Comments: Speaker's Chaplain - official announcement

Wonderful news! I am heartened!

Posted by Gianni at Tuesday, 29 June 2010 at 9:03pm BST

I am not heartened!

Posted by Neil at Tuesday, 29 June 2010 at 11:30pm BST

As an aside, should Mr Speaker Bercow be prosecuted for saying he did not want to see a white, male, middle-class man appointed as Chaplain to the House of Commons, after he reportedly stepped in to prevent Canon Andrew Tremlett from being offered the post (imagine the outcry had Bercow said he didn’t want a black woman doing the job)?

Posted by Graham Smith at Wednesday, 30 June 2010 at 12:02am BST

This is, indeed, good news for the Church and the House of Commons. To have a spiritual guide who is both a woman and black is an indication to the Church and the World that there is no separation in Christ Jesus, but all are included in the ministry and work of the Church. Our Prayers are with you in the Church of England as you continue to discover the gifts of ALL people whom God calls to minister.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 30 June 2010 at 2:08am BST

Well done Mr Speaker.

The next Speaker might decide to appoint a non Anglican, or even a non Christian chaplain. Or indeed the next Speaker might not want a chaplain at all. Quite apart from the person appointed, the principle behind this change is very bad.

Posted by DG at Wednesday, 30 June 2010 at 9:39am BST

I've got mixed feelings about this. The disagreement between the Abbey & the Speaker only serves to make the Church of England look out of touch and, to my mind, it is to the discredit of the Abbey that, even if they thought the other candidate better suited, it would have been more sensible to allow the Speaker to have his way. It puts a potentially harmful barrier between the Abbey and the House and makes the relationships between members of the Abbey community much more difficult. The Dean should have taken a hit for the team!

Posted by Stevie at Wednesday, 30 June 2010 at 11:11am BST

People are quick to hurl insults at the Speaker.

Yet no one has attempted to explain what the Dean of the Abbey meant when he wanted someone who would be better at the "ceremonial" aspect of the Abbey job.

What exactly was the nature of _his_ objection?

Was it her height? Her singing voice? Her lack of gray hair?

Her accent?

Or something else?

Posted by Jeremy at Wednesday, 30 June 2010 at 11:46am BST

Graham you are quite right. It is all one sided nowadays. His statement is racist, and gender biased. He has little experience as Speaker, and too loose a cannon. The Speaker is a very bad appointment, caused by the nonsense of the Labour MP's. Anything to cause upset.

Fr John (Scotland0

Posted by Fr John at Wednesday, 30 June 2010 at 11:56am BST

As an aside, should Mr Speaker Bercow be prosecuted for saying he did not want to see a white, male, middle-class man appointed as Chaplain to the House of Commons, after he reportedly stepped in

Posted by: Graham Smith on Wednesday, 30 June 2010 at 12:02am BST

NO! Next question (if any!)

In fact,did the Speaker actually say what you say he said ?

I must say we really need a lot more white, middle aged, middle class males from posh backgrounds, in the Church -- don't we ? !

Posted by Pantycelyn at Wednesday, 30 June 2010 at 12:06pm BST

The next Speaker might decide to appoint a non Anglican, or even a non Christian chaplain. Or indeed the next Speaker might not want a chaplain at all. Quite apart from the person appointed, the principle behind this change is very bad.

Posted by: DG on Wednesday, 30 June 2010 at 9:39am BST

What are you afraid of then ?

I should welcome from varying backgrounds in future, as listed by yourself.

Posted by Pantycelyn at Wednesday, 30 June 2010 at 12:08pm BST

Ron

I find myself rarely disagreeing with anything you post here and I am not quite disagreeing now. But what you write would be great if this appointment didn't also seem to be saying that all are included except white, middle-age males ('all are equal but some are more equal than others').

But there we are. As someone says on another thread, the person appointed deserves our prayers for this new ministry.

Posted by Lister Tonge at Wednesday, 30 June 2010 at 1:32pm BST

The dual appointment by Commons and Abbey is clearly the source of the problem. Perhaps former Speakers have let the Dean have his (always 'his') way, seeing as it's a clerical appointment. It is a wonder what lies behind the Dean's comment about Canon Tremlett being better suited to the 'ceremonial' side of the job. There is the suggestion that he wouldn't look too much 'out of place'. But, perhaps 'out of place' is exactly what the Abbey needs.

At least the Speaker was up front with his (not always a 'his') desire to appoint a chaplain who didn't have to do and look establishment, which is quite fitting for a Speaker who has done away with a lot of the dressing-up of his role.

Often positive discrimination is the first step toward breaking down the entrenchment of privilege. The Church of England has a problem with privilege equivalent to so many beams in one's eye.

Posted by Gareth Hughes at Wednesday, 30 June 2010 at 5:23pm BST

'all are included except white, middle-age males'

Patently untrue. WE dominate the C of E and the establishment generally. Fair's fair.

Posted by Pantycelyn at Wednesday, 30 June 2010 at 6:01pm BST

Dear Lister. I agree that it might be better not to express my delight at the appointment of Sr.Rose. I just felt that, in a climate of majority white male preferences in the Church of England, it really is time for the appointment of a minority constituent. (One thing I did object to was the inference that Rose might not be capable or suitable to conduct worship in the abbey).

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 30 June 2010 at 11:43pm BST

"(imagine the outcry had Bercow said he didn’t want a black woman doing the job)?"

But he didn't.

This idea the *beneficiaries* of racial and gender discrimination can be substituted, as a class, for the victims of same is a facile canard.

Posted by JCF at Thursday, 1 July 2010 at 5:39am BST

The dual appointment of the Commons Chaplain and the Abbey post of Sub-Dean is a relatively recent innovation, the suggestion in many papers, that the role of Chaplain has always been combined with the role of sub-dean is nonsense. I understand that only the previous two were also Sub-Dean.

Posted by Athirat at Thursday, 1 July 2010 at 10:52am BST

"His statement is racist, and gender biased."

What twaddle.

Posted by Bill Dilworth at Thursday, 1 July 2010 at 11:57am BST

The decision now to appoint Rose Hudson-Wilkin+ a "Priest Vicar of the Abbey" seems a wise one, whether rooted in a sincere appreciation of what she can bring to the Abbey or in a need for damage control.

Prayers for all involved.

Posted by David da Silva Cornell at Thursday, 1 July 2010 at 7:01pm BST

It was good hearing her interview on the radio 4 'Sunday' programme this morning-- even if interviewer rather inane at times, her interlocutor was not !

Posted by Pantycelyn at Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 1:31pm BST

The post of speaker's chaplain was already held by a non-establishment figure in the form of Canon Robert Wright. Speaker Boothroyd specifically wanted someone who was a parish priest, not someone from the higher echelons of the church as her speaker. I find all this ridiculous talk about how this new appointment is a move of openess and freshness to be totally derogatory to the extremely important and selfless work which Canon Wright has put in over twelve hard and demanding years. Anyone who thinks Speaker Bercow isn't just playing power games with the establishment should wake up and wake up fast. Incidentally, one of the reasons for the combination with the Abbey posts was to reduce the stress on the chaplain. Poor Hudson-Wilkin doesn't stand a chance. She most certainly does need our prayers.

Posted by Colin Baldy at Wednesday, 7 July 2010 at 10:38am BST
Post a comment









Remember personal info?






Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.