Comments: Giles Fraser becomes a canon of St Paul's

What's the job description and the person specification?

Posted by Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) at Monday, 18 May 2009 at 1:36pm BST

What a wonderful thing, congrats are definitely in order!

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Monday, 18 May 2009 at 2:31pm BST

Congratulations!

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 18 May 2009 at 3:25pm BST

What a splendid appointment. Thank you Giles, for being willing to 'have a go'. Best wishes from an old style prophetic voice. UnaKroll

Posted by Una Kroll at Monday, 18 May 2009 at 4:46pm BST

congratulations! I am only slightly disappointed I was not appointed but I will suck it up and soldier on - seriously, best wishes

Posted by ettu at Monday, 18 May 2009 at 4:58pm BST

BRAVO! Imagine, SANITY begins to return to the Mother Church!

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Monday, 18 May 2009 at 5:33pm BST

This is very good news, though I'm sure the people of Putney will miss him.

Posted by Davis d'Ambly at Monday, 18 May 2009 at 6:51pm BST

Congratulations, Giles!

Posted by Tobias Haller at Monday, 18 May 2009 at 9:16pm BST

Makes no difference.. Canon Chancellor or Dean... no pro-gays are going to be consecrated in the Church of England. Time the liberals faced up to this reality, only safe pairs of hands are to be chosen. The days of Richard Harries etc are over.

The liberal "catholics" have had their day... thanks to the Sugden alliance.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Monday, 18 May 2009 at 10:11pm BST

Great appointment and prayers for Giles.

A worthy successor to Harold Wilson (not Iscariot) who was much loved and died too soon.

Harold's lovely home in Amen Court was a haven for so many - does it still come with the job?

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Monday, 18 May 2009 at 10:33pm BST

Congratulations Canon Giles Fraser. Good to know Her Majesty The Queen and her advisors recognise quality when they see it. You are quite young yet, Giles, but Canterbury could not be too far away. You'd be a good successor to Rowan. AVE!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 18 May 2009 at 10:41pm BST

Oh, and just out of interest, the St Paul's website is silent on the subject!

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Monday, 18 May 2009 at 11:18pm BST

Kudos & Mazel Tov!

Posted by JCF at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 3:22am BST

Heart-felt congratulations and greetings from Texas.

Posted by Jimmy Culp at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 5:05am BST

"The liberal "catholics" have had their day... thanks to the Sugden alliance." Robert Williams -

Robert, you obviously have not been following what happened at the meetings of ACC-14. Mr Sugden and Co. suffered quite a humiliating defeat there, in their attempt to bully the Communion into the 'new conservatism'. "God works in a mysterious way, God's wonders to perform". And Giles' preferment may just be that small step forward that the wider Church is looking for.

How does the preferment situation in the C.of E. compare with that of your own lot in the Roman Catholic Church, by the way. Is it not just as politically sensitive, in any way at all?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 7:42am BST

Congratulations to Giles. This is good news which seems to belie Ian's comment - at least let's hope so.

Posted by Sara MacVane at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 8:06am BST

It's worth noting that this position was advertised, shortlisted and interviewed. So Giles was selected as best amongst a field of candidates. Even more worthy of congratulations, therefore.

Also, perhaps in this case there really was a 'level playing field', for once.

Posted by Lister Tonge at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 10:45am BST

If any should still be in doubt of the skewed nature of some of the conservative "Christian" blogs, they should check out the headline that Stand Firm are proffering for the edification of the faithful: "Fraser rewarded for denying the Atonement with Plum Job at St Paul’s Cathedral."

Posted by Fr Mark at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 12:35pm BST

Yes Lister - and advertising the post makes a change. Martin Warner and Lucy Winkett - although good enough in their ways were appointed on a whim and without transparency. This meant better candidates were not even considered, and in the case of Lucy it has crippled her ministry through a huge lack of experience in a non Cathedral work. But it is not too late for her to do a job in a less precious setting. Great news about Giles Fraser.

Posted by Neil at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 3:10pm BST

ps - in the light of Parliament opening up its secretive ways, does anybody know what Canons of St Paul's are now paid? The last I heard was about 5 years ago when the rumour was £45,000 per annum in addition to lovely Amen Court palatial homes. Is it over £50,000 by now? Or perhaps even higher?

Posted by Neil at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 3:15pm BST

"What's the job description and the person specification?"

Pluralist, you wouldn't understand.

