Comments: Bishop of London writes about Fulham

So, in North London we now have a bishop AND and archdeacon who are conservative catholics opposed to the ordination of women.

Posted by Wilf at Monday, 8 November 2010 at 2:54pm GMT

But just a bit further round, you have a female archdeacon providing most of the oversight whilst +Willesden is covering Stepney as well!

Posted by Tom at Monday, 8 November 2010 at 5:30pm GMT

In reply to Wilf

That has been the situation in Plymouth for the last few years

Posted by Maggie at Monday, 8 November 2010 at 5:45pm GMT

In North London we at last have a functioning Archdeacon again, who will do an excellent job. His views on the matter of the ordination of women are irrelevant. And we have a series of appointments to make to the Senior Staff which will, I think, make for a much more cohesive leadership in the Diocese.

Posted by Pete Broadbent at Monday, 8 November 2010 at 6:10pm GMT

Yes Wilf. Wonderful news!

Posted by Benedict at Monday, 8 November 2010 at 7:59pm GMT

The sadness for me in all of this resides in the fact that, in the London Diocese, which probably has the largest number of gay clergy, should also seemingly, have the largest number of anti-women-priest believers.

The F.i.F. sodality, with its predominantly 'gay' culture, has surely the least reason to oppose the ministry of women - a sexist stance if ever there was one. Thank God there are Evangelicals who are against neither gays nor women clergy. If 'Anglo-Catholic' becomes a symbol for anti-women clergy in the U.K., then I'm glad that I live in another part of the Communion, where women are appreciated for the gifts they do contribute towards the sacerdotal ministry which ought to be supremely pastoral in understanding.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 8 November 2010 at 11:44pm GMT

The new Archdeacon is another internal seems to be a speciality of the Diocese of London, not always for the best I think.I wouldnt entirely agree that his views on the ordination of women are irrelevant. The conservative evangelicalism of his pre-decessor created problems for some clergy and parishes.

Given the Bishop of London's great love of Russian Orthodoxy I suggest the new society be called the Sodality of the Spilled Blood.

Posted by Perry Butler at Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 9:22am GMT

Pete Broadbent wrote:
"In North London we at last have a functioning Archdeacon again, who will do an excellent job. His views on the matter of the ordination of women are irrelevant."

Not, surely, to ordained women in his Archdeaconry. I can assure +Pete that as an ordained woman that can be a very strange situation in which to minister.

And in reply to Tom, I assume the woman Archdeacon in the nearby Archdeaconry does not regard clergy opposed to the ordination of women in her area as not being truly called to priestly ministry or validly ordained?

Posted by Maggie at Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 11:19am GMT

Fr Ron Smith - all anglo catholics are not all conservatives. I worship in a highly anglo catholic church but we are fully inclusive of women and gay priests/bishops. I agree with you a seemingly large part of FiF seem to be of gay pursuasion - which also disappoints me that they are so anti women. Prejudice comes in many forms - this one the most puzzling.

Posted by rachel at Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 1:12pm GMT

The bishop of Willesden is quite wrong.The views of the new Archdeacon on the ordination of women are highly relevant. It is a great pity he does not recognise this. Any one denying the priesthood of women and working with parishes where there are women priests can hardly be expected to carry out his work with impartiality or credibility. It matters to the women and lay people too. Now London, particularly the Edmonton Area, should have its own society for the ministrations of a pro woman bishop. It would be very well supported.

Posted by Kate at Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 1:18pm GMT

And there was I thinking it was all about the best person for the job, about gifts and about calling. If we've got to the stage where traditionalist catholics are not to be appointed simply because they doubt the priestly calling of women, then we have reached a very sad place.

Well, in London we do things a bit differently. I work with a superb female Archdeacon whose gifts and leadership are completely acknowledged by the clergy from the Fulham parishes and who is currently acting in a quasi episcopal role. Next door, we have we have appointed a very gifted person who has been acting Archdeacon for a while, and who is quite obviously qualified for the role by gifts and calling. It's called diversity. Something that we're meant to value and not eradicate.

Posted by Pete Broadbent at Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 1:55pm GMT

In this context, may I warmly commend as helpful lectio divina, a reading or re-reading of
The Flounder by Gunter Grass.

Almost required reading , really.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 4:26pm GMT

In reply to +Pete:

My issue is not with the appointment of an Archdeacon of Fr Miller's integrity but with his appointment in an area that already has a Bishop who does not ordain women.

