Comments: New Bishop of Bradford

Well his elevation to a diocese was rather expected...though how does this fit into the West Yorkshire reorganization ??? Croydon looses its Archdeacon next May.Southwark has lost its Dean, needs a new Croydon and Woolwich..big changes afoot esp if +Kingston moves too.

Posted by Perry Butler at Friday, 17 December 2010 at 12:42pm GMT

So will he become a suffragan bishop again if the reforms go through?

Posted by Will Adam at Friday, 17 December 2010 at 12:48pm GMT

This seems a very good appointment - a Bishop who Blogs, and thinks that the Church should engage with the world on the ground - not like some ex ABC, who thinks Christians are being persecuted in the UK.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 17 December 2010 at 10:57pm GMT

This is a thoroughly good appointment. Bishop Nick has much to bring not only to Bradford but to the region as a whole as it sorts out its future in a structural and organisational sense. He will also be a great asset to the House of Bishops as he 'gets' both strategy and communication. It is idle to speculate and who knows what the CNC discussed, but the fact is that he was born in 1957, whereas the current bishops of Ripon and Leeds and Wakefield were born in 1946 and 1947 respectively.

Posted by Anthony Archer at Saturday, 18 December 2010 at 12:07am GMT

I think the reorganisation couldn't happen before 2013 at the earliest owing to the consultation and synodical processes. If the scheme were enacted the three existing diocesan bishoprics would cease to exist and so the diocesans would lose their offices. Presumably before then some thought would need to be given to what would happen to the incumbent bishops (diocesan and suffragan) in the three dioceses. But one can quite imagine that one of the younger diocesans might be well worth considering for the new Bishopric of Wakefield if the new, larger diocese were to come about.

Posted by Philip Hobday at Saturday, 18 December 2010 at 5:37pm GMT

Given that the proposal seems to involve no reduction in the number of pointy hats (the only reduction being one archdeacon), I`d presume that all of the bishops would be able to retain an office.

The issue would be which of the three would be the diocesan. Ideally, the merger could be finalized when at least one of the other dioceses is vacant. And given the possibility of translation, the other diocesans could surely be found appropriate places to land. There are always CofE and Communion bureaucratic posts should there be no appropriate diocese available.

The other two bishops (as per Anthony Archer above) will be 65 and 66 in 2013. It is not difficult that either or both could be persuaded to retire. Both would be the normal secular retirement age. Either could be persuaded to accept another appointment (not necessarily diocesan) for the remaining period until they are 70.

Posted by Malcolm French+ at Sunday, 19 December 2010 at 3:51am GMT

A "bishop who blogs" is not, per se, a good thing, Fr Ron. I have dipped into Bishop Baines blog from time to time & have found his posts good enough, but have also found that some response from him, to posts at his and other blogs, broadly defensive of the status quo within the Church of England. A sounder pair of hands than Holtham or John, I guess. Or maybe, as a War Baby, I'm too old to understand these matters, Mr Archer.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Sunday, 19 December 2010 at 1:51pm GMT

If the re-organisation of much of ecclesiastical Yorkshire goes ahead - does that mean that the next diocesan Bishop of Bradford will have a shelf life as long as the next Bishops of Ebbsfleet and Richborough - if the proposals for women in the episcopate are given the green light by the General Synod?
If so, will the next + Bradford be "Bishop-in-Charge" rather than being given the Freehold?
I think we should be told!

Posted by Father David at Tuesday, 21 December 2010 at 5:40am GMT

In response to Father David, the scheme (if adopted) will mean that the sell-by date (to ape his language) of not just the Bishop of Bradford but also the Bishops of Wakefield and Ripon and Leeds will have passed. The three existing bishoprics will be abolished, with provision for compensation for loss of office (where appropriate). The new diocese (The Diocese of Wakefield - The Church of England in West and North-West Yorkshire) will obviously have a diocesan bishop, who will also be area bishop of one of the areas of the diocese. The proposed areas are Ripon (for which the See of Knaresborough will be renamed), Bradford (the subject of the above comment), Leeds (a new See will I think need to be created), Kirklees or Greater Halifax (!) (for which the See of Pontefract will be renamed) and the City of Wakefield (for which the diocesan will be also Area Bishop). I make that five area bishops and, yes, to answer your question, suffragan (or in this case area) bishops do enjoy the freehold. The scheme is well thought through, dealing with a lot of arcanery; it may only save one bishop, but the savings through having only one diocesan office will be considerable.

Posted by Anthony Archer at Tuesday, 21 December 2010 at 9:11pm GMT

The new Bishop of Bradford certainly won't have a freehold - he will hold his office under Common Tenure.

Posted by Tim Barker at Wednesday, 22 December 2010 at 12:13am GMT

Well let's hope the proposed reorganisation of ecclesiastical Yorkshire is but the first step in a much wider reorganisation of dioceses throughout the entire Church of England. Up until now it has always been the poor bloody foot soldiers on the receiving end of that fabled magic wand - "pastoral reorganisation" resulting in numerous parishes being amalgamated.For example I've never really known what connection the East End of London has with Chelmsford - surely the East End would look more to St. Paul's and Essex could join up with Bury St. Edmund's, which has a much finer cathedral than Chelmsford's now that it is crowned with that exquisite tower. After all the Victorians seemed to rub along quite nicely with a mere 22 dioceses when the church going population was much greater than it is today. Thinking of Yorkshire cathedrals surely Ripon (with its Wilfrid connections) would be a finer location for the diocesan bishop's cathedra than Wakefield.

Posted by Father David at Wednesday, 22 December 2010 at 11:09am GMT

Are bishoprics lease hold from now on?

Posted by Perry Butler at Monday, 3 January 2011 at 3:54pm GMT
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