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 3:40pm BST

Thank you all for so many warm comments. I am really touched. (And for information Neil, the stipend at St Paul's has now come in line with all the other residentiary canons in the C of E. So I expect its about half what you guessed.)

Posted by Giles Fraser at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 4:11pm BST

Probably I wouldn't understand.

Meanwhile, best wishes to Giles Fraser and someone who understands tell him not to shout the happy outcome too much in the gallery.

Posted by Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 6:15pm BST

The fact is that whilst you are congratulating Canon Fraser, Rowan Williams has made the appointment of liberal bishops who support homosexuality an impossibility in the Church of England.

That is the significant fact that you should be debating...

In so far as Chris Sugden and Dr Giddings achieved this, they have flavoured the C of E for years to come.

He's not kosher enough.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 6:49pm BST

How delightful to have SUCH good news from "across the pond!" CONGRATULATIONS ... to St. Paul's ... and to Giles!

Posted by Susan Russell at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 6:56pm BST

Giles, congratulations and good luck!

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 8:02pm BST

Ah StandFirm, not that hard to predict, eh? If Canon Fraser's appointment was in some part due, to his visiting the dubious theological claims of penal sub atonement, then bravo. There is plenty going on in Jesus incarnation, ministry, death, resurrection; but little of it gets through the PSA lenses, alas. PSA was Never the only possible salvation theory anyways.

To the extent that this appointment signals some holding up of big tent issues, and therefore pushing back against strictly conservative realignment (per Sugden and company?), then I must also thank God for the push back to global big tent life.

Thanks goodness our life, witness, worship, and Tikkun as global Anglicans do not depend on Sugden and Stand Firm, no? We are all clear, are we not? We are not invited to the Sugden Feast, not ever invited.

Posted by drdanfee at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 8:46pm BST

The Job Description and Person Specification for this job will have been sent to all who enquired when it was advertised (perhaps Giles still has the electronic versions) in e.g. the Church Times. Nothing strange in all this: Cathedral residentiary canonries are now all advertised in this way, even the ones which, like this one, are royal appointments.

Posted by Lister Tonge at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 9:35pm BST

Great News. I hope that Giles will continue to write for the Guardian, Church Times and other journals and will continue to be as provocative as before.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 9:45pm BST

I'm surprised things are so transparent now - but being the same as other canons is a step in the right direction...and half what I imagined would be about 25 - 26K pa

Posted by Neil at Tuesday, 19 May 2009 at 11:28pm BST

Sending Congratulations from Vermont.

So you'll be working along side the super cool
Canon Lucy Winkett (whom I met after a talk she gave on women's ordination in the CofE at St Ann's, Soho, about 10 years ago)!

Posted by Jay Vos at Wednesday, 20 May 2009 at 5:22am BST

Congratulations, Giles, from your friends in the other London (Canada)!

Posted by John Thorp at Wednesday, 20 May 2009 at 4:02pm BST

"That is the significant fact that you should be debating..." Robert Williams -

But we don't need to Robert. You seem to be doing a good job of that for us. Thank goodness that such matters in the C.of E. may now be determined more closely in line with what God wants, and not what the conservative movers and shakers (Sugden et al) would prefer.

Good Luck Robert, with similar appointments in your own Roman Catholic hierarchy. Maybe by now they might have got the message: that the Church is meant to be Inclusive, rather than the preserve of the Pure and Holy.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 20 May 2009 at 11:30pm BST

Ron Smith.....are you HONESTLY speaking for God? Are you really suggesting that those who oppose your views do not have communion with him?

I find your words frightening....for the assurance that God speaks with our own voice and confirms our own prejudices is the first step to huneris and destruction.

Ok so Giles got the job. Good, well done him. But do not use this event as evidence that God is backing your cause my friend, that is wicked and more skewed than anything I have read on any blog.

Posted by Father Ed at Thursday, 21 May 2009 at 5:33pm BST

"...But do not use this event as evidence that God is backing your cause my friend..."

However, it is OK if Orthodites do it, because then it is incontrovertible proof of the righteousness of their cause!

Posted by David |dah•veed| at Thursday, 21 May 2009 at 10:27pm BST

Thankyou Dah.veed! I couldn't have said better myself.

And, Fr.Ed., the main opposition to gays in the Church is based on your idea that your puritan understanding is more in keeping with what God wants. Are gays not entitled to feel the same - about their understanding of what God may want?

It is, after all, a matter of pure perception -"We speak of that which we know, and therefore can justify". (paraphrased)

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 22 May 2009 at 3:53am BST

Ron, why are you bringing up the gay issue? Is it because you feel comfortable that it will give you public sympathy over me or do you have an obsession?