I don't have an issue with the continuing appointment of 'traditional catholics' to posts in the CofE.

I DO have an issue with the two most senior posts in an episcopal area being held at the same time by people who are not fully supportive of the ministry of women. To me that most certainly does not model diversity.

I also believe that gifts and calling need to be recognised when making appointments. However I'm not convinced of the rigorousness of any process of discernement that decides that 'the best person for the job' is a convenient internal candidate without an open application and interview process.

Was this post widely advertised within and outside the Diocese of London and interviews held before this appointment was made?

Posted by Maggie at Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 7:41pm GMT

Of course not, Maggie! That is not the way the Bishop of London works. It means that all sorts of good people who fall below the radar because they are getting on doing a (good) job are not even considered. You have to get 'noticed'!! How do you think Martin Warner and Lucy Winkett were propelled to their Canonries without a whole host of better gifted people not even being considered? The Diocese of London is deeply deeply dysfunctional, and sadly this is due to its Bishop - good in some respects as he is. But flawed.

Posted by Neil at Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 11:14pm GMT

So Pete Broadbent, those against the ordination of women MUST have special provision made for them, but women ministers and those in favour MUST not, or need not receive any kind of consideration, let alone pastoral provision ? Just checking I have understood it.

It don't sound like that's very big on diversity.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 11:41pm GMT

The answers to your questions are "no" and "no". Advertising and interviewing aren't always the best process for making appointments that will build a team. We have 6 bishops and 6 archdeacons, and the skill set and balance of the team are what matter most. "Due process" is often the resort of defensive bureaucracy, rather than the promoter of the best outcome.

You will be able to judge the overall effect of what we're seeking to achieve when we have a full team in place. Edmonton has for some considerable time had a bishop and an archdeacon who were not supportive of women in leadership. But that won't always be the case. Our strategy is to run a mixed economy in terms of gender, churchpersonship and attitudes to women's ministry, in order to reflect the DNA of the diocese as a whole.

And, I repeat, the new Archdeacon of Hampstead already has a proven track record which should not be written off.

Posted by Pete Broadbent at Tuesday, 9 November 2010 at 11:55pm GMT

"Now London, particularly the Edmonton Area, should have its own society for the ministrations of a pro woman bishop. It would be very well supported." - Kate, on Tuesday -

Precisely, Kate! This is a very relevant matter to bring up at this time. If the Bishop of London is going to create another Flying Bishop for the Edmonton Diocese; then, I think, you would be justified in asking for another, pro-women, bishop to minister to women clergy and their congregations in the Edmonton Diocese, This would make every bit as much sense as providing supervision for the anti-women people.

And, in a brief response to Bishop Pete Broadbent's latest comment, on Tuesday; does he really think it's going to be easy for a woman priest to experience any caring supervision from an Archdeacon who doesn't believe in the true authenticity of her ministry - despite the Church of England declaring her status, by ordination?

This does seem a Mickey Mouse sort of set up, guaranteed to cause friction in the local Body of Christ. But then, that seems to be the bitter fruit of the non-catholic culture of the 'Flying Bishops in the first place.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 10 November 2010 at 2:24am GMT

While the Bishop of Willesden is right about the importance of diversity, and we have it in welcomed and necessary profusion in the Church; the use of the term “diversity” should not be confused with accepting the discrimination that exists against women priests which, at its heart, denies as well as undermines their vocations and ministry. No matter how professionally behaved a person in authority is in the conduct of their role if they believe that a women cannot legitimately be priests it is both damaging and undermining beyond that of the women concerned. It also denies the essential Christian message that in Christ we are all one.

Posted by Kate at Wednesday, 10 November 2010 at 8:53am GMT

I am rather puzzled by one of Bishop Pete's points. The last Archdeacon of Hampstead, the Ven Michael Lawson was supportive of the priestly ministry of women and took part in the laying on of hands of the (admittedly few) women priests ordained in the Area.As a conservative evangelical he may not have believed in women incumbents or indeed bishops but he was happy with women priests. For the record ( I write as the former DDO of that episcopal area), the present bishop although he does not ordain women or institute them ( I think there is still only one stipendiary incumbent in the Edmonton area),he does sponsor women candidates for ordination ( which his predecessor did not) and is personally supportive of the ordained women themselves in their ministry..or so I would judge, they must speak for themselves.I personally wished there were more women priests in the Edmonton episcopal area and more of incumbent status and I imagine others did too, but obviously that is for others to effect.The episcopal area today has a very different "feel" from when I went there in 1997 and there are certainly many more clergy supportive of women's ordination than there was then.
Senior posts are now advertised ( I think) in most if not all dioceses.It does seem a pity ,I think, that London appears not to wish to follow suit.Despite Bishop Pete's remarks about team building I still feel a more open process would be beneficial. As a retired priest mulling over 60 years in the Church of England ,like Jonah under his gourd, I am inclined to feel diversity often masks fragmentation.

