST

Prof Greggs is the only lay person and he is a Methodist Lay Preacher.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Friday, 7 October 2016 at 2:43pm BST


Two lay members? Sarah Coakley is ordained. Tom Greggs a Lay Preacher in the Methodist church.

Posted by: hannah on Friday, 7 October 2016 at 3:16pm BST

The major criticisms of the CNC that I've heard can hardly be described as theological. I wonder whether the most urgently needed review is a theological one. Dare I say it but a review by a bunch of HR consultants might be quite interesting.

Posted by: Leon Clarke on Friday, 7 October 2016 at 3:58pm BST

Can save 'em the trouble. Skip the review, and switch to elections, like every other province. All current bishops recalled and seek an actual mandate.

I'll take my fee in cash or check. ;-)

Posted by: James Byron on Friday, 7 October 2016 at 6:00pm BST

"and as it is anticipated that there will be fewer vacant sees in the near future, it is timely to review the way in which it works."

Is that the sound of the stable door slamming? Wouldn't the review have been more timely *before* a large number of foreseeable vacancies occurred?

"Dare I say it but a review by a bunch of HR consultants might be quite interesting."

Indeed it would. But I doubt whether many HR consultants would want to have anything to do with a review where the right to discriminate was hard-wired into the terms of reference.

Posted by: Laurence Cunnington on Friday, 7 October 2016 at 6:16pm BST

Actually most provinces of the Anglican Communion don't hold elections.

Posted by: Peter S on Friday, 7 October 2016 at 7:23pm BST

I'm not sure elections would actually produce the sorts of Bishops for which TA commenters consistently call.

Posted by: Peter Mullins on Friday, 7 October 2016 at 7:53pm BST

For once, I am in favour. The Church should undertake periodic reviews of its operations and doing so with the CNC seems highly appropriate - although I agree it would have served better if it had been done before a large cohort of appointments were made, but better late than never.

Posted by: Kate on Friday, 7 October 2016 at 9:52pm BST

The Church House establishment have a great propensity to set up these theological and other reviews without any reference to General Synod members, or any other consultees. There is an almost complete lack of transparency, which is ironical given the subject matter. I am a huge fan of the Revd Professor Oliver O'Donovan who is exactly the right person to lead it. But I can think of a good number of others, lay persons included, who have excellent insights into the principles of episcopal leadership and what the Church needs from its bench of bishops, and I say that as a member of the Dioceses Commission. I wish the group well, but it shows signs of being long on theological expertise and short on practical experience.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Friday, 7 October 2016 at 10:42pm BST

I wonder what sort of theological balance will be exercised in this particular group? Does it consist of a proper ratio of catholic and evangelical voices? Or is it following the current trend towards the appointment of more evangelical bishops?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 8 October 2016 at 12:07am BST

An interesting anticipation that it is likely that there will be "fewer vacant sees in the near future". Surely in the longer terms - they will all become repeatedly vacant so shouldn't the Theological Reviewers of the CNC be taking a broader view of things and not simply concentrate on "the near future"?
Currently Parliament is looking at the possibility of reducing the number of constituencies represented in the House of Commons from 650 to 600 which will give a clear advantage to the Tories in any future General Election if this comes to pass.
As so many dioceses are in severe financial straits (Truro, Blackburn, Rochester to name but a few) isn't it about time to start seriously thinking about reducing the number of dioceses? When parish churches cannot pay their way then they are often closed or declared to be redundant, shouldn't the same apply to dioceses on the brink of bankruptcy? We don't need a "Theological Review" but we do need a great visionary like Theodore of Tarsus to sort things out and maybe even reduce the number of English dioceses to a figure somewhat nearer to what it was in his day. Just think of the savings that such closures would bring to a national church strapped for cash.

Posted by: Father David on Saturday, 8 October 2016 at 5:42am BST

The Brexit vote, we understand was a symbol of the frustration ordinary people felt with out of touch politicians. The Church of England, it seems to me is yet another model/sector of the Establishment out of touch with its members and consequently losing their trust and support and in many cases, losing them all together. Yet another costly managerial exercise when so many parish churches are dying. The frustration I feel is directing me to the exit.

Posted by: Jill Armstead on Saturday, 8 October 2016 at 9:06am BST

Peter S, which provinces d'you have in mind?

Peter Mullins, so be it. I'd like to see the Mother Church elect its bishops fairly, not pack the English bench with my theological pals.

Posted by: James Byron on Saturday, 8 October 2016 at 2:03pm BST

What an admirable bunch of people whose time to completely waste. How many of the recommendations of the long string of CAC/CRC reports to synod have ever been implemented?

Posted by: DBD on Wednesday, 12 October 2016 at 11:34am BST
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