Comments: Problems with the Crown Nominations Commission

So is it +Stephen Cottrell's lot to fill the posts that have been denied to others?

Posted by Richard Watson at Tuesday, 19 July 2011 at 12:13am BST

Of course Parliament can discriminate against the Catholic Church as regards the crown,royal marriage, gay adoption etc...but it can then reserve a segnment of its legislature which discrimates against gays and women!

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Tuesday, 19 July 2011 at 6:44am BST

I am a priest and although I have never been married I had two children. One of my children died as a young adult. This life, these choices and circumstances are inevitably part of who I am and what I bring to all aspects of my ministry, including the pastoral care I give and receive. If I were not transparent with myself, my colleagues, my bishops and my flock, the care I give and receive would surely be more defective and less relevant than it is. If there are 14 bishops in the C-of-E who will not live out who they are as straightforwardly and honestly as they can, then one wonders how they minister to those in their care - for surely they deny themselves and those they love when they support the 'majority opinion' in the HoB - how lonely and isolated their lives must be when they cannot be who they are. In 2003 when the JJ question came up, I thought that as we had a young archbishop who wouldn't be replaced very soon, it was the moment for gay clergy in certain positions (Deans, Archdeacons, etc) to stand up and say 'Wait a minute, we are too.' It didn't happen of course. Is this the church that most of the C-of-E want to be? Is this the Church of him who broke bread with sinners, healed the lame, opened the eyes of the blind, and raised the dead to new life? I don't believe that it is, and many others with me. Thank be to God.

Posted by Sara MacVane at Tuesday, 19 July 2011 at 7:30am BST

The line of enquiry that doesn't seem to have been explored is the Salisbury appointment. Why the remarkable volte-face after Holtam's rejection at Southwark? Did his nomination eventally succeed because he satisfied the legal advice concerning his canditature given alongside the one for John? Or did the archbishops simply back down?

Posted by A J Barford at Tuesday, 19 July 2011 at 12:35pm BST

Thank you Sara! I can not help but think of Genesis 18: Not really an accurate analogy but cause for thought and prayer. I don't think that God wants to destroy the Anglican communion as a whole, but wonder if there are 10 righteous gay bishops, (and the two adjectives are not mutually exclusive) who would have the courage to be who they really are, would that save the C. of E.?
Maybe our prayer should be that the Holy Spirit will advocate for them, that they will be honest. As Sara says, their pastoral care will reflect this. LettieJ.

Posted by Lettie James at Tuesday, 19 July 2011 at 4:18pm BST

"In 2003 when the JJ question came up, I thought that as we had a young archbishop who wouldn't be replaced very soon, it was the moment for gay clergy in certain positions (Deans, Archdeacons, etc) to stand up and say 'Wait a minute, we are too.'" - Sara MacVane

All in good time, Sara. Ultimately, it's up to those individuals to show leadership and courage as it would utterly transform the debate. Even when they are 'out' locally, I am nevertheless opposed to media outing campaigns except where there has been hypocrisy.

Posted by A J Barford at Tuesday, 19 July 2011 at 9:16pm BST

'So is it +Stephen Cottrell's lot to fill the posts that have been denied to others?' Richard Watson

Those of us who were present at the St Alban's Pilgrimage a couple of years ago when + Stephen preached an outstanding sermon at Festival Evensong will remember the warmth and graciousnes with which he was welcomed by Jeffrey John. Noting that some of his friends had wondered why he had invited + Stephen to preach - he said a)he is an outstanding preacher b) he is a very old friend c) it wasn't his fault!

Such is the mark of Jeffrey John - the man who is head and shoulders above so many of his critics in the House of Bishops! Perhaps their objections to consecrating him a bishop have nothing to do with his sexual orientation, but have more to do with the intellectual, spiritual and pastoral shortcomings of those who are determined to block him. Jeffrey puts them all to shame!

As for +Stephen Cottrell, he has not only served the Diocese of Oxford well as Bishop of Reading, but is no doubt doing the same for Chelmsford. We can all be sure on which side of the argument he is fighting when it comes to debates on sexuality in the House of Bishops. He has always made clear that his views on the subject are the same as Jeffrey John's.

Posted by John C at Wednesday, 20 July 2011 at 9:32am BST

I think that the assumption that Nick Holtam was the only, or main, name in the frame for Chelmsford (my home diocese for a few more days) based on the limited information misrepresents the situation. As a member of the Diocese, the most frequent name mentioned to me was +Stephen Cottrell, who was regarded by many as inevitable. The caveat expressed by some - to my mind well connected and informed within the Diocese - was that +Stephen had not already had charge of a diocese, and Chelmsford is rather large. (+John Gladwin had come from Guildford). Of course such a caveat would have applied to Nick Holtam too. I didn't know +Stephen except by reputation from my mum, who lives in the Reading area. But I do know a number of people who would have put his name firmly in the mind of our Diocesan reps (aside from the politics of the standing members of the CNC). +Stephen has strong connections in the diocese.
The febrile atmosphere of the blogosphere can easily lead to misleading overinterpretations becoming accepted facts.
The scandalous treatment of some candidates should not be allowed to cloud our discernment of the many gifts of others - those appointed, as well as those not appointed or disappointed (three categories in total), all need our prayers and support.

Posted by Mark Bennet at Wednesday, 20 July 2011 at 9:35pm BST

In response to A.J. Barfords "The line of enquiry that doesn't seem to have been explored is the Salisbury appointment. Why the remarkable volte-face after Holtam's rejection at Southwark? Did his nomination eventually succeed because he satisfied the legal advice concerning his candidature given alongside the one for John? Or did the archbishops simply back down?"

I know nothing about the Salisbury process apart from having met most of the diocesan representatives on the committee. A very impressive and independently minded group of people. It would be a brave or foolhardy Archbishop who tried to bully them (not that I am implying that he did).

Posted by Simon Dawson at Thursday, 21 July 2011 at 7:12pm BST

Mark Bennet wrote, "The caveat expressed by some ... within the Diocese - was that +Stephen had not already had charge of a diocese, and Chelmsford is rather large. (+John Gladwin had come from Guildford)."

but +John Gladwin's predecessor, +John Perry, was not translated from a diocesan see; he, like my present diocesan, was translated from the suffragan see of Southampton.

also, "+Stephen has strong connections in the diocese."

Indeed he does and the diocese, the second largest by population in the CofE, will benefit from his past experience.

Posted by RPNewark at Thursday, 21 July 2011 at 8:56pm BST

Simon Dawson,

Thank you for throwing some light on Salisbury. I could have guessed as much, but I wondered if the Fritchie leak inquiry and Slee's critique of the process had any bearing on this CNC.

Were they party to any of Baroness Fritchie's findings or were they exclusively for the archbishops, national CNC members and/or the Southwark CNC members? I wrote to Baroness Fritchie a while ago to ask for details, but she wrote back saying that it was not for her to disseminate the results of her inquiry. Whether an FOI request could be made, I don't know.

Posted by A J Barford at Friday, 22 July 2011 at 4:51pm BST
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