Posted by Perry Butler at Wednesday, 10 November 2010 at 4:01pm GMT

Bless you +Pete Broadbent, although you do agree with the Ordination of Women, It's great to see that you do have some sympathy for those opposed and believe that they should have some provision.

Myself being a member of the Edmonton Episcopal Area, I believe that it is great news about +Peter Wheatley and The Ven Revd Luke Miller both of whom, I know quite well and believe that +Peter Wheatley is the best and only person in the Diocese of London to carry the See of Fulham through this time.

Especially as You, +Paul G Williams, and the Successor of Bishop Emeritus Stephen Oliver are all supporters.

It's sad that +John Broadhurst is going, and hope that the Anglicanorum Coetibus is a way forward for us Anglo-Catholics in the Church of England but at the same time I believe the Ordination of Women, is a special and unique ministry for them

Posted by Chuchu Nwagu at Wednesday, 10 November 2010 at 6:12pm GMT

Just a quick rejoinder to Perry re Michael Lawson - I very carefully wrote "women in leadership", not "women priests", because Michael is not completely convinced about women in leadership, particularly as bishops.

It's not particularly the place to do so, but I would love a "Thinking" Anglican debate on whether it is the universal experience of women priests that they don't feel properly treated by male bishops and priests who don't believe that they can be priests. We've had some pretty interesting discussions about this among our women clergy in Willesden, where I think that they would say that it isn't an issue any more. There is the occasional stupid and ignorant rudeness, but in the main there is courtesy, respect and mutuality. The relationships of trust between Fulham clergy and two successive women Area Deans and one woman Archdeacon have pretty much normalised the way in which we interact as presbyters - even though one group consider our communion and ways of relating to be impaired. Your experience may differ, but I think there is too much caricaturing of FiF type catholics as misogynistic and bigoted on Thinking Anglicans.

We have to move beyond this kind of rhetoric.

Posted by Pete Broadbent at Thursday, 11 November 2010 at 12:13am GMT

Bishop Broadbent: "Edmonton has for some considerable time had a bishop and an archdeacon who were not supportive of women in leadership."

Malcolm French: Not THIS Edmonton:

(NB, THIS Bishop of Edmonton's predecessor was likelwise a woman.)

Posted by Malcolm+ at Thursday, 11 November 2010 at 4:34am GMT

Does the Willesden Area have any Tradition Anglican/Anglo-Catholic Priests inside it?

So what happens during the DDO Process, if they express their concern to the Ordination of Women especially as they are in a Area, where it happens

Posted by Chuchu Nwagu at Thursday, 11 November 2010 at 10:39am GMT

I guessed that +Pete, but I thought the nuance might not be picked up by others esp those abroad who would assume the last Archdeacon was opposed to women priests tout court. I was also concerned
given Maggies remarks to point out that Bishop Peter is supportive of women clergy in the Edmonton Area although he does not ordain nor institute them. By sponsoring them for ordination ( unlike his predecessor) he made the selection process rather more humane and for that I was most grateful.
However I tend to feel Maggie has a point re a more transparent process. London exceptionalism is not necessarily a good thing I have come to believe, nor church exceptionalism in matters relating to equality legislation either.
Clearly these are interesting times in the diocese of London. As a waggish clergyman from south of the river, now alas on the other side of the Tiber, used to say " he who lives longest, sees most".

Posted by Perry Butler at Thursday, 11 November 2010 at 1:35pm GMT

To Chuchu:

Yes. The Bishop of Fulham sponsors candidates for ordination from the churches he looks after.

Posted by Pete Broadbent at Thursday, 11 November 2010 at 3:02pm GMT

Dear Fr Perry Butler,

Did +Brian John Masters institute or Licence any Women in the Edmonton Area as Deacons or Priests?

Has the DDO Process changed since you were Edmonton DDO

Posted by Chuchu Nwagu at Sunday, 14 November 2010 at 12:45am GMT
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