For the record if you are insistent that anyone supporting the belief that God calling for sexual fidelity outside of marriage is puritan. Fine then I am puritan. So is the Holy Father, Mother T, S, Ignatius, S. Ambrose, Brother Roger, Vincent Nichols...and all major Christians in East and West...

..save a handful of complete radicals including you. Ok that is fine by me,

If you want to follow a religion that sways with the wind of public feelings and is changeable by man...go ahead. I wish you well but at least have the courage to acknowledge it as new and out of synch with mainstream Christianity.

Personally I choose to follow the clear doctrines and teachings of the church throughout the ages, even there they challenge me and leave me out of step with society.

Enjoy your 'choice'..I shall try and enjoy my obedience.

Posted by Father Ed at Friday, 22 May 2009 at 12:09pm BST

“For the record if you are insistent that anyone supporting the belief that God calling for sexual fidelity outside of marriage is puritan. Fine then I am puritan.” Fr. Ed

Your case would be stronger, Ed, if you supported gay marriage. Otherwise, it seems, well, Puritan.

Posted by Kurt at Friday, 22 May 2009 at 1:48pm BST

Commenters whose comments are not published, and who have not supplied a valid email address should not expect a reply to their queries...

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 22 May 2009 at 3:59pm BST

Congratulations Giles

Remember that unconditioal protection of the institution does not gain favours with God. God knows when and where there is abuse, and there is no white-washing before God.

May you be the heralding of a juster form of Christianity that recalls it is answerable to a God that makes provision for all souls.

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Saturday, 23 May 2009 at 1:08am BST

"If you want to follow a religion that sways with the wind of public feelings and is changeable by man...go ahead. I wish you well but at least have the courage to acknowledge it as ."

But "mainstream Christianity" is just as guilty of "sway(ing) with the wind of public opinion". Can you look back over the past 2000 years and point out a time when we DIDN'T sway with the wind of public opinion? I can, but I'd have to go back quite a long ways. If you can come up with something more recent, I'd be interested to see when you think that was. Not saying it's right or anything, I'm just amazed how you can think that kind of thing is "new and out of synch with mainstream Christianity". From where I sit, it pretty much defines mainstream Christianity. You just don't notice it because the kind of Christianity you practice sways with a wind you sway with yourself.

Posted by Ford Elms at Monday, 25 May 2009 at 4:42pm BST

Dear Giles

Your thought for the day on Friday (radio4) was spot on. It sure threw down the gauntlet to the city types among whom you will now be resident.

The concept of the common good needs its advocates as never before.

Your appointment is therefore both well deserved and apposite.

Well done on all fronts!

John Preston

Posted by JOHN PRESTON at Sunday, 6 September 2009 at 11:05am BST

Thought for the day – 2nd November.
I found Canon Giles Fraser’s ‘fearful’ approach to death totally at odds with mine – and what I understand to be the Christian message. My late brother was an Anglican priest, and frequently we discussed death and beyond – not in any maudlin sense, but almost with a sense of ‘anticipation’. It is the timing and mode of dying that exercises many minds. In the event, my brother welcomed death as a release from his sufferings. Some little time before, I had been quietly musing on the moment of transition from this life to the next – the nano-second that sees transition from ‘here’ to ‘there’ – again, not in any maudlin sense, but with my usual curiosity. As I speculated, a most benign voice came into my mind saying, “Don’t worry Roy, you will be met – and tell your brother the same.”
That was all – but who needs more? It reminded me of when my mother was dy-ing, and she was already ‘detached’, and asking her sister, who had died some years earlier, “When will I see my Mother.”
Yes, I hear voices, and have done so continuously for thirty years, fortunately without having been made ill – even though I have experienced both the benign and deeply malign. My experiences leave me without a shadow of doubt that they are of spiritual origin, and I have learned considerably from these exchanges. I have written at length about my experiences in a book that you can read free on line at www.royvincent.net
Called ‘Listening to the Silences, in a world of hearing voices’, it may provide some with food for thought – particularly if they have any doubts about the existence of a spiritual state of being.

Posted by Roy Vincent at Monday, 2 November 2009 at 11:19am GMT

Despite the pedants who think they know 'When you die, you die', absolutely no one can truly know the answer until we die! Think about it, Giles.

Posted by Kevin Scott at Sunday, 13 March 2011 at 12:46pm GMT
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