Comments: Gledhill on Southwark election

If Cameron has asked for two names and Jeffrey John is one of them then he should pick Jeffrey John. He will show that one of the disciplines of being an established church is that you are subject to public opinion, which is against discrimination. He will also demonstrate that he is gay friendly which is part of his political project; and he will do something liberal which costs no money; which is all he can afford at present.

By asking for two names, Cameron has reversed Gordon Brown’s agreement to receive only one. Cameron is not indifferent (as Brown was) to the role of the Church of England as an established Church for the whole nation, and he is on record as seeing the dangers of letting Church leaders take the Church away from the man in the street (including the gay man, and the woman) and in the pew.

Posted by badman at Monday, 5 July 2010 at 11:00am BST

The PM's two-names request can be read two ways.

It is possible that David Cameron has requested two names because he wants some flexibility -- a way out if the debate gets too hot.

It's also possible that David Cameron has requested two names so that he can send a message by choosing to approve Dr John.

Posted by Jeremy at Monday, 5 July 2010 at 11:15am BST

I do hope all contributors to this thread will plug into the BBC link provided, to listen to the dialogue between Canon Giles Fraser and clerical protester-at-large, Mr Sugden - on the possibility of a split in the Church of England if Jeffrey John were elected Bishop of Southwark.

As Giles points out very clearly here, Sugden's comparison between Jeffrey John's personally admitted homosexuality, and the incidence of a public servant who conceals a criminal background, is preposterous, and demeaning of Dean John.

Giles, having himself been a parish priest in the Southwark Diocese, with some internal knowledge of the broad acceptance of the fact that some people happen to be gay; points out quite rightly that the real split in the Communion is between the anti-gay stance of the likes of the Global South Provinces and the pro-gay stance of the churches in N.America and other parts of the Communion.

Sugden, on the other hand brought out the threat of a demand for 'alternative oversight' - maybe from the Global South - for those few parishes in Southwark that would not be able to accept the oversight of Jeffrey John. It should be noted that the clergy of these parishes were responsible for a letter to the Times recently on the subject of their opposition to the visit of the Presiding Bishop of TEC, the Rt. Revd. Katharine Jefferts Schori. Most Anglican people around the Communion were wondering what was going on.

I sincerely believe, as does Canon Giles, that the broad spectrum of the Church of England would not be in opposition to the election of Jeffrey John if he were now proposed. Times have changed in the Church of England since the Reading debacle. The threats of the Global South Bishops who absented themselves from Lambeth have been recognized for what they really are - institutional blackmail.

Much more has been understood about the whole subject of homosexuality in the Church and the World since these matters of sexual orientation and gender have been aired in the Communion. I think the time has come for Archbishop Rowan to realize that accommodating conservatives in the Church may not lead to a desirable Unity - based on justice and peace - basic ethics of the Gospel.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 5 July 2010 at 11:32am BST

One of the leaders of the (small) conservative evangelical protesters in Southwark is the Team Rector of Morden. He has an article up on Anglican Mainstream in which he expands on his "alternative episcopal oversight" hopes.

http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/2010/07/01/reflecting-on-the-appointment-of-the-next-bishop-of-southwark/

They sound quite far fetched to me. His equation of equality for gay people with "child abuse" is also quite extreme. However, there is hope. His main concern seems to be that "a deep longing for stable relationships" needs to be satisfied. Will he be pleased when he discovers how strongly the author of "Permanent, Faithful, Stable" agrees with him?

Posted by badman at Monday, 5 July 2010 at 1:05pm BST

All this needs to be remembered in terms of the upcoming debate on women bishops – and especially the sadly ill-conceived amendment from the two archbishops. If the ‘co-ordinate’ bishops with jurisdiction that they propose ‘make sense’ or are appropriately ‘pastoral’ for when the bishop is a woman (whatever her sexuality), surely they would ‘make sense’ and be appropriately ‘pastoral’ if Jeffrey John becomes bishop of Southwark.

Posted by Judith Maltby at Monday, 5 July 2010 at 1:27pm BST

Wet as I am, I dearly hope that JJ will be appointed. What a glorious rectification of an historic injustice that would be. What a fine defiance of bigotry, stupidity and dishonesty (since JJ completely fulfils 'the church's criteria' regarding homosexual relationships [not, of course, that I accept them]). And I am sure that there will be voices within quite traditional Evangelicanism in support. Try for starters: http://ugleyvicar.blogspot.com/ (not positive but cautioning against protest); also Lee Proudlove (alias 'Anselmic'), who, pretty Evangelical as he is, completely accepts JJ's honesty and admires him personally.

'Ruat calem, fiat justitia!'

Posted by john at Monday, 5 July 2010 at 1:44pm BST

Also Lee Proudlove (alias 'Anselmic'), who, pretty Evangelical as he is, completely accepts JJ's honesty and admires him personally.

'Ruat calem, fiat justitia!'
Posted by: john on Monday, 5 July 2010 at 1:44pm BST

WEhere to find this 'pretty Evangelical' then ?

Posted by Pantycelyn at Monday, 5 July 2010 at 3:43pm BST

Am I the only one to be irritated that when Anglican Mainstream publishes extreme views like those of the Vicar of Morden, "Comments are closed" always appears at the bottom of the article? Maybe "Minds are closed" would be more accurate.

