Comments: new Bishop of Peterborough

Nice bloke. Changed his mind on the ordination of women and is big enough to say so.

Posted by Wilf at Thursday, 5 November 2009 at 1:09pm GMT

"On family and ethical issues, he remains a strong believer in the importance of marriage. “It’s the primary building block for society that God has given us,”"

Yes, I agree, a building block for ALL of us.

In the next paragraph he is quoted about being "a generous orthodox". Nice sounding, let's hope something comes of that.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Thursday, 5 November 2009 at 3:20pm GMT

"I love the Church of England. And while I’m well aware of its imperfections too – including my own! – I do believe it’s been a source of great blessing to this nation and the wider world. I pray that it will continue to be so. I’ve served as an ordained minister for over 33 years now. Every day has been a privilege. Many of those days have been joyful, and throughout that time I’ve known God’s presence and his love."
- Bishop-elect, Donald Allister -

Not a bad statement for one destined for a role as a bishop. At least he "Loves the Church of England" - not a bad start for the episcopal task. At least, he will not be anxious to dissociate himself from the provenance of the catholic and apostolic tradition of our Church. May God richly bless him in his future ministry, and grant him 'Holy Wisdom'.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 5 November 2009 at 6:24pm GMT

Sounds like an exemplary fellow.

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Friday, 6 November 2009 at 5:19am GMT

At a conference a few years ago, I heard Donald Allister say that where the Church had gone wrong was when it admitted women as Readers - has he changed his mind on this?

Posted by Frozenchristian at Friday, 6 November 2009 at 10:57am GMT

"Sounds like an exemplary fellow."

Indeed. And one whose synodical voting record shows he supports provision in law for opponents of WO! Exemplary!

Posted by David Malloch at Friday, 6 November 2009 at 11:19am GMT

He certainly has expressed some odd opinions in the past, for example:

http://baptism.org.uk/unmarried.htm
Daily Telegraph 26 April 2000
Marry or I can't baptise your child, says rector

A RECTOR has warned unmarried couples that he may refuse to baptise their children because they are "living in sin".

or this:
Admitting children to Holy Communion
http://www.reform.org.uk/pages/bb/children.php

or this:
Vicar with attitude
http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,534604,00.html
He condemns sex before marriage and the baptism of children born out of wedlock. But there's more - this week he refused to let a couple play Jerusalem at their wedding. The Reverend Donald Allister tells Emma Brockes why, yet again, he is right
Friday 10 August 2001

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 6 November 2009 at 3:14pm GMT

Does the new bishop believe that all the ministers who have been divorced and 're-married' are living in sin too?

If not why not ?

How many ordinands in this position will he refuse to ordain ?How many vicars wanting to move into the diocese will he turn away ?

His priorities, as reported here, strike me, as odd.......

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Friday, 6 November 2009 at 3:36pm GMT

All very entertaining. He sounds a nutter and an embarrassment - not, of course, the slightest disqualifications for episcopal leadership.

Posted by john at Friday, 6 November 2009 at 3:49pm GMT

I'm sure he is deserving of a bishopric and will make a good bishop, but i think it would be good if there wasnt an apostolic succession of the same churchmanship.Southwell seems to have had a succession of evangelical bishops, now an evangelical succeeds another in Peterborough, not, i would have thought an esp evangelical diocese.The assumption seems to be an evangelical will probably go to Rochester and i suppose Portsmouth will get a liberal catholic...and probably Newcastle when that becomes vacant.Will the next Chichester be a traditionalist anglo-catholic ...Guildford and Chelmsford seem to vary,but given our current rather frgmented and polarised state does it entirely help ? Wouldnt mixing things up a bit aid cohesion...as it is dioceses are quite independent units in many ways..

Posted by Perry Butler at Friday, 6 November 2009 at 4:04pm GMT

He published a paper in 1993 "Facing the Challenge of Liberalism" which contains the following :

“These liberals are the ones who talk about ‘gay lib’ for clergy, homosexual ‘marriages’ in church, calling God ‘mother’, removing the distinctions between men and women in church, society and home,”

“Liberalism is one of Satan’s greatest weapons against the church.”

The full text can be found at :
http://www.churchsociety.org/churchman/documents/Cman_107_2_Allister.pdf

Sixteen years is a very long time so he may well have changed his opinion on matters LGBT as well as on the OOW. I hope he has.

Posted by Laurence C. at Friday, 6 November 2009 at 5:29pm GMT

john wrote: 'He sounds a nutter and an embarrassment - not, of course, the slightest disqualifications for episcopal leadership.'

I thought they were requirements rather than impediments.

Posted by toby forward at Friday, 6 November 2009 at 7:30pm GMT

Oops, I must withdraw my initial good impression. If he still holds to the extremist positions expressed 16 years ago he will make the Church look ridiculous. The York Minster fire as Divine Judgment? Every historical and geographical item of information in Scripture inerrant? I recommend him to read Karl Barth, whom he rightly characterizes as a liberal, more deeply, to find serenity.

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 5:24am GMT

I suppose, as an observation from afar (N.Z.), all one can hope is that the new Bishop will be a good pastor to all his people - clergy and laity, male and female, straight and gay.

"By their fruits you shall know them!"

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 5:35am GMT

Yes he may have over 16 years or he may just repeat the same year over again and again.

And what on earth can he mean by 'God's unchanging truth' ? It's news to me we all believe on 'unchanging' 'truth' in the C of E or indeed any denomination. - but maye I'm just one of those dangerous liberals....

The full text can be found at :
http://www.churchsociety.org/churchman/documents/Cman_107_2_Allister.pdf

Sixteen years is a very long time so he may well have changed his opinion on matters LGBT as well as on the OOW. I hope he has.

Posted by: Laurence C. on Friday, 6 November 2009 at 5:29pm GMT

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 1:40pm GMT

In the interests of fair play, I should note belatedly that the diocesan press release says, in relation to the links I made above to press reports,

"Contrary to some inaccurate decade-old news reports still in circulation, he has never refused to baptise children of co-habiting couples, never refused communion to unconfirmed children if the parish church has followed the proper guidelines for their preparation, and never banned the hymn Jerusalem from weddings!"

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 13 November 2009 at 2:36pm GMT

As a member of the diocese of Peterborough I am hoping that Archdeacon Allister has indeed changed his opinions over the last decade or so. Of course I wish him every success in his new role and hope that he will be a good leader to us in the diocese but I am sorry that Bishop Frank White ( who has stood in since Bishop Ian died) has not been offered the post.

Posted by Dessibel at Monday, 16 November 2009 at 11:15am GMT
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