Posted by Fr Mark at Monday, 5 July 2010 at 4:38pm BST

No Mark you 're not alone !

Closed minds and hearts

Posted by Pantycelyn at Monday, 5 July 2010 at 7:41pm BST

While I have much respect for Judith Maltby and, I'm sure, would agree with her on most things, I do wish she would stop trying to play off women and gay (male) clergy. It just looks facile to this gay lay woman.

While the misogyny of some elements in the Church can shock (and the institutionalisation of such misogyny is visible to all in the Act of Synod and the Archbishops' proposed amendments to the legislation on women bishops), it pales into insignificance in comparison with the institutional homophobia. True, no woman can become a bishop at present, but no gay person (who even thinks they might at some point have sex) can, strictly speaking, even be ordained to the diaconate. Trying to pretend that gay people have some sort of advantage over women doesn't stand up. Also, the worldwide Anglican Communion is not currently splitting over women bishops.

My own personal perspective is, also, that I very rarely feel that my gender is an issue in church, while my sexuality almost always is, even in the open and 'accepting' church I attend.

It's all one struggle, and to claim that gay bishops have it easy because they're male misses the point by a country mile, in my view. As well as looking bitter and divisive.

The reason, of course, that nobody has suggested institutionalised 'alternative oversight' for people in a gay bishop's diocese is that officially there aren't any gay bishops in the CofE.

Posted by Olivia at Monday, 5 July 2010 at 7:41pm BST

The extract of Ms Gledhill's piece on Anglican Mainstream is a travesty of the full piece which is well worth a read although the tagging on of the resignation letter is not designed to increase clarity

Posted by Straightbutnotnarrow at Monday, 5 July 2010 at 7:58pm BST

Comments are ALWAYS closed over at Anglican Mainstream ..... so perhaps Fr Mark can add the word "always" somewhere in his last remark .....
Hmmmmm , now how would that read ........?

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Monday, 5 July 2010 at 9:37pm BST

"One of the leaders of the (small) conservative evangelical protesters in Southwark is the Team Rector of Morden."

Morden: home of Mount Doom? Is the Team Rector one of the Nazgul, perchance? ;-/

Posted by JCF at Monday, 5 July 2010 at 10:45pm BST

'My own personal perspective is, also, that I very rarely feel that my gender is an issue in church, while my sexuality almost always is, even in the open and 'accepting' church I attend.'

I am very sorry to hear that. Although gay people's antennae are of course more sensitive in this matter, I do think that there are (now) many churches (and cathedrals) where this is not the case.

Posted by john at Tuesday, 6 July 2010 at 11:23am BST

re Anglican Mainsream: as a Dean of Cape Town said many years ago to some advancing charismatics who were hot under the collar about something or other and waving Bibles..."open bibles, closed minds"

Posted by Perry Butler at Tuesday, 6 July 2010 at 12:35pm BST

Pantyceln,

Missed your query. He's at:

http://www.stgilesparish.com/Welcome.html

So far as I know, he has not publicly said anything on the present occasion. What I do know, from earlier exchanges on T19 and consequent e-mails, is that this man is gracious across the board, that he has the highest personal esteem for JJ, whom he regards as completely straight (so to speak), and that he completely accepts his word on the loathsome cleibacy issue. He also knows Giddings and Sugden personally and thinks their behaviour on 'that' occasion was quite wrong.

He's also one of not that many Evangelicals who actually seems to value and love the C of E and Anglicanism generally.

Best.

Posted by john at Tuesday, 6 July 2010 at 1:36pm BST

Can someone clarify something for me? Dr Chris Sugden is styled as Canon. Is he attached to a cathedral and if so, which one? Many thanks.

Posted by Andrew Innes at Tuesday, 6 July 2010 at 3:13pm BST

Can someone clarify something for me? Dr Chris Sugden is styled as Canon. Is he attached to a cathedral and if so, which one? Many thanks.

Posted by: Andrew Innes on Tuesday, 6 July 2010 at 3:13pm BST

I believe him to be an Hon. Canon - a recog of long service to the Church

So not a rsidentiary canon.

Posted by Pantycelyn at Tuesday, 6 July 2010 at 5:15pm BST

Not even a canon in the Church of England, apparently


Canon of St Luke's Cathedral, Jos, Nigeria

His Crockford Biography

SUGDEN, Canon Christopher Michael Neville. b 48. St Pet Coll Ox BA70 MA74 Nottm Univ MPhil74 Westmr Coll Ox PhD88. St Jo Coll Nottm 72. d 74 p 75. C Leeds St Geo Ripon 74-77; Assoc P Bangalore St Jo India 77-83; Lic to Offic Ox from 83; Can St Luke's Cathl Jos Nigeria from 00; Exec Dir Ox Cen for Miss Studies 01-04; Exec Sec Angl Mainstream Internat from 04. Anglican Mainstream International, 21 High Street, Eynsham, Oxford OX29 4HE Tel (01865) 883388 E-mail csugden@anglican-mainstream.net

Posted by John Roch at Wednesday, 7 July 2010 at 12:01pm BST

My thanks to Pantycelyn and John Roch. The reason I asked was that Giles Fraser rather pointedly referred to him as Mr Sugden in the interview and I wondered why.

Posted by Andrew Innes at Thursday, 8 July 2010 at 1:21am BST
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